The Trashy PD Has to Survive as an Idol Episode 29

Episode 29

I’ve said it over and over.

The first of the three rules I mentioned!

Don’t trust all those broadcasting station guys.

“Hyung, the vocalist of Nightmare seems really nice.”

“Why?”

“As soon as he saw me, he said I was the most handsome here. Amazing, and he gave me a sandwich. Want some?”

“Hey, would you eat something given to you by a stranger? I told you not to.”

“It’s delicious!”

After being captivated by food, Jeong Dajun was eliminated right after he arrived at the recording site.

Second!

Be careful with your words.

“Ah, about Refined, that guy.”

“What is it?”

“I ran into them at the year-end waiting room. Their specialty was talking nonsense about grades… Seonghyeon got really annoyed.”

“Didn’t I tell you to watch your words?”

“Oops—”

Kang Ichae, the indiscriminate blabbermouth of horror: Eliminated.

Third!

Trust Seo Hoyun unconditionally!

“Seo Hoyun.”

“What?”

“Um… Can we really react like this? Won’t the response be too bad? If we re-think the plan…”

“You don’t trust me?”

“I can’t say anything when you ask like that….”

Overly anxious Kim Seonghyeon was also eliminated.

…I thought they would do well, but seeing them like this worried me.

Knock-knock.

A staff member entered the waiting room.

“You can enter soon. I’ll follow with the camera.”

I nodded and looked around.

There was still some time before going on stage. Entering now was for the entrance cut.

As we entered the studio, the rookie idol group in their debut year, Nightmare, was already seated.

“Hello, we’re The Dawn.”

Whether they’re trying to be caught on camera more by reacting enthusiastically, Nightmare’s response was extraordinary.

The Dawn members also bowed and sat down as other idols entered sequentially.

Refined, Maz, and finally… Today.

I glanced at Today, who greeted everyone with a very bright smile.

“Hello, we are Today!”

“Nice to meet you!”

“Oh!”

“Today.”

“They won first place last time… A four-time winner.”

Surrounding idols began to whisper.

I looked at my members sneakily.

Expressionless.

No comment.

Ignored.

Good.

That’s what they were told to do when Today appeared. Even the anxious Kim Seonghyeon stared at Today with a stone-cold face.

That’s right, trust me, you brat.

I smiled contentedly and caught Yu Hyeok’s gaze. A faint sneer crossed his lips, but it soon disappeared.

The rookies and staff nearby became restless as Today approached The Dawn’s seats.

And they subtly greeted us with a lowered voice.

“Hello.”

This guy must have wanted to imitate Joo Woosung.

“Guys, that’s Hoyun, right? How’ve you been? We couldn’t even catch our breath. We were so busy.”

“Yes.”

I gave a curt reply with my chin resting on my hand. The other members of The Dawn didn’t mind since they knew my personality, but the younger members of Nightmare had a tremor in their eyes.

“Is it okay to talk to a senior like that?”

No, it was not.

However, when lying down, just look for a spot to stretch your legs out and make yourself comfortable.

“…?”

Yu Hyeok seemed taken aback.

“Seo Hoyun, you must be really nervous?”

“No.”

A crack appeared in Yu Hyeok’s smiling face.

“…Oh.”

From afar, PD Kim Heeyeon, who seemed intrigued, gestured to the VJ. The camera closed in. It was probably getting a close-up.

How will it air? Probably as a rude character. It’s impossible to package it as someone who tried hard to be nervous.

Then, how will the public react?

– What’s with Seo Hoyun’s character?

– The way he treats his sunbaes is really unpleasant. Nowadays, young people have no manners!

– ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ Idol fight is so entertaining ㅋㅋㅋ

Yu Hyeok and Today’s members raised their eyebrows.

I looked each of them in the eye, then exchanged a sly smile with PD Kim Heeyeon.

“Sunbae.”

“What?”

“Do you need a receipt? Why are you talking to me?”

Yu Hyeok’s face was worth seeing. His blond hair and red face made him look like fresh produce.

His trembling hand seemed to want to grab my collar but couldn’t in front of the camera.

You shouldn’t have messed with me…

Ding!

[Your personality is really…….]

The world made me this way.

“…Seo Hoyun.”

“What?”

Watching Yu Hyeok walk away with a swagger, Kim Seonghyeon patted me, sighed at my sullen response, and then turned his gaze forward.

He seemed to be sweating from anxiety.

“Disrespectful hoobae idol ignoring their entertainment sunbae,” what a perfect YouTube hit.

But seriously, it’s fine, right?

While I was seriously contemplating, the MC entered, and everyone gasped.

The long hair that swayed with each step and the flashy face that screamed celebrity.

