The end of the year music shows went out with a bang this year, with good vibes, great energy, and an exciting atmosphere. This year at SBS, the Gayo Daejun boasted a beautiful crafted stage and a set list of thrilling performances. There was a great variety of things to watch this year–duets and collaborations, as well as SBS’s color of K-pop bit, topped off with remixed music stages from nearly every idol and idol group performing that night.

One thing I found odd, though, was the timing of performances. Many of the rookies and even some veterans had performances cut down to under three minutes, while big names got about five minutes plus.  This distribution of airtime seemed kind of unfair to me; it cut a lot of the wow factor from quite a number of the performances.

Regardless, your faves still came to the stage ready to rock and roll, so without further ado, here are you highlights of the 2012 SBS Gayo Daejun!

When G.NA came out with “2Hot,” I shed a tear for who I thought had warped into another Hyori wannabe. I didn’t care for her concept or the song, so when it came to music stage at the Gayo Daejun, I didn’t think I’d care much for it either. However this performance was a pleasant surprise. G.NA sounds great on the mic and looks better than ever! She displayed a lot of energy in this performance from start to finish. I know it’s hard for soloists to really standout in the group-dominated K-pop world, but G.NA was on her own level tonight.

With the time they were given, I almost wished EXO would’ve pulled a wild card and went for a “Two Moons” performance. I thought this “MAMA” really wasn’t anything too special–it wasn’t bad (though a little out of sync somewhere during the chorus towards the end) but it really did have the Gayo Daejun jazz I was hoping for. The boys are still handsome as ever, they just need a new song.

B.A.P., at this point in their career, are my rookie babies. I can’t ever remember loving a rookie group this hard, and it’s hard not to gush over everything they do. However, much like with EXO, I wish B.A.P. used their airtime a little differently. I had hoped for a longer “Fight For Freedom” intro that led into the “Warrior” dance break because on the whole the performance wasn’t entirely satisfying to me. It was way too condensed for the breadth of their choreography and it seemed like it ended too abruptly. My boys left me hanging here. I guess on the plus side they look crazy hot in black leather, so I can’t even be that mad.

Sistar has really been strutting their stuff this year and their “Alone” performances have really shed a new light on their versatility. They looked absolutely stunning in their black dresses and the delivery was hard hitting. What I’ve come to love about the “Alone” choreography also is that it is very delicate and feminine but it’s also very of feisty and fierce at the same time. Bora’s dance break was also rather unexpected but she totally killed it, though I was kind of hoping it would tie more cleanly into the group performance. Other than that nit picky detail, Sistar rocked this stage.

Beautiful Night” has been one of my solid jams in 2012, and I can never really get enough of it. For this stage, I’m glad B2ST went with a more tame wardrobe–they look a lot more sophisticated and a lot more themselves when Hyunseung isn’t wearing tacky suits and Junhyung’s scalp isn’t bleeding purple. The boys lit up this stage with their bubbly attitudes and undying energy, running around the whole set up to make sure everyone in the audience got some B2ST loving. Despite looking a little exhausted, B2ST brings their A game to this Gayo Daejun stage.

Anytime GD takes the stage live I immediately have that much more much fun watching Big Bang. GD kicked things off with a “One of a Kind” intro and then strolled into his “Crayon” solo performance, looking fly as hell. Then for a moment, DARAGON shippers got some fanservice as 2NE1’s Dara made a quick pretty much useless cameo. BB made their entrance with “Fantastic Baby” and had everyone in party mode for the rest of this stage. Another quick nod to “Gangnam Style” gets remixed at the end and finishes off this stellar performance.

I’m so glad the fine ladies of missA went with “Touch” instead of “I Don’t Need A Man” for this performance. The girls look way more in their element with a song that does more justice to their dance skills. They really bring the depth and the drama to this stage–thank god they didn’t have to cut their song. I also am totally in love with this fierce wardrobe. The stage itself was smart and well orchestrated, and kept the performance interesting the whole way through. Definitely one of my most favorite stages of the night.

What I love about special stages at the Gayo Daejuns is the opportunity for groups to come together and collaborate. Everyone’s favorite K-pop bands F.T. Island and C.N. Blue come together to rock n’roll in a sort of battle of the bands. Hong Ki does an amazing job at the mic, keeping the song alive and the performance fun and interesting. And is it just me or is Jonghyun looking finer than ever?!  (He was all smiles in this performance, totally adorable). Everyone is jumping around and having a great time, creating a joyful atmosphere for everyone. The only other thing I noticed here was that Yonghwa looks completely out of it and in need of some desperate sleep. Poor kid could hardly put on a show and it was a little sad–normally he’s the one everyone has their eyes on, but tonight he seemed a little lackluster.

The dancing machines of SM come together to form “SM, the Performance” and deliver a korean version of Zedd’sSpectrum.” Everyone goes all out here for their fifteen seconds of fame. Kai, Lay, and Yunho are still my favorite dancing queens, but everyone kills it here. It’s hard to hate on a dance montage when its this good. I wished it wasn’t pre-recorded though–would’ve made for a fun live stage.

Rookies GLAM get working on stage with some clean moves featured by the Korean vocaloid SeeU. The GLAM girls work it out and look mad fresh, but I was still kind off put by SeeU. It was kind of  weird combination buts that just me. Really interesting stage, wished the girls could’ve had their own though.

Next up are the color of K-pop performances from the night. This year Mystic White had me swooning, but both the girls’ teams I think did an overall better job than the boys. Check it out!

And of course I’ve saved the best for last. SBS decided to get real with their hip-hop stage this year and provided Gaeko, Simon D, Epik High, and Dynamic Duo the opportunity to come together as the Gangnam Clique. There is not a boring second of this collaboration–from the remix to the level swag and the hard hitting lyrics, these boys truly illuminated the night and electrified the crowd with their insanely high energy performance. I fangirl squealing and flailing the entire time.

And thats wrap for this review! I hope you enjoyed the highlights as much as I did! Be sure to let us know what you think of this years SBS Gayo Daejun, and tell us who you think dazzled and who didn’t!