UPUPGIRLS (KARI) revealed the successful applicants of the UPUPGIRLS (2) audition during their 119th regular performance at Akiba Cultures Theater on February 25, 2017.
Opening with “Uppercut” and “Survival Girls”, the two songs given to the 13 finalists to master in just 2 days, UPUPGIRLS (KARI) had the audience boiling over with excitement. Saki Mori, who had been the navigator of the auditions, which saw over 750 applicants, felt like her motherly instincts had grown stronger having watched over so many young women aiming for their dreams. She added that back when she joined Hello Pro Egg, she didn’t have to worry about things like Twitter or SHOWROOM to pass the audition.
Even though the event was intended to reveal the preliminary results, the successful candidates were revealed one by one in dramatic fashion.
Chinatsu Takahagi (No. 58)
Birthplace: Fukushima, Japan
Birthdate: July 4, 1997
Height: 156 cm
Specialty: eating things deliciously
Chinatsu Takahagi appeared onstage to applause and cheers, greeting the fans and introducing herself. Despite her nervousness, which had her stomach in knots, she expressed her happiness at being selected. Displaying her specialty of making food look delicious while eating, she pulled out a rice ball made from Takahagi rice from her hometown and began eating it with a smile on her face.
Riko Hashimura (No. 14)
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
Birthdate: January 31, 2000
Height: 156 cm
Riko Hashimura seemed to be overcome with excitement as greeting and thanks spilled out rapidly. Performing “Uppercut” while hula hooping for the first time with a microphone in her hand, she had the room clapping along with her and applauding her efforts.
Aya Kajishima (No. 71)
Birthplace: Chiba, Japan
Birthdate: July 21, 1999
Height: 160 cm
Aya Kajishima seemed to still be in disbelief at her being chosen as she took the stage, admitting, “Even if there are some of you surprised that I’m here, I am the most surprised that I am standing here!”. After a few minutes of her causing the fans to laugh with her stream of consciousness talk which was like that of a comedian, Kajishima pulled out her recorder and played “Chopper☆Chopper” with her nose, earning a warm round of applause.
Mayu Yoshikawa (No. 30)
Birthplace: Akita, Japan
Birthdate: May 28, 1998
Height: 168 cm
Specialty: skating, tumbling
Mayu Yoshikawa, who was only notified of her selection a few hours prior to the live, pledged to work hard to meet the expectations placed on her. Deciding to show off her skills at tongue-twisters, Konatsu Furukawa hilariously pretended to ignore Yoshikawa as she mentioned that a “certain older sister” had failed during the second performance of the day. After flawlessly pronouncing her tongue-twister 2 times in a row, Furukawa and the others bowed and apologized to Yoshikawa.
When asked who they didn’t want to lose to in UPUPGIRLS (KARI), each of them answered “everyone” but, Chinatsu Takahagi expressed that she saw Saki Mori as a rival when it came to eating. It was announced that there was a possibility that UPUPGIRLS (2) could become UPUPGIRLS (KARI) and vice versa, causing both groups to react in an exaggerated manner. UPUPGIRLS (2) left the stage and sat at the very front of the stage to watch the rest of the performance.
Citing that UPUPGIRLS (KARI) were changing and evolving, Saki Mori announced that they would be performing a new song titled “Flash”, a mid-tempo trance-style dance track. This was followed by “!!!!!!!!”, Akari Saho singing her opening lines under red lights before the music kicked into high gear and the fans raised their voices and penlights in exhilaration., UPUPGIRLS (KARI) brought the day to an end by tying together the hearts of the members, fans, and UPUPGIRLS (2) with “Kimi toiu Kasetsu”. In closing, Manami Arai reminded fans of the new UPUPGIRLS (KARI) documentary book and upcoming Nippon Budokan Blu-ray. Ayano Sato added that there would be a new single and tour coming soon, with the possibility of UPUPGIRLS (2) making appearances. Konatsu Furukawa promoted her stage play with the help of a fan in the front row who handed Saki Mori a flier for it. Akari Saho closed by mentioning her March 31st solo live Change & Destroy at Hatsudai DOORS. Calling back UPUPGIRLS (2) to the stage, UPUPGIRLS (KARI) took their final bows and thanked the fans before leaving the stage.
Congratulations to the members of UPUPGIRLS (2) and best wishes to UPUPGIRLS (KARI) as they continue to chase their dreams!
Photos by Nathan Gey
02 Survival Girls
05 Kimi toiu Kasetsu
UPUPGIRLS (KARI) Official site: http://www.upupgirlskakkokari.com/
UPUPGIRLS (KARI) Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/uugirlsofficial
UPUPGIRLS (KARI) YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfVA-R7NDd1QCuCtvWEusqQ
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