I’ll be rooting for you, participant Park Moondae.”
Cheongryeo accepted the rejection neatly without saying anything more.
I wanted to proceed according to the plan of drawing more conversations and picking out desperate cuts, but that kind of scenario wouldn’t work with such a viable opponent.
‘First of all, their value is too big.’
Since they were the last year’s grand prize winner, there was a big difference.
Rather, there was a high possibility that ‘Park Moondae’ would only look pathetic.
“Then I’ll destroy this contract.”
Cheongryeo picked up the contract, held it clearly to the camera, and tore it in two.
‘It’s a performance.’
Perhaps he’d been told to act like that in advance.
“You had a hard time making a difficult decision.
I wish you the best in the future.”
Cheongryeo sunbae-nim, I hope you finish your activities well, too.”
We shook hands and bowed, roughly matching the atmosphere.
“Ah, did you see our promotion this time”
Shouldn’t we end the shoot now
I didn’t know why, but the conversation continued.
Let’s respond sincerely.
“I really enjoy listening to the album.”
“Wow~ What’s your favorite song”
Is this bastard doing this on purpose Don’t tell me he’s being like this just because I refused.
“Um, I especially like ‘Starlight’.”
I picked out a song in moderation.
Actually, I didn’t have time to listen to it, but I saw it in a fan post shared on SNS while searching for ‘Park Moondae’.
“Ah, I wrote that.”
Cheongryeo happily pointed to himself.
‘Cheongryeo is frugal in PR, too.’
They were already so popular that they couldn’t get any better than this.
He really was like an idol that had a lot of free time.
“Aha, you deliberately said that because I am here.”
I just laughed.
If I said no, it would be strange, and if I said yes, it would be strange too, so there was nothing else I could do.
Cheongryeo smiled facing me, then as if he suddenly remembered something, he went out of the door.
‘What is it‘
Cheongryeo came back with an envelope in hand.
“It’s nothing much, but I brought red ginseng for you to eat and be strong.”
“Ah, thank you.”
It was definitely a PPL, given that the brand logo written in gold on the red envelope was clearly visible.
‘Anyway, red ginseng is welcome.’
As soon as I accepted it, Cheongryeo gave another final greeting.
The shooting ended with us smiling at each other.
Immediately, the staff came in and began to take care of Cheongryeo.
Some adjusted the camera and touched the tablet PC, but it was clear that a majority of them were attached to Cheongryeo.
They were probably from the VTIC side.
No matter how much it cost, people was like that.
After confirming that the staff had collected the microphones attached to his clothes, Cheongryeo spoke quietly.
Unlike before, he had no smile on his face.
That didn’t mean that his face hardened, it was just a natural expression of a person speaking.
“As I already said with my own mouth, LeTi is a good agency.
Their settlement is good. Contact me if the situation demands it after the program is over.“
He meant that I should contact him if I was eliminated.
‘Are you serious’
Why are you recruiting trainees here, when you’re not even an executive of your agency
‘Ah, do you have company shares’
That made sense.
I didn’t know why he was doing this to Park Moondae, but… Their debut group probably didn’t have a suitable main vocalist.
I nodded without saying a word.
“Yes, thank you.”
“Don’t mention it.”
The conversation ended there.
I naturally left the room and moved to the waiting room following the staff’s guidance.
Perhaps in order to avoid spoilers leaking, I was isolated from the participants who had not yet taken the surprise personality test.
As soon as I entered, Kim Raebin, who was already seated first, talked to me.
“Where did you get the offer from”
“It was LeTi.”
“I got LeTi, too!”
As expected, more VTIC members came.
Kim Raebin was uncharacteristically excited and told the story of meeting VTIC.
As I nodded and listened, Ryu Chungwoo, who came in with a tired face, acted interested.
“Ah, you guys finished first.”
Just looking at his face, it was clear that Ryu Chungwoo had a mental conflict.
‘Maybe he got VTIC too.’
3/10 was a very generous probability.
A familiar-looking participant came in from the side.
“Hyung-nim! Where did you get the casting call”
“I… Wonder Hall.”
It was T-Holik’s agency. It was a large agency famous for selecting long-time idols.
‘That one is good too.’
I heard the guy who asked let out an admiring sound.
However, Ryu Chungwoo quickly sat down with a smile on his face.
It was a bit strange that he was thinking of breaking out even though his debut was almost certain, but he must have had his reasons.
Participants returned to the waiting room one after another.
Soon, all 10 first batters gathered.
‘Everyone on the first round turned it down.’
To be honest, I thought one or two of the lower ranks would escape, so this was unexpected.
Because the lineup of the agency was so much better than I thought.
Everyone from the second round returned to the waiting room.
At this point, there were a number of people who looked proud and had a strange sense of resonance.
“T-They seemed like a good person.”
Seon Ahyeon, who returned late, muttered with a bright face.
It seemed a solo artist had kindly given him words of encouragement.
“But you refused.”
Seon Ahyeon jumped at the words thrown as a joke.
Seon Ahyeon muttered with a shocked face.
“O-Of course I have to do it until the end…! If I go there… We can’t debut together…”
It seemed that Seon Ahyeon was extremely immersed in the positive peer relationship he was experiencing for the first time.
