Jawa Pos Feature on the JKT48 10th Single Election
On Sunday, the daily newspaper Jawa Pos published a full-page feature on the results of the JKT48 10th single election. Jawa Pos is the second largest newspaper in Indonesia by circulation. The first two articles below appeared in the print edition, while the final two articles appeared in the online edition.
Ve Named New Center of JKT48 in Results of Second Senbatsu Sousenkyo
The idol group JKT48 has named the 16 members which will become its face in the public for the upcoming year. Through an ‘election’, Veranda replaced Melody’s position as center.
Jessica Veranda broke into tears when hosts Adi Nugroho and Tiffany Orie announced her name as the member who received the highest number of votes. She immediately covered her face with both hands. On Saturday (May 2), on the stage of Teater Tanah Airku at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII), she seemed to be holding back tears.
The girl affectionately known as Ve had garnered 22,404 votes. She held a slim lead over Haruka Nakagawa, who received 21,882 votes. Meanwhile, last year’s top vote recipient, Melody, slid to third place with 20,107 votes.
“While other members want the number one position, I’m actually terrified,” she said after gaining composure. She is concerned that she will not be able to carry out her duty well in the year ahead as the center of JKT48. One reason is following in the footsteps of Melody’s past success.
She asked fans to accompany her because their support would become a motivation to uphold the name of JKT48. “Will I be as good as Melody? She has been amazing. Please pray for me so that I won’t become a disappointment,” she pled.
It should be no surprise for the girl born on August 19 to be concerned because Ve, alongside 15 other members, will take the lead in representing JKT48. All the successes and struggles of this idol group, which is now in its fourth year in Indonesia’s music scene, now rest on her shoulders.
Member elections were popularized by their ‘sister’, AKB48. In Japan, the spectacle is known as the senbatsu sousenkyo. Elections by fans are held annually, and fans contribute both time and money so that their oshi (favorite member) can become a part of the main team.
Ve will not shy away from following in Melody’s accomplishments as a center. However, it will not be her personality, but rather her leadership style, which will allow for JKT48’s songs to be conveyed positively. Ve will not alter her shy personality because those characteristics form the basis of each member’s support base. “My appearance will depend on the song. If the song is bold, I have to also be assertive,” she asserted.
Ve herself hopes the 10th single will be as dynamic as “River”. She admits wanting to perform another song which requires more energy in singing and dancing.
Meanwhile, Melody conceded her position to Veranda without resentment. She hoped that other members would have the opportunity to achieve a position worthy of them in JKT48. With a total of 64 members, only a select few are often exposed to the public. “Last year, I said that I wanted my juniors to be able to take my position. What’s important is that we continue to support JKT48 together,” she said.
Melody is confident that Veranda can become a better center. The girl from Bandung asked that Ve would protect the trust and the opportunity given to her.
Melody’s statement could be seen as a response to a growing opinion among fans that the 10th single is not given to the traditional frontline members. As a result, several new names not found in the 2014 results have entered the line-up. Among them are Sisil, Andela, Gaby, Ikha, and Sendy.
Waiting for Sisil and Andela to Prove Themselves in JKT48’s Main Team
Two names attract attention in JKT48’s election. They are Sisil of Team KIII and Andela Yuwono, representing Team T. Fans have made great efforts to elevate both names so that the 10th single is not dominated by familiar faces.
Sisil is an example of a JKT48 member who has not been given much opportunity to perform. Of the nine previous singles released by the AKB48 sister group, she has not appeared in a single one. Her fans had also become pessimistic that she could ever become a front liner.
The situation was made worse when a comedian used Sisil as joke material. However, she was able to garner 15,188 votes in this election, which earned her eighth place. Therefore, Sisil, who is known for her humor, became very emotional when she stood up on the stage.
“I didn’t think it would be this bright up here. Thank you for giving me this first experience,” she said while sobbing. The girl formally known as Priscillia Sari Dewi immediately felt the euphoria of being able to stand on the main stage. “I want to be on this stage because I can hear your chants better,” she added.
Fans of Sisil dared to elevate their oshi into the top 16. This is evident from the preliminary results announced by JKT48 management in the beginning and the middle of April. In the first early results, she stood in first place with 2,727 votes. In the second phase, she held sixth place with 6,293 votes. “It makes me very proud to be able to rank so high in the first attempt,” she explained. She felt that her struggles have borne fruit.
In the past, she had initiated several projects in order to attract the attention of fans. She also promised to repay the trust given to her by improving her performances. Meanwhile, Andela represents the younger end of the spectrum from a generational standpoint. The girl born in Semarang in April 1997 has only been in JKT48 for one year. Despite her rookie status, she has gained many fans and became the single representative of the third generation in the senbatsu team.
“The fans have given me their best effort. Now it’s my turn to give my best effort [for the fans],” she said. Although she is still new, she asserts that she is ready to work harder from this point on.
From Senbatsu to Under Girls: Failing to Give the Maximum Effort
Among the names which stood at the top of the 2014 senbatsu sousenkyo (member election), five fell from their rankings at the same event this past Saturday (May 2). They are Hanna, Tata, Yona, and Jeje. A fifth, Rica Leyona, had decided to resign from JKT48.
Following the announcement at Teater Tanah Airku, Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII), Hanna expressed her disappointment with the results of the 10th single election. From her 15th place in 2014, she had slid into 23rd place with 5,882 votes.
“I was disappointed because I haven’t worked hard enough, so I fell,” she said. But she did not want to dwell in her sadness. Hanna aims to improve her efforts so that she can improve at the next election.
