Former Girl’s Generation leader Taeyeon graces the April Issue in Elle Korea.
Artist Taeyeon (30) graced the April issue of ELLE Korea showing off her everlasting beauty. The former idol’s professionalism and chameleon like adaptability is reported to have made all the different lipstick colors (pomegranate red, neon orange, bubblegum pink, ripe plum etc.) give different vibes proving her status as a ‘beauty muse’.
Who isn’t tempted to go buy those lipstick colors? Or her accessories?
Holland, South Korea’s first openly gay K-pop singer, is planning a comeback slated for the end of March.
On Tuesday, singer Holland announced that he would be returning later this month with a new mini-album titled Nar-C on social media. According to the post, he will release his new record on March 31 at 6 p.m. KST.
According to other posts, the singer had made of social media the album will have two songs, including the title track “Nar-C” which will likely be about love. In subsequent teasers, Holland has included a single sentence that points to the theme of the song and album. On Wednesday he wrote “there was a boy who fell in love,” and on Thursday “The two boys have been dating for two years.”
Fans have expressed support and excitement for the first release from the singer since his last song “I’m Not Afraid” in July of last year. Since debuting with the breakthrough “Neverland” at the beginning of 2018, Holland had been praised for pushing the social boundaries of K-pop and for being one of the only LGBTQ figures in the spotlight.
On the 443 episode of SBS’s ‘Running Man’, everyone participated in a race to gather enough funds for the unboxing auction.
The newest episode of SBS’s ‘Running Man’ had all the members in a frenzy to gather interesting objects to fund for the ‘unboxing auction’. Members were told to bring an object that you don’t use but can’t bear to throw away.
Opening scene starts off with the dongsengs making fun of Yoo Jae Suk and Ji Suk Jin for wearing similar jackets.
As each member shared what object they brought for the ‘unboxing race’, members were teased or hurt by some of the items. Interesting segments were Yang Se Chan’s protein powder, Ji Suk Jin’s clothes from the 80s and Kim Jong Kook’s limited edition CD.
Yang Se Chan brought an unopened container of protein powder he had bought at a whim for dieting. When asked if the protein powder was strawberry flavor, Yang Se Chan confirmed yes. Hilariously Haha read the label and pointed out it was actually chocolate flavor. Further telling Yang Se Chan that just because the container is pink doesn’t mean the protein powder is going to be strawberry flavor to everyone’s amusement.
Ji Suk Jin complained of his wife’s tendency to throw things away while introducing his item. Kim Jong Kook commented Ji Suk Jin should be thankful his wife hadn’t thrown him away or else. Ji Suk Jin shared he brought a meaningful item that was when he was a fashionista decades ago.
Kim Jong Kook’s item was Haha’s reggae limited CD box that Haha had gifted a long time ago. Haha expressed his disappointment and pointed out that CD box wasn’t even commercially sold but given to fans during one of his concerts. Kim Jong Kook stated he cherished the CD box but couldn’t really use it. Haha expressed he’s thankful Kim Jong Kook kept it until now instead of trying to sell it on a second hand website. Kim Jong Kook comments he couldn’t sell it since Haha wrote a message to Kim Jong Kook on the CD box.
Once everyone had presented their item, members were divided into teams to try to exchange the items for something more expensive to gather enough finding for their mission. Hence, the members were divided using the PPL (product placement) Samsung’s new phone that now has the fingerprint reader on the front of the screen + wireless earphones chargeable from the phone.
Race to gather items
Each team tries their best to trade their items with various celebrities. Hilariously Ji Suk Jin’s clothes were traded with SF9 members. The clothes that had looked “questionable” became so fashionable when worn by the idols. SF9 members Chani and Rowoon looked ready for the stage in Ji Suk Jin’s clothes.
Lee Kwang Soo’s figure cut out was valued at 10 cents, 2 dollars and later 50 dollars in Hwahakdong. Yoo Jae Suk was amazed at Lee Kwang Soo’s item being valued at 50 dollars even if the offer was for the buyer’s daughter (a huge fan of Lee Kwang Soo). It was funny to see Yoo Jae Suk trying to decrease the price telling the buyer its not worth 50 dollars.
