Infamous ‘worst debut stage ever’ singer Ori opens up about experiences & clarifies rumors 15 years later

In both blast-from-the-past and people-I-never-thought-we-would-hear-from-again news, singer Ori granted an interview with Sports Chosun, her first in 15 years since her infamous debut and retirement (grand opening, grand closing personified) on Music Bank with her single “It’s Snowing“.

Following that performance she was widely known as having the worst debut in history, and was followed by rumors and speculation that she was well-connected and/or rich, which was the only reason she got on stage. But Ori clarified in the interview that things were never easy in her life growing up.

“I was not a ‘golden spoon’ child. My father passed away when I was five years old and after that, our family continued to spiral in decline.
I had a hard time during puberty due to not having a father present. The rumors [about my upbringing] were very upsetting to hear.”

As for what she’s doing now, she seems to be living well, though she does reflect on the backlash and the mental damage it inflicted on her.

“I have been working without caring about what kind of job it is. I have worked at an IT company and I also worked at an animal hospital.
There were quite a few people on the streets who have recognized me. They were like ‘Oh! It’s Ori!’
Thinking about it now, I think I had depression at the time. My self-esteem was destroyed.”

At the time, her mother and the CEO of her agency had a conversation and decided to cut ties.

After her performance, Ori’s mother and the agency’s CEO had a serious conversation. “They said they were canceling all my scheduled appearances,” she said. “So, my debut was also my retirement.”

Finally, she apologized for her poor performance back then, and asked for the public to look more positively on her now.

“Criticism about my skills is understandable. I deeply regret my shortcomings,” she expressed. In closing, she borrowed a line from her debut and retirement song, “It’s Snowing,” as a farewell gesture. She sang, “Please forgive me once~ Please see me with kind eyes~ Please forgive me for my past mistake and watch me work diligently with kind eyes.”

Even I still distinctly remember this mess, which is how memorable it was. Reflecting on it, though, it is wild the amount of backlash this generated for a girl who was just 15 at the time.

While her time in the industry didn’t work out the way she wanted, she sure seems to be doing well for herself now, and since she was able to get past the backlash, escaping was probably a blessing in disguise.


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