The same situation can be found in Tata. She admitted that she is responsible for her own decline in the rankings, from the senbatsu team to the under girls team. According to her, she did not take seriously her fans’ advice of promoting herself more often. The girl who also regular appears on the television serial Bima X admitted of her own apathy.
“My fans go to great efforts to watch out for me, even if I’m sometimes indifferent,” she pointed out. Similar to Hanna, she will evaluate her own behavior so that she can return to the senbatsu team in the following year. Tata promised to not to become depressed and to continue to try to accumulate more fans.
Meanwhile, Jeje cites a recent incident as one reason she failed to maintain her position in the senbatsu team. She felt that the trust placed on her by fans had eroded. Although she has taken steps to re-establish that trust, it has not been an easy recovery.
“Sad, yes. Disappointed, no. Everyone has worked hard, and I’m thankful for my 26th place because it means there are people who still believe in me,” she said.
Expressions of Seven JKT48 Members Named to the Senbatsu Team
This past Saturday (May 2), 32 JKT48 members were selected to participate in the group’s 10th single. After each member’s vote result is announced at the senbatsu sousenkyo, she made a brief speech. Some could not hold back their tears, while others tried to remain composed.
At the event held at Teater Tanah Airku at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII), all members similarly expressed gratitude toward their fans because these fans have worked tirelessly in order to support them. The following is a summary of the expressions of the seven members who earned the highest number of votes.
Ratu Vienny Fitrilya (Team KIII) – 15,876 votes (7th place)
Following the election event, she hoped fans would not grow lenient on her. She would like her fans to continue to point out her mistakes. The 19-year-old girl also asked that fans not hesitate in reprimanding her if she does not work hard enough, because she wanted to become a stronger Vienny.
She made the request because she felt that fans have become comfortable with her current position, but she wanted to become stronger, bolder, and more liked by others. “I don’t want people to support me just as I am. I want people to support me when I’m worthy of that support,” she said.
Shania Junianatha (Team J) – 15,984 votes (6th place)
The girl who joined the first generation of JKT48 at 13 years old felt the strength of her fans. She had reached a point of giving up, but she was able to overcome it with her fans. The girl affectionately known as Shanju also realized how difficult it was for fans to elevate her to sixth place.
Sometimes she wondered why rivalry has to exist in a group, but she came to understand that they have to support and inspire one another. “I thank God for creating the extraordinary people who were able to take me to this place. I want you to continue to climb with me until we reach the top of the ladder,” she said.
Devi Kinal Putri (Team J) – 16,574 votes (5th place)
“Honestly, I only want one thing. I want to be on the cover,” Kinal said. The Team J captain was frustrated because she was not often on the cover of JKT48’s CDs. She wanted to have more things she could be proud of when she leaves JKT48, not just the “River” single that included her on its cover.
Although she did not know what the cover of the 10th single will look like, there is possibility for her wish to be granted with a ranking in fifth place. She was also proud of her fan community, which many had accused of being disorganized, yet they were able to place her in the current ranking.
Andela Yuwono (Team T) – 17,610 votes (4th place)
Many JKT48 fans saw Andela as a rising star at the 10th single election. She attracted attention for having been able to gain the attention of JKT48 fans in just one year. She finished a surprising fourth, surpassing many senior members.
That is why she feels indebted to her supporters. Andela, who was born in Semarang, did not want to disappoint her fans, and she set the goal of taking first place in the next election. “You gave your best efforts for my sake. Now I will work to become the best in JKT48,” she said.
Melody Nurramdhani Laksani (Team J) – 20,107 votes (3rd place)
When her name was called in third place, many did not believe it. Other members also could not hide their astonishment. Melody understood this well. Since the beginning, she has been recognized as the face of JKT48 because she dominates the center position. Yet this election proved otherwise.
Melody failed to maintain her center position, which she earned at the same event in 2014. Despite her sadness, she was delighted to see refreshing changes in the rankings. “I have said before that I want our juniors to be able to experience my position. Thankfully, many of them were able to achieve rankings that were previously unthinkable,” she said.
Haruka Nakagawa (Team J) – 21,882 votes (2nd place)
Recently, this member from the land of the rising sun has begun to appear frequently on the screens. Her activities have increased in the three years in JKT48, and they have begun to grow challenging. She also felt the urge to return to Japan. “I was afraid that I wasn’t strong enough. I was never able to experience this in AKB48,” she admitted.
Fortunately, fans continued to pour their support so that Haruka remained focused. Despite her weaknesses, she promised to continue to do her best. She also asked fans whether it was all right for her to still remain in Indonesia, to which they responded enthusiastically, “Yeah!”
Jessica Veranda (Team J) – 22,404 votes (1st place)
This shy girl feared to take the first place. Her reason was the burden of the shadow of Melody, who has been successful as the center of JKT48. She worried she will not be able to carry out her duties, including as center of the 10th single, well. She did not want to disappoint fans.
However, she believed that every human being can grow through inspiration. For Veranda, the support of fans is one thing which inspires her to become a better person. Fans have helped her open up her feelings from her introverted nature. “I became more confident in myself. I may not be perfect, but please watch over me,” she asked.
These articles originally appeared in Indonesian with the titles Ve Center Baru JKT48, Hasil Senbatsu Sousenkyo Kedua; Menanti Pembuktian Sisil dan Andela di Tim Utama JKT48; Dari Senbatsu ke Undergirls: Gagal karena Kurang Maksimal; and Ekspresi Tujuh Member JKT48 saat Masuk Tim Senbatsu. Original writing and photography by Dhimas Ginanjar unless stated otherwise. Banner photograph courtesy of JKT48 Project, via Global News Asia.