Fantastic Duo is back! And there are some brand new co-hosts and brand new rules. I was also especially surprised to hear the veteran singers that would be competing this time around.
However, first, I’m glad that this show came back. I was also surprised to hear that the show’s format has been sold to Europe and that they’ve created their own version of the program. I see it as a show with a simple concept that could have a mass appeal as you can attract viewers who remember the original song and attract viewers who are listening to a revamped version of the song for the first time.
This time around the show has come back with new rules. The show will feature only two veteran singers at a time. Amongst the thousands of video submissions, the top 6 contestants for each singer is picked through an online vote process and featured on the show. Out of the top 6, the top 3 are brought on to the show. Then another special contestant is brought out based on a popularity vote bringing the total number of contestants on the show to 7. From the 7 contestants, each singer gets a chance to sing with all of them and pick 3. It doesn’t matter if the contestant submitted for the other singer. However, if the choice overlaps, the contestants get to choose which singer they want to sing with. The singer has to choose wisely as it could result in them not getting a chance to pick the best of the best out of 3 but rather 2 or only 1 contestant.
The veteran singers that came out this time were Lee Moon Sae, who I believe was the last winner from Season 1, and Lee Sora, who hasn’t released a new album or promoted or left her house in the last 6 years. It was nice to see that her signature falsetto voice had not changed. It was also amusing to see the banter between Lee Moon Sae and Lee Sora as they’ve both been in the industry for a long time and are friends.
The two got to see who their top 6 contestants together. I love the new LED set as it is quite beautiful and fitting for this type of show. However, I am a little bummed that the online submission portion of the program only features the top 6. Last season, we got to see other contestants and celebrity cameos who were hilariously funny.
Out of Lee Moon Sae’s top 6, his top 3 contestants ended up being Suwon Art School Oppa, First Love History Teacher (a duet team), And Cheon Ahn Romantic Guitar. As for Lee Sora, her top 3 were Gyeryong Mountain Popeye, Park Bo Gum’s Best Friend and Glorious Stir-Fry (who submitted a video for both singers). The spot for the 7th contestant went to Andong City Star who was in Season 1 and sang beautifully with Singer Noh Sa Yeon.
I have to admit that a lot of people, including myself, were intrigued by Park Bo Gum’s Best Friend. Not only was he a great singer but could he truly be friends with Park Bo Gum. He confirmed that Park Bo Gum was a hyung from his neighborhood who was a few years ahead of him. He also revealed that he was in touch with Park Bo Gum and showed that Park Bo Gum wished him well. Lee Sora wondered if he would be able to call him up and he laughingly said only if he was picked. What a way to pull the strings in your favor. Lol.
The two singers have their sing off and I have to admit that it was a quite a different experience to have all 7 contestants singing for a spot for either song. In fact, they called Lee Moon Sae a maestro for the beautiful rendition of his 1985 hit, “비속에서 (In the Rain)”.
The two singers make their selection and I have to admit that I was quite surprised by the results. I thought Cheon Ahn Romantic Guitar had a beautiful voice that worked well with Lee Moon Sae, not so much with Lee Sora. Unfortunately, he gets overlooked entirely.
I realize though that tough choices had to be made as Gyeryong Mountain Popeye was not only a great singer, but he also brought his cheering section. Namely, the guys of his navy unit.
I knew that Andong City Star was a powerful singer. Even though he’s quite small, he was able to sing beautifully and with force against a singer like Noh Sa Yeon. I had no doubt that he would be able to do the same this time around.
Unfortunately for the veteran singers, they both liked the chops of Park Bo Gum’s best friend and I’ll admit that he gave an emotional performance for both Lee Moon Sae and Lee Sora. So he got to choose with singer he wanted to sing with.
How did he make his choice? By making them fight it out in a dance battle, naturally.
Forget Lee Moon Sae’s age. He pulled out all the stops.
When Park Bo Gum’s best friend tries to whisper his choice to MC Jun Hyun Moo, he just happened to be facing Lee Sora who read his lips. He may not have gone with her but I bet that she’s not going to give up that easy.
I can’t wait to see what the 1 vs 3 battle will be like and who the singers’ final performances will be with next week. Here’s to the battle of the 80/90’s best.