Morning Musume Audition Banner

Hello! Pro Time Episode 22 gets right to the point as for the first time in 2 weeks there is no Tsunku starting the episode giving zero hints on his thought process or cock teasing fans with the idea of just letting EVERYONE in for shits & giggles.

Hello Pro Time Ep 22

Hello Pro Time Ep 22

Hello Pro Time Ep 22

Instead we’re treated to lots more audition footage starting with recaps that involve noting the strengths and weaknesses of the finalists and a mini-interview with each one before we get to next round of new audition footage. Leading candidate Kudou Haruka is shown first working the dance floor like a pro.

Hello Pro Time Ep 22

Hello Pro Time Ep 22

After her my favorite Iikubo Haruna is shown singing weakly for Marron-sensei and crying afterwards. Not her finest moment but I still like her. She’s looking fine in her intro by the way. Perhaps they should just let her in so we can have a replacement for Sayu when she graduates? Grunting and moaning lines don’t require a lot of vocal power.

Hello Pro Time Ep 22

Other finalists to make note of are Oogami Hinako and Ishida Ayumi for their high level of dance prowess and Miwa Satsuki for her lack of dance skills. The other fan favorite Murakami Sara is the last to be featured. Many like her voice and I agree with those who suggest she may be the strongest vocally out this batch of girls.

Hello Pro Time Ep 22

Hello Pro Time Ep 22

Hello Pro Time Ep 22

Notice 2 girls are missing? UFA has made some cuts already. Goodbye Tashima Meru and Miyagi Ayumi. We hardly knew ye. Perhaps they will be sent to H!P limbo (a.k.a. The Eggs) for “seasoning”.

Hello Pro Time Ep 22

Hello Pro Time Ep 22

After some home footage of the remaining finalists we see them getting prettified by UFA’s team of stylists. Yeah, they’re getting their “hair did” and all that. While the extreme makeover goes on my hero (and yours) Tsunku graces the show with his presence to personally inspect the girls. No checking of their teeth or manes I mean hair this time around.

Hello Pro Time Ep 22

Hello Pro Time Ep 22

The finalists perform the dance for Momusu’s double a-side single with lots of “yays”, “whoos” and clapping. Most are fairly fluid. Watching the entire routine from beginning to end noticed that Miwa was the odd girl out.  She looked fairly rigid in her movements as if she was trying to remember the steps.

Hello Pro Time Ep 22

Hello Pro Time Ep 22

With that said all of the girls did an admirable job dancing in front of their future overlord Tsunku. None of them went out of time, fell down or stopped.

Hello Pro Time Ep 22

After that the singing part of the competition starting with Masaki Sato. She wasn’t too bad. A little shaky but tolerable. Satsuki Miwa wasn’t the most pleasant to listen to but she sure could project very loudly. Too bad none of her singing was on key.

Hello Pro Time Ep 22

Hinako Oogami was actually pretty good. She doesn’t have the super squeaky voice you would expect from a girl her age. So already bonus points from me. Her voice is kind in a lower range than I had anticipated.

Fuka Tanaka was kind of meh. She wasn’t as bad as Satsuki but certainly didn’t gain her any ground against the other girls. Ayumi Ishida is another who did alright. I didn’ t mind her at all.

Hello Pro Time Ep 22

Then the “husky voice” girl Kudo. I don’t exactly get the whole “husky” thing. Does that mean she sounds like she smoked a few packs of cigarettes before stepping up to the mic? After hearing her sing I guess it means more along the lines of she has a bit of roughness to her voice?

Hello Pro Time Ep 22

This is probably going to sound like I’m hopping aboard the Kudo love train but I liked her a lot. It’s kind of a toss up between her and Sara as the best singers out of all the finalists. In this battle I’d have to give the edge to Kudo since Sara had a bit of a hiccup near the end of her turn.

Hello Pro Time Ep 22

What was most surprising was my pick Iikubo. I could hear her sing. Yay! And she didn’t suck. There is hope for the older girl. Not much hope, but still some.

After hearing the finalists sing  our main man Tsunku is asked about how things went. As always, we get an indecisive answer that gives us no idea where he’s going with this whole process.  If I were a betting man I would probably say the following stand the best chances of becoming a Musume:

  1. Kudo Haruka
  2. Murakami Sara
  3. Ishida Ayumi

I only pick 3 because I think that would probably be the most logical limit for this generation. As much as I would love for Iikubo to make it in she has her age as THE major factor against her. Although having her in would at least bridge the gap between the older and younger members, even if it would be a for a short period of time.

Then again we can all get trolled by Tsunku when he states one of the following:

  • “You’re all in! But… You’re going to be sub members. Surprise!”
  • “None of you are in.” (like the first 7th gen audition)
  • “In addition to the finalists I’m adding Karin & the Korean chick. Surprise!”

September 29 is the day the members of the 10th generation are announced. It will be an interesting day indeed.