Jasmine Khan, Dubai
The exhilarating and most-awaited Semi-Finale of the All India K-Pop Contest 2023, presented by LG and Korean Cultural Centre India took place on 22nd July 2023 at O.P Jindal Auditorium, New Delhi to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic friendship between South Korea and India. The event commenced with special messages addressing the audience by Chief Guests; Chang Jae-bok, the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to India, Hwang Il-yong, the director of KCCI, and Gary Kim, the Director of Home Entertainment, LG. With a total of 22 teams comprising individual contestants, and groups, 67 participants in total qualified for the Semi-Finals based on the previously conducted Regional Rounds of the respective 11 regions in the Vocal and Dance Category from a whopping 10,000 applications out of which 200 teams had qualified the Regional Round.
In his congratulatory message; Chang Jae-bok, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to India, emphasised on cherishing the moment and “celebrating the beautiful union of Indian and Korean cultures through the enchanting medium of K-Pop. Together we bridge hearts, mind across borders, languages, and traditions.”
Similarly, Hwang Il-yong, the director of KCCI, stated that, “K-Pop is at the centre of the growing popularity of the Korean Wave in India. We would like to thank the fans for their endless love for K-Pop, Korea, and K-Pop Contest for the past 12 years.”
Gary Kim, the Director of Home Entertainment, LG India expressed that, “We are delighted to see the overwhelming response for K-Pop. At LG Electronics, we believe in connecting with people through innovative marketing campaigns and K-Pop sponsorship is certainly enhancing our connect with youth.”
Much to the audience’s anticipation and excitement contained together, the high-octave evening kick-started with the special performances of the three members of the Street Man Fighter as part of Team MBITIOUS namely, Roh Tae-hyun, Lee Ho-won, and Kim Pyoung-ya, who travelled all the way from Korea to India to grace this event. Roh Tae-hyun is known for his Krumping skills and is famous as the leader of the K-Pop Group HOTSHOT. He also participated in the show Produce 101. Lee Ho-won also known by his stage name Hoya, made his debut with the popular K-Pop Group, INFINITE, and was also seen in the famous K-Drama, Reply 1997. Kim Pyoung-ya is known for his incredible dancing skills as he holds a speciality in hip-hop, Krumping, locking, popping, and house. Their special performances throughout the event not only swept away everyone with their amazing moves but they also shared words of encouragement for all the Semi-finalists as well as for the audiences.
MBITIOUS members were not only there for their special performances but were also the judges for the Semi-Finals. The criteria for selection of winners in the Semi-Final was based on pitch, tempo, expression, pronunciation, and stage control/charisma for the Vocal Category and accuracy, choreography, technique, and stage control/charisma for the Dance Category. Based on these criteria; MBITIOUS members, were able to select the winners of Dance and Vocal Category of the Semi-Finals as they were equally overjoyed as the audiences and said, “We are thrilled at how amazing all the performances were. It is delightful to see how well K-Pop has been accepted in India.”
Ms. Prachi Sharma, who sang ‘I Will Go to You Like the First Snow by Ailee’ won the Vocal Category and the K-Pop cover Girl group OUTKASTS, (led by Shivika Gulati and team members Damia Tyagi, Aastha Negi, Arzoo Abbas, and Tamanna) who performed on ‘ANTIFRAGILE by LE SSERAFIM’ won the Dance Category of the K-Pop India Contest 2023, Semi Finals. Both the winners hail from the Delhi region.
The runners-up who also qualified for the Finale of the contest were from Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Itanagar Region. The winners alongside the runners-up from both categories are now being trained at KCCI’s K-Pop Academy gearing up for the Finals that are scheduled to be held very soon.
The details of the runners up are as follows:
1st Runners-up – ELITE (Chennai), 2nd Runners-up – SEREIN (Bengaluru), 3rd Runners-up – AXIOM (Mumbai), 4th Runners-up – With Nine (Itanagar)
1st Runners-up – Abhipriya Chakraborty, 2nd Runners-up – Sai Madhav Rella (Hyderabad), 3rd Runners-up – Sruthi Ramnarayan (Chennai), and 4th Runners-up – Jaisri Shruti (Bengaluru)
Wild Card Entry
The event was not over with just that, as the hosts announced that there are quite a few wild card entries who still have the opportunity to qualify for the Finals as they proved their calibre by performing in the Semi-Finals. Much recently announced based on judges evaluation and public’s vote, the group TH7 from Hyderabad Region and Ms. Manya Singh from Lucknow Region won the Wild Card Entry and earned their way to Finals in the Dance and Vocals Category respectively.
All the performances from the Vocal and Dance Category by the semi-finalists alike left no stone unturned in making this event an extravaganza with such visuals and an auditory treat. All in all, the venue was filled with a powerhouse of many talents under one roof that evening. Who are you rooting for the Finals? Tell us in the comments!