And we bring you part two of our highlights of the MBC Gayo Daejun for 2011! Once again, Gil and I return to grace you with what we believed were the best, the almost-best, and the unexpectedly good.

Miss A’s “Goodbye Baby”


Ree: Ooh, very classy remix. I love how low-key and eerie it is, so creepy. The performance however, was a bit too standard, and I sort of wish they had played around with the stage production a bit more. However, for what it was, it was pulled off very nicely. The girls are all very suave and they know how to perform well. I really do like the simplicity of the idea of using the chairs as the center piece for the choreography — as a result however, their regular choreography actually surpassed this altered one when it comes down to showmanship. They definitely pulled this off well, which is why it’s a highlight, but I prefer remixes to be more high energy than the original song. ‘Goodbye Baby’ is a very simplistic song to begin with, and simplifying it more carries the risk of falling into the sea of ‘boring’ when transferring it onto the stage — and if miss A weren’t such pros, that risk may have translated to reality. 

After School/MBLAQ/T-ARA/INFINITE Dance Battle


Gil: This isn’t K-Pop without an epic dance battle of some sort. MBC did not fail us with After School/Infinite  and T-ARA/ MBLAQ dance battle. Personally, I thought the  After School/Infinite camp killed the performance. It was hot, it was powerful, and it was good. So I was pumped up for the next performance and it fell flat. The dance was okay, your average K-pop fare, but I feel as if the song ruined it. After School and Infinite are just stronger dancers than T-Ara and MBLAQ, but it was still a good stage to watch.

Infinite: “Paradise” + “Before the Dawn” + “Be Mine”


Ree: Well if it isn’t the biggest rookies of today. There are two things that bring Infinite up there when it comes to boybands. They’re talented, but aren’t the most talented, and some of them still can’t sing live without relying on the back track (I may or may not be looking at you Sungjong). But what they have is 1) polished showmanship 2) great material. And that’s a great combination to have, and I always enjoy watching them perform. They tweaked the arrangements for the songs (adding in the string arrangement to ‘Be Mine’ and the rock arrangement to ‘Paradise’), but didn’t change the mood of the songs as a whole, essentially keeping the edge that sets them apart.

As usual the stage production could have been better, but I like how they don’t really need to depend on flashy stages in order to pull off an intriguing stage. And that in-sync slow-rise dance move in ‘Before the Dawn’ gets me everytime. I’m not sure if I’ve ever expressed this before, but I find it so aesthetically appealing when boy groups perform with white suits as uniforms. Mmmm. Good performance, and something about Myungsoo doing so well the entire performance and then falling at the end is almost glamorous.

Brown Eyed Girls: “Abracadabra” + “Sixth Sense” 


Gil: The Brown Eyed Girls never fail to disappoint and they didn’t with this stage.  However, the beginning of Brown Eyed Girls “Abracadabra” performance kind of confused me because instead of Narsha  being on the stage she was on a large screen behind the three other women and then she suddenly came in and took animated self’s spot, the effect was cool but completely pointless since only one person did it. I personally thought they should have done away with that or had all the girls do it.

But with that being said the rest of it was solid. I loved the Sixth Sense performance, especially when they walked in marching to a military beat looking fierce.  I loved their outfits and they had a high energy performance. Then came Miryo’s kick-ass rap of Sixth Sense, which got completely shot to hell because of the mic problems and syncing with the track.

FT Island + 2PM + CN BLUE + K.Will + Super Junior “We Will Rock You” 


Ree: I have expressed my extreme displeasure over Hongki‘s hair in the past, but enough is enough. He needs to cut that shit off. It’s distracting me from the entire performance, I almost don’t even want to write about it anymore.

I was really looking forward to ‘We Will Rock You’, but surprisingly the party only really started when the boys began jamming to ‘Should’. It’s so much fun to see them all jump around and sing like they’re doing a norebang, and they seemed like actual rockstars! I completely forgot Kyuhyun was in the performance though, and had a heart attack when he started singing and thought it was Jonghyun — I always thought Jonghyun and Kyuhyun had similar voices, but the apparent ‘resemblance’ completely made me fall out of my chair.

Anyway, the entire performance was very fun to watch, and the inclusion of K. Will and the epic he brings was a great addition. The singing was a bit unpolished at times, but that’s probably deliberate. Plus with so many people on stage, it’d be ridiculous to attempt to keep a performance such as this one looking coordinated, it’d take away the effect. Even the 2PM boys who didn’t sing looked like they were having fun just performing. Alas Minhyuk and Minhwan are doomed to be forever forgotten by the cameramen. It was almost impossible for me to catch a glimpse of them amongst all the manly man jamming going around. Someone move them forward, or give them a portable drum-set or something.

Jo Kwon and Ga In: “Trouble Maker”


Gil: This 1 minute and 43 seconds made me so happy. Ga In and Jo Kwon, known as the Adam Couple, performed a snippet of Troublemaker’s Trouble Maker and I squealed my little fangirl heart out. I  liked the original version but I will have to say, Jo Kwon channeled his inner sexiness better than Hyunseung did.  Jo Kwon has fantastic facial expressions, especially when he performs so I loved his sexy poker face and smolder. But there was a little part of me that was expecting him to suddenly burst into kkab but he didn’t, so I can breathe a sigh of relief. And with the chemistry that this couple has, this stage turned out to be enjoyable and not awkward to watch.

The Gayo Daejun’s this year ranged from mediocre, to good, to brilliant. But personally speaking, MBC once again turned around and sent the other networks flying home. It’s simply tradition by now I guess #MBCforPresident.

We hope you enjoyed the ride as much as we did. These were just some of the performances in this star studded production. Let us know what you guys thought of the performances!