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Internet Becomes Path to Stardom

2006/01/11 | 218 views | Permalink | Source

By Park Chung-a
Staff Reporter

Nam Sang-mi, heroine of the television drama "Sweet Spy" which ended on Tuesday, Lee Bo-ram, who recently released a sexy mobile photo album, and Kwak Yoo-ni, who is to debut as a singer late this month have something in common.

They all made advances into the entertainment field by drawing great attention through the Internet.

Kwak Yoo-ni got the spotlight through a video file titled "Key's Piano". In the file, Kwak, wearing a provocative red dress, plays "The Flight Of The Bumble Bee" on the piano. The file does not show her face as the camera only focuses on her body and her hands.

The file, which was originally put on her Weblog, began to spread through Internet when her friend who shot the video uploaded it onto a free photo board of an Internet portal site. In December, her name became the most searched keyword on Internet portal sites.

Although she first said that she was not informed of her friend spreading of the file, it later turned out that Kwak, a music major from Yonsei University, is currently preparing to make an official debut as a singer late this month. In order to prove her real musical talent, she will hold a free showcase at Hong, a club near Hongik University in Seoul at 3 p.m. on Jan. 21.

Some people have accused Kwak of intentionally distributing the video file in order to gain publicity before debuting as an entertainer. Nevertheless, Kwak seems to have certainly succeeded in drawing people's attention, which is pivotal for entertainers.

Kwak's path to entertainment field is similar to Lee Bo-ram, also known as "ddolnyo", or "shaking woman". Last year, an anonymous video file featuring a woman passionately doing a shimmy dance on the street of Taehangno in Seoul rapidly spread around Internet portal sites. Internet users gave her the nickname "ddolnyo", which quickly became one of the most searched words on the Internet.

However, it was later discovered that an employee of an advertising firm made the file. Lee, who denied at first that she had no intention of becoming an entertainer, released a provocative mobile photo album last summer. She also made appearances on several television shows.

"Sweet Spy" star Nam and actress Park Han-byul were also picked up by entertainment agencies after their photos became popular among Internet users.

"Owing to its speed and interactivity, the Internet is playing a big role in making new stars, and it has become a great testing ground for those who want to become stars", said Kim Jong-hui, a culture critic.

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