On December 15 2010 Kamei Eri, Jun Jun and Lin Lin graduated from Morning Musume. With their departure the group is left with 2 members each from the 5th generation (Takahashi Ai & Niigaki Risa) and the 6th generation (Tanaka Reina & Michishige Sayumi) along with the sole remaining 8th generation member (Mitsui Aika).
Does that really change anything? Well there’s the loss of a secondary singer in Kamei and a developing vocal powerhouse in Lin Lin. Unfortunately she was relegated to the back row with Jun Jun, Aika & Sayu. Other than that, well the leads will always be Ai & Reina with Risa being thrown a bone here and there and the rest of the members getting scraps. At least Sayu will still have her screaming lines.
That leads us to the 9th generation auditions. There is finally some new information about them with a short preview video that was released for an upcoming episode of Bijo Gaku.
There’s not really enough I can gather besides the fact that UFA likes to make little girls cry… A lot. Some of the prospects look much younger than the rest of the remaining Morning Musume line up. I hope they can all sing. Well there was that one girl, but those few seconds were not enough to really make a judgment on her vocal ability.
Now let’s not jump the gun and proclaim that the finalists have been named because this preview (in my opinion) showed nothing of value to show that is true. Yes there was the previously mentioned girl singing and forgetting her lines & the one who was getting berated for sucking at dancing, but is that really enough? Perhaps some are going by the ending of the video and assuming it to be the naming of those who made the cut.
Let’s just say that what they showed MAY be the finalists until otherwise confirmed by the upcoming episode of Bijo Gaku. Who knows, UFA may pull a fast one & let everyone stay to fight it out to get into Morning Musume. If that were to happen, well things would actually be much more interesting.
There’s a lot of speculation about what kind of members Tsunku should pick. Many I have discussed this topic with are hoping for at least one capable singer with secondary or lead girl potential right out the gate. The rest can be awkward girls who can join the back row. This I can agree with.
Unfortunately the odds are that personality will win over actual singing ability and all who get in will be diamonds in the rough that have loads of personality and the potential to be good singers later on as they grow with the group.
This upsets some people (including me) mainly because the current hierarchy of line distribution is so uneven it isn’t even funny. Although Ai and Reina fans may vehemently disagree. Also, once you get past the 2nd tier (Risa) the singing ability drops significantly.
Anyway, hopefully there will be many episodes of the audition process so we can get a good sense of who might make it and why. It’s been a long time since an audition and for many this may be their first experience seeing one. For me, it’s my third. I have different expectations of this audition than most, hopefully I’m not too disappointed.