Who’ll be the next K-Pop star? Youngsters battle it out at semi final in Delhi
K-Pop fans and enthusiasts united in the Capital recently, for the semi-final of All-India K-Pop Contest 2023. 67 participants competed in the dance and music categories as members of boy band Mbitious, enthralled the audience.
It was a high-octane evening as youngsters sang and danced to the tunes of Ailee, BLACKPINK, Super Junior, and the unbeatable, BTS! At Delhi’s OP Jindal Auditorium, on Saturday, 67 participants from 11 cities battled it out to compete during the semi-finals of the All-India K-Pop Contest 2023.
Competing in two categories — vocal (music) and dance — the performers left no stone unturned to make their presence felt on the stage. As it turned out, in both the categories, Delhiites walked off as clear winners. Prachi Sharma, 23, who bagged the top position in vocal, says, “I sang I Will Go to You Like the First Snow by Ailee, for my third attempt at this content. And guess what? It turned out to be a show stealer! I first enrolled here in 2019 and at that time I couldn’t even clear the first round. Then I participated again in 2020, but couldn’t make it past the second round. All this couldn’t deter my love for K-Pop, and I will continue to sing until some little girl looks up to me the way I look up to Ailee!”
The girl group Outkasts, led by Shivika Gulati, were overjoyed to make it to the top. “K-Pop ties our entire generation together. I’ve been into this genre for a decade and started the group in 2021. We’ve still got a long way to go,” says Gulati, 19, adding, “Performing in front of Mbitious was the highlight of my journey in K-Pop so far! It was a dream come true to dance as they are one of our K-Pop idols, who we immensely love and admire. I couldn’t believe how humble and talented they are.”
Korean Ambassador to India Chang Jae-bok and Korean Cultural Centre India (KCCI) director Hwang Il-yong were also in attendance as the crowd cheered on the participants and the three members of K-Pop group Mbitious — Kim Pyoung-ya, Roh Tae-hyun and Lee Ho-won, who were also the judges for the semi finals. Addressing to the audience from the stage, the band members said: “We are thrilled at how amazing all the performances were! It’s delightful to see how well K-Pop has been accepted in India.”
Addressing the performers, ambassador Chang Jae-bok, said, “It’s once-in-a-lifetime opportunity etched in your hearts. Let’s cherish this moment, celebrating the beautiful union of Indian and Korean cultures through the enchanting medium of K-Pop. Together, we bridge hearts and minds across borders, languages, and tradition.”
Adding to this, Hwang Il Yong, director of Korean Cultural Centre India (KCCI), said, “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.”
The top five teams from both categories will now be trained at KCCI’s K-Pop Academy, for five days, ahead of the All India K-Pop Contest 2023 finals that are scheduled for September.
Author tweets @KritiKambiri