Here we are at the end of 2012, and what a year it has been! 2012 will be remembered for the worldwide viral takeovers, lawsuits, conventions, concerts and, of course, the rookie tsunami that engulfed the K-pop industry. Of those newbies (and there were well over a hundred of these new groups this year, trust us) there were solid and strong debuts, debuts that gained momentum, and debuts that, well… inspired a hearty “At least you tried…” With that said, here are ten idol groups that debuted with high hopes in 2012, but probably won’t survive into 2013. Sigh.
Lay.T (레이티) — Baeksang Entertainment
We get the feeling we won’t see much of Lay.T after this year. The girls tried to set themselves apart with ’tisco’ music, the genre crossroad of disco and the quintessentially Korean pop staple, trot, when they debuted in January with “Come Catch Me” and their follow-up “Soft, Soft” from the same mini-album. Too bad their YouTube channel is nowhere to be found now.
Six Bomb (식스밤) — Jang Entertainment
Here’s another January debut that didn’t make it out of the cold. Before their first single, Six Bomb drew attention when one of its members was revealed to be friends with Girls’ Generation‘s YoonA, but then lost it when the source of that buzz dropped out of the band before their debut. We don’t mean to be nitpicky, but isn’t it kind of silly to keep the name Six Bomb when you only five girls?
VIVID ( 비비드) — NTee Entertainment
VIVID’s March debut song “Gotcha” was pretty catchy (puns!), but it wasn’t enough to hold our attention. How do we know these guys are done for now? Well, there are more videos of NTree executives as singing elves than official videos of their only idol group on their YouTube channel. (Also, NTree seems to be some sort of technology company fronting as an entertainment agency.)
LXIA (릭시아) — Virus Musik Company / 2J Entertainment
LXIA’s debut single “Sexy Brown” dropped on April 6 and we’ve yet to see any sign of a music video or live performance. In addition, Virus Music has only posted two tweets about their group — the most recent one was dated May 17. Sounds like it’s pretty safe to bid LXIA adieu.
RUBY (루비) — HY Entertainment
This five-girl group hasn’t had much buzz since they hit a couple of showcases in the Philippines earlier this year. And even then, their April debut single “Get Down” got lost in a sea of dance covers. Right now, you’re more likely to find videos of Ruby dancing to popular tracks like HyunA‘s “Change,” Girls’ Generation’s “The Boys,” KARA‘s “Mister” and Brown Eyed Girls‘ “Abracadabra,” than their own music.
Gangkiz (갱키즈) — GM Contents
This one is up for debate. Gangkiz have the unsinkable Core Contents Media to back them up, so they might have something left in their hand that could launch them into the upper tier of 2012 debut groups. As of right now though, with two singles, five music videos and very little screen time, their future looks pretty grim. By the way, remember the Jonte Moaning choreography that was leaked last May? It turned out to be steps for T-ara‘s “Day by Day” and Gangkiz’ second single, “MAMA.”
E7 (이세븐) — Excellent Entertainment
“The ultimate idol group” is a pretty ambitious title for a group that went missing after dropping two music videos within days of each other back in August. There’s very little chance of seeing E7 take off in Korea, but rumor has it they’ve been promoting under the radar in Japan, Taiwan and Singapore…
K-Boys — NSB Korean Entertainment
K-Boys not making it to any headlines this year probably had something to do with the combination of an LQ music video with ’90s MV effects, typical dance-pop with typical choreography and slightly corny stage names (K, O, R, E, and A). None of those are the boys’ fault exactly, but hey, what can you do?
Nep (엔이피)— Naeum Entertainment
Since Nep only debuted two months ago, there’s a slight chance we might see these girls come back once. Maybe. Though Nep’s “Round and Round” was choreographed by the same team behind JYJ‘s moves and the song was written by Kang JiWon and Kim KiBum (Secret‘s “Madonna,” “Shy Boy,” “Starlight-Moonlight“), is it rude to say that you still can’t tell?
MR. SLAM (미스터슬램) — Kkun Entertainment
Mr. Slam is another idol group that cut it close to the end of the year with their September debut, and therefore might also eek into 2013 with a followup. Their debut single “Don’t Call Me Baby” is heavy on the autotune, but otherwise, wasn’t all that bad. Their main road block will be getting lost in the newbie crowd.
Are you rooting for anyone on this list? Give them an encouraging shout-out in the comments!