Kim Da-hyun crowned MVP at Korea-Japan singing battle

2024.05.09 12:03:16

[Photo provided by MBN]이미지 확대

[Photo provided by MBN]



Korean and Japanese singers enjoyed a friendly gala at the final showdown of MBN’s “Korea-Japan King of Singers,” the world’s first trot national contest. Showcasing their talents and fostering camaraderie, the singers embraced each other after the competition, shedding tears as they transformed from rivals into friends.

In the final episode, which aired on Tuesday, the Korean team emerged victorious by a mere two-point margin. Despite contestant Jeon Yu-jin’s significant lead over Utagokoro Rie in the celebrity judge’s scoring, with 70 to 30 points respectively, the national jury heavily favored Utagokoro, resulting in a nail-biting victory of 111 to 99 points. With the score tied at 3:3, Jeon’s triumph secured the ultimate win for the Korean team.

The program, which premiered in April 2024, pits the top 7 of MBN’s “Current King of Trot” against the top 7 of Fuji TV’s “Trot Girls Japan” in a national singing showdown.

After the decisive match, the Korean and Japanese singers, relieved of the pressure of competition, immediately showcased their talents in a gala performance. The 14 singers came together to sing “Singing and Dancing” by Key Eun-suk, a song that paved the way for Korean singer Key Eun-suk’s success in Japan in the 1980s. The Korean and Japanese singers rehearsed together for the gala performance amid their preparations for the competition, demonstrating their harmony and synergy.

Taking the stage for the second gala performance, Azuma Aki presented a unique rendition of Cho Yong-pil’s “Come Back to Busan Port” with her distinctive vocal twists. Makoto, Fukuda Mirai, Kanou Miu, and Sumida Aiko followed suit with a charming choreography, singing “Blue Coral Reef,” a song by idol Matsuda Seiko. Maijin, Kim Da-hyun, and Maria chose Park Nam-jung’s “Missing You,” created a nostalgic stage by recreating the unique dance moves of the 1980s.

The program has been a ratings success since its premiere, recording a nationwide viewership rating of 11.9 percent based on Nielsen Korea data and topping MBN’s all-time highest rating for a premiere. The final episode mirrored the program’s success to maintain the top spot in the Tuesday primetime slot across all channels, including terrestrial, cable, and satellite, for six consecutive weeks. The nationwide viewership was 8.3 percent, with a peak viewership in the Seoul metropolitan area of 9.41 percent.

The Korea-Japan Bridge Award, bestowed upon singers who deeply touched audiences from both countries, was awarded to Lyn and Utagokoro Rie, while the Rising Star Award, which recognized the potential for global stardom, was awarded to Jeon Yu-jin and Azuma Aki.

The highlight of the awards ceremony, the MVP award, was won by Kim Da-hyun. As a special prize, Kim earned the opportunity to produce a special song in the language of the other country.

“This is the first time Korea and Japan’s top singers have competed in a singing competition,” Kim Jin-pyo, the Speaker of the National Assembly who presented the MVP award, said as he also expressed hope for vibrant cultural exchange and strengthened friendship between the two nations.

By Kim Hyung-joo and Minu Kim

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