“Too many boys,” I remember someone calling their dream K-pop super group on Twitter once. And while it wasn’t specifically directed at them, I always think of that name whenever I see NCT. With 23 members of different nationalities and four sub-units, the group has, if not too many, so many boys. And I love all of them.
Now, it looks like NCT is getting more boys.
The Hollywood Reporter just broke the news that the group’s agency, SM Entertainment, has partnered with multimedia conglomerate MGM to develop a new competition show. The still untitled series will be looking for American men ages 13 to 25 who will then fly to Korea to compete against each other for a spot in NCT’s newest unit: NCT Hollywood.
The boys will do their bootcamp-style training at the SM Campus, where they will be mentored and coached by SM founder Lee Soo-Man and current members of NCT.
While the competition aspect of the show sounds similar to other K-pop idol trainee survival shows (think the “Produce” series), it’ll be interesting to see how the idol show format will work with American competitors and an international audience. After all, MGM is also the company behind the hit singing competition show “The Voice,” so you can imagine that it’ll be able to shake things up.
“I look forward to making an unconventional audition show that all music fans around the world can enjoy,” THR quotes Lee. “I hope the audience enjoys watching the journey of new stars being born in Hollywood, that will be promoted as NCT-Hollywood in the global market in the future.”
“This series is exactly the type of innovative programming that MGM is committed to creating on a global scale,” MGM Television chair Mark Burnett also said. “K-pop is more than a genre of music; it’s a cultural phenomenon and we’re so excited to partner with the incredible Soo-Man Lee and the team at SM to bring K-pop to the U.S.!”
However, this news has not come without backlash. K-netizens have pointed out that there are still current members of NCT that have not yet had their own sub-unit, leading them to wonder why the new American members are seemingly getting priority over their faves. Many have also pointed out that, considering how large NCT is already, NCT Hollywood could’ve been a separate boy group altogether. NCTzens have expressed their disapproval on social media, asking SM to take care of their current roster first.
As for me, I’m a bit wary but also intrigued to see how this is going to work out. Big Hit Entertainment, the company behind BTS, also announced recently that they’ve partnered with Universal Music Group to form a new boy group with its audition process similarly being aired on TV. K-pop’s truly taking over, and I don’t quite know how that’s going to affect the industry.
Photo screengrabbed from NCT Dream’s “Diggity” music video