SBS’s special treatment for 2NE1 backfires
With 2NE1 having completed their impressive triple track comeback performance on SBS‘ ”Inkigayo,” they’ve become the topic of much sarcastic and cynical remarks, putting what seems like an adverse effect on the special treatment they received from SBS.
2NE1 performed three songs on the 12th as, not live, but pre-recorded stages. Many believe that as a rookie group, receiving the time to show three songs is ground-breaking enough, when other singers are only allowed to sing two songs for their comeback stages. It’s been standard for top stars only to perform three songs, and even then, it’s only a couple seconds-long intro, half of a follow-up track, and finally the title track performance.
In terms of comparisons, 2NE1 has already jumped the level of rock legend Seo Taiji. In 2008, Seo Taiji’s return to the industry after four years of absence only warranted a two track comeback stage. Even top stars like Rain, Hyori, and BoA only performed a couple seconds worth of a follow-up track.
2NE1, on the other hand, performed all three songs and took up nearly 15 minutes. Viewers were unsettled with the fact that other rookie groups with strong vocal talent were not able to perform because of their weaker agencies in comparison to YG Entertainment. Fans of the industry commented, “Was this a 2NE1 episode?” and “Is SBS Inkigayo just a show made to promote YG artists?”
Many are also of the opinion that performing all three tracks on the day of their comeback was a risky gamble and that it made them “boring” because everything was shown at once. 2NE1 received high reviews as soon as their songs were revealed and dominated online music charts. Still, viewers couldn’t help but be left feeling as if 2NE1’s entire success and comeback was shown on one stage in 11 minutes.
A music program is unfortunately not a personal concert, but an opportunity to give a close-up on a group’s particular skill or talent. Viewers concluded 2NE1’s comeback with the thought that if 2NE1 went as far as to receive criticism for receiving special treatment from SBS, they should have at least tried to offset the rather repetitive atmosphere with a ballad track like “I’m Hurt.”
Viewer message boards are covered with posts such as, “I wanted to see a more variety of artists but I had to watch one group for over 10 minutes.”
One agency representative commented, “In that time, four different rookie teams could have performed. No matter how big their agency is, this is just going too far,” while a broadcast representative stated, “They have forgotten that they are not just a music program but one with a music chart. They are losing their focus.”
This is not the first time SBS is under fire for giving special treatment to YG Entertainment artists. 2NE1’s debut stage was given double the time a standard rookie team is given, the same for G-Dragon’s solo stage as well. As if warming to such treatment, YG artists also do not perform on other company music programs. On the “Idol Big Show” program created by the producers of Inkigayo, they showed an even more blatant preference for YG artists, with over half the show being run by Big Bang and 2NE1.