Kim Jong Kook and Haha sell of Kim Jong Kook’s item by comparing Bob Marley giving a CD to Michael Jackson. The show commented on how thick faced Kim Jong Kook and Haha are for daring to sell of the CD for limited edition Michael Jordan sneakers from actor Oh Chang Seok.
Ready for the auction
Each team aimed to gain the most amount of funding to use during the auction to complete this week’s episode. Unfortunately, many were disappointed to learn some of their items had lower value than expected. In the end, Yoo Jae Suk & Lee Kwang Soo ended up gathering the most funding thanks to Yoo Jae Suk’s item-electric guitar.
Each team used the funding from their items to buy the boxes at the auction. From a total of 50 boxes, 10 boxes were reported to have a cellphone that contained clues to completing the mission. Each team gambled on which auction item would have a cellphone for completing the mission. Not surprisingly, Yoo Jae Suk & Lee Kwang Soo had the advantage since their team had the most funding. Ji Suk Jin caused everyone to be exasperated when he kept increasing the bid. Ji Suk Jin would call out the highest bid followed up increasing his bid again for no apparent reason. All the members asked why he would increase his bid when he doesn’t have any competitors.
Winner of this week’s episode
Team Yoo Jae Suk and Lee Kwang Soo successfully bidded for boxes that had clues for completing the mission. For winning the mission, Yoo Jae Suk and Lee Kwang Soo were told they could pick any of the remaining boxes to take home. If it had a cellphone, it was theirs to take.
Yoo Jae Suk and Lee Kwang Soo ended up picking a box with jump rope and an empty box respectively making them the winners but also the losers of the episode. All of their hard work resulted in receiving neither prize nor punishment.
Songs from Queen and BTS were used a lot in the background.
Actor Oh Chang Seok parodied Kim Jong Kook when he is working out. According to Oh Chang Seok, Kim Jong Kook remarks “Its so tasty” when he’s lifting weights. Kim Jong Kook is said to be commenting “his work out is feeding his muscles.”
This week’s episode felt rather bland compared to other episodes. ‘Running Man’ ratings have been on the decline in the recent years but comparing this episode to the most recent episodes, this one was not entertaining as the past ones. There were definitely some funny moments throughout the episode but it didn’t feel especially enjoyable.
On March 10, a member of Kpop’s global idol group Super Junior was once again in the spotlight on MBC’s ‘King of Masked Singers’. He (Chang Young Shil) was able to make it to the third round with many people unable to guess the identity behind the mask. There was a time when the idol’s identity was mentioned in round 1 but no one followed up with that speculation.
When the big reveal finally occurred, everyone was amazed at the idol’s identity. One of the guest panelists was IZ*ONE’s Kwon Eun Bi who speculated Chang Young Shil to be an artist who debuted earlier but was younger than herself. When it was finally revealed to be Super Junior’s main vocalist Ryeo Wook, everyone was as expected very surprised. SuJu’s Ryeo Wook previously participated on the show prior to serving mandatory military service.
Were you able to guess the identity of Chang Young Shil?
Big Bang G-Dragon’s current military status has set off arousing rumors and speculations!
One of Kpop’s biggest boy group, Big Bang, has become a hot topic in the headlines once again! This time, the member in the spotlight is none other than leader G-Dragon about his failure to rank up in the military.
According to OSEN, an article published on March 2nd mentioned G-Dragon wasn’t promoted with his peers [who enlisted around the same time] because he failed to fulfill the requirements to rank up. Many articles had been speculating the reason may be because G-Dragon has taken so many vacation days since he reported for military duty on February 27,2018. Amid such speculations, there were rumors again (GD’s injuries prior to enlisting) about how G-Dragon is trying to avoid active duty.
The rumors about why G-Dragon failed to be promoted were clarified by a military representative who stated taking too many vacation days are never used as a reason to hold back promotions. It was also confirmed G-Dragon is cleared to serve as an active duty soldier during this controversy.
With rumors and speculations still ablaze about G-Dragon’s military life, it does seems like G-Dragon’s military service has been getting an excessive amount of attention for something that may be insignificant. With others speculating G-Dragon’s overemphasized controversy may be to cover up other scandals like Seungri’s investigations, only time will tell.
