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During her recent appearance on the February 12 episode of South Korean talk show Yoo Hee-yeol’s Sketchbook, Soyeon shared her experience as a mentor and judge to the contestants on Mnet’s ongoing idol reality series My Teenage Girl.
The show’s host, Yoo Hee-yeol, had brought up how Soyeon went viral following the broadcast of My Teenage Girl’s first episode last month, where she criticised the “evaluation group” for how they voted and who they voted for.
When asked if her choice to judge the contestants candidly, despite the risk of backlash, was a hard one to make, Soyeon spoke about her overall approach to the series. “I’m usually bad at providing constructive criticisms about others,” she admitted, as translated by Koreaboo. “But the moment I made the decision to appear on the show, I decided to become the villain.”
The (G)I-DLE member then explained that she intended to “take responsibility” for the show and its roster of aspiring idols. “I wanted the contestants to remember me as someone who helped them out, which is why I shared comments that I knew they needed to hear,” she explained.
Soyeon also told Yoo that her approach to being a judge on My Teenage Girl was deeply influenced by her own past experiences as a trainee on other similarly structured reality series, such as Produce 101.
“When I was on the audition programs and when I was a trainee, something that I thought was, ‘How come they didn’t tell me this then?’,” Soyeon said. This spurred her to be upfront with the contestants under her wing. “I think I’m saying all those types of comments now. I’m at a point where the only thing I can do is provide honest comments.”
The (G)I-DLE rapper and producer had dropped her retro-inspired debut solo mini-album ‘Windy’ alongside lead single ‘BEAM BEAM’ in early July 2021. In a four-star review of the record, NME had called it “a masterclass in versatility and eccentricity that sets [Soyeon] apart from this new generation of K-pop idols.”