At the same time as the 8th gen auditions in Japan, there was another audition in Beijing, China. The result of that was Junjun. Linlin was recommended to Tsunku by a friend and joined the H!P eggs. After seeing her perform at concerts, he was impressed by her abilities. Tsunku says that these two will be key for their planned expansion into Asia for their 10th anniversary year.
Junjun and Linlin will be considered part of 8th Gen along with Mitsui Aika. While Aika was chosen for her singing abilities, these two impressed Tsunku with their experience on the piano and other instruments.
[UPDATE 5] Announcement of the new members, from Hello Morning 2007.03.18
(thanks reyfer & turbos86 & thumbster)
[UPDATE 4] Linlin's been active as a tv personality since 2nd grade of elementary school (appearing in TV dramas and as tv show host).
They will be on Yossi's graduation concert which will be held on May 6th, but they won't take part in the recording for the new single which will release on april 25th.
They are delighted at the fact they're the new members and say that they're looking forward to seeing the mm members.
Officially, Morning Musume's cds are not available in china, but there're lots of mm-fan clubs for some reason. Tsunku says that they're the important key persons to open a gate for Asia and they will open up the door of the new evolution of mm and Hello! Project.
The other mm members will see them for the first time on the hello project tour in Kanagawa harmony-hall Zama.
[UPDATE 3]: Sanspo reports the following: Tsunku has kept the project top secret since last year. To begin with, he got the unsuccessful candidates of the "super girl" audition (held in China) together, then gave an audition in Beijing. There, he picked Junjun up, who is a tall girl with an angelic smile.
The other members were told the news on March 14th. Yoshizawa says, "It was really sudden, so I was surprised. Honestly, I still don't get what the hell is going on." At the end of the article it's said that it's likely that there will be another member added from other countries in Asia, like Korea.
The two new members will appear on Hello! Morning for the first time on March 18th!
Here are their profiles:
Junjun Real name: Li Chun
DOB: February 11th, 1988 (19 years old)
Birthplace: The Hunan Province of China
Musical Background: Two years of piano
Hobbies & specialties: Singing and performing
Language: English (beginner's class level)
Favourite artist: Lin Jun Jie, Cyndi Wang Experience: 2006 Super Girl Audition, Changsha Area, winning a prize for being in the top 50 [UPDATE 1] YouTube video of Junjun:
[UPDATE 2: more Linlin pics] Linlin Real name: Qian Lin
DOB: March 11th, 1991 (16 years old)
Birthplace: Zhejiang Province, China
Specialty: Hosting, performing, imitations, singing, dancing, piano, guitar, swimming, etc.
Experience: In the 2nd year of grade school, was scouted by a local television station. Ever since then, has had a lot of activity in the entertainment industry such as appearing in TV dramas and hosting shows.