[Hallyupedia] Jeonguk Norae Jarang

연합뉴스 / 2022-06-13 10:43:30
  • facebookfacebook
  • twittertwitter
  • kakaokakao
  • pinterestpinterest
  • navernaver
  • bandband
  • -
  • +
  • print

by Hwakjin Ra/ Kim Jimin

[ENG] A singing contest program broadcast every Sunday afternoon, on Korean Broadcasting System (KBS).


▲ This file photo shows Song Hae hosting Jeonguk Norae Jarang. (Yonhap)


Jeonguk Norae Jarang is a singing contest program for the public, which is broadcast every Sunday at 12:10 p.m. on KBS. It first aired in a form of radio singing contest and was added to the regular TV program schedule for the first time on November 9, 1980, continuing for 42 years.

According to KBS, it has been broadcasting more than 1900 times every Sunday, with more than 30,000 people on TV screen, 850,000 people participating in the preliminaries, and more than 10 million audiences in total.

The program visits cities and districts of Korea, where local people participate in the singing contest.

There are performances of invited singers, and they usually present the award. Participants who passed the preliminary round get the chance to sing at the final round. If participants sing well, the judge will play a “ding-dong-dang” melody through a xylophone to announce their pass. However, if participants are rejected, the judge will play “dang” melody. The winner of the day is decided by singing skills, but exceptionally, the popularity award is given considering the audiences’ reaction rather than the singing skills. 



▲ This file photo shows Song Hae holding a hand of a child participant in Jeonguk Norae Jarang held in Ulleung County. (Yonhap)


Starting with the first MC Lee Han-pil, Lee Sang-yong, Ko Kwang-soo, and Choi Seon-kyu were in charge of MC, and Song Hae became an MC in May of 1988, when he was 61 years old.

Song Hae resigned from his position as an MC in May of 1994, but he returned in October of that year due to the strong request of the program’s fans and hosted the program for 34 years until just before his recent death.

Song Hae was also listed on the Guinness World Records as the ‘Oldest TV music talent show host’ in May this year at the age of 95.


▲ This file photo shows Song Hae holding a certificate of Guinness World Records as the ‘Oldest TV music talent show host’ in May, 2022. (Yonhap)


Jeonguk Norae Jarang is known to have copied the format of ‘Nodojiman,’ a Japanese singing contest aired by NHK, but it established its unique style thanks to Song Hae’s effort to actively communicate with participants.

Since the end of May, Jeonguk Norae Jarang has been operated under a temporary MC system, and the show announced that they will select a successor after having a featured broadcast of Song Hae on the 12th.

◇ Participants who became top stars

▲ This file photo shows Song Ga-in, the winner of TV CHOSUN’s trot competition program, Miss Trot. (Yonhap)


▲ This file photo shows a trot singer Jang Yoon-jeong. (Yonhap)


Since Jeonguk Norae Jarang is a singing contest of amateurs, there are a lot of participants who later became top stars. Especially, there are many trot singers including Lim Young-woong and Song Ga-in, who were the winners of TV CHOSUN’s trot competition program Mr. Trot and Miss Trot, respectively.

Also, singer Jang Yoon-jeong revealed an anecdote that at her age of 8, she left school early and participated in the preliminary of Jeonguk Norae Jarang when she heard that Jeonguk Norae Jarang was held in her village. She was said to have failed at the contest at that time.

Kim Shin-young, who is active as a comedian and MC, and Hong Seok-chun, a celebrity who has played a significant role in protecting gay rights since his coming out, also appeared in Jeonguk Norae Jarang before their debut in the entertainment industry.

◇ Jeonguk Norae Jarang in movies and dramas


▲ This photo, provided by cine21, shows a poster of a movie "Jeonguk Norae Jarang," released in 2013. (Yonhap)


In 2013, a movie “Jeonguk Norae Jarang,” also known as “Born to Sing” in English, was released. It is a story of people who are trying to participate in Jeonguk Norae Jarang held in Gimhae city.

Also, in tvN’s drama “Reply 1988,” the episode in which Ra Mi-ran, who was called “Miss Cheetah” in the drama, appeared in Jeonguk Norae Jarang drew a lot of attention from the audience.

‘Jeonguk Norae Jarang’ was also made into a musical under the same title. It was staged on Daehak-ro in 2012, which is based on the story of the families of two men, who became enemies after they both fell in love with a woman at the same time, striving to defeat each other in Jeonguk Norae Jarang.

◇ Captured moments of Jeonguk Norae Jarang, transforming into photographic art

▲ This photo, provided by Seongkok Art Museum, shows an exhibition of “Blow the Wind, Jeonguk Norae Jarang." (Yonhap)


A photographer Byeon Soon-cheol held a solo exhibition “Blow the Wind, Jeonguk Norae Jarang” at Seongkok Art Museum in Gwanghwamun, Seoul, in October of 2020.

He has photographed the stages and participants of Jeonguk Norae Jarang for more than 15 years.

Byeon has filmed the clumsiness, excessive settings, and spontaneous actions of participants, capturing the aspects of universal people showing off their talents and energy.

In terms of his work, Byeon explained, “If one works as an artist for a long time, there is a possibility of cultural imagination being worn out. However, ‘Jeonguk Norae Jarang’ has led me to another world of art.”

(C) Yonhap News Agency. All Rights Reserved