Can I Get a Kpop Dictionary? (II)

The release of the MVs is only the tip of a huge iceberg! Because now comes the promotion time for the idols. And lucky for us fans, there are three main channels in Korea – KBS, SBS and MBC. On top of that, there are cable channels like MNet. So that just means more music shows for us to watch the idols on! Of course that also means more work for them sigh. My heart goes out to these hardworking idols.

The flurry of music shows start on Wednesday. We start off with MBC+ Show Champion. Next we have MNet M! Countdown on Thursday, KBS Music Bank on Friday, MBC Music Core on Saturday and SBS Inkigayo on Sunday! So that means you get to see the stage around a whooping FIVE times if they’re promoting on every channel. Mighty considerate of them to space out the music shows on each day don’t you think.

So that’s the background for music shows. Now back to the idols.

debut stage is the first performance put up by a rookie group (aka a new group). An example would be:

SHINee’s Debut stage (Replay, Noona You Are So Pretty) in 2008! Ancient history wow. Check out the dubious use of stage mist, the bowl cuts (WHO TOLD THEM IT LOOKS GOOD?!), the clothes that actually can be worn outside without people giving you too weird a look (I refer mainly to Onew’s hoodie. A HOODIE WOW). Debut stages are often embarrassing for both fans and the idols themselves I think. Actually or not. Because fans might be like “Omoooo check out my oppa SO CUTE” or something along those lines.

Just FYI, Taemin (in black singlet) was only 15  years old (international age) during this performance. Minho (in leather jacket and aluminium foil-like pants) and Key (purple singlet-ed diva) were 17 years old. THINK OF WHAT YOU WERE DOING THEN. THINK AND REFLECT!

Another rather good example is MBLAQ’s debut stage in 2009. MBLAQ debuted with Oh Yeah and to a lot of hype and excitement because their mentor was the all-mighty (it seems) Rain:

Okay actually I’ve nothing much to say about this. I mean, we were on the topic of debut stages so.. how could I have missed this one out? Pay special attention to Lee Joon’s abs display. Something that he continues to display almost every comeback I think. Woohoo, look who’s NOT complaining.

Of course, since there are so many music shows, each group has like what, five debut stages? One for each channel. Generally they are all about the same (choreography-wise), the main differences would be the costumes and the stage sets. And generally, if it’s the first stage for any song, the group won’t be considered for any awards (I think).

Most shows have some sort of ranking system with a complicated algorithm that takes into account different things. I haven’t really bothered to learn about this because… it’s complicated and ONLY THE WIN MATTERS. Do I have to know how they win as long as they win? NO.

Okay just kidding. I mean, I’d like to know how they calculate the scores but since they usually show the breakdown in Korean.

Above is a video of CL winning on Inkigayo back in June during her solo. Notice the numbers and I don’t know they’re scores for what but yes, it’s a total of all the categories. Different music shows have different ways of calculating I think. But mostly from what I gather, it’s very dependent on the efforts of fans.

After they announce the winner, usually the winner bows to everyone and all is happy and there is an encore stage of the winner’s song. But the focus of encore stage is usually fanservice, happy jumping around and thanking people. Less on the singing and the actual choreography. Notice Sandara waving a flag in CL’s encore stage! All fun and happy emotions on stage during the encore.

After several weeks of promotion, it’ll be time for you to say goodbye to our idols. Like literally. They have a goodbye stage.

Here’s 4minute’s goodbye stage for What’s Your Name. Actually goodbye stages are not like super special. I guess occasionally they’ll do something special for their goodbye stage (like CL had a remix of The Baddest Female’s goodbye stage) but generally it’s just their last performance of the same song they’ve been performing for the past few weeks.

I guess it’s just some ~emotional time for the fans because it’s the last stage. /shrugs

Never fear though, because in the Kpop world they will never be gone for long.

Now that the rookies are all grown up, when they next release something, it’ll be called their comeback. So the whole cycle above repeats itself, just that instead of having a debut stage, they have a comeback stage.

Here’s one comeback I enjoyed a lot! Exo’s Wolf.

Usually for the first few stages, they’ll perform perhaps an additional song off their new mini-album (really, 90% of the time it’s a mini-album) or the intro track. Some intro tracks are really cool, like Sistar’s intro track for the Give It To Me mini-album. It was one of my favourite tracks from that mini-album!! I was disappointed that it was so short. Other intro tracks are quite forgettable, probably because the lead single outshines it. BUT ACTUALLY, most people only listen to the single that is being promoted. Unless you’re a real fan, you wouldn’t listen to every album that comes out because there are way too many.

Back to Exo’s Wolf. I didn’t really follow their debut with Mama (what’s with the title I do not get it) because I think they debuted at the time when I was disconnected with the Kpop world. But Wolf came out when I was really into Kpop so I decided to give them a try. On the first few listens I was thinking like ‘What on earth is this?!’ Also because they have a Chinese version of the song, I checked it out and gosh IT WAS HILARIOUS. Particularly, ’我是wolf, 一头wolf, a-wooooo’ I really cracked up at it. Kpop songs are not really known for their um, deep and meaningful lyrics. But it got quite addictive, and now it’s one of my favourite Kpop songs for the moment.

That’s about all for live performances I think. I sort of know what topic to tackle on my next post so do look forward to it!

On a personal note, I’m glad that ST and PJ are enjoying this series! Tell me if you like it okay. Or if it’s too pretentious and know-it-all. I bet Melissa and Sherlyn are completely skipping this though -.- Thanks for reading anyway whoever’s reading this!

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Can I Get a Kpop Dictionary? (II)

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