Another year, another Northern Spring, another opportunity to set our closet of biases straight! Our writers have once again raided their K-pop wardrobes, and report on the changes they’ve made in the new season:
Pat: Park Hyo-shin is looking good these days; no wonder Hongbin fanboys over him so hard. Am I the only one who paid attention to his hands and those neck veins during “Wild Flower” because wow what is in the air at Jellyfish Entertainment?
As for those who are out: SHINee‘s Jonghyun, Exo‘s Kai, B1A4‘s Gongchan, BtoB‘s Ilhoon and for a brief moment last year, T.O.P gave me some feels.
Joyce: My style of fangirling is die-hard and loyal, so I don’t really kick anyone off my bias list; maybe just a reshuffling of the ranks. My Infinite bias has always been Myungsoo; but as I watched more Infinite variety shows, Sunggyu caught me unawares with his impeccable comedic timing and honeyed voice. It’s hard to rank them, especially since watching two of their One Great Step concerts made me fall even harder for both of them — Sunggyu for his commitment to his art, and Myungsoo for his sincerity to his fans.
Yunho has been my first K-pop bias, and he continues to rank high up on the list. That said, Changmin has since been added to my bias list, after seeing him blossom into his snarky and witty self in Our Neighbourhood Variety Sports. Seeing Yunho at his wits’ end after being blindsided by Changmin’s random comments have been pretty priceless.
K-pop aside, Jo Seung-woo has been killing me with his hot and charismatic ahjusshi demeanour in God’s Gift. And I just found out that he’s originally a musical actor, who sings my favourite musical song ever: “This is the Moment” from Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Can I just marry him already?
Lo: I’m the opposite of Joyce in terms of fangirling- I’m a casual fan of everyone. My current jam is Bestie‘s “Thank U Very Much” but I couldn’t tell you their names, let alone who’s who. I have, like, three actual biases, and a bunch of other people who I know and like, but don’t actively follow.
Camiele: One bias I think I may have picked up is T.O.P. This is fairly recent, like I-got-it-three-days-ago-and-still-have-the-tags-on-it recent. I won’t get into details, but I had a dream, and now I’ve just got these feelings I’m not quite sure what to do with.
Andy: I’d could sit here all day and talk about who my biases are, but nobody wants to deal with my crazy fangirling.
However, others are slowly bursting their way into my bias list since last year. It’s like I’ve started hoarding biases. Exo’s special unicorn Lay has taken me by surprise and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment he had screen time on Showtime. He’s adorable, random, and an underrated member of Exo talent-wise. Then there’s Vixx‘s Leo, who’s shy and awkward style (but highly judgmental looks), have caused him to gain my loyalty.
Right now, Kidoh and Jenissi of Topp Dogg are sleepers on my list. I’ve been following them since pre-debut, and they have a lot of talent. They aren’t conventionally handsome, but that makes them even more attractive to me.
Lindsay: Like some others on the team, I basically bias every K-pop group that debuts to some level or another — I’m exaggerating but only a little. Because of that, though, I am also very fickle and will move on from groups I was once fairly dedicated to. I don’t necessarily see this as a bad thing, but it does mean I cycle biases a lot.
Sadly, I’m not following BtoB much anymore, so Sungjae is just going to have to do without me. And although I’m still following Exo, my bias has changed completely. It was a hard process, but I had to officially disown Tao. Have you ever had to do that to a bias? It’s surprisingly painful, considering you don’t know them personally.
Fannie: I think in one of the previous years’ “Spring Cleaning” roundtables I announced to the world that I might add Lu Han to my bias closet… well… out of the closet you go, you’re being replaced by D.O. and Chen. I also mentioned previously that I’d put Heechul back in my closet after he came back from the army, but that just isn’t the case. The spark isn’t there anymore. Sorry, Heechul.
ZE:A’s Kevin makes the cut because that boy is all kinds of delicious. I’ve also started getting into BTS for the past few days, and I’m eying Suga because there’s just something about his voice. I’m kind of a fickle fan though, in terms of getting into intensely sucked into a group for a week or two, and then proceeding to forget about them for months afterwards until the next time they make a comeback. Rinse and repeat. So I’ll have to wait a few months to be sure whether he gets to make the list or not.
