Why do I keep watching idol survival shows? Maybe it’s because of those young and hopeful faces ready to face the industry with their talent and hard work. Maybe it’s living vicariously through them. Or maybe just because I was bored. But no matter the reason, I always manage to find myself some gems that need to be shared.
Stray Kids is a reality show with 10 episodes created by JYP Entertainment and Mnet. It is a male idol debut project that aired from October 2017 to December 2017. ‘Stray Kids‘ is also what the members decided as the name of the group.
What to love about this show?
There are nine of them and were separated into sub groups according to their positions. There are the vocals: Woojin, Seungmin,Jeongin, rap: Bang Chan, Jisung, Changbin (3Racha) and for dance: Hyunjn, Felix, Minho. Although some of them still hasn’t fully settled into their roles and their skills are yet to be honed to its sharpest, they have several members already attracting the attention of the audience and JYP family fans.
- The leader Bang Chan who basically created the group. He’s the trainee that’s been there for a long time. Much like a stable rock, Chan stood as their reliable leader and took care of them all. Australian. Rapper. Vocal. Dancer. An all-around guy. Leader-nim. He was supposed to be in the same group with Bambam of GOT7 but the latter debuted first and Chan was left behind.
- Seo Changbin. The member who proudly claims: “I love dark.” It’s also evident in the music he makes and in his lyrics. The charismatic rapper who loves dark. From what I gathered in the show, he’s also from a very well-off family.
- Han Jisung. Rapper, vocal and definitely a performer. You can barely see him sweat and get nervous in each of their performance evaluations. Has that laid back vibe and who is someone who knows his skills and is confident in what he has.
These three members are basically the holy trinity of the group. Also known as 3Racha. The three reminded me of IKON’s B.I, Bobby and Jinhwan who also sort of led the group even before debut. They’re like the pillars that hold the group together. They not only honed their skills in rap, dancing and vocals but they also produce songs as a unit and released a mixtape under 3Racha. So in this show, they’re also in charge of making songs for the team spearheaded by leader Bang Chan.
There’s also Woojin who is the stable main vocal of the group. Minho who teaches all of them dance. Felix who is still learning Korean and part of the dance team but who also raps. Jeongin who is part of the vocal team and the always positive maknae you cannot help but adore. Seungmin, also a vocal with his pleasing tone and hardworking attitude. Finally, Hyunjin who is considered the visual of the group but also excels in dancing and rap.
When I say great vocals I say really great vocals, and their potentials are really shown in this program. Admittedly not all of the members who got the title as a vocal has the same level of skill as their main (Woojin) but each has their unique tone and strength that contributes to the group’s color.
Rappers who knows what’s up!
Sadly Bang Chan isn’t in this performance because they should’ve slayed as trio, but this is his track so there’s that.
Multi-talented and versatile members
3Racha is not just the pillar members of the group, they’re also known for being triple threats because each of them can dance, sing and rap — not to mention produce. The three would always surprise the people who came to judge them not just because of their splendid rapping skills but also for their amazing vocals. They can hit the high notes and sing just as well as rap. Hellevator which is a pretty highkey song for a boygroup pretty much highlighted the versatility of the members and their strength as a group. It’s a song only Stray kids can do and it’s a theme only they can showcase.
Strong brotherly bond
This show not only showcased their talents but also their affection and support for each other. This can be clearly seen during the so called eliminations and in the aftermath of JYP’s harsh evaluation. There was one moment which I really loved when Bang Chan said, “Always find me, yeah? I’m never gonna leave you behind.”
You know the Hawaiian saying Ohana? Stray Kids pretty much does that from start to finish. They’re the biggest supporter of OT9 and would always declare that if one member was left out, it would not be the same anymore. It seems the force of Ohana is strong here. No member gets left behind or forgotten in this group of boys who called themselves Stray Kids.
Finally, there’s the JYP vs YG battle.
These two major entertainment agencies have a long history of pitting their artists against each other in the name of friendly rivalry and of course we love it. Instead of fanwars and negativity, be like JYP and YG. I first saw this battle during the YG-produced show WIN: Who is Next that birthed the group WINNER which was the first time I really appreciated the friendship between these two companies. These battles are only for the boy groups. I also feel that I like the boy groups produced by JYP more than the girls. Take the show SIXTEEN for example which produced TWICE. Though I can say that I have a healthy respect for the girls, it does not have the same pull as Stray Kids. If JYP had aired the selection process of GOT7 there is a high chance that I could have loved it as much as this show.
Back in WIN, there was the legendary dance battle between YG (Winner and iKON members) versus JYP (GOT7), which left viewers in awe of Mark and Jackson flying everywhere. This time it was a bit of a surprise again from JYP’s side. Check out this creative dance piece of the Stray Kids:
I’ll say Bang Chan’s facial expressions does have a performance of their own.
YG counters with their talents too!
This show also paved the way for me to discover the band DAY6. This was after I saw Young K (Brian) fanboying over Chan during the busking event in the show. Great advertisement for your band, Young K. Be a fan and then you’ll gain a fan too.
Overall, it’s the same as any survival show except it’s by JYP, so as eccentric as the man himself there would be a few surprises along the way. I also really like the way he gives advice to his artists and the lessons he would impart on trainees. This show not only gave me a chance to get to know this upcoming group but also made me appreciate and admire JYP.
A fitting quote regarding these boys:
“I’m like a stray cat. If you feed me, I don’t leave.”
― Michelle M. Pillow