Sophomore enters second round of Korean pop star competition

By Malanna Wheat

Singer Sanah Ebrahim ’14 qualified for the second round of a competition to become a Korean pop star.

If Ebrahim wins the competition, she will receive 320 million won ($285,000), an international album release and would have to move to Korea to be a full-time Korean pop star.

Ebrahim came across the K-pop ad while on Facebook one day and asked a friend about the competition. When her friend confirmed that it was real, Ebrahim decided to enter.

“Ambition was the reason I decided to go through with this,” she said. “Being a K-pop star would be a dream come true, plus anyone who knows me knows I love to sing and dance.”

The three biggest K-pop companies, JYP entertainment, SM entertainment and YG entertainment are hosting the SBS KPOP Star competition in search of the next big K-pop Star.

There are three rounds, and those that qualify to the third round are invited to Korea with flight accommodation and fares all paid for by SBS.

For the first round, Ebrahim recorded and emailed a video to the competition judges. Because the competition allowed contestants to perform American songs, Ebrahim sang the Glee cast original song, “Get it Right.”

On Sept. 24, she found out she had made it to the next round. Ebrahim said she was surprised to find out that she made it.

“I got really nervous while singing even though I was just recording it in my room and no one was around,” she said. “The thought that my video would be viewed by three of Korea’s biggest K-pop companies made me anxious but excited at the same time.”

Overcome with surprise, Ebrahim recorded herself singing “I’ll Back Off So You can Live Better” by G.NA (ft. JunHyung) for the second round.

Although she doesn’t know if she’s qualified for the third round in Korea yet, she says it feels great to be able to combine all of her interests to achieve one goal.

“I just want to do my best and even if I don’t make it, I know I’ve participated in something I love,” she said.