DSP Media idol Youngji Heo was chosen as the new fourth member of South Korean girls’ group KARA on Tuesday during the “KARA Project Survival Audition” program. Heo was chosen by fan votes, with the three other finalists being Chaewon Kim, Sojin Ahn, and former PURETTY member So-min Jeon. Yooji Son and former PURETTY members Chae-kyung Yoon and Shi-yoon Cho were eliminated from the race in the previous round.
The renewed group will release their first single with Heo in Japan on August 27, and the group will go on tour in October. The audition to find a new member for Kara began shortly after members Nicole and Jiyoung left the group in January.
The Japanese official website for PURETTY had announced in May that PURETTY would be disbanding due to its membersHye-in Yoo and Jae-eun Jeon graduating the group. Yoo left the group in order to focus on her career as an actress, while the youngest member of the group Jeon left to focus on her studies.
PURETTY, a “little sister” group to Kara, formed in 2012 to appear in the Pretty Rhythm Dear My Future anime for girls, and performed the “Cheki Love” (Check It Love) and “Shuwa Shuwa Baby” (Fizz Fizz Baby) ending theme songs for the series. In addition to appearing in the live-action portion of the show, the girls also inspired characters named after them in the anime itself (seen below; from left to right, Jae Eun, Shi Yoon, Hye In, Chae Kyoung, and So Min).
The group Kara has performed theme songs for the live-action adaptation of Yoko Kamio‘s Boys Over Flowers manga, as well as for the South Korean broadcast of Naruto Shippūden. The original five members of Kara also inspired an anime featuring animated versions of themselves titled Kara The Animation.
Update: Error corrected. Thanks, checarlos87.