Japanese fan wins Cheonan K-Culture Expo’s K-pop audition

The contenders who received prizes at the K-Pop World Audition, the highlight of the Cheonan K-Culture Expo held in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province, pose after their auditions on Saturday. Courtesy of Cheonan Foundation for Arts and Culture

Tsutsumi Rai, 21, an exchange student from Japan who studies at Pai Chai University in Daejeon, was crowned the winner of the K-Pop World Audition — the highlight of the Cheonan K-Culture Expo that wrapped up on Sunday in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province.For the audition, Rai danced to “UN Village” (2019) by Baekhyun of K-pop boy group EXO. He got the highest score after edging out 12 teams in the finals on Saturday, and won 10 million ($7,300) in prize money, according to the Cheonan Foundation for Arts and Culture, the host of the Cheonan K-Culture Expo. Before coming to Korea, Rai used to work as a dance teacher in Japan.Karen Kim, a Philippine-born immigrant woman in Korea, took second place after singing “Song of the Wind” (1997) by singer Cho Yong-pil. Kim, who is married to a Korean, received 3 million won. During the audition, she revealed that her childhood dream was to become a singer.”4X4 Studio,” a female dance group with 660,000 YouTube subscribers, ranked third, while “SUS4,” a team composed of students from Dong-Ah Institute of Media and Arts in Anseong, Gyeonggi Province, secured the fourth spot.

The jury included Lee Sol-lim, the former director of SM Academy — an academic institution of K-pop powerhouse SM Entertainment — and producer Kim Seung-nam from YG Entertainment.”The audition was a testament to the passion of K-pop fans worldwide,” the foundation said in a statement, Sunday. It added that 406 teams of 1,026 people from 22 countries including Turkey, Germany and Russia applied for the audition.Cheonan Mayor Park Sang-don also underscored K-pop’s global popularity.”I could witness K-pop fever once again,” he said. “Cheonan will continue to lead K-culture by developing more killer content encompassing K-pop.”Launched in 2023, the Cheonan K-Culture Expo is an event aiming to capture the essence of Korean cultural content. It drew some 130,000 visitors last year.This year, the expo was held from Wednesday to Sunday at the Independence Hall of Korea in Cheonan. It featured different events such as hanbok (traditional Korean garment) fashion shows and exhibitions chronicling the history of K-pop.The Independence Hall of Korea also held a special exhibition highlighting the music, theatrical shows and movies about Korea’s independence movement against the 1910-45 Japanese colonial rule, further enriching visitor 카지노사이트킹 experiences.

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