Roundtable: A Fresh Start For Our K-pop Closets
It’s that time of year again: Spring Cleaning! With March now underway, we asked our writers to go through their K-pop closets and sort out their biases for the change in season. Here are the changes they’ve made:
Gaya: Melbourne weather is being absolutely ridiculous right now, so spring comes as a very welcome respite. But, ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce the new additions to my bias list: Ryeowook, Mithra Jin, Dong-woo (and by extension, Infinite), Jung Ryeo-won and Kim Woo-bin.
What some of you may not know is that Eunhyuk was, until recently, my Super Junior bias: I enjoy his dancing and stage presence, but his woeful Mandarin as seen in Super Junior-M‘s latest album or his insistence on trying to create a loveline with f(x)‘s Krystal (as Siwon‘s pointed out, there’s an eight year age gap — I get the entertainment value to be derived from this venture, but can’t he pick someone who isn’t barely legal?) has caused my love to wane. I still think he is dynamite on stage, but I have decided to permanently replace him with eternal maknae Ryeowook: though really, he’s been in my closet ever since I saw him wear that killer pink suit at the KRY Nanjing concert last year. I also adore his voice and love his willingness to try different things when performing, but learning that he is ambidextrous (and perhaps even naturally left-handed like myself) was what officially sealed the deal.
I’ve always looked upon Infinite favourably, but it wasn’t until “The Chaser” came out that I really took notice of the group. All I used to know was L, thanks to Shut Up! Flower Boy Band, and dancing diva Sung-jong, but Sung-gyu‘s solo album and the emergence of Infinite H have allowed me to get to know the members better through their music… and their hair: I can never say this enough, but I loved Sung-gyu’s red hair and Dong-woo’s pink. And having been watching more and more dramas throughout the year, the funny Jung Ryeo-won and my third Valentine Kim Woo-bin have made the cut, with inclusion of the latter also coming as a package deal with Lee Jong-suk.
I have no idea how Mithra Jin happened though, he just kind of came out of nowhere — he’s like that brand new top you bought but never remembered that you did, and it’s been hiding out in some forlorn corner of your closet until Spring cleaning. And now, it’s one of your favourite tops and you just can’t believe that you didn’t start wearing it earlier.
Otherwise, Minho still reigns supreme (what a surprise), and Fei and Chen continue to be mainstays. Hyoyeon, meanwhile, is going into temporary storage until I figure out this SNSD US album thing.
Nicholas: It’s been a pretty long and painful decision, but I’ve finally decided to remove G.Na from my list. As much I respect her singing ability and admire her down-to-earth personality (at least from what I see on TV), I absolutely cannot get with how Cube‘s choosing to sell her as some sexy flooze, which I find deeply unappealing. The turning point was when I was watching “Top Girl” with my sister and she commented negatively on the new image. So sorry G.Na, but until Cube treats you better you are no longer my bias.
Someone else I have gone cool about include miss A‘s Suzy. Despite being at a safe enough age to stan, I am pretty convinced now she does not bring as much to the miss A table (apart from a traditional brand of good looks). On the SNSD side, it’s Sooyoung (despite having God’s gift of performers height, she does not really seem to command the stage) and Yuri (chalk that down to all those bad solo work decisions and not doing much recently)
On the other hand I am really liking the the Jia-Fei combo over at miss A now. Royally underrated, the duo, as well as Hyoyeon who is finally given stuff that perfectly suits her (and it shows). I also like Sistar‘s Dasom a bit, which could be due to how I have to back the obligatory underdog.
As for guys, I am almost out of EXO, due to how little I am seeing of them, plus Chanyeol‘s really douchey mannerisms at times. However I am welcoming into my stable Seo In-guk for being so incredibly rounded, and Infinite’s Hoya. Though the rest of the guys are also great in the group, I can see why SNSD’s Tiffany finds him sooo appealing.
Cynthia: If we’re going to talk about spring cleaning, I just realized my bias list hasn’t been updated in so long that there are cobwebs growing on it. That being said, I am clearing out C.A.P from my Teen Top biases because of his history of saying shady things as well as those horrible hairstyles he’s given. Plus, though I have been fighting hard to resist my Changjo feelings ever since he started going through puberty, this new comeback ruined everything. Thanks Changjo, you are the only idol that’s ever made me a noona fan. But don’t get too smug because you are still in second place to L.Joe, who remains my #1 Teen Top bias for almost two years now.
Over in EXO Planet, I’m going to need a place to temporarily store Lu Han, Sehun, and Kai until their comeback because Tao has been attracting all of my attention lately. To reference Gaya’s example, I think he’s my Mithra Jin because I swear he was stored somewhere in the back of mind until recently. My ultimate favorite in EXO is still firmly set on Lay, but boy is Tao ruining my bias list left and right.
As for female biases, I’m cleaning out HyunA completely because what on earth was “Ice Cream?” Aside from how exploitative the music video was, the song was just a mess. And those lyrics — “Chocolate ice cream like my dark skin?” She’s not even remotely tan in the video! No HyunA, you can’t try to fetishize/sell something you don’t even have. I loved “Change” and “Bubble Pop,” but it’s going to take some serious work from to get her back in my bias list.
