Seoulbeats’ Week in Review is a segment begun by the lovely Johnelle; and after a hiatus, we’re bringing it back with more writers sharing the responsibility of bringing you the news you need to know for the week.
- Sewol ferry captain Lee Joon-suk was found guilty of murder by the Department of Justice and sentenced to life in prison on April 28th. Lee had originally received a 36-year prison sentence.
- Jang Dong-min, Yoo Se-yoon and Yoo Sang-moo held a press conference on April 28th and apologised for their past comments made on Yoo Sang-moo’s podcast. Jang had already apologised for his ableist and sexist remarks, but has since lost a number of his current gigs, including voluntarily leaving his position as the next 6th member of Infinity Challenge. Jang also made fun of a woman said to have survived for days in the rubble of Sampoong Department Store disaster by drinking her own urine. She is now suing Jang for defamation.
- On April 29th, an Exo manager was found guilty of assaulting a fan and fined 1 million won. The incident took place at Incheon International Airport in August 2014, which resulted in injuries and hospitalisation for the assaulted fan.
- M4M announced its decision to terminate its contract with Chinese agency Xing Tian. The group was formed by the agency with Cube Entertainment in 2013, but had been solely managed by Xing Tian post-debut.
- And in incredibly sad news, a five year-old died on April 27th when a shoe rack fell on him at the main KBS building. The child was attending the station as a visitor; an investigation is already underway. We at Seoulbeats extend our condolences to the child’s family.
Comebacks and Debuts
- The K-pop world experienced a Big Bang when the group finally, finally, made its comeback on the 1st with singles “Loser” and “Bae Bae.” Both singles are different, I have a tough time picking which I prefer. I did end up going with “Loser,” though; how about you?
- BTS also decided to have its comeback on the 29th with a third mini album and title track “I Need U.”
- Before the boys, though, Lim Kim was impressing all with her album Simple Mind and MVs “Awoo” and “Love Game.”
- Yoon Jong-shin continues his monthly projects, this time with Beenzino in “The Color.”
- T-ara member Eunjung, taking on the name of Elsie, dropped a MV for her own solo debut, and most people are perplexed, if not outright upset, at the apparent lack of Eunjung in both audio and visual form.
- FNC‘s N Project launched its first single, “God” with AOA‘s Jimin and J.Don of N.Flying.
- The latest installation of the School series, Who Are You: School 2015, started this week on April 27th. Child actress Kim So-hyun takes on double roles, with Lee Pil-mo, Surplus Princess‘ Nam Joo-hyuk and BtoB‘s Sungjae also part of the cast. Are you watching?
Teasers and Announcements
- JYPE and Mnet have now revealed all 16 female trainees for the latest idol survival show. The group’s name will be Twice, which has already achieved the distinction of making the name Winner look better by comparison.
- Pledis‘ Seventeen is also going to see the light of day, with teasers being steadily released.
- And now Starship‘s Monsta X of No Mercy fame are also gearing up for their debut, with teaser images for Jooheon and Kihyun already out.
- Secret leader Hyosung dropped the MV teaser for comeback single “Into You” on April 29th. I wasn’t a fan of “Good-Night Kiss” but this sounds promising!
- Another leader gearing up for his solo comeback is Infinite‘s Sunggyu, with the MV teaser for “The Answer” also being released on April 29th.
- Bestie is also coming back on May 8th with new mini-album Love Emotion.
- Cube Entertainment announced the only Beast solo I have ever wanted; it was revealed on April 27th that Hyunseung will be dropping his first solo mini My and single “You’re My First” on May 8th. You can check out the audio teasers released so far here.
- BoA signalled the arrival of her eighth Korean album by announcing the pre-release of dance track “Who Are You” with Dynamic Duo‘s Gaeko. The track drops May 6th, with the album following on May 12th.
- Epik High has new dates for their North American tour this year! There are also new cities, so be sure to see if the trio is coming to a venue near you.
- Topp Dogg is heading to Europe! Jazzy Group, who hosted the group’s US tour recently, will be bringing the boys to London, Milan and Paris.
- And to make sure as much of the West is entertained with live K-pop, Big Bang will be bringing their Made tour to Australia!
- Sistar‘s Bora has been cast as the lead for upcoming web drama Flatterer, adapted from the webtoon of the same name. Joining her will be FT Island‘s Jaejin, Kwan Dong-yeon and Bae Seul-gi.
- How many idols are joining Show Me The Money 4? Zico and Jay Park are part of the judging panel, while Monsta X’s Jooheon, Madtown‘s Buffy and Winner‘s Mino will be competing.
- Meanwhile, SMTM’s sister show Unpretty Rapstar will be returning for a second season in September. There is talk of retaining original cast members, but hopefully we’ll be getting some new faces as well — just don’t expect Yoon Mi-rae to be one of them.
- Let’s talk about Tao: so far, Tao has been sitting out “Call Me Baby” promotions due to a foot injury; but his father recently published a letter detailing his dissatisfaction with SM’s handling of Tao’s career, especailly regarding injuries and SM supposedly not giving Tao a studio like Lay’s despite it apparently being discusssed. After the letter came out, SM’s response was to claim the moral high ground and admonish Tao’s father for going public; meanwhile, Tao left a sparse Weibo update apologising and thanking people (most likely his fans). His latest public appearance was today at his birthday fanmeet in Beijing.
- The people for The Voice Korea season 1’s Sam Ku reported that he was dating Bora. Starship shut that nonsense down by pointing out the far-fetchedness of it all, saying that Bora didn’t even know who he was.
- And finally: T.O.P opened an Instagram account, spammed the shit out of it and got to one million followers before my mehindi had even begun thinking about fading. What a legend.
(Asiae, Chosun, Facebook, Instagram, The Korea Herald, Nate, Naver , News1, Osen, SMTown Now, Twitter, Weibo, YouTube. Images via: YG Entertainment, TV Daily, Mystic89, CJ E&M, SM Entertainment)