I’m still a loyal viewer of K-Pop Star, but lament that nowadays it’s mostly solo female vocalists with nearly identical styles. To me, the show’s peak was in season two. It was the most diverse line-up, had the best winning act, and genuinely felt exciting.
One of my favorite groups that year was Raccoon Boys. Horrible name, yes, and they really did kind of fizzle out as the season went on. But before that, they gave us some spectacular moments — none better than their cover of Michael Jackson’s classic Thriller.
This performance is an example of flawless vocal arrangement. They took the song, dissected it, and reconfigured the skeleton into something loose, playful and continually surprising. The vocal adlibs are inspired, and flawlessly delivered — especially by Brian Shin (whatever happened to him?). But more than that, the interplay between the three voices manages to create tremendous momentum and vitality in a very short amount of time. Minseok’s rap feels perfectly in sync with the rest of the track, and the power these three are able to elicit with no more than vocals and guitar is really quite astonishing. There’s a reason you see all three judges bopping in their seats!