Roundtable: Surviving A K-pop Zombie Apocalypse
T-ara and VIXX should have given us a clue, but now with SHINee and 4Minute becoming the latest victims, it’s clear that zombies are taking over K-pop. In these dangerous times. “Safety in Numbers” is the adage that comes to mind. So, which Hallyu stars would you team up with in a zombie apocalypse to improve your chances of survival?
Amy: I’d want Yonghwa, Khun, and Song Ji-hyo on my survival team. I think that basically anyone who’s good at Running Man* would be good for helping me stay alive in case the zombies come. Yonghwa and Khun are both doers with focus, and they’re also incredibly unfussy, which would be helpful to have under a panicked state. Ji-hyo is whip smart and aggressive, just the kind of personality you need for a team like this.
I am possibly the least fit, most-prone-to-panic person there can be, so I would need people who are calmer and more fight-y with me if I needed a team of peeps to help me stay un-dead.
(* Kim Jong-kook is good at Running Man, I guess, but I despise him so I’d probably want the zombies to get him. So he’d be no use to me, haha.)
Ambika: Running Man was also the first place I thought of to recruit from since all the members essentially practice staying alive every week. I’d take Kim Jong-kook or even Lee Kwang-soo. Even those betrayal antics have a good measure of thought behind them, not to mention all of them regularly beef up to do better on the show. Let’s add in Kim Soo-ro too for good measure. Also, Lee Si-young comes to mind, especially since she recently made Korea’s national boxing team.
On the idol side, I wouldn’t mind Super Junior‘s Sungmin or miss A‘s Suzy. Sungmin has his martial arts and a good deal of stamina from five sets of Super Shows. Suzy regularly won idol athletic categories for arm wrestling and ssireum and must have been practicing somewhat to get a few forms down for Gu Family Book.
Miyoko: This is turning out to be a way more difficult topic than I anticipated. I have zero upper arm strength and don’t trust myself to wield a melee weapon, so I really wanted a tank-like person, but… there is no tank in K-pop. No one on my team would be capable of crushing skulls or severing necks. So I went with Plan B, which is run, hide and use fire.
I’m going with Sistar‘s Bora; she’s got stamina and aiming ability. 2PM‘s Taecyeon, who I think does decently with running but more so because I’d actually be able to strategize with him. I know we’re not going with language realism, but I can’t help but think I’d need a Korean-English bilingual on my team. Then I’d choose SHINee’s Taemin, because when I come up with some extreme firebomb plan, I trust him to back me up.
Nicholas: Given that most of us would just end up panicking when the zombies really do come, i would rather somebody who has “been there done that”, survived the whole thing and lived to tell it.
For that, I would go with T-ara and 4Minute. Having been through zombie invasions and gotten bitten, they would be immune to future attacks, I hope. And also they would have experience in luring those zombies out of their attack modes and into doing silly dances. And while they dance, I escape!
Gaya: Suddenly my plan to have Minho looks less appealing, Nicholas, given that zombies of the SHINee variety are prone to vanishing into thin air at the first sign of conflict. Miyoko, you’d better watch out, too!
I thought Minho would be a good addition because his competitive streak, tendency for chivalry and active interest in sports ensures a greater chance of survival for myself. I get the feeling he’d go and do something stupid like sacrifice himself for the team or something, though, so I guess I’ll have 2AM‘s Changmin too: he can cook and has army experience to boot. I’ll also take Sunny because she’s a tough cookie who gets stuff done. And GD&TOP can come on board too if the former lends us one of his properties to serve as our base and the latter can prove he can shoot a real gun (he’s worked a lot with fake ones, so it’s the same thing, right? Right?)
And someone’s going to have to figure out this cloning thing so that we can all have an Ace Ji-hyo in our decks.
Amy: I just CACKLED out loud at the thought that Minho is so chivalrous that he would sacrifice himself for the team — because it looks brave and is variety-friendly (audiences at home watching the zombiepacolypse will find it a hoot!).
Gaya: No way he can falter — on television!
