NHK, Desperate to Secure Viewer Ratings for “Kohaku” with No Johnny’s, Selects “Fumiya Fujii,” Who Has No Connection to NHK, in a Year of Great Contest | FRIDAY DIGITAL

NHK, Desperate to Secure Viewer Ratings for “Kohaku” with No Johnny’s, Selects “Fumiya Fujii,” Who Has No Connection to NHK, in a Year of Great Contest

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Fujii was selected to appear in “Kohaku” for the first time in 26 years. What was behind this selection? ……

Every year, around 5 groups of talents from Johnny’s (now Smile-Up) have participated in the “Kohaku Uta Gassen”. This year, for the first time in 44 years, there will be “zero Johnny’s” slots.

NHK is also trying hard to avoid a slump in viewer ratings. In addition to the celebrity Hiroyuki Ariyoshi (49) and actress Minami Hamabe (23), both selected for the first time, actress Kanna Hashimoto (24), who performed well as the host of last year’s Kohgumi, has been chosen as the MC for the event. The company is trying to find a way to make a comeback by using a number of K-POP idols who are popular among young people, but a source at a record company has a harsh view.

Although K-pop idols such as SEVENTEEN and Stray Kids have replaced the old Johnny’s group, they have made a remarkable comeback thanks to the popularity and support of young people in their teens and 20s, but their impact is not strong enough to be called the main attraction. On the other hand, the first-time entrants from the J-pop group New School Leaders, Ado, ano, 10-FEET, MAN WITH A MISSION, and Mrs. GREEN APPLE are all popular and well talked about, GREEN APPLE are not well-known among all generations, and lack the impact that would make the world gasp in surprise. With no major highlights, I think this year’s ratings will be tough as well.

This year’s Kohaku Uta Gassen is truly a battle against the tide. Among the contestants, “an unexpected choice” is Fujii Fumiya (61), who will be making his sixth appearance in the white group. What were his aims?

First of all, the fact that this September marks the 40th anniversary of his debut and the 30th anniversary of his solo debut is a major factor in his selection for the Kohaku contest. NHK has approached many artists who are celebrating a memorial year to participate in the festival. It is a win-win situation for both parties, as the artist can make the memorial year more exciting. Therefore, Fumiya’s participation this time is in accordance with the conventional Kohaku custom.

It has been 26 years since Fujii last participated in the festival. Although she has not had any big hits in recent years, there is another reason behind her selection this time.

What is the aim of the project? A source in the entertainment industry continues, “The reason is that there was a strong bond between Fumiya and Ariyoshi, who is hosting the event.

The reason is that Fumiya and Ariyoshi, who is hosting the event this time, have a strong bond. He was the debut single of Saruwaishi, who was a member of “Denpa Shonen” (NTV)! (NTV’s “Denpa Shonen”), Fumiya wrote the lyrics to the song “Shiroi Kumo no Yoni” (Like a White Cloud), which was released as his debut single. Composed by his younger brother Naoyuki Fujii (58) and produced by Yasushi Akimoto (65), the song became a million-seller, further boosting Saruwaishi’s popularity. Ariyoshi has never forgotten his relationship with Fumiya, and even now says that he would not be where he is today without his encounter with Fumiya. It is Ariyoshi’s long-cherished wish to perform with his benefactor on the big stage of “Kohaku.

In July of this year, Ariyoshi sang “Like a White Cloud” with Fumiya for the first time on “Ariyoshi Music Fest” (TV Tokyo), his first attempt at hosting a music program. A source in the entertainment industry said, “I wonder if there will be a surprise collaboration at the Kohaku event as well.

Last year, following the death of Ryuhei Ueshima (aged 61), a member of the Ostrich Club, Ariyoshi sang “Like a White Cloud” with Katsuhiro Higo (60), Djimon Terakado (61), and the singing group Junrei. The event drew a great response. A surprise collaboration with Fumiya again this year would surely be a big hit. That is probably one of the reasons why Fumiya was chosen.

Will the collaboration between Ariyoshi and Fumiya be the savior of “Kohaku,” which is struggling with low viewer ratings?

  • PHOTO Tetsudo Takehiro

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