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Comedian Kim Shin-young to host 'National Singing Contest'

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Comedian Kim Shin-young, right, poses in a YouTube interview about her becoming the new host for
Comedian Kim Shin-young, right, poses in a YouTube interview about her becoming the new host for "National Singing Contest," Tuesday. Courtesy of KBS

By Kim Rahn

Comedian Kim Shin-young will host the "National Singing Contest," succeeding the late veteran emcee Song Hae, according to broadcaster KBS, Monday.

The public broadcaster said Kim will start emceeing the show on Oct. 16, as the first new host in 34 years, during which Song had hosted the program.

Debuting in 2003, Kim, 39, has appeared in numerous comedy and entertainment programs. She has hosted a radio program on MBC, "Kim Shin-young's Noon Song of Hope," every day since 2012, and has advanced to the K-pop scene as a member of girl group Celeb Five, comprised of four veteran comedians, and through an alter ego named "second aunt Kim DaVi."

Comedian Kim Shin-young, who is also a singer and actor / Media Lab Siso
Comedian Kim Shin-young, who is also a singer and actor / Media Lab Siso
She recently surprised moviegoers with her appearance in veteran director Park Chan-wook's Cannes-winning film, "Decision to Leave," showing great acting ability.

Kim said becoming the "National Singing Contest" host is an honor to her family. "When I was young, I used to hear the opening music of the show every Sunday. I grew up with the show and now (as I become the host) it's so touching," she said in an interview released by KBS on YouTube, Tuesday.

"I remember what Song Hae said: 'National Singing Contest' has been created by the citizens who performed at the show, so the emcee is absorbed (into the vibe the people make) and learns from it (rather than trying to lead the show)."

After Song's death, many veteran emcees with careers over 30 years were mentioned as his possible successor, but Kim was chosen, and she said it was probably because she is "like a friendly neighbor."

"People feel comfortable with me, starting a conversation with me without hesitation," she said. "During my 20 years as a comedian, I've hosted numerous shows (where ordinary people participate) including audition programs and children's song contests. Maybe they picked me because people think I'm like their sister, aunt or granddaughter."

"National Singing Contest," an outdoor singing competition of residents in different regions, had been hosted every week by Song since 1988. In April, Song was recognized as the world's "oldest TV music talent show host" by Guinness World Records.

The show's touring across the country had been suspended for more than two years since 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was scheduled to resume in June, but Song at the time expressed his intention to leave the contest due to deteriorating health. During talks about this with producers, Song died on June 8 at the age of 95.


Kim Rahn rahnita@koreatimes.co.kr


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