(Again, I’m late for this. I’m so sorry!)
Ever since she was a child, Jeon Goeum hasn't had an easy life. Her mother left the family out of the blue for reasons she never got to know, which meant that she and her father were on her own, facing mockery and bullying over their lack of wealth.
Things got a turn when her father found love again, believing he’d finally met the woman of his life. To him, Jeon Haena was the reason to keep going, to never give up. They eventually got married, and began living happily with their respective daughter.
That’s it right? Of course not. Only four years later, Changyun got really ill. He never recovered, and eventually passed away after eight months of suffering. That’s when Haena started showing her true colors.
To date, she and two of her daughters, Chaeyul and Chaean, still rejoice whenever they see Goeum in trouble. They pride themselves in handing her the hardest, most time-consuming chores, but barely give their own contribution.
Only Haena’s youngest daughter, Chaeyoung, stays out of the relentless bullying against Goeum. She’s often left out, which is why Goeum sees a confidant in her. This, of course, doesn’t sit well with Haena, who accuses Goeum of manipulating her daughter.
Such accusations make our heroine’s confidence take a plunge. She feels unwanted, as if there’s no place for her in the world. That is, until she, while returning home from school, finds a billboard advertising an audition which says, ‘Wanna be the next big idol? Come and take part in the GLOBAL AUDITION. We’ll tour all the big cities in Korea to find talent, passion and drive!’
Goeum’s desire of becoming an idol crashes with Haena’s harsh denial of letting her audition. “Chaeyul and Chaean will take part, you won’t! Anyway, you barely have any talent, or anything to present! You’ll stay here and clean this house while my daughters become stars.”
Haena’s words don’t demotivate her. Instead, they make her even more determinate to follow her dream. All she has to do is to prepare a performance, pick a good outfit, and find a babysitter for Chaeyoung, along with a good excuse in case she gets caught.
She only has two days to turn her plan into action; still, she’s also expected to do her chores. She begs Chaeyul and Chaean for help, but they refuse and instead keep torturing her with their shrill voices. She can only rehearse at night, in secret, hoping that no-one hears or sees her.
The day of the audition has come. Haena and the two shrill crows have already left the house. Goeum is still at home, revising the plan and waiting for the babysitter, whom Chaeyoung refers to as the “Fairy Godmother.”
She only has one hour left before it starts and can’t be late, or she’ll miss the chance of a lifetime and be stuck forever with her stepmother and stepsisters as their servant. Fortunately, Seolhee, the nanny, is here to save the day. Not only she offers to do the chores, but also to take her to the audition in time.
The three of them leave the house and arrive just five minutes before it begins. Goeum sticks out as a sore thumb among the auditionees. She hoped to be able to hide better with her wig, cap and baggy clothes; the only thing she has earned is mockery.
In turns, the girls running for a spot in the company perform their signature songs, showcasing varying levels of vocal skills. Then, Goeum takes the stage and surprises the audience with a neatly executive choreography. She ends her performance with a touching rap verse.
‘You can’t touch me / You can’t crush me / Pick my pieces up / Go away, bully / You can’t chase me / Run, run, run, run or you’ll die.’
The entire hall falls silent. Haena, who doesn’t recognize her, retreats in her seat in shame. Her feeling finds further confirmation as Chaeyul and Chaean, who’re next in line, squeal and scream on stage, embarrassing everyone.
The following day, life seems to have gone back to normal, except for the fact that Haena is aware that her daughters are unlikely to make it past that audition. At least, she’s sure Goeum won’t overshadow them. That is, until she receives a letter from the casting agency. Haena opens it before her and lets out a scream.
“How the hell is that possible? You lied to me, didn’t you? I told you not to show up to that audition!” The more Haena shouts, the more Goeum ignores her. The letter has just proven her right, and her stepmother wrong.
“You know what? You might have the connection and the money for your daughters, but they also need to do their part if they want to be idols. I worked hard to follow their dream. Did they?” Goeum’s words are enough to trigger Haena’s furious reaction, prompting the latter to kick her out.
Even though she has no roof over her head, she’s still confident that, with her perseverance and hard work, she’ll make it. Time’s on her side, now she needs to make it count.