Debut or Die Chapter 115
The arguments that claimed Testar shouldn’t receive the Rookie of the Year award became more elaborate than before.
It was because the focus had shifted from Testar to the rookies.
– Reallyㅠㅠ I feel bad when I think of the kids who are good enough by last year’s standard has to give up…
– In the first place, the fact that they came from an entertainment show is confusing, if Testar just recently came out, would a rookie have this level?
└ㅇㅇ In a situation when Idol Inc’s fairness is being questioned, giving them the Rookie Award is really too much
– Wow, I think you guys crossed the line. So what if Testar does some hoarding, I still acknowledge them
└Honestly, I think it’s worse than hoarding.
└No, hoarding is a crime. What are you talking about…
└Don’t you think it’s more of a problem than a crime? That’s why there’s no way to stop it.
– Shouldn’t we take this opportunity to separate the cases of the people who rapidly rose from a program?ㅠ The Rookie Award should be given to a real rookie.
‘They’re good at putting it together.’
They couldn’t drag down the group’s performance, so it seemed they didn’t want to give the symbolic Rookie Award to us.
If we didn’t get the Rookie Award through this, they might twist their words and say ‘Perhaps they really weren’t meant to receive the Eookie Award’.
But that wouldn’t happen.
Because talking here didn’t affect the actual award’s counting.
‘Well, it’s not possible to give negative votes like in Idol Inc.’
Anyway, the main public opinion was all set, so the probability of problems occurring in the judges’ scores was low.
It was possible that some communities would curse at us and not give any congratulations for winning the Rookie Award, but… It was unlikely that there would be problems with the award right away.
Right now, this article was also getting pushed back as time went by.
– Why did you even mention the hoarding? You’ve gone crazy
– Well, if there was a comet-like rookie who had sold about 200,000 copies, I would have been persuaded… Unfortunately, there were no rookies like that…ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ
– I understand how you feel, but why are you guys recreating the standard for the Rookie Awardㅋㅋ
There were a lot of comments like this.
‘Let’s just practice for the year-end performance.’
I stopped monitoring for now.
It was to avoid being unnecessarily affected.
‘…I hope the fans don’t get too stressed out.’
It was difficult to do anything because communication activities such as SNS were suspended.
Actually, if they overdid it, they could turn the controversy around by writing something like ‘Then who do you think should receive the Rookie Award instead of Testar?’…
But if Park Moondae got caught, it would be a real scandal.
‘I’ll just have to finish the stage properly.’
Eventually, my mind returned to practice. I accepted the conclusion with a sigh.
“One more time.”
And after a while, the atmosphere of the practice became grim.
‘They’ve looked everywhere.’
Apparently, the controversial aggressive articles had spread quite a bit. I had seen the fans lamenting.
Thanks to this, the momentum to show it up to them was almost at the level of Idol Inc’s team.
Ryu Chungwoo, who was almost exhausted, muttered as if he was grasping for facts that he already knew.
“What we’re practicing now… Is it for SBC?”
Listening to Kim Raebin’s answer, Bae Sejin muttered with a pale face.
“…I think this is the hardest.”
“That’s right! It’s fun!”
Bae Sejin looked at Cha Eugene’s cheerful face for a moment with an expression that said he wanted to hit him at least once.
Ryu Chungwoo smiled and sort out the situation.
“Alright. Let’s work hard and show it to them.”
“Let’s all do our best~”
Perhaps because the agency was aware of any additional controversies, the external schedule in November was slightly reduced, so the practice time increased a bit.
Therefore, the year-end award season arrived only after preparations for various awards stages were completed.
The first award ceremony was ToneA.
* * *
ToneA. It was the largest global music award in Asia hosted by T1.
This meant that it was an award ceremony hosted by a parent company that wholeheartedly supported Testar.
Of course, Testar won the prize because of its grades.
“The winner is… Testar! Congratulations!”
I’d heard this 4 times today alone.
We won the Excellence Award, Popularity Award, and even the Music Video Award.
