After deciding to give Fantastic Duo a try this weekend, I wasn’t prepared for my reaction to it. Particularly one contestant who goes by the stagename, Fish Cake Girl (aka Kim Da Mi). As I missed out on watching the pilot back in February, I missed out on this girl’s fantastic duet with Kim Bum Soo. And what’s even more, she’s hilarious in front of the camera. Think I got a girl crush. Heh heh.
While both of the new singing contestant shows have famous singers singing duets with their fans, I think what I like about Fantastic Duo is that a) fans can submit their entry via a mobile app in which they showcase their singing with their idol; and b) there is a lot of more performances on this show than Duet Song Festival. I pretty much tuned out Duet Song Festival because there was a lot more setup and talking.
I have to admit that I’m not sure how I’m gonna feel about watching Fantastic Duo on a weekly basis. After watching the first episode, I was so eager about watching the second one immediately that I’m not sure if my patience is going to wear out. However, a lot of music contest variety shows these days happen to drag out the content on a bi-weekly basis, like King of Masked Singers. We’ll just have to see. Even so, if the show is able to find extraordinary talent like it was able to find in these first few episodes and rehashing favorite hits, I can see myself becoming obsessed with it.
The first official episode featured three big artists: Lee Sun Hee, Lim Chang Jung and Big Bang’s Taeyang. They each filmed themselves singing part of their number one hit songs and the applicants submit their entries through the mobile app in which it outlines the part they must chime in on. I loved how the show was able to edit together some of the best and funniest entries. I believe the top 3 entries are chosen by the internet and they’re invited to the show to audition live. Through random play battle, the 3 contestants sing the song only at the designated parts. This part is determined when the light on their stage is lit and then, the artist chooses the fan that they want to sing the duet with.
The song that is to be sung for the contest actually follows a certain theme of the day which was the artist’s number one hit. For Lee Sun Hee, her audition number was “그 중에 그대를 만나 (Meeting Him Amongst Them)”. I was amused that even Super Junior’s Kyuhyun also submitted an entry to sing with Lee Sun Hee. However, I was blown away by this young construction worker from Samchunpo. He sang the song outdoors and even donned on his helmet for the video. He not only has an amazing voice but he’s so great at being able to reach the high notes in the original female pitch.
I was so glad that he won enough votes to show up at the studio along with a young high school student and a middle-aged mom. Ultimately, Lee Sun Hee chooses the high school student to sing with her as she’s able to regulate the dynamics of her pitch along with the singer.
Lim Chang Jung’s audition number was “나란 놈이란 (A Guy Like Me)” and his contestants were all female singers with very different styles, ranging from husky to polished.
For a lot of young fans, I’m sure they were most looking forward to Taeyang’s portion of the show. His audition entry was “Loser” and I have to admit that it was hilarious. From a hip-hopping grandpa to Winner cosplaying as Big Bang to the “Big Bang Bank Employees,” I think his entries had a wide-range.
I was surprised that that Big Bang Bank Employees were popular enough to make it to the show. I don’t think anyone was surprised that Taeyang ultimately didn’t select them but their performance was hilarious, even adding at that Taeyang should come and deposit money at their bank. Lol. However, the contest was tight between Indonesian Baby and Daejeon Rhythm Gangsta. I honestly couldn’t have gone either way as they were both great.
After all the artists made their selection, each pair sang their song. Lim Chang Jung and Wedding Gummy sang the 1997 hit, “그때 또 다시 (Again)”. Taeyang and Daejeon Rhythm Gangsta sang his 2014 hit, “눈, 코, 입 (Eyes, Nose, Lips)”. Lee Sun Hee and 18 Years Old Miss Ye Jin sang her 1988 hit, “나 항상 그대를 (Always You)”.
I have to admit that I personally was quite blown away by Taeyang and Daejeon Rhythm Gangsta’s performances of “눈, 코, 입 (Eyes, Nose, Lips),” even though “나 항상 그대를 (Always You)” is one of my favorite songs ever. I surprised to learn that Taeyang had never done a duet with a female singer before but their harmony was beautiful. Also, the moment when Taeyang moves closer to Rhythm Gangsta, I have to admit that it was so hot that I was holding my breath. And then they get into a rendition of “I love you’s” that just gave me goosebumps.
However, I think there just happen to be a lot of Lee Sun Hee fans that day. I think even Lee Sun Hee was confident that Taeyang would beat her as she complimented their performance.
For the final mission, the winning pair from the previous episode had to defend their title. The title belonged to Kim Bum Soo and his partner, Fish Cake Girl. Their rendition of “보고싶다 (I Miss You)” was so beautiful that I actually went back to find the pilot episode just to see what her audition was like. Someone needs to give this girl a recording contract, stat. Not only does she have an incredible voice but she has a lot of personality. I am totally a fan.