Welcome back to Best of Weekly Music Shows. This week’s stages saw a mixture of holiday themed performances and a slew of comebacks. Phenomenon made their debut. BTS, TaeTiSeo, K-much, Laboum, Lee Ye-joon, Nell, Roy Kim, and Royal Pirates were among those who had comebacks. It was anyone’s guess who would win as a different artist received a trophy on each show. B.A.P got first on The Show, Dynamic Duo received a trophy on Show Champion, Lee Hong-ki got first place on Music Bank, and EXID won the trophy on Inkigayo.

Here are my picks for the week. Please do comment with your favorites of the week below!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrNwkgitf2Q]

Baek Ye-rin‘s “Across The Universe,” December 5, 2015

So while technically not a music show performance, I felt obliged to include this Baek Ye-rin performance. Since we are likely not going to get very many lives of this single, I wanted to cherish what we did get. Like on many songs off of her mini album Frank, Baek Ye-rin has such a finesse to her singing. She absolutely warms the soul and tackles those runs with grace. Listening to this is a treat.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gq2CKaOa6Z8]

Nine Muses‘s “Sleepless Night,” SBS Inkigayo, December 6. 2015

“Sleepless Night” is a slow burner. I think the song suits the ladies well and the sensual nature of the beat can at times give way to vocal nuance. However, I am not in love with the staging. I actually feel like the song would be better suited for a subgroup on stage — especially when certain formations have half your members facing other directions instead of the front. But that’s just my two cents. These ladies still shine on stage.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPnUWfKRnRo]

B.A.P’s “Young, Wild, and Free,” MBC Show! Music Core, December 5, 2015

B.A.P are sounding more confident each week. Their comeback week was a bit shaky in the vocal department, but recently Daehyun and Youngjae have found their range again. I love the adjusted key change that they both make in the last few high notes and their harmony is a highlight. Also, Bang Yong-guk is giving extra on stage today, looking more energized than ever.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jq684Fcg2WI]

TaeTiSeo’s “Dear Santa,” MBC Show! Music Core, December 5, 2015

The holiday staging worked well with TaeTiSeo’s performance. I really liked the mime and found their slow vocal heavy intro to be strong. “Dear Santa” is quite the wintry holiday affair. There were sleigh bells and snow falling on stage, making for a festive aesthetic.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqYze2z63yo]

Dynamic Duo’s “Jam,” MBC Show Champion, December 2, 2015

This performance had Dynamic Duo in bee costumes. Need I say more? It seemed like such a fun time on stage. “Jam” is groovy and sounds like an instant classic. Gaeko is exuding an abundance of confidence while singing those hooks, and he and Choiza both ride the beat on the rap verses.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tD9RxQG-0PM]

EXID’s “Hot Pink,” SBS The Show, December 1, 2015

The styling and singing was on point here. I love the black and pink jersey shirts that they wore. And I’m not mad that Hani‘s green hair is gone — at least not as distractedly apparent. Overall, it was a very solid performance that emphasized the strength of this track. The girls make full use of the stage and the prop benches help to accentuate the level changes. They also change up the choreo a bit, opening up those jerseys during the last hook.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-mACS1WTaA]

Lush‘s “Why Don’t You Lay Off,” SBS The Show, December 1, 2015

These ladies are all about the vocals. As a trio, their harmonies are great. I tried to do a bit of research and noticed that they did a good “Eyes, Nose, Lips” cover as well. Ji-hae, Min-hee, and Sa-ra have great individual vocal color that comes together in this slow tempo song. The performance is subdued as they alternate chair and partner work. At the end of the day, their vocal delivery shines and leaves you wanting to hear more.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqRl5zbM4t8]

BTS’s “Run,” KBS Music Bank, December 4, 2015

I wasn’t all too pleased with any of the camera work for the BTS comeback stages this week (I hope they improve going forward). While I like the set on Inkigayo better, I think the shots on Music Bank come out cleaner, so that’s why I chose this performance. There are some awesome sequences in the dance. I love V‘s verse, where the members of BTS extend their arms to the snap, then uses their hands to move to shift their heads to the right, then an arm wave, thrusts, and spins. That is just one of many great combinations and while the choreography doesn’t seem as hard hitting as some of their previous songs, they are still captivating in those subtle beats and moments on stage. BTS all exhibit an individual style and when they move it’s like a puzzle snapping into place. Their choreography fits the tone of the song, with their dancing feeling lyrical, as if they were satellites trying to break free before orbiting back into place. There is a great contrast between the sharp moments and the emotional ones, and the more I watch this choreography, the more things I find to enjoy in it.

(JYP, KBS, MBC, SBS, YouTube [1][2][3][4][5][6], Image via KBS)