And of course… We also won the Rookie of the Year award.
“Thank you very much! In the future, I will know this award as an award given to me to not lose our original commitment, and I will be more careful and work harder.”
The speech for the Rookie of the Year Award was deliberately made by Keun Sejin. It was a matter that was already discussed with Ryu Chungwoo.
We talked to the company about the content and ended it in a way that wouldn’t be controversial, so at worst, we probably would just end up getting cursed at.
…However, as expected, my status abnormality wasn’t resolved.
‘I didn’t have expectations.’
Everyone knew that ToneA didn’t have much authority even if it claimed to be the largest in Asia.
Anyway, once the first awards ceremony ended safely, the members seemed to relax a little.
“Thank you for your hard work~”
However, even though we won the award, the relief that ‘we made it’ seemed to be greater than the joy.
‘It just burst out now so they’re having a hard time.’
It didn’t feel very good to miss the timing when we would most deeply feel the worth of our hard work for a year.
“Guys, you did a great job.”
“I-I’m glad it ended well.”
“If we judge it by ourselves, excluding other variables, I think we performed as good as we had prepared.”
There was a moment of silence at Kim Raebin’s words.
‘…I did work hard.’
The stage here took about eight minutes.
Tnet asked us to brag about how ‘Testar has released so many hit songs’, so we bundled the four songs into a medley.
Thanks to this, there were almost no additional movements, so the practice was relatively easy. There was no break in the middle, so the problem was that we had to come down the stage and find a respirator.
Still, we did it well without any mistakes, but the problem was… the camera.
I only monitored the second half, but I had no idea what the hell I was doing.
The screen was so dark that I couldn’t concentrate well.
‘I’m pissed off.’
Even data selling was fine, I hoped someone filmed it properly with a fixed camera. I would have to look it up on WeTube later.
“…Hm, I’m sure it was conveyed properly to those who were there.”
“The cheers were good.~”
First of all, everyone tried to gloss over the camera issue because they couldn’t criticize it in the hallway behind the stage.
I could put up with the disappointment because there were still a lot of stages left that I had prepared more carefully.
‘…Let’s just pick up my smartphone in the waiting room.’
I wanted to see if there were any other problems that popped up. I thought maybe it would end with getting cursed in one or two popular posts.
And when I went back to the waiting room, I met a face that was completely unexpected and unwelcome.
…It was Cheongryeo.
‘A Grand Prize winner is standing at the door of a rookie’s waiting room?’
It was like a protest for the person involved to see.
‘Are you trying to make it impossible for me to avoid you?’
In any case, the members who were embarrassed by the unimaginable situation bowed their heads and poured out words of congratulations.
“Congratulations on winning the Grand Prize 2 times!”
“Ah, thank you.”
Cheongryeo received the greetings with a smile. Kim Raebin asked with his eyes flashing.
“Why do you visit our waiting room?”
“I want to congratulate and see the faces of my hubae.”
Cheongryeo made eye contact with me.
“Congratulations on your Rookie Award. I’m sure it didn’t mean much.”
Cheongryeo added bashfully to Kim Raebin, who was a bit bewildered.
“Since you’ve won four awards, you are already too popular to be considered rookies. I look forward to your activities in the future.”
“Ah, thank you!”
“Then, since I’ve seen your face, I’ll be on my way. I have a schedule.”
“Yes, have a safe trip!”
Cheongryeo nodded slightly and smiled.
Then he strode down the hallway and disappeared.
I clicked my tongue inwardly.
‘…He completely emphasized the Rookie of the Year Award.’
It was clear that he had similar conditions. Because he even mentioned that the ToneA Rookie Award was meaningless.
The aftertaste didn’t feel good because this information was passed on one-sidedly without expecting anything in return.
‘I might be able to make a deal using the list of status abnormalities I’ve suffered.’
As I started guessing, the other guys next to me chattered.
“Oh~ Moondae, did you make new connections through entertainment shows?”