Meanwhile it’s great to hear reports of G-Dragon not paying much attention to all of this!
This week’s episode of SBS’s Law of the Jungle marked a new season where the team heads to Chatham Islands to experience “the stone age”.
This week’s episode of SBS’s Law of the Jungle in Chatham Islands ranked first in viewership with an average of 13.9% during the entire episode. The highest viewership during the episode was 15.7% giving the show an amazing start for the new season!
This week was the season premiere of SBS’s Law of the Jungle in Chatham Islands is significant since the viewers’ concern that the show’s vision had become compromised was addressed. From the start of the show, the overall goal was that celebrities would leave their glitzy life for a few days in the wild using only natural resources for basic necessities like fire, water, food and bed.
Unfortunately as the show became more popular and invited popular celebrities, at some point everyone was bringing survival tools that defeated the whole purpose of the show. As a result, for the new season that aired on March 2nd, the theme was to “Return to the Basics” by returning to Chatham Islands.
Chatham Islands located 800 kilometers away from New Zealand with only a population of 600. Interestingly, this beautiful place has a 45 minute time difference from New Zealand to everyone’s amazement. This trip consisted of 7 Korean celebrities-Kim Byung Man (leader), Koyote’s Kim Jong Min, Hello Venus Kwon Nana, Nu’est Baekho, Kim In Kwon, Don Spike, Moon Ga Bi-promising a exciting season with lots of laughter!
As unbelievable as it may be, the 2010s will soon be over in just 10 short months! Kpop has had exponential growth in the last few years, which will also determine Kpop’s future for the following decade!
The hallyu wave aka Kpop wave has definitely become more globalized within the last couple years. There is no doubt that in 2019 there will be more Kpop fans as more Kpop idols (BTS, Monsta X, NCT, Oh My Girl, Red Velvet, Blackpink, Sunmi etc.) continue to promote abroad. Especially in the US, thanks mostly to BTS’s success paving the way for Kpop growth this year.
Hollywood is the Kpop market for this year
Based on previous patterns of Kpop idol groups like Wonder Girls, Girl’s Generation, Super Junior, TVXQ etc. many Kpop idols usually extend their fan base to other countries in Asia before pursuing Europe & the Americas. Kpop’s growth in other countries are indeed significant, but given US is home to global names like Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Ed Sherman, Chris Brown, Drake, Justin Timberlake etc. (as well as Kpoplove’s headquarters) Kpop’s future global outlook will focus on the US market for this article.
Kpop before BTS
BTS on American Music Awards (2017)
Just 5 to 10 years ago, prior to BTS’s historical invasion in the US, Kpop was just a new and upcoming genre in the US that originated from a small country in Asia. As a decades old Kpop fan, I can personally attest to instances in the past where people confused North and South Korea and probably couldn’t name any Kpop artist even if their life depended on it.
Other idols’ success in the US
However, this does not mean Kpop has never made its mark in the US. Examining only the idol groups who are no longer “active” meaning either disbanded or no longer actively promoting with all members, idol groups like Wonder Girls and Girl’s Generation have previously tried to break into the US market without as much success as BTS.
JYP’s Wonder Girls (2007-2017) released a single- ‘Nobody’ (2009)- that was No.76 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart as the 1st Kpop group on the Billboard charts. This provided the opening for the group to enter the US market and pursue international activities. Wonder Girls can be considered to have been at the peak of their career in Korea (and Asia) prior to moving to the US in 2009 to focus on US activities. However contrary to expectations, Wonder Girls was unable to continue their momentum and ended up with changing the line-up and regroup back in Korea.
Wonder Girls on Wendy Williams Show (2009)
SM’s Girl’s Generation (2007-present) released a single-’The Boys’ (2012)-officially debuting and promoting in the US a few years after Wonder Girls. Comparing various aspects like promotions, fanbase, hallyu wave’s influence and method, there are so many differences that can explain the different levels of success between the 2 girl groups.
Girl’s Generation on Late Show with David Letterman (2012)
Taking a closer look at how BTS did not need to promote in the US to have the biggest US debut stage of all in 2017 as the 1st Korean group to perform at AMAs, BTS clearly did something that sets them apart from others. Not to mention BTS performed in Korean while Wonder Girls and Girl’s Generation performed in English. Based on BTS’s sucess, BTS’s momentum can only be expected to grow further this year.
