Second Try Idol

Chapter 150: End-of-Year Stage (20)



Chapter 150: End-of-Year Stage (20)

“The room is a bit dark,” I noted.

Goh Yoo-Joon sat up quickly and suggested, “Yeah? Should we turn the lights on?"

“Let's do that."

Funnily enough, neither Goh Yoo-Joon nor I moved to flick the switch. Instead, I stared at the shut door and yelled with urgency, “Jin-Sung!!!"[1]

Silence descended upon us. Goh Yoo-Joon was unable to contain his laughter, so he sneakily glanced at the door and called out. “Lee Jin-Sung! Are you just going to ignore Hyun-Woo? He's calling you!”

“Jin-Sung!!!" As we shouted, our voices were filled with suppressed laughter.

We waited a few seconds, and Jin-Sung's voice that was laced with annoyance echoed from outside the door.

“Ah, why!?"

“Jin-Sung, hurry up! It's an emergency. Come here, now." My tone was genuinely frantic, and Jin-Sung's irritated voice echoed out from the living room.

“I don’t want to! I am not going!"

“Hey, Hyun-Woo is calling, and you are not coming? He's in pain, you know?"

“But Yoo-Joon hyung is literally there!”

“I asked for Jin-Sung, not Goh Yoo-Joon! Come on, Jin-Sung, hurry up!"

“Aargh!" Soon after, the door burst open with thumping sounds like those of a dinosaur.

“Ah, what is it now? Seriously, all the freaking time!” Jin-Sung walked in, his face a mix of frown and scowl.

Goh Yoo-Joon and I couldn't help but burst into laughter while pointing at the light switch. “Turn on the light, please."

“Aaah! Are you kidding me?” Jin-Sung was clearly annoyed, so he smacked the switch as an outlet for his frustration. As Goh Yoo-Joon and I waved in thanks, Jin-Sung shot us a glare, sighed deeply, and turned to the camera.

“They always do this. It's like they live to tease me," he grumbled.

Then, he spoke seriously after turning squarely toward the camera. “To all the idol groups and agency reps watching, I'm on the lookout for a group that doesn't bully their youngest. Hit me up."

The SES year-end broadcast filming crew had come to our dorm to shoot some VTR. They were capturing the daily grind of Chronos, and they told us to act naturally as if the cameras weren't even there, so we continued our shoot, playfully pranking Jin-Sung.

Despite the relentless teasing, Jin-Sung endured it all because “Hyun-Woo hyung was hurt + the cameras were all around me.”

“Wow, it's brighter now. Thanks, Jin-Sung. Now, go rock 'Rasputin.’"

“One more call, and I'm running away!” said Jin-Sung as he left the room. We continued giggling before taking a phone from the filming crew.

Goh Yoo-Joon flicked it on, tapping the only number saved. “We are doing a joint performance with other nineteen-year-olds, remember?"

“Right."

“Let's get a head start on knowing the others by searching them on the internet.” Goh Yoo-Joon delivered his line as rehearsed earlier.

Yoon-Chan was out meeting his team for the performance, and our nineteen-year-old squad decided to make first contact with our collaborator via video call, due to my back injury.

“Ooh, who is it?"

“Some popular idol group members. Just wait, I will call. Oh, tidy up your hair first!" Goh Yoo-Joon and I tried our best to look excited and nervous as we stared at the phone screen. We already knew who we were meeting, but due to conflicting schedules, this direct interaction was sure to be awkward.

Ding, ding, ding, ding!

The cheerful ringtone played, and we eagerly waited for the other party to answer, squeezing into the small video call screen. Then, the phone stopped ringing, revealing a face and an awkward, embarrassed laugh.

- Hello. Uh-huh! Hi…

I feigned surprise. My eyes widened as I covered my mouth. “Wow! Hello!"

- This is our first time seeing each other, hehe. Nice to meet you.

The person on the other end was as shy as me, and he bowed in an awkward greeting.

“Senior!"

The celebrity of our video call was Elisia from the girl group Renewal. They were the winners of the previous season of Pick We Up—the girl group version of Pick Me Up. She was a Korean-American member, served as the main vocalist of Renewal, and just like us, was nineteen years old. We were set to perform together at the year-end broadcast of UNET, but it was SES that brought us together first.

“We are looking forward to working with you, Senior!"

- Yes, me too. Should we decide when to meet for the song selection?

“Ah, anytime works for us. How about you, Senior? When are you free?"

It looked like Elisia had also prepared her lines in advance. Chronos was just hitting their six-month mark, while Renewal was celebrating their first year. Despite being newbies in the scene, the members from both groups were all business, meticulously rehearsing their lines with dedication.

- Let's aim to meet up as soon as we can, and until then, let's brainstorm some song ideas, shall we?

“Sure, Senior!"

- Alright, looking forward to our next meeting then.

“Take care!"

After a slightly awkward but earnest exchange of farewells, the video call wrapped up. What a flawless conversation it was. Now was time to dive back into the script.

“Wow, I can't hide the excitement!"

“Can't wait to hit the stage!"