“A-Are you guys… close?”
At Seon Ahyeon’s question, my face almost turned serious.
“…We’re just acquaintances.”
“T-Then, can I ask a question…!”
The last one was not from Seon Ahyeon, but from Kim Raebin who intervened in the conversation. It seemed he stuttered because of excessive excitement.
‘Come to think of it, this guy often mentions VTIC.’
As I made an assumption that he was a fan, Kim Raebin, who soon came to his senses, said earnestly with a serious face.
“I’m really curious about the arrangement program VTIC sunbae-nims used for the title track of the last album… !”
This guy was more interested in the jetbap  than I was.
“I’ll ask him when I get a chance.”
Kim Raebin, who couldn’t catch the meaning that such chances would never come, was happy. Well, at least one of us was happy.
‘Let’s check the audience’s reaction.’
In the car on the way back to the practice room, I lightly browsed SNS and the community.
Still, public opinion hadn’t deteriorated, and there were more congratulatory opinions than sarcastic ones.
‘…The fans are holding back.’
In order not to get pounced, I could see that they were trying to ignore the provoking words as much as possible and push those texts away with congratulations.
This was because, if you got involved in an emotional battle, only the group with a clear identity would lose in the end.
Of course, their rebukes continued in their personal SNS account.
– In the end, all that’s left is a record. Don’t worry about the crap that will disappear after half a year. Just vote.
– Ah ㅅㅂ I have to beat all those bullshit, but I’m going to put up with it
– Rising. There are a lot of bastards who have tasted smashing, even the Valkyrie in the midst of thisㅋㅋㅋ I am going crazy
– ㄹㅊㅇWhat’s going on, all of this because of the unattractive muggle pick ㅇㅈㅅThey ruined the entire team and started fighting from the time the leader wore the armband.
From group fans to malicious individual fans, everyone was complaining out of exhaustion.
I felt a sense of debt.
‘… I’d rather just not accept it.’
I felt a bit bitter that I had to wipe my mouth  in an attempt to avoid sudden death.
‘Still, I don’t think I’m going to die.’
Fortunately, since it hadn’t been pushed back by public opinion, it seemed that this issue would continue to go up and down only at this level in the future, and it was likely to fade by the end of the awards ceremony.
‘Even in ToneA, we only took what we deserved.’
I was a little worried that they would take care of us excessively, but they just wrapped it up appropriately, perhaps noticing the issues.
Public criticism didn’t rise above the surface because it was the level of friendliness that would be shown to anyone in an award ceremony.
‘It’s a shame that I don’t earn much from that stage.’
It seemed that waiting for the fancams would solve it to some extent. We still had the next performance left.
‘It didn’t work out, but there are times like this.’
When things calmed down, I should upload something that would relieve the fans’ stress.
I sort out my mind and turned off my smartphone.
No, I was thinking of turning it off, but… I just saw the title of a post registered as the latest popular post in the community.
[From Tnet Entertainment, a rookie boy idol group who only had to clap while winning 4 awards]
I clicked on the title right away.
Then, image posts in the form of card news appeared.
That bastard was working hard.
* * *
Cheongryeo looked down at his smartphone. There was a popular post about the Rookie of the Year Award that became a mess.
“…Yes? About what?”
Cheongryeo didn’t respond to the member’s comment. He just put his SNS account on the screen.
‘What’s going to happen?’
Cheongryeo posted several photos taken today on SNS one after another with captions.
And in the meantime, he picked a picture and posted it as if it just passed by insignificantly.
Hubaes working hard
Good luck at the end of the year
And he pressed upload.
The fuse was lit.
- 1. Jetbap = steamed rice prepared for sacrifice in ancestral rites. I think Moondae is referring to Cheongryeo’s peace offering (aka the song he had used to make a deal last time)
- 2. Wipe one’s mouth is a Korean expression. It means eating something alone and then wiping the mouth quickly so that no one else would notice. In other words, it is used when someone does something and acts as if nothing happens.