Throughout the run of this column, I’ve noted several Korean reality programs like K-Pop Star, Produce 101, and the like that revolve around making people famous. For every contestant that hits the big time—like Kang Daniel, Akdong Musician, and others—there are dozens more that don’t quite have that “it” quality to get them through to the end, but are still very talented artists in their own right.
2000 Won, a male duo from K-Pop Star’s second season in 2012, is one of those stories. They first caught the audience’s (and judges’) attention for their rendition of I Have A Girl, originally sung by J.Y. Park, who was sitting in the panel mere feet in front of them:
While the charismatic duo of Kim Hyo Bin and Kim Il Do would last until the Final Four, they had the misfortune of being in the same K-Pop Star season as some serious heavyweight contenders including the aforementioned Akdong Musician, and wouldn’t last to make it into the finals.
Like many other contestants who just failed to reach the top rankings of their respective programs, 2000 Won quickly got snatched up by a middle-tier agency and even put out an album or two. Although they’d been out of the spotlight for a while by 2017, they made a surprise comeback with Tears Attack that proved they hadn’t lost their touch for nailing a catchy hip-hop beat.