Harman Patil (Editor)

I Am a Singer

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Country of origin  South Korea
No. of episodes  48
Original network  MBC
Presented by  Yoon Jong Shin
Genre  Reality television
Original language(s)  Korean
Running time  110 minutes
First episode date  6 March 2011
Number of episodes  48
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Producer(s)  Shin Jung-su Kim Yu-gon Lee Beong-huk Jun Sung-ho Kim Ming-jong
Network  Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation
Cast  Lena Park, Kim Bum‑soo, Kim Kyung‑ho, Yoon Min Soo, Jang Hye‑jin
Similar  Sunday Night, King of Mask Singer, Immortal Song 2: Singing t, Global Homestay, Hello! Stranger

I Am a Singer (Hangul: 나는 가수다; RR: Naneun Gasuda) is a popular South Korean singing competition program; a part of MBC's Sunday Night lineup. Seven talented, veteran Korean singers perform for a selected audience, which votes to eliminate one singer after each week's performance. The following week, another singer joins the competition, and the lineup of artists varies throughout the course of the show. The program ended its first season on February 19, 2012. Its second season ended in May 2012. Its third season ended on April 24, 2015.


I Am a Singer differs from other televised music competitions in that the participants are all veteran musicians who have established music careers varying from mega stardom to relative obscurity. Due to this fact, and because none of the accomplished singers desire to be voted last amongst their peers and eliminated, the level of performance is usually high and acclaimed by critics and viewers alike.

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The show is divided into rounds. Each round consists of two performance episodes, one that is preliminary and the second final performance which determines the lowest ranking contestant to be eliminated. In between performance are also separate intermediate episodes that document the singers' progress and rehearsals.

Contestants are popular and prominent artists from various genres of the Korean music industry. Each contestant is paired with a "manager", seven Korean entertainers and comedians who serve as mentors, accompany their singers throughout the week to provide support during rehearsals and provide comic relief to the show.

The competition is documented by the week. At the beginning of the 1st performance week, each contestant selects a song of their choice. All contestants spend the week practicing and planning, given free rein on the interpretation of their songs and the staging of their performances. After the performance, votes from the 500-member studio audience determine the singers' rankings, although there is no elimnation.

For the 2nd performance week, the singers gather and are assigned predetermined songs that fit their vocal range and style, and the rest of the week is spent in rehearsals and consulting with other musicians. These intermediate episodes include sample performances in the middle of the week, allowing the contestants to exhibit their progress in front of fellow competitors. The competitors privately vote for 1st and 7th place, determining the singers' rankings to serve as a checkpoint.

Final performances are given, again, in front of a live audience. At the end of the performances, the audience casts votes for three favorites. The results are revealed sans audience to the contestants and managers, ranking competitors from first to seventh. The lowest-ranking competitor is eliminated, and the next week sees a new singer added to the competition.

Starting from Season 2 Round 1, the average of both performance scores is taken and the contestant with the lowest total of votes is eliminated, as new contestant replace him/her.

Singers who survive 7 times in a row graduate from the program.

Competition Results

  • P = Pass, E = Eliminated, G = Graduated, L = Voluntarily Left, R = Re-challenge
  • Season 1, Episodes 1-3: Round 1

    Episode 1 - 1st Performance

  • Broadcast: March 6, 2011
  • Episode 2 - Interim Check

  • Broadcast: March 13, 2011
  • Episode 3 - 2nd Performance

  • Broadcast: March 20, 2011
  • Eliminated: Kim Gun-mo
  • Episode 4: Redux and Controversy

  • Broadcast: March 27, 2011
  • Kim Gun-mo was eliminated on Episode 3, but the singers all felt that it was too early to be eliminated so he was brought back to try again. This angered the viewers since there were rules in place prior to broadcasting that a singer with the lowest ranking would be eliminated which will help bring new singers into the program.

