SEOUL • Ellen DeGeneres is placing her faith in SuperM even before the South Korean boy band make their debut tomorrow in Los Angeles.
The popular host has already stolen a march on other rival talk show hosts by getting the seven-member group to make an appearance on her Ellen DeGeneres Show on Wednesday.
She is betting on a ratings boost for her show, given that SuperM, made up of members from existing hot Korean boy bands EXO, NCT and Shinee, are certain to be the next "lethal weapon" in the K-pop invasion of America.
Already, boy band BTS have topped the Billboard charts and girl group Blackpink were a headlining act at this year's Coachella music festival in California.
The backers of SuperM are so confident of their drawing power that they have already announced a November tour of the United States, with shows at prestigious venues like New York's Madison Square Garden and Chicago's United Centre lined up.
The excitement over SuperM's debut comes amid a report by Hollywood Reporter that has been slammed by netizens.
They are unhappy that the magazine's survey of the K-pop industry is too bleak in some parts, especially the suggestion that wannabes go through "years learning their craft inside secretive K-pop training camps, where they're sometimes subjected to dangerous diets, strict social rules (no dating), gruelling rehearsal schedules and mandated plastic surgery and skin-whitening procedures".
Some hit out at the magazine for dredging up a painful past with its mention of Shinee singer Jonghyun.
"In 2017, the industry drew intense scrutiny after a member of Shinee... took his own life, writing in his suicide note that he felt 'broken on the inside'."