The Low Down

Morning Musume are once again holding auditions to add member(s) to Hello! Project’s flagship group. This year’s audition is called the Morning Musume ’14 Kogane Golden Audition.

Girls aged 10-17 are eligible and can be of any nationality. Applications will be accepted until May 11, 2014 with the winner(s) to be revealed in fall with an expected call up sometime in 2015.

The group’s producer Tsunku stated that they will be very selective with this audition since they have to match the “high skill level” of the current roster. Qualified applicants will be accepted into a trainee position if they are not accepted into Morning Musume.

A new group may also be formed from a selected group of applicants.

My Thoughts

So out of the ashes of Tsunku’s health scare comes the announcement that the aborted 12th generation audition is continuing. (I would guess this technically would still be 12th right?) What a way to distract from the fact that there most likely won’t be any new music coming out of the H!P camp for a while. (if you are to believe the fear mongers)

This time UP-FRONT guran-damn-tees that something will be done with those who audition and that this entire thing won’t be a complete waste of time.

Of course I have my doubts. I don’t necessarily buy the whole “high skill level” thing. This current crop of girls cannot touch the Platinum Era version of Morning Musume in regards to talent or skill. I know that ‘s arguable but I would think that most fans would at least concede that MM’14 is still lacking in some areas compared to previous generations.

And really, if the group is so damn skilled (which is why the last audition was cut short) why do they need another member or members? Should they not be able to push their way to the top of Idol Mountain with who is in the group now?

This leads to the only logical conclusion, Michishige Sayumi is about to be cast off into the great abyss of graduation. Is it too soon? Maybe, but she is the last remnant of Morning Musume’s glory days and if UP-FRONT wants to truly start the group over again they have to send the aging dinosaur to her extinction level event.

For me that will be a sad day. Sayumi is my favorite member of the old guard and to see her go will be rather bittersweet because there’s no way I’m going to make the pilgrimage to see her graduate if this is the case. My Morning Musume fandom is at an all time low and to make the investment to go all the way to Japan for a group I’m barely interested in doesn’t make sense.

Anyway, back to the auditions and the true center of Hello! Project, Tsunku. What will his involvement in this whole process be? The sensible thing would be to not involve him at all. Let the man get proper treatment and recover in peace.

There are more people at UP-FRONT who can scout “talent” and “skill” as much as Tsunku can. (which is highly subjective depending on how you feel about his scouting)

Although I have the feeling he’ll be part of the process in this manner:

If so, maybe catch the man on his meds and maybe he’ll contribute a sensible opinion on the audition hopefuls instead of his usual cryptic, flowery language.

If Tsunku is left alone I would not leave the decision of who gets into MM up to the fans. You only have to watch reality singing shows to see how very wrong the people are when it comes to choosing who wins those things. Raging hormones win out over common sense 99.9% of the time. I can only imagine how awful it would be if H!P wota were allowed to pick who would go into the flagship group.

When it comes to this audition I would be satisfied with seeing something similar to the 9th generation where the final boot camp sessions were shown with the finalists. It would at least give a solid foundation as to why the eventual winner(s) are chosen.

It also allows people to cling to their favorites and make voodoo dolls of those who they don’t like. In other words, encouraging conversation among the fans and maybe generating a little bit of hype. Then again, that’s wishful thinking after the disappointment of the 12th generation audition.

With that said, bring on the next batch of hopefuls to be put through the Hello! Project grind machine and hope that this isn’t a wash.