  • Eliminated: Jung Yeob
  • Episode 5: Managers' Special

  • Broadcast: April 24, 2011
  • Due to the controversy with Kim Gun-mo being eliminated and returning, this episode showed the manager's point of view of the broadcasts and the singers thus far.

    Episode 6: Exhibition and New Singers

  • Broadcast: May 1, 2011
  • The program started again with a new season, taking both Kim Gun-mo (who was originally eliminated) and Jung Yeob (who was newly eliminated) out of the competition. Baek Ji-young withdrew, citing that the program was too competitive for her, and three new singers were introduced. This was an exhibition episode; no one was eliminated.

    Season 2, Episodes 7-9: Round 1

    Episode 7 - 1st Performance

  • Broadcast: May 8, 2011
  • The contestants sing a song they want to sing.

    Episode 8 - Interim Check

  • Broadcast: May 15, 2011
  • Episode 9 - 2nd Performance

  • Broadcast: May 22, 2011
  • Eliminated: Kim Yeon-woo
  • Episodes 10-12: Round 2

    Episode 10 - 1st Performance

  • Broadcast: May 29, 2011
  • Episode 11 - Interim Check

  • Broadcast: June 5, 2011
  • Episode 12 - 2nd Performance

  • Broadcast: June 12, 2011
  • Eliminated: Lee So-ra
  • JK Kim Dong-wook withdrew from the competition due to making a lyrical mistake in his performance.
  • Episodes 13-15: Round 3

    Episode 13 - 1st Performance

  • Broadcast: June 19, 2011
  • Episode 14 - Interim Check

  • Broadcast: June 26, 2011
  • Episode 15 - 2nd Performance

  • Broadcast: July 3, 2011
  • Eliminated: BMK
  • Episodes 16-18: Round 4

    Episode 16 - 1st Performance

  • Broadcast: July 10, 2011
  • Episode 17 - Interim Check

  • Broadcast: July 17, 2011
  • Episode 18 - 2nd Performance

  • Broadcast: July 24, 2011
  • Eliminated: Ock Joo-hyun
  • Episodes 19-21: Round 5

    Episode 19 - 1st Performance

  • Broadcast: July 31, 2011
  • Episode 20 - Interim Check

  • Broadcast: August 7, 2011
  • Episode 21 - 2nd Performance

  • Broadcast: August 14, 2011
  • Eliminated: Yoon Do-hyun
  • Honor Graduation: Park Jung-hyun, Kim Bum-soo
  • Episode 22: Graduation and Exhibition

  • Broadcast: August 21, 2011
  • Three new singers are introduced into the competition. All contestants performed one of their own songs. This is an exhibition episode; no one was eliminated.

  • Graduation Performance: Park Jung-hyun and Kim Bum-soo singing 사랑보다 깊은 상처 (Im Jae-bum, Park Jung-hyun)
  • Episodes 23-25: Round 6

    Episode 23 - 1st Performance

  • Broadcast: August 28, 2011
  • Episode 24 - Interim Check

  • Broadcast: September 4, 2011
  • Episode 25 - 2nd Performance

  • Broadcast: September 11, 2011
  • Eliminated: Kim Jo-han
  • Episodes 26-28: Round 7

    Episode 26 - 1st Performance

  • Broadcast: September 18, 2011
  • Episode 27 - Interim Check

  • Broadcast: September 25, 2011
  • Episode 28 - 2nd Performance (Cho Yong-pil Special)

  • Broadcast: October 2, 2011
  • The contestants performed songs of their choice by Cho Yong-pil.

  • Eliminated: Jo Kwan-woo
  • Episodes 29-31: Round 8

    Episode 29 - 1st Performance (Duet Special)

  • Broadcast: October 9, 2011
  • Episode 30 - Interim Check

  • Broadcast: October 16, 2011
  • Insooni had a performance at Carnegie Hall and was absent. The lowest ranking is 6th place.