BTS’s significant role for Kpop mainstreamed in US
In 2019, there are very few individuals who wouldn’t know what the 3 letters “BTS” refers to in the US. Even if one is completely clueless about Kpop, there is a big chance someone’s family, friend or acquaintance is a BTS fan or BTS ARMY.
Similar to BTS’s predecessors (e.g. legendary Kpop idol groups Girls Generation, Super Junior, TVXQ), BTS became mainstream in Asia a few years ago and became more globally recognized as they made their mark on the Billboard charts in 2015. But unlike other Kpop groups, BTS didn’t make any special plans to promote in the US market soon after their first placement on the Billboard charts. Instead BTS continued to release more content and focused on their music letting time to gradually increase their popularity all over the world.
Why is BTS different?
BTS contributed to further spreading the hallyu wave rather than having to focus on establishing the Kpop wave. Currently in 2019, nearly everyone has a smartphone as opposed to 10 years ago. Internet is easily accessible to many age groups enabling the daily use of social media like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube etc. This has allowed Kpop idols, especially BTS, to focus on interacting with fans and growing their fanbase. BTS members are well known for being very active participants as singers-songwriters within the Kpop industry and renowned for sharing many of their content on SoundCloud or V Live which played a significant role for BTS’s success today.
BTS’s timing may have been what led to BTS’s breakthrough to becoming the biggest Kpop group in the world. Rather than jumping on the first signs of opportunity to pursue international activities, BTS bided their time to focus on their work and to further nurture their talents while waiting for their hard work to come to fruition.
The 7 membered boy group became recognized for their global popularity when selected by international corporations like Puma, LG Electronics, Hyundai Motors etc. as global ambassadors and made significant collaborations with Mattel, Medicome Toy, Netmarble Games, Line Webtoons, Line Friends x BT21 and more!
BTS World Tour & BT21
When BTS had their 3rd world tour last summer, Line Friends x BT21 also officially opened their pop-up store in LA situated amongst Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. As someone who has accompanied various people to this store in August, September, October and December of last year, I can personally affirm the lines were unbelievably long not only when the pop-up store first opened but also for the following months. Amazingly, the lines did not really decrease much every time I had to go.
Most of my experience at this store consisted of standing in line for hours while conversing with other people accompanying their niece or cousin to the store. As to why the lines didn’t decrease much even after BTS finished touring in the US would be since BT21 items were often sold out with limited quantities, unpredictable shipments of new items, new seasonal (Halloween, Christmas) items and such.
Initially the Line Friends store was announced to stay for 3 months. Later, due to high demand, the pop-up was extended to January 2019 with plans to locate permanently. Just the fact that BT21 became popular enough to become a permanent store in LA speaks volumes about BTS’s success in the US. Aside from BT21, BTS is renowned for increasing sales for many associated businesses leading to the birth of the term “BTS effect” from major news outlets as many profit from BTS’s influence. BTS has become symbolic as a guaranteed catalyst to enhance micro and macro economics.
Lots of Kpop events in 2019
Just within 2 months of this year, there have been so many appearances or scheduled appearances of Kpop idols and artists in the US. Just to name a few upcoming events- Girl’s Generation’s Tiffany will be having her first showcase as Tiffany Young in a few days, Sunmi will be having her first world tour next month, BLACKPINK will be at Coachella in April and BTS will be touring the US again in May. Additionally, Red Velvet, Oh My Girl, Hong Jin Young and Dean have already performed in the US within the last 2 months.
BLACKPINK made their official US debut on “Good Morning America” and announced their North American Tour during the interview just awhile back. With so many activities planned in the US for the first half of 2019, many are wondering whether BLACKPINK will be able to have success similar to BTS. There is definitely a lot of potential but as previous idol groups like Wonder Girls and Girl’s Generation have proven, it isn’t easy to accomplish.
