Debut or Die Chapter 51

Author: LyraDhani

‘A prominent participant.’


Regardless of the participants finishing the filming of <Idol Inc.>, Cheongryeo was skeptical about their long-term success.


The program’s current top ranks were on the rise with the power of audition entertainment. However, the competitiveness when they came out on the actual market was another story.


‘Maybe they just do well within the program story.’


After all, there were many cases where they failed the internal competition of the agency and were overwhelmed by audition programs.


Cheongryeo was just going to continue talking about the lunch menu, but a participant suddenly came to mind and he casually mentioned him.


“Park Moondae?”


“Ah, chicken feet?”


Cheongryeo didn’t laugh as he listened to the younger member laughing.


“All his answers on the questionnaire matched mine.”


“Wow! Really? That’s amazing. …Is his personality similar to yours?”


“…To some extent.”


“Huh, really?”


Cheongryeo ignored his astonished dongsaeng, and felt that it was a bit of a pity.


‘It would be nice to have one of those types on the team.’


It was clear that Park Moondae thought the survey was stupid. There were obvious signs that he took neutral answers by paying attention to the broadcast.


“Um, if he has a similar personality to hyung, he must be… cold-hearted?”


“You mean realistic, right?”




The type who didn’t immerse himself in other people’s circumstances and was not good at thinking unrealistically. A person whose image was more suited to a general company than being a celebrity.


In general, aspiring idol students, especially talented young children, had both the strengths and weaknesses unique to the arts and physical education field.


In a good or bad way, it meant they were less frigid.


However, the reality they faced was an adult society dominated by the logic of capitalism.


“Well, it’s good to have someone like hyung as the leader.”


“Is that so? Thank you.”


Some people might think that his face was precious as if it was made of gold, but Cheongryeo agreed with his dongsaeng.


‘It’s better for a person with a cool head to set the mood.’


Just like VTIC where he was in charge as the leader.


In that sense, Park Moondae was a pretty good candidate for the next debut group.


‘After a year’s work, your dance will improve.’


And due to his nature, if he was one of the older ones, he had no choice but to have a strong right to speak in the team even if his years of experience were short.  Cheongryeo could guarantee it because he had experienced it himself.


‘Then he would be easier to work with.’


It was good for both the team and the company.


However, since  VTIC renewed the contract with the company and received some shares, there was no need to pay more attention to the next male idol.


After all, he would become a competitor if he debuted.


It was enough that Cheongryeo recommended it once out of conscience.


‘If he thinks about it, he’ll call me.’


After the short conclusion, Cheongryeo drew a line on the ‘already finished schedule’ and removed it from his head. It was a busy season.


* * *


Inside the filming set of <Idol Inc.> not long after the ranking announcement ceremony began.


The format was the same. However, the number of people had drastically decreased.


Only 20 people could compete.


That alone created tension in the hall.


And there was still one factor that would cause a change in the narrow number of people.


“The leaders of the two 1st place candidate teams in the third team match, please stand up!”


It was the benefit of winning the team match. The right of survival for one person which was agreed upon by the first-place team to advance to the next round unconditionally.


Of course, our side had already reached an agreement with Gold 1. We had already submitted it during the pre-interview before the filming.


“Our <Moon Rabbit> team… has selected participant Ha Iljoon.”


However, for quite a while after Keun Sejin’s words were over, Ryu Chungwoo, the leader of the <Husky> team, remained silent.


There seemed to be a problem.


“<Husky> team, please announce the selected team member.”


The MC’s urging words sounded exciting, probably because there was a sense of the damage.


Ryu Chungwoo slowly opened his mouth.


“Our team selected participant Choi Wongil.”




Wow, they did it till the end.


‘Is that guy surprisingly rebelling?’


To be honest, I didn’t know he would take it. Then, it meant that Choi Wongil boldly gave up the 50% free pass and transferred.


And anyway, thanks to him, things became ambiguous.


Because they had already informed the production team who they had selected before filming.


On the other hand, it seemed that the production team hadn’t confirmed the change after Choi Wongil’s hasty escape.