    Episode 31 - 2nd Performance

  • Broadcast: October 23, 2011
  • The contestants and managers were flown to Melbourne, Australia, where they held a special concert for the 2nd performance at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl to an audience of 2,000. Unlike previous final performances, there was no predetermined setlist and all contestants performed a song of their choice.

  • Eliminated: Jo Kyu-chan
  • Episode 32: Australia Exhibition

  • Broadcast: October 30, 2011
  • Seven former contestants and graduates accompanied the current singers to Melbourne, where they also performed songs of their choice. The audience also voted to rank the singers, although no one was eliminated.

    Episodes 33-35: Round 9

    Episode 33: 1st Performance

  • Broadcast: November 6, 2011
  • Episode 34: Interim Check

  • Broadcast: November 13, 2011
  • Episode 35: 2nd Performance (Switch Special)

  • Broadcast: November 20, 2011
  • The contestants performed another contestant's original song.

  • Eliminated: Jang Hye-jin
  • Episodes 36-38: Round 10

    Episode 36: 1st Performance

  • Broadcast: November 27, 2011
  • Episode 37: Interim Check

  • Broadcast: December 4, 2011
  • Episode 38: 2nd Performance (Sanullim Special)

  • Broadcast: December 11, 2011
  • The contestants performed songs of their choice by Sanullim or song that Sanullim's member compose.

  • Eliminated: Insooni
  • Episodes 39-41: Round 11

    Episode 39: 1st Performance

  • Broadcast: December 18, 2011
  • The contestants sing a song they want to sing.

    Episode 40: Interim Check

  • Broadcast: December 25, 2011
  • Episode 41: 2nd Performance

  • Broadcast: January 1, 2012
  • The contestants performed a former contestant's original song.

  • Eliminated: Bobby Kim
  • Honor Graduation: Jaurim
  • Episodes 42-44: Round 12

    Episode 42: 1st Performance

  • Broadcast: January 8, 2012
  • The contestants sing a song they want to sing.

    Episode 43: Interim Check

  • Broadcast: January 15, 2012
  • Episode 44: 2nd Performance

  • Broadcast: January 22, 2012
  • The contestants sing a song their choice by O.S.T

  • Eliminated: Tei
  • Honor Graduation: Yoon Min-soo
  • Episodes 45-47: Round 13

    Episode 45: 1st Performance

  • Broadcast: January 29, 2012
  • The contestants sing a song they want to sing.

    Episode 46: Interim Check

  • Broadcast: February 5, 2012
  • Episode 47: 2nd Performance

  • Broadcast: February 12, 2012
  • Eliminated: None
  • Honor Graduation: Kim Kyung-ho
  • Chinese franchise

    In 2013, Hunan Television purchased the rights for a Chinese adaptation of the show, titled "我是歌手", which premiered on January 18, 2013 and ended on April 12, 2013, they used a 2 rounds per set rule, so whoever gets the least votes on the set gets eliminated, and will be replaced; contestants includes(d) Yu Quan, Terry Lin, Laure Shang, Chyi Chin (retired due to health issues before set number 4, round 7 in total), Aska Yang, Winnie Hsin, Julia Peng, Susan Huang, Zhou Xiaoou, Sha Baoliang, Chen Ming and Paul Wong.

    With the introduction of the wheel of fortune, every odd rounds are free song choices (songs sung by other artists, unless if you are the replacement singer on debut); on even weeks, the song choices will be decided by the wheel. From set number 5, elimination rules apply, there will be a round of repechage due to Chyi Chin's retirement (round 11, with Aska Yang winning the repecharge), with round 12 being the semi finals, with round 13 (April 12) being the 4-hour grand final, thus there is no graduation program in the Chinese version. The winner of this program was Yu Quan, and Terry Lin got the second place.

    In 2014, there is second season.

    In 2015, there is third season.

    In 2016, there is fourth season.

    Cambodian franchise

    Hang Meas HDTV will be televised a Cambodian version of this show, called "I am a Singer Cambodia". The first season starts live televising on August, 23rd 2016.


    I Am a Singer Wikipedia