EDITORIAL | THE END OF CO-ED SCHOOL?

In 2010 something that would be cheerful and fresh (get it?) would come onto the K-Pop scene. A new pop group consisting of both males and females in the form of Core Content Media’s “Co-Ed School”. Debuting with a T-ARA like sound with “Too Late” in the September and following up with the rather Lady Gaga sounding “Bbiribbom Bberibbom” the group were certainly bringing change to the table, but would it be successful?

Single “Too Late” peaked at 13 on the Gaon chart whilst “Bbiribbom Bberibbom” only managed a not so good 61. The physical album itself not doing so badly though and managed to peak at No.8. It wasn’t all bed over at camp Co-Ed but trouble was brewing.

Controversy hit the group when member Kangho was pictured in a bar with friends after high school graduation. Not only that but allegations had been made that Kangho had been a involved in a rape crime prior to his debut. Now as we all know breaking the law and being an idol never go hand in hand despite statements from CCM themselves it seems all was lost for Kangho who quickly exited the group citing he would be concentrating on furthering a career in acting.

Co-Ed School finished up promotions as a unit it was announced in the December the group would divide into two sub groups. 5DOLLS (with the addition of a new member, Eun Kyo) debuted in 2011 with “Lip Stains” and “I Mean You” accompanied by a drama music video in 2 parts starring fan favorite “bad boy” Jay Park. The girls of 5DOLLS repeated the minor success Co-Ed has as a unit with lead single “I Mean You” peaking at number 6 on the gaon chart and follow up (from their repackage/remix album) “Like This Or That” charting as high as 16. Now the girls minor success begged the question were the boys necessary. “Like This Or That” actually became the highest grossing song for a rookie group in 2011.  The girls carried their own well and had already taken the lead role in Co-Ed themselves, Chanmi carrying the lead vocals most of the songs they had to offer.

However things weren’t about to get any easier as member Soonmi left the group in order to concentrate on a solo career, in the Summer (although not reported until last month) Chanmi also left the group. Both members were replaced by Nayeon and Shannon and a new member, Jihyun has been confirmed for the girls scheduled April comeback. Now with 6 members, the name 5DOLLS may cause some confusion so it begs the question – will the newly reformed 5DOLLS go under a complete re-branding and if so will it cause confusion among current fans?

Once 5DOLLS’ promotions had ended, fans were eager for the male sub unit to debut. Finally in 2012 SPEED debuted (much to… fans dissapointment, mine especially.) With a cover of T-ARA’s current hit at the time “Lovey Dovey” renamed “Lovey Dovey-Plus” the video starred 5DOLLS member Hyoyoung and the video was directed by her twin sister T-ARA member Hwayoung. Now you have to agree the video was abysmal not focussing on the boys of SPEED but rather focusing on Hyoyoung’s face, featuring close-ups of her lip syncing to the boys vocals. Favoritism on Hwayoung’s part no doubt, choosing to throw her sister in the lime light rather than concentrate on the newly debuted sub-unit of SPEED.

New member Sejoon was added but then… again as in 5DOLLS come the summer of 2012 members Kwangheang (responsible for choreographing Co-Ed School and even responsible for T-ARA’s Lovey Dovey choreography) left the group along with Noori. However just like their 5DOLLS counter parts CCM quickly added new members Yoohwan and Taeha. It left fans in the lurch, not knowing what was going to happen and when they would comeback and it wouldn’t be until January of this year, 2013, that would see them back.

Everyone was surprised when the media reported CCM would be spending roughly $750k on the boys comeback. A group who made little impact on the charts and didn’t have a massive following it seemed like a lot of money. The music video for “Sad Promise” didn’t disappointing  a epic historical video mirroring the dramatic features of T-ARA’s acclalimed drama videos for Day by Day/Sexy Love and Cry Cry/Lovey Dovey. Still – a strange thing was happening. Upon releasing the dance version and even their “official” single “It’s Over” the music video cut away quickly from each member – resembling the bad editing of “Lovey Dovey-Plus” does CCM have an issue with the boys looks perhaps? It certainly seems so as even in the comeback stages on various music shows you never did a good look in on what the members looked like especially people curious to see the new members in action.

Promotions ended quite quickly for the boys first full length album but February would see repackage “BLOW Speed” being released with catchy title track “Pain”. Produced by Brave Brothers, responsible for all of TEEN TOP’s 2012 hits fans recognized the song sound very similar to TEEN TOP’s successful smash “To You” bringing high hopes for a successful comeback.

So with the boys busily promoting and a 5DOLLS comeback imminent fans everywhere are curious to the future of Co-Ed School an idea that people around the K-Pop globe seemed to love. Rumors have recently sparked up that Co-Ed School has completely split into two sub groups and that an all new Co-Ed School will debut in the future.

Now with over 50% of the original Co-Ed line up gone this would certainly make sense to leave the idea of Co-Ed School behind and concentrate on the two groups they have now evolved into but would it be for the best? People everywhere are interested to see when Co-Ed School will comeback as one so wouldn’t it be wise to bring them together for another album? If CCM is willing to spend thousands on a rookie group surely it wouldn’t be throwing money away on producing a new Co-Ed School album? With the public interest still sizzling away in the back ground it would be interesting see just how that would effect the groups popularity and the sales of a comeback album.

Least to say it seems the quirky days of Bbiribbom Bberibbom and Too Late are over and will only ever be heard again from the mp3 players of fans around the globe who miss the group in its entirety.

What are your thoughts and opinions? Would you like to see Co-Ed School back as one?

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