Debut or Die Chapter 8

Author: Tam

Strictly speaking, Park Moondae’s dance wasn’t all that impressive. It’s just enough that he can fit in a group dance and wouldn’t be stood out.


To put it another way, it gives the people who watch him participate in group dances enough enjoyment.


‘Even if I call it a debut song right now—’


It looks like he won’t be pushed by the other members. What an incredible development!


The choreographer was slightly excited by the unexpected situation but soon calmed down.


‘He can’t suddenly have a talent he didn’t have in two days.’


So, if he had used his brain a little, he would have tried to match the impact of the first introduction with only the early performance.


‘In a little while, he’ll lose the rhythm again….’




But it didn’t go back. Park Moondae entered the chorus with the same level as the beginning.


No, on the contrary, the tempo control in the chorus improves as the song continues.


He’s not like the majority of the lower-class participants, who move weakly. It’s not a dance that roughed up the joint, but it did catch a certain angle.


– The one who is shining on stage today… It’s me! 


In addition, he also sings the whole song honestly, without skipping or missing any parts.


Even though the technique was lacking, it was clean and powerful, and there wasn’t a single note that was flat or out of tune.


Judge Mudie lightly tapped the pen next to the choreographer.


It seemed like she was just doing it unconsciously, but this must mean that she likes it so much.


Even in his ears, who doesn’t know much about vocals, he thought Park Moondae was the best among participants so far.


– Look, at this moment–I’ll shine the brightest!


No, he’s at a great level.


A clean tone enters his ear.


‘How much effort does an amateur put into dancing while singing and still being so stable?’


The choreographer thought about it casually.


He treated those who were ‘good, promising, full of potential’ differently from those who were not. 


And now, inside the choreographer’s mind, Park Moondae’s grade, which had fallen because he wasn’t good at dancing, was changed. 


‘Since he can sing well, he must be worried about singing steadily while dancing. Is he busy learning the choreography?’


But the feeling of discomfort hasn’t entirely disappeared.


‘…It’s hard to dance like that in two days without any reason.’


Meanwhile, Park Moondae finished the song without losing tempo and strength until the end of the second verse. 


The judges’ seats were silent.


Despite his doubts, he suddenly felt positive emotions rushing through his head.


It was admirable. 


“Whoo, whoo, thank you.” 


Soon after the song ended, Park Moondae’s face was turning red, and he was breathing hard as if he had used up all his strength.


Instead of the brazenness in the first evaluation, in which he boldly selected songs and didn’t change facial expressions, this time, he had a face full of enthusiasm.


It had the kind of look that made people think, ‘Ah… he worked hard.’


Such a gap had the effect of making the viewer burst into tears for no reason. 


Especially Mudie, who was sitting next to the choreographer and looked like she was about to pour out a bunch of compliments at any moment.


The choreographer thought that the other judges would do the same thing, but not as much as she would.


But no one else could have saved this impact as much for the broadcast as he did because he’s the one who has been going to dance class for half a month.


So, the choreographer pretended not to notice the production team’s indirect look when they told Youngrin to give the first evaluation.


First, he spoke into the microphone by opening his mouth.




“Whoo… Yes.” 


“Good job.” 




It was a more definite compliment because it was simple. Park Moondae smiled instead of answering. 


It was a smile that was sure enough to make him look mischievous, unlike the participant who had been quiet for half a month. 




As expected, a good twist wins.


There was no way this method wouldn’t work for the idol audition program.


Even though I was out of breath and felt like my heart would pop out of my throat, I felt relieved and at ease.


Especially because the judges showed a good reaction.


“Oh, my, it was admirable.”


“Well, Moondae-ssi, there is nothing I can say to criticize you today~.”


“You did a great job.”


It felt like I was one step further away from sudden death.


‘As expected. Investing all three points accumulated during filming in dance was the right answer.’


So, the current grade for Dance is C.


To be honest, the sensation of leveling up was much greater than when I was leveling up my Vocal ability.


It was a feeling I learned right away through experience, even though my body couldn’t match what I knew in my head.


