I’m not the type that usually watches Korean variety shows, but as a certified girl group stan I’m beyond excited for tonight’s premiere of MBC’s The Secret Weapon.

The premise is pretty simple: 10 members of various flop girl groups compete in challenges and missions designed to bring out their charms and talents, which in turn is supposed to translate to popularity and success. The producers have done a great job with the casting, picking semi-known idols like STELLAR’s Minhee, FIESTAR’s Jei, and SPICA’s Sihyun, and mixed them in with total nugus from LABOUM, Berry Good, and TAHITI. They’ve even gone as low as picking somebody from the long forgotten 2EYES.

I just have one problem with the cast: G-Friend‘s Yerin.

How the hell does the most popular member of the most popular rookie group of the year get on a show about Z-listers trying to get famous?

G-Friend’s first single, “Glass Bead,” is a top twenty hit that not only outsold every rookie girl group outside of Red Velvet, it even did better than comebacks from established acts. It’s still in Melon’s top 100 as I type this, and it dropped back in January.

When G-Friend first debuted I assumed that they must’ve been using sponsors and sajaegi because their sudden success is virtually unheard of for a group outside of the big three, but then I found out that they were just managed by a well-connected former SM staffer. It explains how within five months Yerin has already starred in a Super Junior music video, landed a drama with Winner’s Nam Tae-hyun, and become the fastest rookie to ever guest star on Running Man.

I’m actually a fan of G-Friend’s music (the Season of Glass mini is great!), it’s just unfair to put somebody whose already on the fast track to stardom on a show that’s supposed to help out those with nothing. Given her connections, she’ll probably win the entire thing, although G-Friend’s already doing so well that she could leave after episode 1 and still hit daebak.

Anyway, I’ve put together a list of far more deserving flop-dols that could use the space that Yerin’s currently hogging. There’s a lot of nugus out there that need a helping hand before they get turned out in Tenpro.

gabinGabin (Blady) 

Blady’s omission from The Secret Weapon was the most shocking to me considering that they just relaunched the group this year and they’ve been promoting their Renovation album quite a bit. Gabin isn’t the prettiest member, but she’s the best singer and she’s got some interesting celebrity connections to boot. Not only is she friends with Unpretty Rapstar‘s Cheetah, she was also in a vocal duo with EXID’s Solji back in the day. The two are still so close that Solji even came out to support her old bandmate at Blady’s comeback showcase this year despite EXID’s busy schedule.

nari wassup

Nari (Wa$$up)

Wa$$up never seem to get anywhere and their songs never chart, but the group has managed to build a small international following thanks to their bad girl image. Nari’s the visual and the group’s cool sex kitten, so she’d probably be best for The Secret Weapon, but Dain’s certainly hot enough to do it too. As for Nada, she’s best saved for Unpretty RapstarThe Secret Weapon couldn’t handle that much woman.


Wooyoung (Purfles)

Purfles may have one of the stupidest names in girl group history, but the talented trio killed their rookie rivals last year with the powerful live performances of their debut single “1, 2, 3.” Unfortunately, their agency wasn’t strong enough to support them properly, so Purfles quickly disappeared and have been laying low working on their next comeback ever since. Member Wooyoung is not only the youngest and prettiest one of the group, she’s also the best singer–she’s basically made for a show like The Secret Weapon.


Yoo Hwa (Year 7 Class 1)

Year 7 Class 1 can’t really decide on a sound and nothing they do ever charts, but their songs are really fucking good and they seem to get better and better all the time. They’re also not afraid of controversy, having already media played off both bullying and skin exposure. Any member would be good on The Secret Weapon, but Yoo Hwa has the most fancam views for her upskirt performances so I’m going with her.


Yeonji (Pocket Girls)

When Pocket Girls’ debuted with “Bbang Bbang” a few months ago it was a bit of a joke; four impossibly plastic racing models thrown into a group to perform a novelty EDM song at low budget car shows and festivals. But here’s the plot twist–member Yeonji can really sing! It’s hard for groups like Pocket Girls or 4L to get on mainstream variety shows, so Yeonji could really bring something different to the competition and maybe show people that you can be both a tarty gangnam unnie and talented too.

I wanted to include D-Unit but they’ve basically disbanded, and groups like Rainbow and Dal Shabet are still too well-known for this kind of show. As for RaNia, too many members have left by now to even bother, and my beloved Brave Girls are too much of an unsure bet at this stage despite Brave Entertainment’s constant hints that they’re still together and planning a comeback.

Anyway, let me know which idols you think unfairly missed the cut for MBC’s new show, and let me know who you’re rooting for to win. I’m team #Minhee, obviously.