Student Spotlight: Andy Jung

Andy+at+Glyphs+Coffeehouse+with+Whitney+Xu+and+Brian+Culliagan
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Student Spotlight: Andy Jung

Andy at Glyphs Coffeehouse with Whitney Xu and Brian Culliagan

Andy at Glyphs Coffeehouse with Whitney Xu and Brian Culliagan

Pete Daly

Andy at Glyphs Coffeehouse with Whitney Xu and Brian Culliagan

Pete Daly

Pete Daly

Andy at Glyphs Coffeehouse with Whitney Xu and Brian Culliagan

Whitney Xu, Writer

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You’ve probably heard the angelic voice of MHS junior Andy Jung at some point–he won “Mr. Talent” in Madison Junior School’s annual “Mr. MJS” and performs at local events around town and in school with his band, The Drakes. Recently, Andy auditioned for the popular Korean singing competition K-Pop Star. To nobody’s surprise, he passed the first round and is leaving for Korea on October 10th to compete.

MDO asked Andy some questions about the process and competition to find out more about this amazing accomplishment.

MDO: What exactly is K-Pop Star?

AJ: It’s basically the Korean version of American Idol, so a survival audition program. It’s like Naked and Afraid, but we’re clothed, and we sing. But we’re still afraid. It’s not actually k-pop. I’m not gonna dye my hair blond or anything.

MDO: So what was the audition process?

AJ: The audition date and location was announced mid-July of this year, and I had to apply by August. I applied in the last week before the deadline because I couldn’t decide whether or not I wanted to audition.

On the day, I woke up at 5:30 and my dad drove me into the city. I got there at 7:30 and the audition began at 10:00. There were about 700 other contestants total, and luckily I was the second person to audition so I was done with the first round at 11. The second round only began at 7:30 pm, so I had a lot of waiting to do. Fortunately, my friend was also there so we hung out at some Japanese restaurants nearby. I was really struggling that day, since my voice was shot and I was pretty nervous, so I tried to chill and get my mind off of things.

During the second round, I had to sing in front of the entire team of K-Pop Star, and they recorded me. It was a stage with really bright lights and an entire panel of producers, so it was pretty nerve wracking. I did badly on the first song because I wasn’t able to prepare well–the producers asked me to perform something that I had to learn on the day. The second song was fine, though. I ended at around 10 pm.

MDO: When did you find out that you passed the first audition?

AJ: A week after the audition, they called me and asked if they could film me in Madison. We filmed at Short Stories (the local bookstore) and a park for around 3 hours. I realized how hard it was to act natural in front of a very professional-looking camera.

A week after that, they called me back and told me I had a ticket to Korea! I was really surprised because I thought I absolutely butchered the second round. Now I’m on my way to Korea this Saturday. I’m really excited and nervous, and also happy to be able to see my friends and family in Korea.

MDO: Congratulations on passing the first round! What happens next?

AJ: The next audition is on October 19th, and it’s in front of three judges. They are the CEO’s of the three top entertainments companies in Korea, and they’ll judge me based on my abilities. The second round consists of the same three judges. If I pass, I’ll return to Madison for three weeks and return to Korea in November for further competition.

MDO: What do you think your chances are in Korea?

AJ: I’m not expecting a lot, but because this is what I love to do, I just have to give it my best and see how far I get. Even if the distance I go is just one more round, I would be happy to hear the judges criticism and to improve myself. Hopefully I’ll go far in the competition.

MDO: What does the winner get?

AJ: The grand prize is $300,000 (USD), some of which is used for a record label, and a car. The winner from last year was from Jersey, and the winner before was from Georgia; they’re usually not from Korea. They both signed with the biggest labels, and the top ten in past competitions have also been very successful in the music industry.

MDO: What will happen if you win? How will you make up all the missed schoolwork?

AJ: If I win, I don’t have to go to school anymore, since I’ll be signed with the biggest record label in Korea. However, I will have to stay in Korea to continue pursuing my career. If I get to the final round, I’ll return to school in April.

MDO wishes Andy the best of luck on K-Pop Star, and we have great faith in his talent and abilities! Good luck, Andy!

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