YG Entertainment are hosting global open auditions for a new, all-boy version of the iconic K-pop band.
If you’re in the market for a career change post-pandemic, and you’re also a fan of K-Pop, then boy do we have some great news for you! The company which brought the world BLACKPINK are on the lookout for some new music talent, and they’re opening auditions for an all-boy band to match the girls’ impact. Big X Factor group stage vibes — we love to see it.
Even better, the auditions are open not just to singers in Korea, but all over the world. In a weird silver-lining-to-the-pandemic moment, YG Entertainment (one of the ‘Big 3’ record labels in K-pop, alongside SM and JYP) are hosting their auditions for the boy band over Zoom, and are welcoming aspiring popstars from all over the world.
There are, of course, certain stipulations. Firstly: boomers need not apply. The posting from YG Entertainment stipulates that auditions are open to “any male born between 2002 and 2010 who is not currently affiliated with another agency”. So if you’re over 20 or under 12, sorry but your time has either passed or not yet arrived. To extend the X Factor analogy, those of you who are 20+ have been relegated to Louis Walsh’s “Overs” category. Consider yourself Wagner or Tesco Mary — sorry about it.
YG recently launched TREASURE, an all-boy K-pop supergroup, so we imagine the new-gen project could well become the third priority act in the Korean entertainment company’s top trio.
But back to potential K-pop superstardom. So, what do we know so far about the search and the new boy band? As auditions are in early stages, not a lot. The band doesn’t even have a name yet, with YG Entertainment’s posting listing the group as “YG New Boy Group” and “New Boy Group Debut Project”. Catchy!
But the process of actually auditioning is much less vague. If you’re interested and of-age, you can sign up — via Google forms, no less — to audition at home from today until 23 May 2021, for a video audition process which runs until the end of May. Available in English, Korean and Chinese, singers are then instructed to choose a category from “vocal, rap, dance, appearance or talents”. Which means that even if you can’t sing, you could apply to be “the fit one everyone fancies”. Which, let’s be honest, is the dream career.
Prince Harry has returned to the U.K. The Duke of Sussex arrived in the U.K. on Sunday to attend Prince Philip's upcoming funeral, ET has learned.
Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, died on Friday. He was 99.
ET previously learned that Harry was doing everything he could to try to make it to the U.K. to attend his grandfather's funeral. His wife, Meghan Markle, who is pregnant with their second child, made every effort to travel alongside her husband but did not receive medical clearance from her physician.
Harry's visit to the U.K. is his first since March 2020, when he and Meghan wrapped up their duties as senior members of the royal family. Harry, Meghan and their 1-year-old son, Archie, have since moved to California.
Philip's funeral is set to take place at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday, April 17 at 3 p.m. The service, which will be televised, will begin with a minutes silence and be preceded by a Ceremonial Procession inside the grounds of Windsor Castle.
In an interview with ET on Friday, Omid Scobie, co-author of Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, noted that Harry was "so close" to his grandfather, and that Philip's death will be "a very difficult time for him."
"Not only is he many miles away from his family and the queen... he is also not able to be immediately part of what is going on over here in the U.K.," Omid said of Harry. "The royal family has gotten used to the sort of digital means of communication and he will no doubt be in touch with the family."
The expected actions come after several high-profile shootings and pressure from Democrats and advocacy groups
PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN IS reportedly planning to announce a series of executive actions on Thursday aimed at curbing gun violence.
Politico first reported the news and press secretary Jen Psaki appeared to confirm it during a press conference, though she did not elaborate on the details.
The expected actions will focus on tightening restrictions on so-called "ghost guns" – homemade or makeshift firearms that do not have serial numbers. The announcement comes after several high-profile shootings and pressure from Democrats and advocacy groups.
While any additional actions are uncertain, sources speculate Biden could announce regulations on concealed assault weapons, prohibitions on firearm purchases for people convicted of domestic violence crimes and federal guidance on home safety gun storage.
Another announcement the president could make on Thursday is the introduction of his nominee for director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
While the White House declined to comment on any potential gun-related actions, a senior administration official recently confirmed that the administration was concluding its actions and could announce them in stages, Politico reported.
Biden has been facing pressure to act more swiftly on gun control measures, and 100 House Democrats wrote to him last week urging him to take action on concealed assault-style firearms, which are similar guns to the one used in a Colorado shooting last month that killed 10 people.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Vaccine passports being developed to verify COVID-19 immunization status and allow inoculated people to more freely travel, shop and dine have become the latest flash point in America’s perpetual political wars, with Republicans portraying them as a heavy-handed intrusion into personal freedom and private health choices.
They currently exist in only one state — a limited government partnership in New York with a private company — but that hasn’t stopped GOP lawmakers in a handful of states from rushing out legislative proposals to ban their use.
The argument over whether passports are a sensible response to the pandemic or governmental overreach echoes the bitter disputes over the past year about masks, shutdown orders and even the vaccines themselves.
Vaccine passports are typically an app with a code that verifies whether someone has been vaccinated or recently tested negative for COVID-19. They are in use in Israel and under development in parts of Europe, seen as a way to safely help rebuild the pandemic- devastated travel industry.
They are intended to allow businesses to more safely open up as the vaccine drive gains momentum, and they mirror measures already in place for schools and overseas travel that require proof of immunization against various diseases.
But lawmakers around the country are already taking a stand against the idea. GOP senators in Pennsylvania are drawing up legislation that would prohibit vaccine passports, also known as health certificates or travel passes, from being used to bar people from routine activities.
“We have constitutional rights and health privacy laws for a reason,” said Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, a Republican. “They should not cease to exist in a time of crisis. These passports may start with COVID-19, but where will they end?”
Benninghoff said this week his concern was “using taxpayer money to generate a system that will now be, possibly, in the hands of mega-tech organizations who’ve already had problems with getting hacked and security issues.”
A Democratic colleague, Rep. Chris Rabb of Philadelphia, sees value in vaccine passports if they are implemented carefully.
“There’s a role for using technology and other means to confirm people’s statuses,” Rabb said. “But we do have concerns around privacy, surveillance and inequitable access.”
Republican legislators in other states have also been drafting proposals to ban or limit them. A bill introduced in the Arkansas Legislature on Wednesday would prevent government officials from requiring vaccine passports for any reason, and would ban their use as a condition of “entry, travel, education, employment or services.”
The sponsor, Republican state Sen. Trent Garner, called vaccine passports “just another example of the Biden administration using COVID-19 to put regulations or restrictions on everyday Americans.”
President Joe Biden’s administration has largely taken a hands-off approach on vaccine passports.
At a news conference this week, Andy Slavitt, acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said he considered them a project for the private sector, not the government.
He said the government is considering federal guidelines to steer the process surrounding vaccine passports. Among its concerns: Not everyone who would need a passport has a smartphone; passports should be free and
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