17 Girls in Taipei are Selected as Gemstones in the Crown of AKB48!
The first international audition for the AKB48 group was held in Taipai, targeting girls living in Taiwan, and 17 girls qualified. The total number of applicants was 2152. Yasushi Akimoto, the head producer, said how wonderful it was to see everyone’s carefree smiles, and that many more applicants passed the audition than initially planned. The 17 selected girls will be trained locally in dance and singing, and the current aim would be for them to join up with the members of AKB48 by the end of the year or beginning of next year.
The 43 participants of the final examination were tested on their ability to express catchphrases in the styles of Mayu Watanabe and Yuki Kashiwagi, etc., in order to showcase their appeal with everything they had. After the examination, Mr. Akimoto said: “It was a good audition. People in Taiwan as well as all Japanese fans of AKB48 will be happy with these members. These girls have a typical Taiwanese flavor, but most of all it was wonderful to see their carefree smiles. I had a wonderful time!” The initial aim was to take on 3 to 5 new members, but thanks to the high level of the applicants, this number ended up being higher.
There was a reason why the first international audition of the 48-group was held in Taiwan. CD’s were released in Taiwan from 2010 “Beginner” on, and in 2011, an official shop opened its doors in the city of Taipei. And it is also thanks to the fact that there was a connection because of the members visiting Taiwan several times over the years for certain events. According to the people involved, many girls with high potential were spotted in the audience at last year’s performance of HKT48. They also once looked into creating “TPE48.”
The backgrounds of the chosen members is manifold. Shia Chen (20) and Shiyuan Chen (20) are twin sisters. The elder sister, Shiyuan, born in Taiwan, wants to follow in the footsteps of the Taiwanese baseball outfielder Ya’ng Da’i-Ka-ng who has been very succesful in Japan, so the girl came to the audition wearing a baseball uniform. If they are added, they will be the first twin of the 48-group. Yuri Jan (12), a 6th grade girl who has been successful as a child actor, came wearing an outfit made by her mother, sang “Heavy Rotation,” and wielded her smile with great effect.
From here on, the 17 girls will be negotiating a contract, obtain visa’s, and get training in dance and singing. Furthermore, they will be going through an additional selection test, and aimed towards the end of the year or beginning of next year, they will join up with AKB48 as training members. Chinyu Ju (14), a girl with experience as a talent, said that she wants to increase the degree of her achievements in Japan, so it looks like AKB48 will be going through new exciting additions!
AKB48 officiel website : http://www.akb48.co.jp/
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