After all that stat-grinding, the girls still managed to fail their auditions! For the non-players, auditions are essentially a series of tests that serve to boost an idol's ranking, which in turn opens up the path to gigs such as commercial spots and drama appearances. Merely releasing albums and singles alone are not going to cut it, so you really have to appreciate the amount of hard work these girls pour into their profession.
One aspect of the whole idol business I would really like to touch on is the concept of "sub-units". But before I go into that, A1 has used it cleverly to allocate equal amount of coverage for all the girls, so hats off to them. Now, in addition to performing as a whole group, the girls are sometimes split into mini groups also known as sub-units. There are a number of reasons why this is done - the most common one is for the members to try out different performing styles not usually associated with the main group, in order to appeal to a different audience. Try and figure out who a sub-unit consisting of the youngest members would appeal to If it works, the sub-units are retained, and if not, back to the drawing board. The fleeting nature of sub-units is also one of its advantages.
Of course, another reason why members are shuffled around to form sub-units is to strengthen the bond between all of them. In a group that consist of so many members, it makes more sense to split them apart so they can learn about and from each other more efficiently. And because there is no such thing as the one perfect idol, the mixing and matching of members help to simultaneously accentuate their strengths and overcome their weaknesses. Say Iori and Yayoi are the more vocally capable members in their unit, but they are however not that adept in dancing. As such, the Futami twins will cover for them by singing fewer lines and make it up by prancing about more.
While it was not much, I hope I have enlightened you a bit more on how real life idols function. With that knowledge in mind, perhaps you too, can enjoy The iDOLM@STER the same way I have
Oh boy, my worst fears have been confirmed. The appearance of this smug asshole is by no means a coincidence, because if you do not already know, he makes up one third of the faggot brigade that are rivals to our girls. I did not mention this in my previous post, but another reason as to why I looked forward to the inclusion of Producer-san was that having a male character would have shut the yurifags up a bit. Unfortunately, I got more than what I bargained for, so I guess we will be seeing Jupiter in action soon.