As an avid Kpop fan whose biases are mostly the first generation of Kpop idols, I can’t help but feel happy and excited to see how well Kpop is doing in the US. There are many idol groups who have also contributed to Kpop’s success like Monsta X, EXO and annual events like KCON LA or KCON NY. But amongst everything I have read, seen and heard, I want to credit BTS for really opening the door wide open for Kpop to take on the US. There have been many attempts but no one has been as successful as BTS and thanks to that, I think Kpop fans are able to have more opportunities to see their favorite Kpop idols shine for Uncle Sam.
All I could hope for would be that BTS’s continuous momentum ushers in even more opportunities for other Kpop artists to enter the US market. Till the day Kpop can be heard on various iheart radio stations in the US, “Hwaiting” to all Kpop artists!
On this week’s episode of MBC’s I Live Alone titled Love Yourself, the show’s favorite guest, Mamamoo’s Hwasa finally made her reappearance again!
MBC I Live Alone‘s highly popular and anticipated guest was none other than Mamamoo’s Hwasa! Hwasa has previously guest starred on multiple episodes of MBC’s I Love Alone in 2018 causing a sensation after each appearance. In addition, Hwasa ended up taking the rookie trophy home from the MBC Entertainment Awards for her segments on I Live Alone.
Brief background on MBC’s I Live Alone
MBC’s entertainment reality TV program, I Live Alone has been airing every week since March 2013 where cast members and guests view and comment about the current episode. Known for having popular guests (e.g. idols, actors) appear on the show in addition to the hilarious scenes from the cast members, I Live Alone is recognized to be one of the most popular variety shows in Korea. Even MBC’s Omniscient Interviewing Viewcan be said to derived from this show. Current MC Jun Hyun Moo became familiar with his girlfriend model Han Hye Jin while filming on this show in 2017.
Regular cast members: Jun Hyun Moo, Park Narae, Han Hae Jin, Gian84, Lee Si Eon, Henry
Commenters on Hwasa’s segment: Jun Hyun Moo, Park Narae, Han Hae Jin, Mamamoo’s Hwasa, Sung Hoon, Gian84
Opening scene to all commenters gathered together in the studio. MC Jun Hyun Moo starts off with congratulating Hwasa for accomplishing an “all kill” on all the music charts for her solo debut with “Twit”.
Cut to the first scene of Hwasa at home, lying in bed, watching the movie “I am Sam” and eating tangerines without the lights on. Interview cuts to Hwasa saying that “today is a rest day” where she plans to rest at home.
After rolling around in bed for a long time, Hwasa reaches for a book next to her bed while remarking “I’m bored” and finally leaves her bed to turn on the lights. As the camera focuses on the book Hwasa had just grabbed-Art of Peeling Tangerines-commenter Park Narae comments Hwasa seems to have unique books at home referring to the other unique books she saw last time at Hwasa’s home.
Hwasa moves to the sofa and ties her long hair into the trademark top bun and begins looking for an easy activity to try from the book. As Hwasa skims through various pages of making animal figures out of tangerine peels, she decides to try making a bunny rated with 1 star for difficulty.
Hwasa attempts to understand where she needs to start from the instructions (since instructions aren’t numbered or clearly organized) for peeling a tangerine into a bunny shape. In her confused state, she reads a part that states a random fact about how “Rabbits reproduce a lot” to which she reacts with “what kind of dog information is this.”
Cut to the surprised commenters back at the studio to which Gian84 explains authors sometimes add irrelevant information to make the book thicker to increase sales. Hence, why there’s random information in that book.
Hwasa starts crafting her bunny with the tangerine by first drawing the bunny shape with a pen. Unfortunately, as Hwasa cuts along the lines, tangerine juice squirts into her eyes. After getting over the sudden squirt, she’s peeling her bunny out of the tangerine where the finished product is finally revealed!
Once seeing the finished product, everyone back at the studio is laughing at how it looks so different from the expected cute bunny. Cut back to Hwasa who isn’t deterred from her first try and decides her next target will be a horse (difficulty: 2 stars). As the next product is finally revealed-success! It looks like a horse! Hwasa continues to successfully peel a monkey (difficulty: 3 stars) and long tailed rooster (difficulty: 5 stars) from a tangerine to her satisfaction.
Finally meal time!