The sensation of suddenly being able to use muscles I couldn’t use before was also clear all over my body. 


To the point where I can feel pleasure in it. 


Maybe this is similar to the participants in the Intermediate class who can’t go to the Advanced class.


I even memorized the choreography without sleeping for the first week, and by the end of that time, I had it down to the point where I could perform it without thinking about it.


If I limited it to this song, it might be better than most participants in Intermediate Dance classes. 


‘I did it in a single leap without any intermediate process.’


As long as it’s not edited, I’ll pass the first elimination round with this.


It looks like I’m making good progress toward survival step by step.


Then the question that I expected came up.


“By the way, Moondae-ya, what the hell did you do in two days?”


I can tell that Judge Mudie asked, “Why?” with the shape of her mouth in response to the choreographer’s question.


The choreographer adds explanations as if answering them. 


“He can dance all of a sudden? We haven’t seen each other in two days, but suddenly.”




I took a deep breath and lightly brushed my hair on purpose. It must make me look embarrassed.


“I asked a good friend.”


“A good friend?”


“It was Seon Ahyun.”


In other words, it was a smoke screen. (Smoke screen = it is intended to hide the truth about your activities or intentions.)


I can’t say I’ve leveled up with the status window, so I’m trying to move on emotionally instead.


And at the same time, my roommate was Seon Ahyun, who was in the Advanced Dance class. 


It’s not like there is no such thing as a sudden improvement after receiving helpful advice from your peers, so I decided to give it a shot at least once. 


– By any chance, do you have time? 


– D, do you talk to me—?


– Yeah. I’m sorry, but if this situation happens, can you do this—.


– Y, yes! I will do it! 


– …Yeah. Okay. 


In addition, I was lucky that Seon Ahyun taught me too hard. To the point where he would have been sorry if I couldn’t make improvements.


I was a little embarrassed because he taught me for almost two hours by splitting every move with passion.


I was merely trying to match it up roughly—.


In any case, it wouldn’t hurt Seon Ahyun in any way to have an image that helped inexperienced participants who have no idea what they’re doing. Well, it’s not bad.


Should I make the situation somewhat more dramatic? Let’s add some more useless words.


“…Ahyun is very kind.”


“Hey, are you saying I’m not kind then?”


The choreographer poked right in.


But with a smile on his face, he looks like he’s making a joke.


I feel like it went pretty well. There was a warm atmosphere among the judges.


“Do you remember what I said during the first evaluation?”


Youngrin of ‘SaintU’ asked softly. It didn’t seem like a real question but rather a sentence that started a conversation.


“I can’t dance at all, so future missions will be hard for me.”


Youngrin smiled faintly.


“I think I said it wrong. Park Moondae-ssi seems to be able to overcome it even though it is difficult.”


“Thank you.”


“Today, I enjoyed it very much. I hope you can move more relaxedly the next time.”


“I will do my best to do that.”


There’s no way I’ll be able to relax with just those words, but the audition program required me to answer clearly. It’s kind of fun.


Anyway, it was successful. The judges gave me a favorable evaluation, and their expectations for me were reasonable.


I guess then my grade will be gold. 




The theme song, like other idol audition programs, was the first content revealed to the public in the Idol Joint-Stock Company>.


And, of course, those who do it well get a good amount of theme songs. This ‘good participant’ was judged by how well they did in this grade.


As you might have guessed from looking at the class division badges, the grades of gold, silver, and bronze were categorized into upper, middle, and lower levels. 


“But the participants who don’t even meet the conditions for bronze— are ejected!”


That sound has been present in every season, but it has never been realized, so I don’t have to worry about it.


And above these three classes, there was one more class.


“<Idol Joint-Stock Company> has returned with a newer look; who will represent this re-listed season in the Platinum grade?”


It was the Platinum grade. 


They used all kinds of metaphors on the internet, like games with multiple levels and games that asked their parents how they were doing, making this grade a Meme.


To be honest, I’m a little glad that the production team didn’t name it Diamond. 


