Recently on popular idol group Kis-My-Ft2's program, aptly titled KisuMai Busaiku, background memeber Senga Kento shed tears of happiness for placing in the top slot not once, but twice. For those unfamiliar with the program, in each episode the members do a challenge and are ranked based on their performance. The lowest ranking member gets the title of "busaiku" or the most ugly. The rankings are supposedly based off the thoughts and opinions of women ages 18-35 who are not fans. The program's premises is based off the large number of search engine results that appear when the term "Kisumai Busaiku" is searched. Busaiku is a term that basically means ugly or unappealing.
For the duration of the program's run so far, the main three of the group, or Tamamori Yuta, Fujigaya Taisuke, and Kitayama Horimitsu have consistently placed in the top three positions based on their performances on the challenges. This is all too coincidental, because those members are also the faces of the group and are promoted the most, get more dramas roles, and are featured more prominently on album cover art and in music videos. The other four members are constantly relegated to the back, to the point where only dedicated fans of the group know their names or faces. These four members consistently rank lower in the challenges, with one occasionally getting a higher rank. Given the composition of the group, this is a little too coincidental. *ahem*
So, it can come as no surprise that a background member who finally placed in the top slot on the program was elated to the point of tears for finally getting a chance to shine. Senga Kento achieved the top spot in not one but two challenges, the challenges being "Words of encouragment to your depressed girlfriend during a karaoke date" and "the text message you would send to your wife after staying late at a drinking party."
At the end of the episode, Senga openly cried at the happiness of finally reaching the top spot. One might think that it isn't an occassion to shed tear for, but for a member of a popular group who is literally always pushed to the back, it may well be an emotional moment. Up until now, the only solo activities Senga has has are roles in the dramas Shinryochu and Higashino Keigo Mysteries (if this is incorrect please correct me!). Another one of the background four, Nikaido Takashi has also had a role in the drama Bad Boys J. Other than that, solo activities for the members are sparse.
In related news (also late, sorry again) in another past episode, SMAP member Nakai Masahiro guest starred. When he appeared on stage, he openly greeted the main three members and casually brushed off the other four members, brashly stating that he did not know them (it's that serious that their own senpai doesn't know their own faces?! A serious case of "senpai doesn't notice me"). Nakai expressed concern over the composition of the group, saying that he had never seen such a composition in the entire history of Johnny's Entertainment. At the end of the episode, he asked if the other four had ever thought of doing their own song. Nakai then said that he would write a song for the four members to perform for themselves. The elated members celebrated while Nakai walked off stage. As far as I know no other information has been released about this project.
SO, could this mean a change in store for the group? Will the four "background" members get their own single? What do you fans think?
*note- The videos provided are not subbed but if you know where to find subbed videos of Kisumai Busaiku please post.
source 1, source 2, Senga Kento dramawiki