The Shooting Star Queen Cup (シューティングスタークイーンカップ Shūtingu Sutā Kuīn Kappu) is regarded as one of the most influential auditions for idols of all time; it is even more influential and harder than the Star Queen Cup. The competition is held annually, over the course of a week, at the Shooting Star Idol Stadium in Tokyo, Ichikawa City.
It is only a recently created competition, the first one being hosted in the early-2000s, but it is one of the most famous and well known competition for idols and fans alike for being the home of the year's most spectacular and anticipated event. Tickets are very hard to get and very expensive due to the high demand. Idols train extremely hard because it is one of the hardest auditions they ever tried out.
Only the winners of the school's finale cup and/or the school's top ranking idol can participate; former winners of the school's finale cup are also allowed to participate. Shooting Star Academy high school students enter automatically, but high school students from other idol schools have to compete in the Shooting Star Queen Cup Entry Audition to see which schools will compete with Shooting Star Academy; former winners of the school's finale cup have to compete in the Shooting Star Comeback Audition. Due to the difficulty and the high stakes of the competition, only high school students are allowed to enter. Then the idols all perform and semi-finalists are chosen, and they all perform on one big stage together. If you don't perform a special appeal by the end of the performance, you are automatically disqualified from the competition. The finals come after the semifinals come and the two top idols of the two idol schools compete against each other to see who is the top idol of all top idols.
Unlike the Star Queen Cup, the Shooting Star Queen Cup has special dresses made for the participants called Shooting Star Queen Cup Dresses; one dress for the opening ceremony/first round, one dress for the modeling competition/third round, and one dress for live competition/fourth round. This is mandatory because if a participant is not wearing their special dresses, they will not be allowed to participate and will be automatically disqualified. It is a good idea for the headmasters or headmistresses of the participating schools to reserve a top designer to design their idols' Shooting Star Queen Cup Dresses as soon as possible, as the dresses are said to take anywhere from 6 months to a whole year to design. The dresses are very elaborate and very fancy with shooting star and glitter motifs, hence the name Shooting Star Queen Cup.
Rounds and Ceremonies
There is one round each day, including the opening and closing ceremonies which take place on the first and fifth day of the competition respectively:
- The Opening Ceremony/First Round: It consists of an introduction interview of all of the competing idols, footage of their last finale cup from their school and/or the moment they became their school's top idol. This is when the solo live performances start and end. No one gets eliminated in this round.
- The Acting Competition/Second Round: It consists of all the idols together acting out a scene. The scene is randomly selected; the scenes are: a wedding scene, a classroom scene, a food fight in the school cafeteria scene, a beach scene, a "cops and robbers" scene, an alien invasion scene, a "friend separation" scene, and a search-and-rescue scene. The competitors can select from a list of personality types chosen for the competition; the personality types are: lively, delicate, cheerful, stoic, quiet, playful, energetic, kind, upbeat, ordinary, irritable, uptight, friendly, creepy, reserved, yamato nadeshiko, oujo-sama, aloof, assertive, sensitive, virtuous, mature, lazy, manly, cadet, caring, and carefree. The idols get selected for the semifinals based on how good their acting is.
- The Modeling Competition/Third Round: All of the semi-finalists have a fashion show to a song written by one of the schools that won the Shooting Star Queen Cup Entry Audition that is just for the competition. The two idols that have the most accuracy, grace, skill, and shows off the style of the dress most, get chosen as the finalists and move on to the next round.
- The Live Competition/Fourth Round: The two finalists have a live performance to another song written by one of the schools that won the Shooting Star Queen Cup Entry Audition that is just for the competition. Both idols must perform three or four special appeals, depending on what their maximum is, and they also must bring out their aura as well as the dress' aura; they can also perform more than four special appeals. If they do not, they will be automatically eliminated from the competition; the person who met the qualifications will automatically be declared the winner.
- The Closing Ceremony: The idols' rankings in the competition are announced, and the winner of the competition is declared. Then the winner is crowned the Shooting Star Queen and is given an elaborate gold sash with "Shooting Star Queen" written in cursive silver letters, a gold crown with gems of the winner's choice, a color cape of the winner's idol type made from satin trimmed with faux fur, and a scepter made entirely out of platinum. After the "coronation" of the newly crowned Shooting Star Queen, a huge party is held with balloons, confetti, streamers, cake, ice cream, and all sorts of foods and beverages.
Rewards and Benefits
Winning the Shooting Star Queen Cup has many rewards and benefits:
- A 1st place idol ranking if not already in 1st place.
- Bragging rights.
- A private brand or a special premium rare coord of private brand if the winner already has one.
- A special campaign rare coord from the winner's brand of choice.
- A special fever coord from the winner's brand of choice.
- Becoming a school representative model if the winner is not already one.
- Access to top designer conferences and school staff meetings.
- Room service for some schools and 24-hour room service for other schools.
- A private dorm for the winner in some schools and a private manor for the winner in other schools.