It gets so tiring after a while browsing Korean videos, noticing the number of comments attacking Korean celebrities and people in general as "plastic" or "fake" when the video has nothing to do with beauty or appearance. I noticed this after watching a number of videos about a Filipino girl group called "Mica" who were featured on Superstar K. This group did not make it to the final round, so there were a number of comments from largely Filipino viewers that it was due to discrimination for being non-Korean as well as for not being "fake" like Korean stars, both of which are preposterous if you recognized the talent that was displayed on that show. I don't know of any contestant on that show that had plastic surgery and I will not assume that someone has had plastic surgery just because they are beautiful. That is offensive and degrading. Unless there are obvious surgical scars or you have seen before pictures that contradict this, you really can't say that. There were a lot of average and natural looking Koreans who made it further, so the claims about favoring "plastic" contestants were unsubstantiated. And the notion that the Filipina group was discriminated against for being non-Korean was unfounded as well. I thought the judges and the show in general were pretty generous with how far they let this group go into the competition, considering the fact that they were kind of awkward in their stage presence, messed up the pronunciation of Korean songs, and over sang a lot. Being a talented performer is not about showing off and belting as much as you can, but knowing when to pull back and be subtle. They also could have worked on their presentation because the way they dressed was a bit shabby. The other contestants didn't wear flashy clothes necessarily, but they were clean cut and presentable. Perhaps it was a budgetary problem, but they could have done a better job without spending a lot of money. As a performer, you need to take responsibility for how you present yourself, including how you dress. There were people who have shown up for Superstar K in t-shirts and blue jeans, but they were clean and presentable, so money is not the issue. I was amazed at how un-objective some viewers were in evaluating their performances just because they were from the same country as the singers. If those girls had gone to a non-Korean country, they probably wouldn't have gotten translators to help them through the competition. I believe that they were given a lot of accommodation by the judges and the show in general despite the fact that the producers would not make a lot of money from having them on the show as Superstar K does not really broadcast in the Philippines, so there would not be much revenue from that audience. Some Filipino viewers were a bit culturally chauvinistic, saying that the show should just name those girls the winner after their first appearance, never considering that it's a talent competition and a show that needs to create revenue. National ego does not supersede the fact that Superstar K is a business that people rely on for work and revenue. There are other contestants in the competition that deserve a chance and your desire to have a fellow countryman be named the winner does not negate any of that. It is a bit self-serving and arrogant as if to say, "Korea, you should bow down to the talent of these Filipinas because they are better than any of the Korean and other contestants will be."
It's ironic that people can be this nationalistic because these women, formerly known as the Gollayan Sisters, have been on talent shows in their home country, the Philippines, and yet they only went so far there despite having won a number of singing competitions in their home country like "It's Showtime" (ABS-CBN News). They went pretty far on Superstar-K, a Korean show, given their performances, yet some viewers are criticizing that show and Korea in general for not giving them a place further in the competition. Superstar-K did not have to accept these contestants into the competition. The show did not have to hire a translator to assist them during the competition. The judges did not have to be so generous with them. But the show was generous and yet that is not acknowledged by these nationalistic commenters because the only acceptable outcome would be having those Filipina women win the competition. If you want your singers to go far, why not take responsibility for that in the Philippines instead of blaming Korea for not giving them the chance? If the Filipino record industry cannot recognize their talent, why should Korea? The competition was actually too generous to those women because objectively, they did not perform as well as the other contestants. There was a lot of victim-whining on the part of some commenters, saying that the Korean judges should give those women more time to learn how to sing in Korean. This is a Korean singing competition, so it should be a given that you should know how to sing Korean well. Actually, there were other foreign contestants on Superstar K that sang much better than these Filipina girls, but they were eliminated much earlier, like Greg from the U.S. and a Muslim Indonesian singer. I don't know if they were on the same season, but they were eliminated much earlier than this girl group. I believe that they did not get as far as these women because they did not have much of a sympathy card due to the fact that they were a little older and came off as more strong and independent and better off. Those Filipina girls were barely in adulthood and gave a more sympathetic image due to their youth and hard luck image. You can't deny the importance of a profound personal story in the context of reality television. So despite the claims of discrimination and unfairness, I would have to disagree with the nationalistic commenters and say that the group was given a lot of favor despite their lackluster performances.
As a side note, Jessica Sanchez, the Filipina-Mexican American singer who was a finalist on American Idol performed much more skillfully than Mica. However, even after Phillip Phillips won instead of her, I did not notice as many negative comments about America besides the observation that it was due to race that she was not chosen as the winner. I would have to agree with that assessment as the talent level between her and the other contestant was large. She also belted too much in the beginning, but took P. Diddy's advice about holding back and she followed through with that. Mica also got a similar note from an established Korean female singer, yet they continued to belt, showing that they were not willing to learn and work on themselves. It's not just about having potential, but knowing how to realize it. That is something that those girls need to learn. Conversely, John Park did not get as far on American Idol, yet you did not hear racist or offensive comments from Koreans regarding that because objectively, he was not the best performer in the group despite being a great singer. I really don't know who it serves to respond so immaturely to such outcomes, fair or not. It's being part of the problem instead of working toward a solution. I was pretty disappointed and amazed that people could be that racist, petty, and immature.