“Hello, everyone.”

Nation’s little sister Yu Jia.

“I’m actress Yu Jia, the host of Shining Star.”

“Wow!”

“OMG, it’s Yu Jia, the sunbae!”

Rising as the nation’s little sister with her friendly and cute songs, she later transitioned to acting, steadily building her career as the next rom-com queen.

It was my first time seeing Yu Jia as I hadn’t had the chance before in my previous life.

Refined, seated next to me, murmured.

“Wow, truly beautiful…”

“But a bit cold-looking.”

At least there’s no one in The Dawn saying such things.

That kind of comment was perfect for getting criticized on air. Just the right kind to create noise.

The Dawn members clapped silently with calm smiles. Hmm, a good attitude.

Yu Jia glanced around the room and then smiled slyly.

“Welcome to Shining Star. Amidst the countless idol groups debuting each year, which group will survive? To determine the best, we’ve created this program.”

Yu Jia solemnly opened the show. Her provocative words had an effect, as some idols nervously swallowed.

“I’ll explain the format of Shining Star. This program consists of six episodes. There will be three rounds of competition except for the first appearance performance.”

Meanwhile, Today couldn’t hide their boredom as they already knew the format.

I rolled my eyes quietly.

“The first and second rounds will have a small audience for on-site voting, but the final round will be live, leaving the vote to the nation.”

Yu Jia briefly finished the explanation, paused for an intentionally dramatic silence, and smiled brightly.

“But it would be heartless to focus on competition from the start, right?”

“…”

“There are people we meet for the first time today and some we don’t. Are you nervous?”

“Yes—!”

“Knowing you’d feel that way, we prepared a simple icebreaker to help you relax.”

“Icebreaker…?”

For reference, it’s best to be suspicious when the broadcasting staff claims to do something out of goodwill.

As expected, Yu Jia carefully read the script.

“We asked each group in advance to rank their group and give a reason for that rank… Nightmare’s Lee Hanseong, do you remember?”

“…Ah, yes, yes!”

“Could you share it with us?”

“…”

Nightmare’s youngest, Lee Hanseong, hesitated. He had written it down as requested but was worried it might be irreversible if it went on air.

Maintaining silence was, frankly, an excellent response.

“It’s difficult, very difficult… I would have struggled to say it, too.”

If only the other party wasn’t the production staff of an idol competition show.

“So, I’ll announce it on your behalf! Now, we’ll reveal the group rankings each group predicted for themselves!”

Yu Jia grinned and pointed to the large screen behind her, where enormous text appeared.

[Predicted Final Rankings of Each Group]

“… Gasp.”

Were they really revealing this now? Like this?

I couldn’t help but let out a hollow laugh. It seemed that everyone had written their answers thoughtlessly, and it showed.

Clearly, the intention wasn’t to ease the tension but to intensify it.

Kim Heeyeon, what a spicy program you’ve created.

– Lol, revealing the final rank predictions, no conscience

– Is there anyone who would write 1st place there? What are the producers thinking?

The internet was already ablaze with headlines like these.

Especially among idols and not trainees, doing this was like openly instigating a fight.

“Hoyun.”

Seong Jiwon’s face turned pale. I glanced at him but then looked away.

There was a total of five groups gathered here.

“Well, shall we get started? First up is Nightmare’s final rank prediction.”

– Nightmare? 3rd place

“No, no, it can’t be!”

“We should’ve thought more before writing!”

Nightmare members stirred as they appeared slightly embarrassed. So, Nightmare predicted 3rd place…

I was lost in thought for a moment, and soon after, the rankings of other groups followed.

“Next is Refined.”

– Refined? 2nd place

– Maz? 2nd place

They had the same score.

“Did we rank ourselves too low?”

Only our group, The Dawn, remained quiet among the stirring members.

I stared silently ahead. I felt like I knew the picture the production team was painting. I saw Yu Jia sneak a glance at Today.

Yu Jia must know, too, that this program was rigged.

“Next, Today. Quite an unexpected result considering their popularity, right?”

– Today? 5th place

“Ah! That’s too much.”

“What should we do if you reveal it like this!”

Today’s members whined, and Kim Seonghyeon’s expression hardened. Today’s members already knew they would be in 1st place.

The reason they whined like that was simply to appear humble on camera.

Today’s fans would praise their “humble” idols as if they were babies, with comments like “ㅠㅠ They didn’t write a higher rank, they’re so kind” and “As expected, they’re humble.”

Yu Jia, a true professional, didn’t let any expression show as she followed the script precisely.

“It’s a real shame. We had high expectations for Today. We hope you achieve a higher rank than 5th place.”

