Welcome back to Best of Weekly Music Shows! This was a packed week of performances as the K-pop year is winding down. It also means that year-end specials and yearly award shows are preparing for air. Mnet M! Countdown aired a special recap of performances and previewed their upcoming MAMA Award show on December 3.

Kyuhyun was revealed as the winner for this week’s M!Countdown, and he won another trophy for MBC Show Champion. Wins were split everywhere else. Toy won on KBS Music Bank and MBC Show! Music Core. Two sets of duos — Hyorin x Jooyoung and GD x Taeyang won on SBS The Show and Inkigayo, respectively. Shannon Williams made her debut this week. T-ara, Lim Chang-jung and Wa$$up are among some of the performers who made comebacks this week.

I’ve chosen some of the performances that stood out to me this week. Please do include yours in the comments as well!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5-T69sWnNI]

Got7’s “Stop Stop It,” SBS Inkigayo, November 30, 2014

I think the staging for this performance of “Stop Stop It” really sold it for me. Being elevated on a caged stage allowed the boys to stand out from the rest of the performers, literally. The air hug choreography is a bit cheesy to me, but the boys do have a certain charisma when they are performing. Got7 always seems to have catchy tunes for title tracks, and this one is growing on me as well. It must be a nice way to cap off a great year for the rookie group.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hL6HG705-Ys]

A Pink’s “NoNoNo” Acoustic Version, Yoo Hee-yeol’s Sketchbook, November 28, 2014

A Pink’s acoustic version of their hit “NoNoNo” caught me by surprise this week. I enjoy when idols do different renditions of their older songs. The acoustic guitar helped to elevate the vocal strengths of the group. I was shocked at how well they were able to harmonize together as a group. Also, they look like they were having so much fun dancing to this song again.

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

Hyorin x Jooyoung’s “Erase,” MBC Show Champion, November 26, 2014

This promotional cycle for the project duo has been a bit of a mixed bag for me. They are undoubtedly two very talented vocalists, but there was a lack of chemistry between the two on stage that was distracting. The emotional tension is in short supply as they often avoid eye contact and look devoid of any intent. Luckily, Jooyoung is looking more comfortable in his recent stages, and Hyorin manages to be an engaging performer — even if it is by herself.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLuF8NCv1Mk]

AOA’s “Like A Cat,” MBC Show Champion, November 26, 2014

I really felt averse to this song when I initially watched the MV. It felt sloppily put together and was another song from the most popular K-pop producers on the block — Brave Brothers. While the song is still grating to me during certain verses and the dull “nanana” parts, the girls have grown as performers. They made a major impression this year with three hits in a row, and this attempt at tackling a slightly different concept shows potential for staying power. “Like A Cat” ended up being an earworm with repeated listens, so maybe it did its job as a song.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwHxXmy21xo]

Mamamoo’s “Piano Man,” SBS Inkigayo, November 30, 2014

These four ladies are really quite impressive. Their dynamics on stage is fluid and even more noteworthy is their powerful singing and harmonies. “Piano Man” may not have the same catchiness as “Mr. Ambigious,” but they demand attention when they are on stage. Whee-in and Solar continue to have strong vocals, but Whasa and Moonbyul‘s charismatic performances really stole the show.

(KBS, MBC, SBS, YouTube [1][2][3])