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[Girl Group Wars] 2013 Girl Group Fantasy Draft

Girl Groups

Like with the comparisons, this little idea came about on another lazy weekend.  Everyone has their own personal biases and thinks that maybe a certain idol would be better off in a group other than the one they’re in.  In some cases, like T-ara’s Soyeon or 4minute’s Hyuna, they were already part of a group and then switched.  With this exercise, we explored 8 different variations of the current girl group members.

Rules

1.  thekoreanjjang with the first pick, alternate picks after that
2. Overall pick number designated in [ ]
3. Round number designated with number in front
4. any current idol group member is available to be chosen

Make sure vote for your favorite group at poll at the bottom!

First Love – thekoreanjjang
GG Draft - Team 1

1. Taeyeon – SNSD[1]
2. Seohyun – SNSD[16]
3. Sunhwa – Secret[17]
4. Eunji – A Pink{32]
5. Baek Ah Yeon[33]

Taeyeon as the first overall draft pick was an easy decision given both her exceptional talent as a vocalist and solid skills as a leader. Her vocal talent has helped to dispel the stigma that idol groups only consist of pretty faces dance well.  I pretty much got who I wanted with my second pick for this team. For me, Seohyun represents a refreshing anomaly within the kpop world. I would rate her as a plus vocal that has slightly awkward dancing skills. As a part in a top girl group like SNSD she has polished her dance moves to a certain refined degree, but the end result feels more programmed than natural. However, she seems to have the most honest and real personality as an idol. What you see is what you get and that’s pretty darn appealing.

Sunhwa isn’t the strongest vocalist, but she has the skills to harmonize well with others and works hard for her craft. One just has to look at her rookie variety days on Invincible Youth to see the lengths she’d go to bring recognition to her group. That’s a team player you want on your roster. Eunji also fits nicely in this group with her triple threat skills in singing/dancing/acting. While not in the tops of any of these categories, her marketability and potential for growth would greatly complement this group. Ahyeon has the most question marks in this group as she truly is a super rookie in the industry. Best known for placing 3rd in K-Pop Star, she has the most room to develop as a dancer and performer. She is like a raw gemstone just waiting to be further polished. However, her clear vocals and cute image nicely rounds up my first group.

Strengths: outstanding vocals, appealing innocent visuals, solid variety skills.
Weaknesses: no true dancers/rappers, limited versatility in genre style.
Closest Equivalent: SNSD

Aquos – KpopEncarta
GG Draft - Team 2

1. Eunjung – T-ara[2]
2. Hyomin – T-ara[15]
3. NS Yoon G[18]
4. Nana – After School[31]
5. Yuri – SNSD[34]

I love how this team turned out.  I was aiming for complete versatility with this group, hence the name “Aquos”, so of course my first pick had to be the multi-talented Eunjung.  I secured not only one of the best rappers, but also the most visually adaptable idols out there.  I also consider her a plus vocal too as a bonus.  With my second pick, I knew I needed to secure a lead vocal with a higher voice range so Eunjung’s groupmate Hyomin was an obvious pick as she was best one available.  Not only is she almost as capable as Eunjung of pulling off a plethura of looks, as you can see from this post, I rate her as a B+ vocal who is capable of doing a wide variety of genres.

Though I know Thekoreanjjang doesn’t rate her nearly as high as I do, I was more than happy to take NS Yoon G in round 3.  Between her and Hyomin, this group is more than capable vocally, and she’s a very fluid dancer as well.  Certain cute concepts might not suit her, but from her own promotions, she’s more than capable of pulling of pretty and hot looks.  Nana and Yuri, while weaker vocally than the rest of the group, are still good enough to not harm the team while keeping with the theme of visual versatility.  Both are also strong dancers like the rest of the group.  With this lineup, I feel confident in their ability to not only visually excel at concepts, but also perform any genre.

Strengths: dance/performance, capable of pulling off any concept, multi-area entertainers(acting/variety)
Weaknesses: no true A level vocal
Closest Equivalent: 4minute, miss A

Heartbreakers – thekoreanjjang
GG Draft - Team 3

1. Jessica – SNSD[3]
2. Tiffany – SNSD[14]
3. Hyosung – Secret[19]
4. Gain – Brown Eyed Girls[30]
5. UEE – After School[35]

I knew Eunjung wouldn’t fall to me so I took Sica just to mess with encarta. It actually did turn out pretty well for my 2nd team (he was convinced I would take IU and I knew his simple mind fall for that). This team is all about sexiness, confidence, and attitude. What to say about the ice princess from SNSD? Shes another triple threat in singing/dancing/acting that has an ocean of male fans at her heels. I’m actually not that big on Fany, but she fit the theme I was going for and she has numerous solid duets with her groupmate as well that shows their ability to work well together. Gyeah I know my first 4 picks were SNSD members, but that’s probably more a reflection of the talent of the girls that survived SM’s ridiculously hellish training selection for their group.