Yu Jia, who wrapped up neatly, curled her lips towards Today. Even Today, who most likely knew the flow of the event in advance, seemed to be fooled by her sincere acting.

Is that what a pro looks like…

As I was quietly admiring, the next group’s ranking appeared.

– The Dawn

So, um.

– 1st place

I wrote that score with a certain meaning in mind. I silently stared at the monitor displaying “1st place” with a crown beside it while someone beside me gasped for breath.

“Wow.”

“What’s with the confidence…?”

The reactions were understandable. Our group gained some popularity lately, but it wasn’t a score that could place us first compared to other idol groups.

The mocking laughter and silence in the studio felt like needles piercing my skin.

Well.

What could you do?

“Wow, that’s impressive. The Dawn was the only group to write 1st place. Could you give us a word about this?”

At Yu Jia’s bright smile, only Seong Jiwon nodded like crazy. In the end, I was the one handed the microphone by the staff.

I looked slowly around the studio.

The noticeably tense members of The Dawn, and Today, with their eyes full of scornful laughter.

At the end of their gazes, I caught sight of Kim Heeyeon, whose thoughts I couldn’t decipher. I opened my mouth.

“We wanted to be 1st so we wrote 1st place.”

“Overflowing with confidence? Do you have some hidden strategy?”

“Well…”

I took my eyes off Kim Heeyeon, looked at the camera, and gave a sly smile.

“We’ll show you on stage.”

” Woowww!”

As soon as I said those words, except for Today, cheers came from the other groups. I saw them imitating some kind of cheer and then sat back down.

With a disgusted look, the members burst into laughter and shook their heads.

“This kind of confidence is great. We look forward to more.”

As I nodded toward Yu Jia, Kang Ichae chuckled and patted my shoulder.

As the studio quieted down, Yu Jia made a mischievous face and raised the corner of her mouth.

“Now, we will perform our talents in the order we wrote them!”

“…?”

“We asked you to prepare talents in advance. Each group will have one person perform their talent. The Dawn, you’ll get two talent opportunities for writing 1st place. The team with the most votes in the talent show will receive a benefit.”

“A benefit?”

Everyone was dumbfounded. Yu Jia took a breath.

“It’s a special, exclusive 15-minute segment. We plan to broadcast it exclusively for that group.”

“What?!”

Are you kidding me?

If I were a fan watching Shining Star right now, I would have thrown the remote at this point.

A mere talent show determined something like that.

I glanced at Today’s members, and they looked completely baffled. They seemed to have not been informed of this.

“Hahaha!”

Kim Heeyeon was laughing behind the camera. She must have wanted all of us to get a taste of defeat.

She really hasn’t changed.

“Didn’t we ask you to prepare? You should each show something.”

“Ah, yes, yes.”

“However… We will exclude dancing and singing. You can showcase those on stage later.”

“What? If we exclude dancing and singing, what’s left?”

“Idols have talent. Besides good singing and dancing skills, you need a special and unique charm that makes you memorable to the viewers. We decided that’s talent.”

Yu Jia cut it off in one stroke.

… Fans would protest this.

Anyway, Kim Heeyeon seemed to be planning to cause controversy by sacrificing someone, even if it meant burning the internet with manipulated content.

Well, I somewhat expected this.

After writing first place, The Dawn prepared their talent showcase to gain a softer image.

I-I’ll do this…

I wanted to cook.

… In the talent showcase?

What do you want to eat?

I wanted to build a gentle image, but Jeong Dajun looked at me like I was strange.

Jeong Dajun was nervously fidgeting with his guitar case while I was thinking about the ingredients I had brought.

Should I make a big portion to share with the cast and crew…?

“We will do the talent showcase in a 3-minute time attack.”

“…!”

“Hyung, hyung.”

Ding!

[Don’t you want to eat the food Hoyun made?]

You guys will regret it.

I could have cooked something delicious.

Ignoring the system message, Yu Jia gestured toward The Dawn. The stage was set, and the talent showcase began. Cold sweat trickled down.

“Then first, The Dawn, come forward.”

Damn, what talent can I showcase in 3 minutes?

I nodded to the absent-minded Jeong Dajun.

“Gasp, am I going?”

“Go.”

“Do I really do this? Hyung, what about you…?”

“… I’m sorry, but please. I trust you.”

I didn’t really trust him, but I needed time to figure out a plan, so I lowered the corners of my eyebrows, and Jeong Dajun seemed touched by my gesture.

“You can trust me!!”

Ding!

[Trash!]

Yes, I was trash….

Jeong Dajun hesitated momentarily before getting up with determination, eyes tightly shut, and picked up his guitar case.