We were all giddy as we wrapped up “Scenario 1: The Heart-Fluttering First Meeting.” Whenever I watched rookies on TV, who created love lines with girl groups and spouted bold lines, I often marveled at their courage. Little did I know, I'd be walking in those shoes myself. After some editing magic, the interactions between us were bound to be spiced up with cutesy computer graphic effects like pink sparkling hearts.

I handed the phone back to the crew and supported my aching back—a casualty of sitting too long. Then, I flopped back onto the bed. That was when Goh Yoo-Joon slid over to my bed and plopped down on the floor beside it.

“Hey, we've got to think of our duet song as well, not just the track with the seniors."

“Yeah, you are right. What should we do? Got any ideas on your mind?" Fôll0w current novÊls on n/o/(v)/3l/b((in).(co/m)

“Hmm."

Here was the plan for the stage. We would start off with the song by Goh Yoo-Joon and me, followed by a duet with senior Elisia up to the chorus. This would peak in a grand finale where Yoo-Joon joins us on the main stage with a new outfit. The nineteen-year-olds would then take over with the musical-themed stage offered by SES, excluding me. It would lead to a grand ensemble finish.

Initially, there wasn't supposed to be a set piece for me, Yoo-Joon, and Elisia. However, Chronos's skyrocketing popularity meant we couldn't just be sidelined. Plus, Supervisor Kim and our manager had aced the meeting discussions, and that stroke of luck landed us the opening act, which was a gesture I was incredibly thankful for.

It was a last-minute decision to give us the opening stage during the meeting, so we had to pick the song quickly.

“...What should we do?"

“...”

We were aware that we were in the midst of filming, but we didn’t know what to say. We had to come up with a song capable of evoking a sense of upliftment and musicality without relying heavily on dance choreography.

What would that be?’

Then, Goh Yoo-Joon suggested, “It doesn't need to be a ballad, even without the dance. Maybe a song that still allows for some movement would be nice. It's the end of the year, after all, so it's got to be lively."

“I was thinking something iconic would be great. You know, like those instantly recognizable tunes from Digimon or Pokémon that everyone just can't help but sing along to."

I glanced over at the giant YMM calendar on the wall between our beds, and the red marks among the black numbers caught my eye. It was the upcoming holidays.

"Ah." A small gasp escaped me as I realized. “It's Christmas. Right, Christmas is coming.”

“Ah? Oh, right."

“Director, will there be a carol stage in this year's lineup?"

Caught off-guard, the director pondered for a moment before nodding with an apologetic look. “Yes, there is. During the opening of Part One and the closing of Part Two."

“Could we possibly know which songs those might be?"

“Are you interested in a carol?" Goh Yoo-Joon asked, and I responded with a noncommittal smile, the kind that spoke volumes without saying a word.

Christmas was a day filled with endless carols that never seemed to lose their charm. For the opening, we contemplated setting the tone with a pop carol. We could then switch it up with a K-pop rendition or so to keep things dynamic. Since the first stage for the nineteen-year-olds and the duet with Elisia would likely lean toward the sweeter side, I thought that a thrilling carol, infused with a hint of choreography, could add a festive touch to the show without overlapping with other performances.

After a brief consultation, the director confirmed, “Both the opening and the closing performances are English pop songs."

“In that case, should we go with a Korean carol? If it doesn't align with the show's theme, we are open to other suggestions," I proposed, ever so politely.

The director made a quick call and nodded with a slight smile. “There are other idol groups preparing carols as well, so let’s make sure our song selection doesn't overlap with theirs."

“Got it! Thank you. If you could give us the list of their songs, we will make sure to choose something different."

That was when it happened.

Knock, knock.

“Excuse me for a moment." Joo-Han knocked on the door and peeked in at us.

As soon as the director saw him, he quickly turned the camera to capture him.

“You guys are choosing a carol?” Joo-Han asked.

“…Hyung, were you listening?"

“Ah, just curious about how the shooting was going."

Goh Yoo-Joon chuckled at Joo-Han's words and asked, “Were you eavesdropping, hyung?"

“No? Who do you think I am?”

“You must have forgotten that cameras are installed right outside our door~ Director, please make sure to include whether Joo-Han hyung was eavesdropping or not in the episode."

As Goh Yoo-Joon teasingly spoke, Joo-Han looked at him with a mix of amusement and resignation. Then, he admitted to it. “I overheard it, okay? I am just worried about how my cute younger brothers are doing. Well, anyway."

Joo-Han fully entered the room and playfully smacked Goh Yoo-Joon's back. Yoo-Joon then winced in pain and rolled on the floor before sitting down between us.

“I have a favorite carol. Can you use that one?" asked Joo-Han.

He was eagerly seeking my agreement with that excited look on his face. However, when he made that face, the suggestions he came up with were usually well-received by fans but not so much by the members.

I sent him a skeptical look. “What is it?"

“This one."

The song that played was a sweet, fast-paced duet but a bit too sugary for just me and Goh Yoo-Joon to sing.

“How is it? Good, right?"

“It's nice, but…"

Joo-Han was gleefully playing the song with his eyes twinkling suspiciously. His look was reminiscent of his lively demeanor during our “Woof Woof Meow Meow” performance.

1. AHAHAHA this is what I always do to my sisters :) ☜


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