16th September 2023, New Delhi: Korean Cultural Centre India hosted the grand finale of the “All India K-Pop Contest 2023(Presented by LG)” at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex in New Delhi. This event brought together over 4,000 people who share a love for K-pop and Korean culture.
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and India, this K-Pop contest was made possible through the sponsorship of LG Electronics. The contest, which began as a long-term project in April, saw approximately 11,000 participants in the initial online round. Following that, the regional round took place in 11 major cities across India, including Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, and Itanagar, etc. The journey culminated in the semi-finals held in New Delhi, where 12 talented teams advanced to the grand finale. The event was graced by the presence of H.E. Chang Jae-Bok, Ambassador of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea to India and Mr. Hong Ju Jeon, MD, LG India.
A live video call with the global girl group “X:IN,” which includes three Korean members and one each from Russia and India, added to the excitement. “Aria,” a member from India, drew attention as the third Indian member of a K-pop group, with her doll-like appearance at the time of her debut.
Anushka Sen, a popular Indian influencer with 39 million followers, also sent her congratulatory video message. Anushka Sen has received awards such as the 2022 India Television Academy Award for Popular Actress (Web Category) for her work, including her role in the film “Sammaditthi.”
The finalists in the dance category included “With Nine” from Itanagar, “Outkasts” from Delhi, “Serein” from Bengaluru, “Elite” from Chennai, “Axiom” from Mumbai, and “TH7” from Hyderabad. In the vocal category, participants included Prachi Sharma from Delhi, Sai Madhav Rella from Hyderabad, Jaisri Shruti G from Bengaluru, Sruthi Ramnarayan from Chennai, Abhipriya Chakraborty from Kolkata, and Manya Singh from Lucknow.
The grand finale featured a congratulatory performance and judging by the popular Korean idol group “MCND.” MCND, a global boy group consisting of members Castle J, Bic, Minjae, Huijin, and Win, made their debut in 2020 and has gained popularity not only in Korea but also in South America, Europe, Japan, and beyond. They performed their hit songs “ICE-AGE” and “Crush”. Additionally, they surprised the audience with a dance to the famous Indian song “Tu Meri.” They had a joint performance with participants, choreographed to MCND’s popular track “#MOOD” released last year.
After the semi-finals held in July, the finalists took five days of vocal and dance training from Korean singer “Hyunsu,” who became famous from the audition program ‘Voice of Korea’ and the dancer ‘Yamakasi’ who has taken performance with SHINee, BTS, and EXO’s Baekhyun. The participants had a joint performance they had prepared with their trainers.
The event was hosted by Son Dan, an emcee who has previously hosted various international events, including the “K-Music Concert” held on August 25th in New Delhi, commemorating the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and India.
The judging criteria for the grand finale included pitch, rhythm, expression, pronunciation, stage charisma (vocal), accuracy, choreography, technique, and stage charisma (dance). The winner of the grand finale earned the opportunity to visit Korea. The 1st runner-up received an audio product, “X Boom,” and the 2nd runner-up received an earbud from LG.
Hwang Il-Yong, the Director of the Korean Cultural Centre India, mentioned “We are grateful for the interest and love shown by all the participants in the K-Pop contest and the audience who attended. We feel that K-Pop has become a means of communication not only within Korea but also with people around the world. We hope that K-Pop can offer dreams and hope to the youth in India. The Korean Cultural Centre India will continue to make every effort to provide a dream stage for everyone who loves K-Pop and Korean culture.”