Miyoko: Gaya, I thought about that too! “Like, wait — SHINee are zombies. Does that work in my favor???”
Fannie: Definitely Yonghwa, Song Ji-hyo, and Kim Soo-ro, I also would want Hara on my team (she’s a lot stronger than she looks), and last but not least, I think Jo Kwon would be a great wildcard to have around in a pinch. Not only does he have a bag of distraction techniques always available on hand, but he can also run really, really fast.
Mark: I’ll take Steven Yeun who plays Glenn on The Walking Dead because he can kill a zombie while being tied up in a chair. What’s that? He’s technically not a Korean celebrity? Give it some time; he will be.
Johnelle: As for my team I’m choosing members based on two criteria: those that are tough enough to survive and those that would be easy to get along with during the long haul. I also would look to Running Man as one of my main resources. Seriously, I’d take the whole cast of Yoo Jae-suk, Ji Suk-jin, Kim Jong-kook, Kang Gary, HaHa, Song Ji-hyo and Lee Kwang-soo. They all have their strong points, humor, deception, wit, etc. and after a couple of years on the show all of their teamwork and evasive skills are great. I’d also add in Lee Hyori and HwangBo because they’re both fierce and they’re my fave women in K-pop. I’d also add Goo Hara, and the girls of SISTAR because I think they’re all pretty athletic and tough. The extra men I would add to the team would be Yonghwa, Sung Shi-kyung, Daesung, and T.O.P.–I would take all of Big Bang, but I thought that would just be being greedy.
I would also take along some groups like Nine Muses and ZE:A. I know my team seems big compared to some of the others’, but you’re talking about trying to survive the Zombie apocalypse! And more likely than not, you’re gonna lose a member or two along the way. Also, you know sometimes you get stuck in a tight spot and we’d maybe have to sacrifice a Muse or ZE:A member to the zombies to save the rest of the team. And yes, that’s why I brought them all along–evil, I know.
Subi: I think you are all fools.
The point of survival in a zombie apocalypse is NOT to encounter zombies and then have to run away from them.
The point of zombie survival is being able to survive in a sustainable place that is inaccessible to the walking dead. For this purpose, it is best to have people that are intelligent, low maintenance, and have skills that are conducive to survival. Like a doctor, a carpenter, etc. For this reason, most Korean celebrities are epically useless. HOWEVER: As far as physical prowess goes, I’d want Rain (strength), Hyoyeon (speed), and Victoria (flexibility) on my team — strength and speed. For their intelligence, Changmin (Got good grades in school; attending top university), Tablo (Stanford grad), and Lee Soo-man (Engineer). For their morale, Leeteuk (He led SUJU through various armageddons), Lee Hyori (SHE’D MAKE ME SO HAPPY), and Jung Juri (I’d die of laughter if I didn’t die of zombies).
Oh and Yunho, of course. I need someone to recreate the human population with.
Amy: Subi, who’s the square now?!
That is like a non-argument. Of COURSE idols would be epically useless, if we’re going to be completely On Point about this. And just because Changmin, Tablo, and Lee Soo-man are intelligent doesn’t even mean anything! They could be utterly useless in the face of panic. People who are most book smart by our society’s standards rarely are the most physically useful.
I think the people who used Running Man as a place to pick some candidates are the ones who are most on point. In a time of crisis, I don’t need a smart ass like Changmin to run his mouth about how doomed and/or stupid and/or useless we are (which he would totally do!), I need someone to knock down some tree branches to use as weapons and help us devise a game plan.
Mark, you’re totally cheating. You can’t choose a person who ALREADY HAS EXPERIENCE with killing (fake) zombies! That’s totally unfair. That’s like saying if we were to create an idol band who would we pick, and then I chose DBSK.
