A cappella group ALT48 have far fewer members than the teen-idol group from Tokyo, but they do have something extra.
For unlike AKB48, they are eligible for Fukuoka Now magazine’s talent show for non-Japanese, and the assistant language teachers hope to win the ¥100,000 top prize.
Formerly called “Gaijin Idol”, the show is the second installment of the glitzy American Idol-inspired event, and the organizers want to “introduce talented foreigners to the city.” Acts representing the United States, Latvia, Britain and France will all attempt to inherit the crown of last year’s winner Jovana Bardiaux, of Serbia.
“Gaikokujin Star Tanjo” takes place on Nov. 22 at JR Kyushu Hall in Hakata-ku, Fukuoka (7 p.m. till midnight). Tickets cost ¥1,000. For more information, visit www.gaijinidol.com.