Hwasa, hungry after her arts and craft time, heads to the kitchen and starts making instant Jjajang ramen! As everyone back at the studio starts salivating while watching Hwasa make her meal, the commenters are shocked at her cooking method which is different from the instructions. Interestingly, Hwasa adds the soup base before the noodles have started boiling and instead lets it simmer for a long time. Followed by adding her secret ingredient-Truffle Oil-which makes the JJajang ramen very rich and luxurious.
While the noodles are done cooking, Hwasa prepares an egg yolk to add as a garnish to her noodle dish but unfortunately the yolk ends up breaking while placed on a bowl. So Hwasa prepares another egg yolk.
After putting the noodles and egg yolks to a plate, contrary to everyone’s expectations, Hwasa grabs an instant meat balls to heat up. After which, Hwasa finally heads to the table with her noodles and meatballs and starts to eat.
Cut back to everyone back at the studio salivating with hunger, Hwasa eats the plate of noodles and comments to herself “It was so good!” Predictably, Hwasa takes her plates back to her kitchen after which she heads back to the bed for a nap.
Time to beat the game
After nap time, Hwasa gets up and heads to her arcade machine! She starts off with collecting all her coins from the arcade machine to use again during her game session. (The benefits of being the arcade owner!) Then she proceeds to insert enough coins for 21 rounds into the arcade machine.
During the game, Hwasa becomes so focused she ends up breaking her nails and reveals various expressions like deep focus, glares, smiles etc. until the end of the game when she finally clears the final round. Thus, her mini happy dance commences.
After Hwasa finishes up with the game, she unplugs the arcade machine and heads straight to the sofa to a rest time. Soon after, she’s removing her fake nails in preparation for her Twit m/v filming. During this time, Hwasa shares she doesn’t have enough time to go to the salon to get her nails done. As a result, she usually requests for various fake nail designs to be prepared for her in advance so she can do them at home.
Time to wig it up and meditate!
Hwasa opens her long awaited packaged which turns out to be wigs she’s ordered from abroad. Hwasa shares she was inspired to wear wigs when she saw Hollywoods celebrities wear wigs to events. Thus, a fitting for wigs follows of which each result is contrary to expectations.
Back at the studio, it turns out Hwasa brought the wigs to give to the commenters. Resulting in the following scenes where all the men to try the wigs on.
Camera rolls back to Hwasa ending her day filming for the show with a session of meditation which helps her relax amidst her busy schedule.
During the ending interview, Hwasa comments it was a very productive day and expresses her satisfaction on a restful day at home.
It is always a pleasure to watch Mamamoo’s Hwasa on MBC’s I Live Alone. She reminds Kpop fans that behind all the glitzy charisma seen on camera, Kpop idols are just like us ordinary folks who like to remove their makeup and just chill at home.
I personally became Hwasa’s fan after her first appearance on this show last year and I’m so glad to see she’s getting much love and attention for her solo debut! Check out the Twit M/V.
Based soley on Hwasa’s appearance on this show, I think she is very good at creating content. Hwasa is able to make something that would be considered ordinary into something special and memorable. Like this week’s arts and crafts with tangerine peels! How is genius is that? I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes a trend.
Like previous episodes of Hwasa’s I Live Alone segments, Hwasa’s mukbang is truly the best in increasing one’s appetite. I really ended up craving Jjajang ramen and had to dash to the nearest korean market to make some for myself. While I wanted to try using Hwasa’s method of cooking the dish, since I don’t have truffle oil in my kitchen, I substituted it for some truffle salt I got at TJs awhile back and it tasted pretty good. I’ll probably try making it again once I get my hands on some truffle oil in the near future. 🙂
Lastly, the wig part of the episode reminded me of a scene from Sung Hoon’s debut drama where he had worn a wig as a special event for his on screen bride. I would personally recommend watching this drama (New Tales of Gisaeng) to all Sung Hoon fans!
Actor and singer, former TVXQ member, Park Yoochun updated fans with a photo showing he is currently working hard to greet fans in the near future.
On February 15, Park Yoochun’s agency C-JeS Entertainment posted on their Instagram account with a video message from Park Yoochun. The caption stated “From. Park Yoochun. Surprise message from the choreography practice room. Slow Dance spoiler” Followed by promoting for his new album Slow Dance to be released February 27.