But now, the production team hurriedly made a meeting as though they were embarrassed, and sent a signal to the MC.


The MC looked at the production team’s sketchbook and slowly finished his words.


“There has been an unexpected situation, and in principle, if someone drops off voluntarily, that participant’s benefit naturally will disappear. However, considering the special situation of <Casting Call>, we will give the <Husky> team an additional three minutes to discuss it!”


“…All right.”


Ryu Chungwoo bowed and gathered his team members to sit down.


And I clicked my tongue.


‘…It’s over.’


Even without seeing this, that team was in first place.


‘If you pull out the screen like that and don’t give any benefit, it won’t make a good picture.’


The production team was not stupid, they couldn’t make a situation like that.


In the end, it meant that Gold 1 had to survive on his own.


‘Victory by default is out of the question.’


Looking at Gold 1’s face pretending not to be nervous, it seemed there was a subtle atmosphere over there too.


And sure enough, the first place was not the <Moon Rabbit> team.


“Congratulations! First place is… Team <Husky>!”


“Thank you.”


But the funny situation was not over.


“According to the further agreement of the <Husky> team, the participant who receives the right to survive unconditionally… It’s participant Cha Eugene!”


Those crazy guys gave the benefit to Cha Eugene.


‘It’s either one of the two possibilities.’


Either the agreement fell apart, or Cha Eugene was ridiculously hated.


Anyway, it was their business, and the <Moon Rabbit> team had a second-place atmosphere.


“It’s such a shame.”


“T-That’s right.”


“Hey, no! We’re ranked fairly!”


Gold 1 shouted and pretended to be energetic, but honestly, it wasn’t strange if he was swearing at <Husky> guys inside.


‘I already did it, too.’


The announcement of the first place in the team match ended like that.


And the real ranking announcement began.


“The 17th place is… Participant Kwon Heeseung!”


As if the atmosphere warmed up by <Casting Call> was a lie, the air tightened every time a ranking was announced.


“T-Thank you…”


Gold 2, who was called after 18th place, went up to the podium with an openly relieved expression.


‘That guy made it too.’


I didn’t know he would make it to the end. It was a pull-up.


Thus, the rankings were announced up to the 10th place without any significant change. In other words, people who could compete were stuck.


What was surprising was that Lee Sejin rose slightly.


“11th place is… Participant! Lee Sejin~ A!”


It was a good result for the blatant fight in the previous team match. Probably because he had fought with Choi Wongil, who was filmed as a villain, he received an ambiguous revision.


Next to me, Keun Sejin relaxed and applauded Lee Sejin.


“Ah, I’m envious.”


Keun Sejin murmured faintly as if he was worried about falling.




Isn’t that cheating?


In terms of spirit, he was a guy who could stand up to anyone.


It was clear that he was memorizing the chant ‘Please call me late’ in his heart.


His awareness of the camera was really professional.




On the podium, the MC continued announcing the rankings with moderate intervals between them.


Most of the familiar participants were called and climbed onto the podium.


And Park Moondae’s name was called no later than before.


“Thank you.”


I sat in sixth place.


It was slightly lower than the last time.


‘My rank has dropped too.’


The number of votes did not decrease. My vote just hadn’t increased as much as the high inflation.


The reason for the inflation was simple.


Since they could vote as much as they spent, the more fans became aware of the negative voting, the more they bought them out of anxiety.


And this tendency inevitably got stronger the more desperate the participants looked.


‘When you’re scared, you scream more.’


In other words, the production crew had adopted a great way to squeeze their wallets.


However, compared to other top ranks who had been controversial in the past, whether in portion or rank, ‘Park Moondae’ hadn’t been particularly caught up in special circumstances recently.


‘I can’t help it.’


However, creating a controversial issue was absurd. It was not me who controlled the level of editing, it was the production team.


‘It was a pity to just pass the <Casting Call>.’


It was too bad, but it was already in the past. Anyway, since VTIC came out, it was not possible to pick out a cut centered on Park Moondae.




“Oh, thank you.”


Keun Sejin, who rose slightly to finish in 7th place, smiled and asked for a high five. It was a very standard reaction from a fellow participant.


