Tan Kee Yun
The New Paper
Oct 28, 2015
At the risk of incurring the wrath of Hong Kong's most revered action superstar, my verdict on rookie K-pop boy band JJCC is this: They've turned out to be a major disappointment.
JJCC (pronounced Double JC), founded and co-managed by martial arts maestro Jackie Chan, debuted in March last year to unprecedented buzz, even generating media hype from Western media outlets The Hollywood Reporter, The Guardian and Billboard.
However, more than a year on, the quintet-turned-septet - two new members were added a couple of months back - have hardly made a dent in the K-pop industry.
None of JJCC's singles cracked the Top 10 on South Korea's domestic charts, and the number of views they've garnered for their music videos on YouTube is a sobering reflection of their middling "popularity".
JJCC's latest video for Where You At, released in August, snagged just over 390,000 views, a paltry statistic next to fellow K-pop boy bands Got7 and iKON's impressive view counts.
Got7's video, If You Do, released in September, boast a whopping 10 million-plus views while iKON's Airplane, also released in September, has already crossed the four million mark.
It's not as if Got7 and iKON had the upper hand - all three groups are new to showbiz.
Like JJCC, Got7 debuted last year. The iKON dudes are even more junior, having officially formed only this year.
So what went wrong with JJCC? Why did they fail, even with the support of Chan?
A part of me feels that Chan's involvement with the group is too minimal. Prior to JJCC's debut, he was quoted as saying that he would "personally oversee" their activities.
In reality, that wasn't the case.
Aside from Chan's birthday charity concert in Beijing last April, JJCC hasn't appeared with their head honcho at any other public event.
Or perhaps, being the extremely busy man he is - he was rubbing shoulders with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Britain's royal family last week in London - Chan simply would not have time for a bunch of wide-eyed boys.
Also, unlike Got7 and iKON, who have members with distinctive personalities, the seven handsome members of JJCC - E.co, Prince Mak, Eddy, SimBa, San-Cheong, Zica and Yul - are unfortunately boring and bland on TV shows.
The group's marketing team deserve much of the blame. They could have played up Eddy's excellent cooking skills and used it as a unique selling point - he was a former contestant on reality TV cooking competition MasterChef Korea after all - but obviously no one thought it was exciting enough.
I'd go out on a limb to give JJCC another year in the music biz. At this rate, they're not going to make it any further.
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