The End of a Center Nova
At the first time I knew about the concept of AKB48 and JKT48 respectively, in the blink of an eye I remembered Pussycat Dolls. More or less, concept of 48 Family in general has similarity with this US girl group. I don’t want to discuss about the cultural difference between American and Japan or how they differ in portraying sexual image, except the fact that Pussycat Dolls and JKT48 has two Melodys: Melody Thornton and Melody Laksani :p
Robin Antin, a choreographer, founded pussycat Dolls at 1995. Initially, Pussycat Dolls was a name of modern burlesque trope, which performed regularly at a nightclub in Los Angeles every Thursday night. They had numerous dancer and some guest vocalists. The former famous members were Christina Aguilera, Christina Applegate, and Carmen Electra.
At 2003, Pussycat Dolls locked the recording deal and some members were successfully recasting, they were: Nicole Scherzinger, Carmit Bachar, Melody Thornton, Jessica Sutta, Kimberly Wyatt, and Ashley Roberts. They extended the business into merchandise, reality show TV program, a Las Vegas act (a kind of theater concept in 48 Family), product endorsements, magazine photo shoot (gravure *cough*, gravure) and subgroups.
Pussycat Dolls sold 50 millions copy album worldwide, made them one of the best selling girl group all the time. At 2009, Pussycat Dolls announced their hiatus and later they were disbanded.
The Absoluteness of Nicole Scherzinger
Most people always dubbed Pussycat Dolls as Nicole Scherzinger and friends. It is not just a joke, but that’s a harsh reality. Nicole Scherzinger dominated Pussycat Dolls universe. In every single song, 95% of the song is Nicole’s voice, however Melody Thornton, a member with prominent singing skill only has a role as additional backing vocals and ad-libs.
The focus of every music video is Nicole, and the rest of the members looked like her back dancers. Nicole also took a leader position. Thus, recording company and other business partners are always favored Nicole. Not to mention the privileges went to her, start from private dressing room to limousine. Perfect.
They Rose because of Her, They Fell because of Her, too
Human is not perfect. Nicole Scherzinger is a human. Therefore, Nicole Scherzinger is not perfect. Behind her domination and perfect figure, Nicole is ruthlessly ambitious person and temperamental according to Carmit Bachar, the oldest and the figure of big sister in the group. A shocking confessions that Nicole suffered from bulimia and the failure of her first solo album, sunk the group into the lowest point.
“All of the Dolls are still friends, apart from Nicole. Nicole knows I had a child, my daughter Kaela Rose last year, but she never got in touch. A Pussycat Dolls reunion isn’t out of the question. Five of us — and not Nicole — could happen. But all six? Never. Too much water under the bridge,” stated Carmit Bachar retrieved from The Sun.
What JKT48 Could Learn from Pussycat Dolls
JKT48 could learn how to get toned yet sexy body. No, that’s not my point.
JKT48 should be grateful they are consists of fifty something people (before Nichan and Kariin graduation) but the management still give the room for member rotation and chance for everyone to be a center, not also in music video or theater performance, but also in live or off-air performance, advertising, photo shoot, or talk show interview. The chance doesn’t come twice and all good things come to an end, so everyone has to embrace all of the opportunities and should not waste it.
For any JKT48 member who is currently a center, former center, or soon-to-be-center they can learn a lot from Nicole Scherzinger, especially about how to treat other member when you are on top position. Nicole is great performer, indeed, but being a great performer is never enough because you are not alone in the stage. No matter how flashy the stage, it is the miniature of certain part of our life. (Tilly)