There’s no one for me to kick out in terms of the females of K-pop, but I do have some new additions: Kim Bo-hyung of Spica, and Yoo Ara of Hello Venus. I’m a fan of both their voices.
Nicole: Big Bang will always be my first and favourite group– seeing them perform “Haru Haru” live for the first time at the YG Family concert back in 2011 will probably remain the highlight of my K-pop concert-watching experience. That being said, after so many years of liking them, and the current lack of group activities, it is time for me to put them back in storage for a while, at least until they have their (promised) summer comeback this year. Also, some of that starry-eyed adoration mellowed over the past years because I can probably say I’ve already reached the pinnacle of being a VIP by being lucky enough to meet them personally.
Otherwise, I like Exo a lot now after being put off by “careless careless shoot anonymous” during their debut. I wouldn’t have thought it was possible in a group of this size, but I like practically everyone as opposed to favouring only a few like I did with Super Junior. Thus my bias list for Exo has to be refreshed every comeback and I waste a lot of time playing that bias list sorter game on the internet whenever I’m bored.
Hairstyles affect my bias list too; currently I’m liking Baekhyun‘s black hair and mourning the loss of Chanyeol‘s black hair for that red bowl-cut. Tao reminds me of a platinum blond Spock. Blond Suho has been the highlight of this upcoming comeback for me– I’m sorry Suho but I keep snickering every time I see a picture of him blond.
Idelle: Back in 2012 when Exo debuted I was like “Oh…well…okay.” Then 2013 happened and ruined my life. My particular pet in the group is Baekhyun; he’s just got this irresistible boy-next-door charm and slightly juvenile charisma I’ve always liked in boys I actually know. The contrast between sexy screamo and smiley cutie patootie is a dichotomy that I find myself irrevocably and unapologetically drawn to. I’ve also always thought of him as arguably the best all-rounded performer in Exo; he may not be as vocally sound as Kyungsoo or Jongdae but my word can he PERFORM. He really does emote and feel the music when he sings — his musical phrasing is deliberate and beautiful. That’s what differentiates performers from bathroom singers who can carry a tune, no? He’s also got one crazy gaze, man.
And Chilbongie! Because I’ve never wanted to date a baseball player more in my life than when I was watching him be perfect in that uniform. Did I mention I actually braved the winter cold and the Myeongdong crowds to try and catch a glimpse of Yoo Yeon-seok? Yeah, I know, my life.
Dora: I can usually get into a group through watching them star in or guest on a variety show, which was the case for Infinite, B.A.P and BtoB last year. Then, by the time WIN finished airing, Team B replaced these groups. Jinhwan (and maybe Hanbin too) is pretty high up on my bias list. Recently, I’ve been paying more attention to BTS as well, and V and Jungkook are definitely unhealthy for my noona-fan heart.
Girl group-wise, 2NE1‘s latest album blew me away. I can’t really name a bias, though I’ve favored each of the members at one point. By contrast, I didn’t enjoy SNSD‘s Mr. Mr. at all, so I’m afraid they’ll have to make an exit. Thanks to the ongoing drama God’s Gift, Secret is piquing my interest once again. It’s been a while since they had a release that made it to the top of my playlist, but Jieun‘s voice and Sunhwa‘s acting just make me happy.
Other than these groups occasionally passing by my bias list, I always have that one group I love more than anyone else no matter what and will come back to at the end of the day. During my first two years of K-pop, that group was Super Junior. Since 2012, however, it’s been Exo. I guess when you’re a major fan of a group, pretty much anything featuring them becomes appealing, so I quite enjoyed Showtime and am looking forward to their new variety (and comeback, too!). Kris has been my number one bias since the group’s debut because of his caring character and warm heart — with Lu Han and Kai following close behind — but lately, Suho and D.O have been creeping forward, though it’ll never be enough to overtake Galaxy Hyung.
Pat: Dora, can we make a club or something? It’s so rare to find someone who likes Jinhwan. It seems like everyone is too hung up on Hanbin (for good reason) and Bobby.
