Unveiling hidden talent, K-pop stars to lip-synch to voices of unknown singers

PHOTO: The Korea Herald/Asia News Network

Comedian Kang Ho-dong walks up to the stage and instead of his usual booming, energetic snarl that fans have grown accustomed to, a dreamy voice sings a beautiful melody.

Just like its awkwardly hilarious teaser video, "Shadow Singer" will have established stars lip-synching to the voices of singers hidden in obscurity.

"I thought about what unknown singers lacked. That was when I came up with the idea that we can 'lend' them the popularity and recognition that they need," said producer Min Chul-ki of the upcoming tvN show.

One of the masterminds behind the MBC programme "King of Masked Singer" -- which features established singers performing behind masks to be evaluated solely based on their vocal skills -- Min said his latest programme will allow the public to meet singers who are underappreciated.

Participants on the show will range from has-beens who have faded out of memory to those who never got a chance to sing onstage.

"While working on 'Masked Singer,' I came across a lot of unknown singers with talent and I wanted to work with them," Min said.

Stars do more than lip-synch -- they also have to perform like singers onstage, said officials from CJ E&M, which is producing "Shadow Singer."

"I've learned that they (the singers) have a lot of amazing stories. They were so earnest, that I couldn't help but share their attitude so that their stories are delivered to the public," said the show's host Kang.

Min said that Kang's capacity to empathize with the show's participants -- demonstrated through his hosting of the popular 2007-2011 talk show "Knee Drop Guru" -- will be a valuable asset to the show.

"The show will focus on stories of individual participants and Kang is the perfect fit," he said.

In addition to Kang, comedian Lee Soo-guen, songwriter Kim Hyung-suk, singer Ha Hyun-woo of the band Guckkasten and other panel members will join the show as judges.

The first episode will be a special 90-minute edition that will air Friday at 8 p.m. Following episodes will air Fridays at 8:20 p.m. on tvN.

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