Hyosung well known as one of Korea’s top “bagel girls” (a term I loathe) makes a great third addition for my group. She has a cute sassiness that goes with her solid vocal skills. I’d tag Gain as the one best fit for main vocal and leader of the group. Best known for her arrogant dance, she’s established herself well through successful solo albums after producing solid hits with her main group BEG. Those new to the kpop world might better recognize her as the guest of Psy’s latest MV Gentlemen. UEE rounds out the last remaining member of the last group. Although lacking in strong vocal talents, she has skills as a dancer/actress/CF model within the group. Some might better recognize her through her impressive acting debut as a pretty devilish bully against Park Shin Hye in the popular drama You’re Beautiful.

Strengths: multi-lingual, solid vocals/performance, CF opportunities
Weaknesses: lack of rappers
Closest Equivalent: Brown Eyed Girls

Athena – KpopEncarta
GG Draft - Team 4

1. Ailee[4]
2. Yoona – SNSD[13]
3. Victoria – f(x)[20]
4. Fei – miss A[29]
5. Nicole – Kara[36]

While this group did not end up at all like I planned, it still turned out well.  I was fully expecting to take SNSD’s Jessica with the fourth pick, but she was grabbed right before.  I can’t complain about Ailee though as she’s a better singer, but not quite as polished as a performer as Jessica is.  Likewise in round 2, I wanted to solidify my vocal line with a voice that could complement Ailee, and so was looking to pick f(x)’s Krystal with the 13th overall pick.  But once again, she was taken one pick earlier.  I immediately scanned the remaining vocalists and decided that it would be better to go with best available talent at this point in Yoona.  While weak vocally, she is an outstanding visual with wide appeal and a plus performer.

Once again, my choice for the third round was stolen one pick before.  Though, I wasn’t able to secure Secret’s Hyosung, Victoria has many of the same characteristics.  Both are average vocalists, plus dancers, and would be able to serve as leader for this group.  Fei was my first target that I was able to actually draft as she not only met my plus vocal requirement, but she’s also an outstanding dancer.  Also, she fit my pattern of picking foreign born artists with Ailee and Victoria.  For my last pick, I was torn between Nicole and After School’s Raina.  While I thought I needed to fortify my vocal line, visually she didn’t quite fit with the others.  Instead I opted for another plus performer and foreign born artist.  With 2 native English speakers, and 2 native Chinese speakers, the group is prepared for overseas promotions if necessary.  This led to the group name “Athena” as she is one of the few global known mythological dieties.

Strengths: dance/performance, multi-lingual,
Weaknesses: weak vocals after main vocal, would rely solely on one member for initial exposure
Closest Equivalent: Secret

d(q) – thekoreanjjang
GG Draft - Team 5

1. Hyuna – 4minute[5]
2. Krystal – f(x)[12]
3. Min – miss A[21]
4. Sulli – f(x)[28]
5. Minji – 2NE1[37]

For my third team I wanted to go in a different direction and make a group more suited for kpop dance. D(q) or dancing queens seems suitable enough for this team given the talents they bring to the table. What Hyuna lacks in any range or strong vocals she makes up with her alluring dance and appealing rapping skills. Krystal has many of the same successful characteristics as her sister Jessica though she remains a slightly less polished performer. She brings a well rounded mix of vocals/dance/acting, but is not in the elite of any of those categories yet. Min makes the third member of this team and she would arguably make the strongest vocalist within the group, although I would not put her in the top tier of vocalists in the kpop realm. However, she brings leadership stability to the group and she is a polished above average performer that complements the group well.

Sulli is another young triple threat that has been showing her steady growth over the last few years. A former child actress, she has expanded her talents into singing/dancing/MC work/and modeling as well. Minji makes the last member in my group and she brings plus rapping/vocal skills while arguably being the best female dancer in the industry. When I look at this group I see a circle in terms of talent capability. What I mean is they seem to be a group that’s well rounded over being particularly dominant in one type of skill. With this group we would get lots of fast catchy dance autotune mixes over any spectacular ballads.