‘Looking at the momentum, I think this guy is going to debut.’


Except for the negative votes given during the school bullying controversy, Keun Sejin received more votes than Park Moondae.


As expected, the voters had gathered together.


I never thought good deeds would threaten the back of my head like this.


‘I was being a pushover again…’


At that time, I had no choice because we were on the same team. Still, it was inevitable that my stomach felt a little cramped. I briefly clicked my tongue and turned my gaze to the MC.


First place was Cha Eugene.




Cha Eugene smiled excitedly and received the first place badge, then suddenly he took a serious attitude and expressed his feelings and gratitude.


“Coming out here… I learn a lot and think a lot. I will work harder and stronger in the future. Thank you so much for first place.”


His grammar was still strange, but it was a serious tone that had never been shown before. It was an aspect that could create synergy with his recent portion.


‘That’s why he won first place.’


The fact that he didn’t seem to be aiming for it meant that he was indeed the one with the highest talent here.


“Participant Cha Eugene, the No. 1 stock chosen by the shareholders! Congratulations once again~”


With moderate applause, Cha Eugene climbed up to the first-place seat and sat down.


The remaining survivors were the lowest two.


And so far, Gold 1 hadn’t been on the podium.


‘For now, he’s a candidate.’


The situation was hopeful until four candidates for 20th and 19th places appeared on the billboard and Gold 1’s face was shown. The odds were 50 percent.


And Gold 1’s name was…


“20th place! The last participant to advance to the final stage of <Re-Listed! Idol Inc.>…  is Seo Taemoon!”


…not called.


Just like losing first place in the team match, half of the odds betrayed Gold 1 again.


It was a result of losing to the enemy with a 50% chance.


“I’ll go back with the pride to have made it this far. Thank you so much to the shareholders who voted for me!”


In the end, Gold 1, Ha Iljoon, finished the audition in 21st place.




“Hey, call me!”


As soon as the MC’s closing remarks were over, the drop-outs had less formal send-off than before. Since they had struggled together for months, they probably had three or four close friends.


I came to greet Gold 1 after Gold 2 and Seon Ahyeon, who were shedding tears.


The camera was running, it was quite burdensome to have a conversation after the two of them were immersed in their emotions.


Let’s shake hands in moderation for now.




However, this one also started with a hug, as if it was an emotional build-up.


‘I can’t tear him off.’


Gold 1 said calmly as I felt uncomfortable.


Words that sounded like pressing down signs of regret.


“I think you’re going to debut. Cheer up.”




I wondered if the past me who just had entered the body of ‘Park Moondae’ would believe it if he was told that in a few months, he would feel complicated due to the well-wishing remark of an aspiring idol.




Instead of sighing, I returned the well-wishing remark.


“Hyung, too.”




“I think hyung will debut soon.”


Gold 1, Ha Iljoon, released the hug and grinned.


“Right? I’m ready to thrive.”


I wonder. Will he be able to get a good result with an ambiguous final ranking in 21st place?


But I just nodded.


Surprisingly, It wasn’t an act that came from the thought of doing it properly for the camera.


“Thank you for all this time.”


“Thank you so much!”


20 participants remained and 57 were eliminated. Now all I had to do was wait for the final.

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Comments (9)

  1. sigh the feels r real huge reason y i stopped watching survival type reality shows (produce, the voice, etc) TAT i get too attached

    thx for the ch! keep up the good work 🙂

  2. TT ah..i had a feeling one of them will be eliminated, but it still caught me by suprise haha

    Thank you for the translation!!

  3. Before reading this story, I have already watched a couple of idol survival shows in Korea as well, so it feels like the heartbreak I felt back then watching the eliminated participants is resurfacing while reading this. I’m not even an aspiring idol or anything that has to do with the entertainment industry, but I can totally understand the desperation of wanting to achieve your dreams 💔❤️‍🩹

    Even so, I’m glad that the author shows the sad reality of this kind of story, that just because they are close to the MC, doesn’t mean that they will succeed together. 🤧

  4. i’ll miss ha iljoon greatly. until we meet again, gold 1.