The Sunmi-Hyerim Dilemma

November 29, 2010

In the first quarter of 2010, Sunmi left Wonder Girls to continue her studies prompting JYP to replace her with Woo Hyerim. Since Hyerim is a JYPE trainee, she already knows JYP’s system. To be honest, I think she was picked because she spoke different languages. And since Wonder Girls are venturing into the foreign market, they have to pick someone that will help their cause. It took Wonder Girls several months to learn English and Mandarin and if they picked someone who doesn’t speak these languages, it’s a big step back for the Wonder Girls. How can one sings in a language that they don’t know?

A problem had arose with Sunmi departure. I tried to give Hyerim a chance but it’s been months already. She should have adjusted by now. I can’t help but wonder if that’s all she can show. She might just had big shoes to fill. If I have to judge Wonder Girls with Sunmi, I rank them as 9. But now with Hyerim, I’ll rank them as 6.

The biggest problem of Hyerim is confidence. Like in their American Tour. When she makes a mistake, she panics making it more obvious that she made a mistake. Again, I bring back the “leg test”. Watch Wonder Girls performances again with Sunmi in it. She had a lot of mistake. If you know Wonder Girls’ routine, you’ll know that she made a mistake but because Sunmi shows this confidence, it’s not obvious. It could be also the fact that Sunmi is a better dancer that Hyerim. Another thing is Hyerim vocals. Sunmi makes her part works because of her husky voice but Hyerim is sweet like Sohee’s. It was a bit uncomfortable listening to her singing Nobody and Irony.

Maybe I’m a bit of a jerk for saying this but I think what’s best for Wonder Girls now is for Sunmi to return and for Hyerim to leave. The chemistry is not really as good as before. In terms of popularity, Sunmi is the least but she does have an integral part for the success of the group that I didn’t see before. Sunmi’s is an ok singer. Not as great as Sunye and Ye Eun but her husky voice was doing wonders to Wonder Girls. This is my suggestion. If Sunmi does decide to come back, put Hyerim in Miss A and give back Sunmi her place in the Wonder Girls.




  1. ok..this one irked me.you can’t just put Hyerim away when Sunmi decides to return. i don’t think JYP is stupid enough to do it for that would cause another damage to the company,JYP,wonder girls and Sunmi herself. and besides, didn’t JYPE announced that Lim is an ADDITIONAL to the group and NOT just a TEMPORARY member?

  2. JYPE is making human artists it’s not just a factory where you can put in or out ppl! if you don’t like WG+Hyerim then you should wake up and realise that’s the way things are! i might not love lim as much as i loved sunmi (yet) but i refuse to play with the girl and just use her! now she’s a WG a will always be.
    as for the confidence you can’t compare both! first they have totally different personnality and also the voice! maybe jyp will give wg a song that suits lim’s voice better. as for confidence, she’s still a baby girl and had to come with the already popular wg who’ve practiced their songs and dances many many times! and she might not be that comfortable around them yet. let her the time to adjust, maybe you can judge her after their comeback with a new song!

    but one thing for sure is that the old wg will never be the same as the new one. and i still love them and i believe lim has what it takes to fit in wg

  3. Completely off-base. WG sticks to a retro sound but their career so far is dividable in 3 musical phases: the Irony-Bad Boys R&B period riding on the early-decade trend (only Sunye stood out vocally); the Tell Me-Ebabo-So Hot bubblegum period launching a girlgroup craze (WG deliberately sang with affected voices, but only Sohee got enduring flak); the Nobody-2DT classic-pop period when they sounded less & less Kpop (WG got to explore with real vocals again).
    Sunmi sang 1st lead for the last 2 phases, a role now adeptly filled by Lim since the songs merely required a stable vocalist to introduce the melody line. Sohee fills the same function with the bridge parts. Sure, Sunye & Yeeun are better singers but WG songs are uncomplicated anyway; they don’t need much vocal riffs & runs.
    Individually, Yeeun & Sunmi had improved tremendously since the Jobros tour, as seen in their confident live solo turns (Umbrella/Mercy, etc). Yet Lim’s development has been no-win: hit the ground running (WG actually increased their live dates post-Sunmi), sing the old songs in their artificial styles (while pooh-poohed by the unhearing) &, for supposed variety, given a RAP song (Lip Gloss) to stretch her range. Not exactly the right formula.
    FWIW Lim is a slightly better fit to sing 1st lead in WG’s current musical direction (i.e. less & less Kpop + multiple-language versions). Sunmi can also do it — the role is not exactly rocket science — but not necessarily for the better.
    Political correctness aside, I am not high on a 6-member WG group. 1stly, the past 4 WG hits have seen similar vocal chores (1st, 2nd & 3rd leads, bridge, rap), with SunLights already peeved that Sunye is taking an increasing backseat role. Add a 6th vocalist? I dunno. 2ndly, as your recent article pointed out, it is a mismatch to switch between odd- & even-number dancers for the same choreography. Won’t look as balanced.
    Gonna be a year soon since the lineup change, so move on already. WG will have a new song repertoire, & new worlds to conquer. Life goes on.

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