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“Vocal or dance is the top priority for Kpop idols?” – A controversial question that provokes heated arguments in the rising era of 4th generation Kpop idols

A scene on a program 4 years ago is now being recalled by the Korean netizens.

As the 4th generation idols start to ‘invade’ Kpop, the issue of real talents and qualities has been brought back to life and continues to heat up. Not long ago, a raging controversy broke out on Korean online platforms when some people commented that gen 4 is a generation with excess visuals but lacking in real talents.

On the same note, a situation from KBS’s “The Unit” – which was broadcast 4 years ago, was dug up by Korean netizens. This situation happened when 3 contestants in the male group are debating whether to focus more on practicing dancing or singing.

  • Im Junhyeok: To be frank, I only came here to practice singing.
  • Wonjun: But you’ve always been the one to focus on vocals more from the beginning.
  • PK (?): The reason you need to practice dancing more is that you’re sandwiched between us. We’re also holding back.
  • Im Junhyeok: I’ve never done it like this (practice dancing more than singing) so I’m trying my best too.
  • Im Junhyeok: But why is dancing a priority?
  • Wonjun: Being an idol means prioritizing dancing over singing.
  • Im Junhyeok: I just hope that when we get to sing live, we won’t embarrass ourselves.
  • Im Junhyeok (in a separate interview): I feel like I’m being cornered. Honestly, idols’ inability to sing is the main reason why we’ve been attacked a lot lately. You will be criticized if you can’t sing.
the unit
the unit
the unit
the unit Im Junhyeok

Compared to the previous generations of idols, the 4th generation idols are often said to focus more on performance than on singing ability. In particular, many groups have also been found lip-syncing at big events inside and outside of Korea, which has partly affected their image in the public eye. Concerning the question of whether dancing or singing is the top priority in the career of K-pop idols, the majority of Korean audiences are now leaning towards vocals because after all, idols are still singers and obviously, there’s no way for a singer to win the hearts of his audience if he can’t sing.

  • “Of course vocals should be the priority… Regarding dance, idols can use back-up dancers any time… These days, dancers are as pretty as idols. On the other hand, if idols can’t sing, they are no different from dancers.”
  • “I can see that lately all the idols are choosing to use AR instead of singing live, maybe it’s better if they focus on perfecting their dancing…”
  • “But once they’re bad at singing, no matter how good an idol is at dancing, they won’t be able to capture the audience’s attention”
  • “As an idol, all you need is a great performance, so I’ll choose dance ㅋㅋ Actually, it’s more interesting to watch fancams of idols who dance well”
  • “In the past, vocal was definitely the top priority, I’ve never seen an idol who can’t sing before. But now, maybe the first priority has changed to dance”
  • “As a singer, of course, you have to focus on vocals. There isn’t any singer that can’t sing, while dancing is a totally different genre…”
  • “Of course it has to be vocal, if you just want to focus on dancing, why don’t you become a dancer instead of an idol?”
  • “I used to think that idols should focus on vocals anyway, but looking at the current situation, it seems that dance is getting more attention”
  • “Vocals of course… After all, idols are singers”
  • “Honestly, I really hate watching idols using AR but pretending to perform live on music shows… Even if that person is my bias, I wouldn’t want to watch it”

Which do you think is the top priority for Kpop idols, vocal or dance?

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