While it could be argued that there are definitely members in any group that do far lesser than they could (or should), the flipside is equally true. Given how prevalent groups are these days, there will always be those who are talented enough to go solo, but end up being drafted into groups for a higher chance of success, or to add some performing credibility to any group.
As a result, these over-achievers usually end up taking their group to a higher level during live performances, or better still, help to cover up for their group mates off days.
These high performing members definitely deserve their tagline of “Heavyweights”, as a counter to that oft-used term “deadweight”. With that, it’s worth taking a look at a few of them below.
Although most of the A-Pink catalogue tends to fall under the cutesy category, it still takes a fair amount of charm and stage presence to pull these songs off live, and Eunji does pretty well to impress in most of their live stages. In fact there are times when her stage presence helps to cover for members who appear to fade away in the background, as shown below.
Add to that consistent live singing, with a voice that is a cut above what could be expected from an idol girl group member, and it’s not too hard to see why she could be regarded as a heavyweight in A-Pink, a member that puts in far more than required for her group.
Also from the Cube stable comes labelmate Yoseob of Beast. While Beast definitely score higher on the live performances and stage presence scale, what Yoseob brings to them is an impressive blend of flair and consistency. While certainly able to rock those dance moves, he is equally adroit with with those solo parts and high notes that came with many a Beast song.
Also like his female counterpart, Yoseob is very much able to sing solo, as evidenced by his reasonable run on Immortal Song 2. However, what set him apart is his ability to impress on variety shows, particularly his run on Oh! My School, where he managed to shake off the nickname given to him by the show hosts “Friend of Doojoon and Kikwang”, which seemed to imply that he was one of the more obscure members, to carve out an identity of his own.
To sum up, Yoseob is definitely one of those heavyweights by stealth, just pulling his weight (and then some) in any live performance or variety show.
Super Junior’s Cho Kyuhyun
While Kyuhyun is not one of those members a typical K-pop observer is likely to see on variety shows, he more than proves his heavyweight status through his vocal abilities, as shown below.
While SM Entertainment having to beat out other companies for his signature, and debuting within months of training are just a few examples of him being of a different calibre, what probably sets him apart is how he uses his talent to boost the group during many a live performance.
Not only does he do his lines, he is also performing backing vocals for other members, and not making a hash of his dance moves (something which most SM vocalists tend to do unfortunately). So for that, he has got to rank as a heavyweight of Super Junior for what he brings to their performance credentials.
T-ara’s Ham Eunjung
While it might be a bit odd to mention her, given what has happened recently, positive performance qualities are things that still last even after the whole debacle has died down.
Even from the first album, it was very apparent that she was one of the key voices behind the sound of the album, by doing half of the raps as well as a fair amount of key lines in the songs. However, having a decent recording voice was not just one of her advantages, being able to carry over a fair amount of charisma to the live performance, thus adding a bit of flair to what could otherwise be rather forgettable stages.
Add to that memorable guest appearances or regular spots on variety shows (We Got Married) , combined with some reasonably prolific casting in a few dramas (Coffee House, Dream High) , and it was not hard to see how she could be to some extent, be credited with establishing the T-ara name.
So that wraps up the heavyweights of idol group members, people who indeed punch above their weight in terms of performance or raising their group profile.
Seoulmates, are there any group members that you feel do the same?