A new round of auditions have begun to find the country’s next K-pop superstar for the upcoming third season of the popular SBS singing audition program “Survival Audition K-pop Star.‘ This year’s show will also host international auditions in the U.S. in Los Angeles, Atlanta and Chicago, as well as accepting global YouTube auditions. “K-pop Star‘ is a singing battle program that is judged by representatives from the nation’s top three agencies ‘• SM, YG and JYP Entertainment. The showed aired its first episode in December 2011 and, more so than most other audition programs, has been successful in launching the careers of young star hopefuls, including season one winner Park Min-jin, super rookie Lee Hi, Akdong Musician, Bang Ye-dam, Andrew Choi and many others. “What makes ‘˜K-pop Star’ different from other programs is that our contestants go through vigorous training during the show and have an opportunity to learn a lot from the three judges,‘ said one of the show’s producers Park Sung-hoon. “It truly is an audition program.‘ “Although we have a lot of already talented people to audition to be on the program, our judges have a lot to do with their success both on and off the show,‘ he explained. “The judges know this industry and they know what people want.‘ So what are the, past contestants up to now? Many know that Park Ji-min went to sign with JYP Entertainment and made her official debut as part of the duo girl group 15& in October last year. However, her debut was quiet compared to season one runner-up Lee Hi, who enjoyed a monstrous debut as a solo artist of YG Entertainment, sweeping local music charts with her first album and nabbing the rookie of the year award at both the Golden Disk Awards and the High One Seoul Music Awards. Season one of “K-pop Star‘ also gave birth to the powerful female vocal group Su Pearls consisting of constants Park Ji-min, Lee Michelle, Lee Jung-mi and Lee Seung-joo. It was highly anticipated that YG Entertainment, who signed the group, would train and make the group’s debut official. However, after winner Park decided to sign with JYPE, the group later disbanded and the remaining members’ contracts were nullified by the agency. Despite no longer being apart of Su Pearls, the show’s popular Korean-American contestant Michelle has now signed on as a solo artist with DIMA Entertainment, although she has yet to make her official debut under the label. Season one’s third runner-up Baek Ah-yeon has also reaped much success as a former competitor. After leaving the show, Baek went on to sign with AQ Entertainment and, released her latest EP “A Good Girl‘ on Monday. The popular dancer-rapper contestant Lee Seung-hoon, who was eliminated in the seventh round of the program, is currently in training under YG Entertainment, whereas former contestant Kim Na-yoon is currently being trained under iconic girl group Sistar’s agency, Starship Entertainment. Much like the first go around, season two had also paved the way for many star hopefuls. The brother-sister duo Akdong Musician ended up stealing the crown last season, and after months of deliberation finally decided to sign with YG Entertainment in May. Other popular acts that arose from last season also include 11-year-old runner-up Bang Ye-dam and the dynamic pop/hip-hop male trio Raccoon Boys. Although many suspect that both acts will go on to make their debut in the K-pop music scene, no new develops have been announced regarding the status of their agency signing. On the other hand, third runner-up Andrew Choi has signed on with Iconic Sounds and released his debut EP, “Love Was Enough,‘ on May 27. The record consists of five songs that were composed and arranged by the singer himself. The figure-skater turned “K-pop Star‘ contestant Shin Ji-hoon is also remaining active in the music scene, releasing her first single “Foolish Head‘ off the, original soundtrack of the SBS drama “The Secret of Birth.‘ It has been reported that the young artist has signed on with Cube DC, a sub-label of Cube Entertainment.