Strengths: strong dance/performances
Weaknesses: lack of top tier vocalist
Closest Equivalent: 4minute, f(x)

Angel Wings – KpopEncarta
GG Draft - Team 6

1. Suzy – miss A[6]
2. Luna – f(x)[11]
3. Bora – SISTAR[22]
4. Lizzy – After School[27]
5. Sooyoung – SNSD[38]

Admittedly, Suzy might have been a reach at 6, but after having Jessica stolen from me, I didn’t want to risk not having Suzy on one of my teams.  The visually appealing maknae of the group is also it’s lead vocal after Luna, who I took with the 11th pick of the draft.  With Luna, I have a strong main vocal capable of multiple genres of music and carrying the vocal load herself if need be.  Fortunately though, with Suzy around she doesn’t have to.  While not nearly Luna’s equal in singing, Suzy is more than capable as a complement.

With two pretty-type vocalists, I had to get a rapper who matched that image.  That led me to pick the best one available on the board in Bora.  Wonder Girl’s Yubin or Secret’s Zinger were also considered, but I liked Bora’s fit more visually.  Of this group, Bora is the best dancer as well.  With Lizzy and Sooyoung, I secure my variety idols.  They are charged with getting the group’s name out and both excel at getting airtime on whatever show they’re on.  They’re also decent dancers to boot, though their vocals need some work.

Strengths: visually adaptable, musically multi-genre capable, acting exposure
Weaknesses: weak vocals after main vocal
Closest Equivalent: T-ara

 G5 – thekoreanjjang
GG Draft - Team 7

1. IU[7]
2. Jiyeon – T-ara[10]
3. Hara – Kara[23]
4. Sunny – SNSD[26]
5. Narsha – Brown Eyed Girls[39]

Yes I know this is more of my wtf alternate universe team. Those that watched the variety shows Invincible Youth and Heroes will quickly recognize this rather unique grouping of artists. IU as the first pick was an easy one for me as she’s one of the most popular vocalists in the business and also one of my top favorites as well. Continually showing growth, this young talent has expanded beyond her musical talents into becoming a successful MC, rookie actress, and marketable CF star. The only worry I’d have with her inclusion is the fact that she has always been a soloist with weak dancing skills and how she would adapt as part of a group. Jiyeon is a triple threat idol who has continually shown improvements in her growth over the years. She has plus dancing skills, but could benefit from more vocal training to improve the range/power in her voice. Also well known as one of IU’s best friends they have shown good chemistry working alongside another in the past.

Hara makes another highly marketable addition to this team as an above average dancer with good visuals and variety skills. Although she has multi-nation appeal (especially in Japan due to her similarity to Amuro Namie) she is the weakest vocally in this group. Sunny brings plus vocals to go along with some of the best variety sense in the industry. Narsha is another talented vocalist that has expanded her skill set into the acting world as well. These five girls have great marketability to go along with successful collaborations in numerous variety shows. The big question is if they could pool their talent together and make it all work. Would they come off as a legit marketable group or more like a year end special? I’d love to find out.

Strengths: multi-genre capability, above average variety skills
Weaknesses: musical chemistry
Closest Equivalent: none

Symphony – KpopEncarta
GG Draft - Team 8

1. Ji Eun – Secret[8]
2. Soyeon – T-ara[9]
3. Kang Min Kyung – Davichi[24]
4. Sun Ye – Wonder Girls[25]
5. Hyorin – SISTAR[40]

Of all the teams drafted, this is the one whose album I would buy first.  Ji Eun was an obvious pick at 8 not only because she’s a top vocal, but also because I knew she wasn’t going to be available to me later in the draft.  I took Soyeon next because she would be a fantastic vocal complement to Ji Eun and between the two I knew that this group would have more than enough talent to perform any non-dance track.  I had originally intended for Ailee and Ji Eun to be the core of this vocal group, but as I said earlier, I had to change up my plans after SNSD’s Jessica was taken from me.  Definitely not complaining about what I got though.

In keeping with my theme of a vocal group, I took Min Kyung with my 24th pick.  She doesn’t have as clear a voice as the first two picks, but she’s still an exceptional vocalist.  With the Sun Ye pick, I wanted someone who would visually fit with the group, but have a voice that would be good enough to keep up with the others.  This person would have to be de-emphasized vocally because of my previous three picks.  The leader of the Wonder Girls fit that bill perfectly as she doesn’t have the power of the others in this group, but is still a plus vocal and a plus performer.  Hyorin was taken last only because I knew I could get her with this pick.  She’s the best dance in the group by a long shot, however, I think that aspect would be wasted as I envision this group to mainly stick to mid-tempo and full on ballad tracks.  With 4 of the members being able to carry a song and having distinctive voices from one another, their album would be symphony of musical types and sounds.

Strengths: extremely strong vocals
Weaknesses: weak dance performances
Closest Equivalent: DaVichi

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