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49 idol hopefuls shoot for the stars in CJ E&M's 'Boys24'

All Headlines 15:07 June 16, 2016

By Chung Joo-won

SEOUL, June 16 (Yonhap) -- CJ E&M's "Boys24," a cut-throat survival show for 49 K-pop trainees to become idols, will elevate the genre of Korean audition shows to the next level, the executive of the South Korean entertainment giant said on Thursday.

"We wanted to bring a new form of long-term Korean entertainment content that combines only the most attractive factors of Korean culture," said Ahn Suk-joon, the representative of CJ E&M's music unit, in a press conference for the reality show in eastern Seoul.

"Our goal is to sort out the top six candidates and debut them as an all-boy idol group," the CJ E&M executive added, pinpointing K-pop, dance, digital media and the broadcasting system as the winning factors of the new show.

"Boys24" is part of a 25 billion won project (US$21.4 million) of the same name that CJ E&M has worked on for three years. The Boys24 project is aimed at creating new cultural content to introduce Korean pop culture to the world.

A total of 49 applicants selected from a pool of 5,500 from South Korea and abroad will compete in the reality show.

The challengers will be divided into several team units and face weekly competitions and training sessions led by singers Shin Hye-sung and Lee Min-woo of first generation K-pop boy band Shinhwa.

"Although the individual capacity of each participant is important for an audition show like this, I think the ability to blend well or maximize the synergy effect of the team will be more important," said Shin.

Of the 49 participants, only 24 will make the finals of "Boys24." There they will be split into two 12-member teams. For one year, one team will stage live K-pop performances in local concert halls in Myeongdong, central Seoul, to show off the members’ talents. The other team will engage in various entertainment activities and album recording.

After the one-year tryout period, only the top six members will debut as a boy group.

"Boys 24" follows predecessor "Produce 101," a survival show for aspiring female trainees dreaming of joining a girl group. The finalists of "Produce 101," which ended in April 1, gave birth to new girl group I.O.I under a one-year contract with YMC Entertainment.

The Saturday reality show will take off this weekend at 11:30 p.m. and run through Aug. 6.


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