New S/mileage Member Auditions Announced – Hello! SayuNii
S/mileage Generation 2 Auditions – Pure Idol Heart
S/mileage announce 5th member auditions -yonasu.com
Tsunku announces new member auditions for S/mileage – Tokyograph
S/mileage’s surprising 2nd generation auditions – Janakya Mottainai
S/Mileage Auditions Announced – Selective Hearing
I don’t think any of us saw this one coming. There’s a whole range of reactions to this news – less angry than those to the Morning Musume tenth gen audition announcement, but perhaps more shocked since the idea of adding new members to S/mileage was never taken seriously (by anyone but Tsunku, at least).
Some highlights from the posts above: Hello! SayuNii describes the differences between the S/mileage and Momusu auditions, while Gaki of PIH wonders if there’s a graduation looming near. yonasu.com and Tokyograph go over the details. AimxAim of JM and Greg of SH have the meatiest posts, mulling over different aspects of this news, though coming at it from different angles. AimxAim is excited by the news and sees it as a positive, if unexpected, step forward for Hello! Project, and a sign of how important S/mileage is as an idol group. Greg believes S/mileage is just fine as it is, and wonders about the motivation behind all these changes on the H!P front.
Personally, I it interesting that the Momusu and S/mileage auditions will run at the same time – if that’s an attempt to increase the talent pool for both, does that say something about S/mileage being a group on the rise? It’s also worth noting that the parameters of the auditions indicate that the powers that be don’t want to change the S/mileage formula too drastically, while Morning Musume is open to a lot more turmoil with their potential auditionees. Lastly – and I know this is a bias on my part – but one can’t help but suspect a whiff of desperation in pushing so hard to change two H!P acts at the same time. Being overshadowed by AKB was bad enough, but perhaps the recent success of other groups may make UFA even more nervous about their idols’ future.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens next. My bet: graduations for the H!P Kids groups, probably announced before the end of summer.