On Sunday, Hello! Project idol group S/mileage held an event to celebrate the 1-year anniversary of their major label debut. During the event, a video message from producer Tsunku announced that the group will hold an audition for a new member, limited to girls in junior high or high school.
In the video message, Tsunku congratulated the four S/mileage members on their anniversary, but then he suddenly declared that “S/mileage is missing something.” As a result, he decided to hold the group’s first new member audition. The news came as a surprise to all of the fans, and apparently to the group’s members as well. He further added that there is a possibility of a demotion as well, causing an uproar among the crowd.
The number of new recruits has not yet been decided, but they may be added as early as September. Interview rounds for the audition will be held in Shibuya on three weekends in June (June 4-5, 11-12, 18-19). The passing applicants are planned to be announced on August 14. It is said that Tsunku and the current members may be present at the interviews.
S/mileage currently consists of Ogawa Saki, Maeda Yuka, Wada Ayaka, and Fukuda Kanon. The group launched in 2009 and released their first single that year, then went major in May 2010. Their next single, “Uchoten LOVE,” is being released on August 3.