Anyway, the other participants were tense as they waited for the MC to make an announcement.


They placed a box, and a badge symbolizing the grade was placed inside it.


I didn’t have to think too much because I already knew what my grade would be.


Silver used to be from ranked 26th, but if I look at the numbers in the status window, it is now in the top 25. And I wasn’t enough to be in the top 10 in the Platinum grade. 


Well, then it’s gold for me. 


“All participants, please open the grade box!”


I opened the box with a small faint expression, trying not to let it show.


But then I hardened. 


I saw a shiny, holographic badge made of Platinum inside the box.


It was a Platinum grade badge.




As I stiffened, Seon Ahyun, who was holding up his gold badge from the side, tilted his head and then looked surprised.


“W, w, whoa. Whoa!”


“What is this— Oh my gosh! That’s amazing! Wow, that’s amazing!!”


Lee Sejin, who had been in 20th place before, looked inside my box while holding a gold badge and shouted.


Then, he slapped me on the back and shouted.


“You’re really amazing! Platinum!!”


I have no idea when we’ve been close.


Didn’t we just say hi to each other on the way here and there? Since he was the first person to do that, I was hesitant.


I took a deep breath and picked up the badge from the box.


The other participants seem to think that I’m moved, but it’s more complicated than that in my mind.


‘Why Platinum?’


I knew that two or three participants from each season got a Platinum grade based on how much they improved, not how good they were in their skills. 


But I don’t think I was at that point yet.


And then I realized.


‘…The order of grade evaluation!’


Because of this, there are fewer people who will jump out of the middle and lower ranks. So it seemed reasonable to me.


I think the fact that I had prepared for and practiced the dance overnight because of regression was a factor in why it was better than the equivalent status windows.




I rolled the badge in my hand.


I’m sure it leaves a strong impression, but the aftertaste was a bit strange.


‘I think a lot of trouble will happen if I make a mistake.’


I didn’t know what kind of editing would be included in the next evaluation if I made even one mistake. In the first season, the same thing happened to one participant.


No, after thinking about it, there was nothing to go on to the next evaluation. Even if the editing point is a little off to get the Platinum grade right now, I will get a lot of negative comments.


Choi Wongil, who is looking at me right now, would be a great target if he said in an interview something like, ‘Honestly, I didn’t fully understand.’


But it’s crazy to show that you don’t like it here.


‘I can’t help it.’


I slowly picked up the badge and put it on. When I turned my head, I saw other participants wearing Platinum badges.


As expected, the first and second places in the first evaluation were both in the Platinum grade. Aside from that, most of the people who sat on the sofa were also given Platinum grades again.


The top 10 participants seemed to have closed the gap between themselves and those who got a Gold grade.


I was the only one from the top 20. Damn it.


‘I will need to concentrate a lot on fire.’ (It means a term referring to criticism directed at a negative object or idea.)


—No, let’s think positively. It’s actually a good thing.


‘There will be lots of footage.’


Anyway, there was a battle for the footage that was shown on broadcast until the stage fancam came out. 


I would avoid being eliminated unconditionally at the beginning, so I could steadily move toward my goal of making my debut within a year.


‘As long as I don’t become completely unlikable around here.’


I made a firm commitment. Let’s be quiet, so I don’t get picked on by others.


Let’s level up like crazy and beat everything to Dance and Vocal.


“Please come up to the stage, starting with the participants who received the Platinum grade!”


—And first of all, on the stage of the theme song, let’s avoid going near the participants who have an unconditional A Dance stat.


Because if they compared us, things would get messed up.


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Comments (3)

  1. Ooh have they set him up to fail? Nah I feel like he’ll debut as #3-6 not #1 maybe somewhere in the middle

  2. When you didn’t even study that much and just wished for a passing grade, but then unexpectedly you became one of the bearers of the highest score and you can’t even explain how did it happen 🥲 (well in Moondae’s case it was explained, but still gives me this feeling anyway HAHAHAHAHA)

  3. mans was bamboozled and absolutely confuddled ! thanks for the chapter !