I’m a Singer season 1 ends in controversy

The cast of MBC’s “I am a Singer” pose for photo (MBC)

Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation, producer and distributer of hit TV program “I’m a Singer” announced on Wednesday that it would end the first season of the show next week.

“We will run the last episode of ‘I’m a Singer’ season one on Feb. 12. We’ll introduce a reformatted show after taking a break,” MBC said in a statement. It didn’t elaborate on when the second season will start or who will take charge. The broadcaster is expected to replace the current producers and staff of the program.

MBC is reportedly having difficulties producing and operating the program as its union went on general strike last week. The MBC union is demanding its CEO resign, claiming that the TV station is politically biased.

“I’m a Singer,” a weekly reality show in which the country’s top singers compete, was one of the most popular programs here last year. The show captivated the eyes and ears of viewers and was at the center of attention throughout the year. However, the popularity of “I’m a Singer” or “Nagasu” isn’t what it used to be.

The viewer share of the TV reality program dropped as low as 8.9 percent last month from the 17 percent it garnered in November. TV audiences seem to have started to question whether some of the new singers are qualified to be on the stage, saying they are not fresh enough to draw their attention anymore.

Rumors involving singers and staff kept spreading, and there is conflict between MBC and the original writers of the songs rearranged for the stage.

Singer Kang Saneh blasted MBC for taking profit from selling covers of his songs performed on the “Nagasu” stage without his permission.

The singers of the show who performed remakes of Kang’s songs include singer Tei and the bands Jaurim and YB.

“I don’t care if the artists used my songs to perform on the show. But it’s a problem when someone is making profit from someone else’s work,” Kang said in a recent interview.

Some observers say Nagasu has lost its loyal viewers to other rival programs such as SBS’ audition program “K-Pop Star.”

“K-Pop Star,” featuring world star BoA and two big name producers in Korea ― Yang Hyun-seok of YG Entertainment and Park Jin-young of JYP Entertainment ― has been drawing attention for its unique format and enthralling talents of the show’s young contestants.

By Cho Chung-un (christory@heraldm.com)

Credit: The Korea Herald

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