Once Jeong Dajun made up his mind, he swallowed hard, his nervousness audible.

“Oh… He must know how to play the guitar.”

“I’m looking forward to it.”

“Didn’t they say we can’t sing?”

“Just playing the guitar might be a bit boring… Ah, I really want that 15-minute broadcast.”

Comments flew around casually.

The broadcast buildup was taking care of itself.

Trembling, Jeong Dajun stepped onto the stage and tightly gripped the microphone with his shaking hand.

“Ah, hello. I’m Jeong Dajun, the sub-dancer of The Dawn.”

“Yes, Jeong Dajun. It looks like you prepared a lot, seeing what’s behind you.”

“Yes, yes.”

Jeong Dajun nodded cautiously. Yu Jia eased his tension with a smile.

“Let’s see it, then.”

Jeong Dajun repeatedly clenched and released his sweaty hand before opening the zipper of the guitar case.

“…?”

The guitar case was empty.

No, actually… there was one thing.

“Uh?”

He pulled out a recorder lying alone in the empty case. With both hands tightly gripping it, Jeong Dajun boldly spoke.

“I will perform ‘The Puppy’s Bell.’”[1]

That’s right.

We chose the path of variety.

Variety is always the first priority, no matter what.

Huh?

Even with great skills, it’s useless if you don’t get on the show. So, variety is always the first priority.

The members, who initially dismissed my words, gradually became captivated. Even the most reluctant Kim Seonghyeon later joked about adding “Kim” to it. It was truly nonsense.

“Hehe, ahaha!”

Whether Yu Jia’s gag code was originally like this or she just laughed out of the blue, genuine laughter burst out.

Jeong Dajun put the recorder to his lips.

Do Mi Mi Mi Mi Mi Re Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa

It was a beautiful melody.

Mi Sol Sol Sol Mi Re Fa Mi Re Do~”

“Is this the Concours, a concours?”[2]

“What’s with that expression~.”

Regardless of the surrounding reactions, Jeong Dajun was dead serious.

He finished “The Puppy’s Bell” to the end and made a proud face as if he had decorated a billboard stage. Even wiping the sweat on his forehead was a perfect finish.

“Thank you. It’s an honor.”

“Haha, so cute, really.”

Yu Jia clenched her teeth to hold back laughter.

Satisfied with his own performance, Jeong Dajun left the stage without lingering.

I was up next.

Alright, decision made.

I intercepted Jeong Dajun, who was trying to high-five, grabbed a chair, and went up on stage. Jeong Dajun wore a bewildered expression.

“Why, hyung?”

“I need to borrow you for a moment, Jeong Dajun.”

“You didn’t mention this before!”

“Life is more fun when you can’t predict what’s ahead.”

“Huh??”

Jeong Dajun tried to hold me back desperately, but I ignored him.

I racked my brain while Jeong Dajun was showcasing his talent. Something impactful that I could show in 3 minutes, other than singing or dancing.

A skit? I don’t have a sense of humor.

Strength? I’m old and tired, without power.

Alcohol tricks? Honestly, they’re impressive, but they invite criticism.

“Seo Hoyun, are you ready? What will you show us?”

I looked at the restless audience and slowly picked up the microphone.

That left only one option.

I practiced my talents relentlessly to fulfill my duty as a variety show PD and survive in a fiercely competitive society. One of the skills I tried to showcase at company dinners was…

“I will do voice impressions.”

“Huh?”

It was the classic voice impression.

“I’m a fan of all the previous Super Singer seasons. I’ve always admired and appreciated….”

The Super Singer program was a show I diligently followed during my student and military days. In its third season, I was the youngest PD in the show, and I worked hard on its editing day and night.

In that show, there was “that judge” whom everyone knew and who had already been impersonated by comedians and celebrities.

While editing, I had heard it dozens, if not hundreds of times…

“I will impersonate composer Lim Hyeonsu, the Blue Tiger.”

Our composer.

[1] It’s a Korean children’s song.

[2] In this situation, Concours refers to a music competition.


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The Trashy PD Has to Survive as an Idol

The Trashy PD Has to Survive as an Idol

Score 9.8
Status: Ongoing Type: Author: , Artist:
[Congratulations Seo Hoyun! You have been selected as a player in the Unknown Idol Tycoon.] The good-for-nothing PD, who is criticized by everyone, becomes a unknown idol in a parallel world. Only his younger sibling remembers him. To return to the original world, he must become a top idol and clear the game! “…Quest accepted.” “Are you crazy?” “Don’t we need to eat and live?” His specialty is blackmailing, his hobby is persuasion. The survival story of the unscrupulous PD-turned-idol who will stop at nothing!
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