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From Thug to Idol: Transmigrating to a Survival Show

In a twist of fate, Jun Hao, a ruthless street thug known for his brute strength and sharp instincts, dies at the hand of the boss he served like a slave. When he thought he would die, he saw a screen flash before his eyes—it was a system and a status window! [System integrating: Become A Top Idol] Jun Hao finds himself abruptly transported into the body of Choi Joon-ho, a timid trainee hoping to make it big in the cutthroat world of idols through "Rising Stars," a highly popular idol survival show. In a world unfamiliar to him, where singing, dancing, and charisma reign supreme, Jun Hao must navigate the treacherous waters of an idol survival show or risk losing the life of his beloved younger sister.

SandKastle · Fantasy
Not enough ratings
740 Chs

Rising Stars

"Rising Stars?"

The TV automatically turned on, and a signal song played, the small room resonating with a blissful piano. June remembered it to be last year's signal song. It seemed like this world was the same as the world he lived in. The host of the show was a familiar face, too.

Kang Minho, the most popular young actor of the generation, stood at the very center of the stage. June knew about him since he was also popular in China. Numerous bright lights illuminated his face, making him look deathly pale. The iconic 100 seats were behind him with numbers written in a glittery blue font.

[Have you heard of this show, host?]

Of course, June knew about 'Rising Stars.' It was a highly-popular idol show in Korea, with the first season birthing the most popular girl group—GIRLS' EVOLUTION. After the success of the first season, they started making a boys' season. That, too, became popular, with the group becoming even more successful than GIRLS' EVOLUTION.

They faced backlash during their third season for exploiting the trainees and rigging the results. The birthed group from that season disbanded not even months after.

How does June know all of this? It's because his sister cried her eyes out when they disbanded! Mei Ling had always been interested in these kinds of shows, so she became a fan of each group that came from 'Rising Stars.' She even begged Jun Hao to take her to the past season's disbandment concert. 

There was no doubt that 'Rising Stars' became the blueprint for all other idol shows in Korea. However, even with multiple shows coming out with the same concept, 'Rising Stars' continued to reign on top. This was mainly due to the TV station's mischievous and witty editing. They were the best at recruiting the most handsome and interesting trainees, too.

So, despite their unsuccessful attempt at a third season, it seemed like there were still a decent amount of people who were interested in watching a fourth season.

Based on Joon-ho's status window, he must have been accepted to become the 'comedy relief.' The show knew that not every trainee should be talented, and people like Joon-ho were needed to make the show more interesting.

June focused his attention back on the TV as the signal song faded in the background.

"100 boys. 100 dreams. But only 10 can make their dreams come true! Rising Stars is back with another season. So, ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts and prepare for an unforgettable experience! Get ready to be mesmerized by the talent, amazed by the performances, and inspired by the determination of these 100 boys. Together, let us witness the birth of the next generation of idol superstars! Welcome to the stage, welcome to the magic, welcome to the ultimate idol survival show!" Minho said with vigor, the familiar piano piece escalating.

June can already imagine the comments from the public.

- Rising stars is back again? I'm so excited! I hope more handsome trainees join this time.

- Rising stars? That rigged show? Such a thick face they have for wanting to make another season!

- Shut down Rising Stars! It's a rigged show. Their favorites will debut anyway.

- People are hating, but they're going to watch it again.

- I'm definitely going to be watching.

There were mixed reactions coming from the public. Some loved the idea of a new season, while others still remember the scandals that arose from the third one. One thing's for sure, though—it got the attention that it wanted.

As soon as the commercial aired, the topic rose to become the number 1 trend on Navel, the largest social media platform in the country.

June didn't want to join such a competition, but he couldn't deny that this was one of the best and fastest ways to debut. Then, he can give Mei Ling a good life and possibly get his old life back. He also couldn't wait to find out who his boss really was and give him a taste of his own medicine.

As the commercial ended, June saw the first airing date—July 24, 2023.

He sighed in relief. It's still one year from now! How come they're in such a rush for promotions?

[It's next month, host.]

His eyes widened in surprise. He looked at the old phone in his hands and saw that it was indeed 2023 already.

Then, does that mean that one year had already passed since his death?

[That's right, host.]

[The preliminary interviews will be taking place soon. Make a good impression so they don't replace you, okay?]

"How soon are we talking?"

[Tomorrow.]

"What?" June exclaimed. "Tomorrow? I don't have any skills yet! And have you forgotten that I look like this?" he gestured to his botched face. His injuries made him look scary, so June was sure he would be eliminated even when the show hadn't even started.

[Oh, goodness. I almost forgot, host. Let me use one of my potions really quickly.]

June watched himself in the mirror and waited for the magic to happen.

[System error. Potion had run out.]

[System error. Recharge healing potion.]

"Well?" June asked. "You're taking such a long time."

[Pardon me, host. It seemed like I ran out of the healing potion. I still need to recharge.]

"Then recharge. You have until tomorrow."

[...]

[That's the problem. I'll only be able to recharge when all your skills are at least a D. So until then, you're going to have to look like this.]

June massaged his temples. He looked at his face once more before pacing back and forth. He was already not the most handsome, but now, he had to enter a competition with plenty of facial injuries?

He kept pacing back and forth until he stumbled upon a soft yet sturdy material. He stopped pacing and saw a cute cat mask on the ground. He frowned and picked it up. It was pink with sparkly details. It looked like something Mei Ling would like. Why would Joon-ho have something like this?

June was about to throw it in the trash when he suddenly thought of a brilliant idea. He placed the mask on his face. It was a perfect fit.

He looked at himself in the mirror and smiled when his injuries were finally covered. It also made him appear more handsome since Joon-ho's eyes were the most charismatic part of his face.

"Alright, let's go with this concept," he decided.

If his wounds couldn't be healed on time, then he just had to wear the mask until they were all gone.