Dora: Yes please! That adorable chipmunk deserves more love. His voice is still my alarm tone on certain days.
Ambika: I had a huge Exo period last year, but their Showtime show and ballad period actually killed it for me so out they went. For the females, I usually follow f(x) and Secret’s Sunhwa and Jieun — the former for her variety and the latter for her voice. I saw the episode for Weekly Idol with Girl’s Day, and I think I’d follow them if they had some type of variety show.
Gaya: Like Fannie, I also am removing Lu Han from my Hallyu closet. It was a blast, little deer, but my affections have now turned to Kai. Chen is still in my closet, by the way, right next to Minho and the rest of Shinee. Vixx (and their choreographer) will also be entering my closet. The most surprising addition since Teen Top‘s Chunji snuck in last year is BTS leader Rap Monster: I don’t know how it happened, but his latest hairstyle might have had something to do with it.
As for the lady idols, Orange Caramel are now in for good; Crayon Pop maknae Soyul has also made it, as has Krystal (or Lee Bo-na, if I were to be honest) and the two Bo’s of Spica, -a and -hyung. Unfortunately, I am going to have to place EXID and Hello Venus into storage due to their lack of activity (and Nu’est too — c’mon Pledis, what are you doing with my favourite rookies?!)
And I have K-variety biases now, too! I’m really branching out this year. First is the famous Na PD: I haven’t caught up on the latest season of Grandpas Over Flowers yet, but I know from previous seasons that he is pure evil… I love it! And on the other end of the spectrum is the oft-hapless Lee Kwang-soo: I often find myself rooting for his side whenever I catch a Running Man episode (and I even watched half of Wonderful Radio for him) so I guess I may as well make it official. Team Giraffe all the way!
Pat: Oh yes. How could I forget that Vixx’s choreograper is a cutie? I think I was looking at him all those times I watched Ga-in‘s “Truth or Dare” performances.
Willis: I completely agree with you on Orange Caramel, Gaya. They have ‘hoi hoi hoi’-ed their way over into my K-pop bias closet. Something about their unabashed characters during their live performances has caught my undivided attention. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to take Yoona out. She’s a bit preoccupied with Lee Seung-gi at the moment, and that is practically the only media focus she has lately. In her place, I am including Taeyeon or Yuri.
In terms of male biases, they tend to be the lead or main singers. So, Ken and Chen are the most recent K-pop vocal obsessions. Unfortunately, I have to kick Daehyun out because I recently came to a realization that Youngjae‘s voice is more enjoyable for me.
Group-wise, I have supplanted Beast with BTS. Beast’s last two promotions were not my cup of tea. On the other hand BTS has brought such precision and energy in their performances that they have become a group I watch out for. Even though I love Hyosung, I’m going to have to let Secret out to make room for Spica. Lastly, the addition to my closet that completely caught me off guard this year was AOA. Choa and Jimin are a good comeback away from solidifying their spot on my bias list.
Miyoko: I like a lot of groups, and I tend to add rather than subtract, so the groups-that-I-follow list is out of control. But for individual biases, I’m in the devoted fan category.
The bias-list ruiner that took me by surprise last year, though, was 100%‘s Jonghwan. One minute I was listening to “Want U Back,” and then the next I was convinced he was perfect. Totally blindsided. So he’s in there somewhere, steadily climbing the ranks because “Beat” was perfection (that joke never gets old). I’ve also realized I listen to Sistar a ton for someone who doesn’t list them in their bias groups, so maybe it’s time.
I don’t think I’ve supplanted any idol groups, but my actor affections have shifted slightly. I think it’s time to admit that Sung Joon has taken the top slot, ousting Lee Minho (how is this possible?!) I haven’t been crazy about Lee Minho’s last couple dramas, and while I don’t blame him for that, it hasn’t made me want to watch him, therefore… Sung Joon, however, I will watch even if I’m not into the drama.
Leslie: I am going throw in my favorite K-drama actor: Joo Ji-hoon. The amount that I love that man is unreal. I watched Medical Top Team just because of him, and that was a pretty terrible drama. But what can I say? I’m weak and irrationally devoted.