As if, I, with a obsessive fears of zombies, do not know what I’m talking about. In the event of a zombie apocalypse, the most effective strategy is to find a secure location and stock up on products and skills that are essential to survival. No one wants to run and around and shoot them. Admittedly, this would be useful when your location is no longer secure. But knowing how to survive is the most important. You think the winners of Running Man will be able to figure out what to do if you’re a girl and start getting your period and there are a bunch of zombies outside wanting to to eat your vagina for dinner? NONONONO. Having people that are physically fit helps but having people that are smart is more essential. And street smarts are one thing but when you basically need to have enough intelligence that you can kind of, sort of recreate the aspects of society that we take for granted, like medical care, or city planning, or engineering – someone who knows how to cop a drug deal AIN’T GONNA CUT IT.
Mark: Since we’re trying to get technical and bring in “expertise” on the matter, if anyone has been following The Walking Dead, they would know that Glenn is by far the most useful because he is the scavenger of the group. When you run low on essential supplies like, oh say, food and water, you need that one guy who is well adept at going out by himself and scavenging things to maintain the sustainability of the hideout.
I would argue that idols would actually be good allies to have in a Zombie K-popcalypse (not a bad name for it at all) because they are already in excellent physical condition and are familiar with surviving on very stringent diets. Plus, having the ability to sleep at any time and function on short sleep is a guaranteed bonus.
For the sake of the discussion, let’s not let this devolve into who we want to repopulate the earth with. There are way too many candidates to choose from, and we’re just going to end up sounding extremely pervy.
So when you’re among the post-apocalypse survivors and you need to repopulate the Earth and all you have is the Korean guy from TWD and a bowl of macaroni next to you, you let us know how that went.
Lindsay: I’m going to go the combat route and choose EXO‘s Tao and actor Yoo Ah-in, currently staring in Jang Ok-jung, Live in Love. Tao is very physically fit and his martial arts skills are no joke, so I’m going to rely on him to knock the zombies out. Yoo Ah-In will then use his sword fighting skills, gained from acting, to chop off the zombies’ heads. I’m relying heavily on these two gentlemen turning their decorative skills into functional ones.
For strategy, planning, food, supplies, etc. I will have B.A.P‘s Yong-guk and f(x)‘s Amber. Yong-guk seems to be an excellent leader (as well as being quite physically fit himself) and I trust him to protect the team. Amber is mostly around for me to be friends with, and speak English to, because as lovely as all three of those guys are it would be useless to be together if we couldn’t communicate. Also, I’m banking on Amber’s tomboy image being more reality than fiction, so I won’t have to worry about her roughing it a little. I will be in charge of domestic tasks, being that I am not particularly strong or brave, but am a passable cook and seamstress.
Gaya: Actually Tao’s childlike qualities may come in handy for survival — maybe the zombies will find him too cute to kill or something? And then as soon as they let their guard down Tao goes all Wushu on their undead arses.
Sophie: What happens if instead of slaying the zombies, you train them to do your bidding? With an infectious beat and the terror-inducing power dynamics of the executives of SM Entertainment, I bet we could turn those zombies into a half-decent K-pop band. Or at least get them to starve themselves to the point where they can’t run very far. Brains are high calorie tissue, and shuffling does not burn as many calories as you think it might, so with enough fat-shaming the zombies might be inclined to elect for healthier options. Zombies are already mindless, it can’t be too hard to turn that into mindless obedience.
Ambika: I can see it now. In a world devastated by the results of the virus Solanum, South Korea’s major broadcast stations are still fighting for viewers by introducing the strangest of variety shows.
The first forces idols out of their elevated entertainment company buildings to survive against the zombies: Hiding Man (don’t move, hide). It measures how many real world skills an idol actually has as well as how well they can maintain their image in life-threatening situations (don’t leave behind that VJ!). Of course, all shooting is done under the protection of certified zombie hunters.
The second holds zombie auditions. Contestants manage to wander into the vicinity of the set (by vicinity, I mean down below, visible from a window). K-pop music is automatically played when this happens, and BoA, JYP, and Yang Hyun-suk judge the moaning and any movements that occur. The winner gets their photo on the outside of the entertainment building for a week.
Gaya: Actually, I think I might just take you guys with me.
(Images via Jellyfish Entertainment, Core Contents Media, Starship Entertainment, Elle Girl, YG Entertainment, SBS, SM Entertainment, KoreAm)