‘If the deal was a little better, everyone else would have jumped on it.’
I looked at him a little pitifully, and just nodded my head.
Seon Ahyeon energetically affirmed.
Kim Raebin was looking at Seon Ahyeon from the side with an expression of looking at something strange.
The third group slowly began returning to the mysterious situation.
“Letty, I am sorry~ What a waste!”
Keun Sejin, who came back first, smiled and said this as soon as he sat down.
So this guy got an offer from LeTi too.
‘Kim Raebin, Keun Sejin, and me.’
It might be a coincidence, but it was quite interesting to see the tendencies of the agency.
And Keun Sejin’s words were even funnier.
What do you mean it’s a waste
‘You said something you don’t mean.’
It seemed his goal was to debut as soon as possible, but there was no way that such a reasonable guy would go to LeTi.
However, Keun Sejin murmured quietly after confirming that there was no microphone and that the camera was not running.
“Ah~ Should I have transferred It’s a pity.”
I guess you’re more concerned about it than I thought
It seemed that those words came out spontaneously because his agency was not reliable in the past.
In fact, it was also a rare opportunity.
In this industry, it was actually impossible to change to a better agency without completing the contract period.
Receiving the transfer of the trainees who finally debuted in was in fact a tyrannical act of a large broadcasting company.
In other words, those guys were thugs.
The agencies grinned and bear it because they were just trainees who were eliminated from the debut group anyway, so it was as if they were being sent to the broadcast just to be recycled.
‘It serves as a lubricant for the relationship with the broadcasting station.’
But since this season had been going well, there seemed to be a subtle pressure.
The pressure to voluntarily drop out and remain in the agency.
I remembered the words I heard from Keun Sejin during the filming break.
– Yeah, I’ve been hearing that kind of stuff lately.
‘Wouldn’t it be better to debut together with the dongsaengs that you’ve been practicing with’… People are really funny, aren’t they
It wasn’t like they tempted him with benefits, there was no way anyone would like that.
I am going to debut here~”
Keun Sejin laughed with his shoulders shaking, but it was clear it wasn’t a joke, he was really worried.
‘Surprisingly, there are a lot of people in the upper ranks who were swayed.’
I shrugged my shoulders.
Does anyone plan to leave and reduce the competition
But unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
Only one of the lower ranks escaped.
“In response to a casting call from agency Traveler, participant Choi Wongil will leave from today onwards.”
I was amazed.
‘You got the right angle.’
It was obvious that he was quickly managing the damage control after seeing the public opinion.
Maybe because he was young, he was unable to control his emotions, but it seemed he used his brain a bit so he probably left without a smile.
I heard Gold 1 mutter in bewilderment behind me.
‘Ah, he belongs to Traveler.’
I heard that he had difficulty rejecting the offer from T-Holic’s agency. I guess he had some attachment to his original agency.
‘I think he has the guts to keep going.’
Anyway, that concluded the event.
I felt a little bitter that I couldn’t achieve my goal, but I secured my portion.
‘They’re not going to cut off the VTIC footage.’
There was no way that they were able to hire them and just let them go.
After taking a few cuts of the trainees’ reactions to Choi Wongil’s departure, the production team immediately began preparing for the ranking announcement.
Thanks to this, participants sat in the seats where they were seated before the event started and endured a boring waiting time.
But this time, since they had flashy conversation material, everyone seemed to be busy talking.
“Oh, that agency”
“Wow… How does Cheongryeo-nim look in person”
Even the tension that was usually felt before the ranking announcement ceremony was lowered.
“Hu~The lineup was no joke.
There must have been a lot of conflicted people.”
Keun Sejin whistled and listed off the name of the agencies one by one.
Then looking around slightly, he whispered with a strange smile.
“Hey, do you know”
“Hyung-nim who sits over there and has the same name as me is also very conflicted.”
It seemed he was referring to Lee Sejin, the former child actor.
‘Come to think of it, he was the last to return.’
Lee Sejin arrived almost at the same time as the news of Choi Wongil’s departure.
I didn’t pay much attention to it because I wasn’t interested, but, well… Actually, I was still not interested.
Keun Sejin never had any good feelings for Lee Sejin since a long time ago, but he slowly released his true feelings with a smile as if he had become more comfortable with ‘Park Moondae’.
“He was originally from an actor’s agency.
Does he really want to change to an idol”
It looked like he would be eliminated, but if he wanted to continue as an idol, he could have considered transferring.
It seemed difficult to aim for the next team unless he made a debut right away because of his age.
‘It’s up to him to figure it out.’
Keun Sejin shrugged, realizing that I wasn’t interested.
“Is that so”
It was the end of our spare time.
Then, the shooting for the ranking announcement ceremony began in earnest.
* * *
By the time the participants prepared for the ranking announcement.
Celebrities who made surprise appearances at the event had already left for another schedule.
The same was true of VTIC, which had their schedules down to minutes once their activities began.
The two people in the van looked at their smartphones and barely spoke until they started ordering lunch.
“Hyung, how was it”
“It was just business as usual.”
Cheongryeo answered calmly.
“When you met the three of them, did anyone stand out I like the kids I met.”