Krystal and Sooyoung have also been dropped from my female favorites (their personalities just don’t do it for me anymore) to make room for After School‘s Nana and Jungah. After being pretty much mesmerized by the two of them in “Flashback”, I wandered into After School’s variety show appearances (the “related videos” sidebar on Youtube is a dangerous thing), and BAM they landed on my list of female biases because they’re just so darn cute. Oh, and I’m bringing in Ailee as a replacement for HyunA because wow her vocal talent just kills me, and in my opinion she makes the vast majority of female idol singers look irrelevant in comparison.
Now that that’s out of the way, my idol list is pretty much set, with Hyoyeon still remaining the queen of all females and Donghae reigning supreme over all.
But wait, can I also put entire bands on my spring cleaning list? Because BEAST is going into temporary storage until they release another full-length album. And in their place, I’ll make more room for Block B and their consistently fantastic releases.
Johnelle: I’m thinking that I’m also going to give up the small portion of my closet that BEAST occupied. It’s been a while since they’ve promoted as a group and I just no longer even have any interest in them. I’ll replace them with the hard working non-stop boys of B.A.P., whose music I like and personalities I can appreciate.
Infinite has also secured a spot in the closet–they’ve always kind of been there, but are now more firmly secured. I especially loved Hoya’s work in Answer Me 1997 and the Infinite H promotions. And speaking of Infinite H, I’ve really been enjoying what Primary and Zion.T have been releasing — so I’m shoving them in the closet, too.
I’m with Gaya, and am adding Kim Woo-bin to the K-drama section of my closet along with Joo Won. I don’t like overly serious K-dramas which Joo Won was more wont to do, but I became a fan through his 1N2D stint and Level 7 Civil Servant.
And lastly, I think it might be time so stop holding on to my first K-pop crush Kim Hyun-joong.
Lindsay: My K-pop biases change so much I feel like I need a quarterly cleaning, not just a spring cleaning.
I’m putting EXO away altogether right now. Even Kai and Tao can’t hold my attention anymore. I’ll just wait for their supposed comeback and reconsider then.
B.A.P as a whole has been on the top of my list for a while now, but recently I’ve been feeling very drawn to Young-jae, which has never been the case before, so the other guys will just have to wait in the wings while I deal with my feelings for the cute-faced smart boy of the group. My heart belonged to Yong-guk for so long it feels weird to put him in storage, but oh well.
Although I’d been enjoying Block B and BtoB these past seasons, VIXX has suddenly come from behind to take over the space for rookie groups on my bias list. How did I not know about them before? I can’t choose one bias out of the group yet, but until I do I’ll just obsess about all six members equally and ignore everyone else. I mean, come on, have you hear Leo‘s voice?
Cynthia, on the topic of Teen Top, I used to like them more than I care to admit, but their most recent promotions have left me seriously disappointed, especially in the MV category. I’m just going to pretend they don’t exist for a bit and revisit them at a later date when I don’t have such a bad taste in my mouth from the “Miss Right” MV. Chun-ji‘s winks still make my noona heart flutter though.
Gaya: Chun-ji is the current bane of my existence. There was that really creepy scene in the MV, but he also had that nice purple hair and his winks are Weapons of Fangirl Destruction. I guess he’s in my closet somewhere — like at the very bottom.
Nabeela: Every comeback season that 2PM is still MIA, I tell myself it’s time to move on from Jun.K and then I end up crying in the bathroom on top of my one Jun.K posters and that usually takes up most of energy on that subject. I just can’t seem to let him go, but I can’t even be mad, he’s utter perfection.
I do think it’s time I do let go of Dongwoon and Junhyung. Dongwoon because, I don’t know I haven’t been happy with his hair since he cut the glory mane, and I’ve realized I was more in love with his luscious locks and rockin bod than his personality. So for now I’ll say bye bye to my Arab prince. And Junhyung because I’m also a secret JunHara shipper and I don’t know I only love Junhyung in his stage element. That’s not adequate for real bias love.
And Lindsay, good for you–I’ve been trying to put EXO away from the minute I saw Kris flip his hair, but for me it’s still pretty hard. Who knows though, now that Kris has no hair to flip maybe my EXO plague will subside.
Fannie: Sorry, Taemin. I rejoiced with the rest of the world when you showed up in BoA‘s latest MV with that haircut that did wonders for your masculinity, and your voice is certainly continuing to improve (many have termed it a poor-man’s version of Jaejoong‘s voice, which is one of my favorite voices in K-pop), but somewhere over the course of the past year, the spark just went away. Kaput. I’m not really sure what happened, but that’s just the way it is.
As for new additions… that Kim Ji-hoon guy from Flower Boy Next Door is pretty darn cute, he could potentially be a candidate for my K-pop shelf, which admittedly, has become pretty sparse as of late. I haven’t seen him in enough things to be sure, though.
Amy: That’s nuts, I’m putting Taemin onto my bias list for the first time ever since SHINee debuted just as you’re taking him off. Ha.
Fannie, I am SURE this does not hurt at all. At all.
Fannie: HOLY CRAP AMY.
Okay. That’s it. Kim Ji-hoon is now OFFICIALLY on my bias shelf…
(Images via: JYP Entertainment, InStyle, Cube Entertainment, TOP Media, Pledis Entertainment, Jellyfish Entertainment, Vogue Girl, L’Officiel Hommes, Singles. Ryeowook & Primary images: credit to owners)