The 25th Seoul Music Awards took place on the 14th of January at has been presented by Sports Seoul since its inception in 1990. This year’s edition was aired on KBS from Seoul, and hosted by Lee Honey, EXID‘s Hani and Jun Hyun-moo. Exo were the big winners of the night, taking out the daesang and the Hallyu Special Award. Exo was also one of the twelve bonsang winners, which included EXID, Red Velvet, Taeyeon, Vixx, Zion.T, Yoon Mi-rae, BTS, A Pink, Sistar, Big Bang and Shinee.
You can find a full list of winners below; but before that, here are some of my highlights from last night’s ceremony — be sure to share your favourite moments in the comments below! All of the winners performed in this rather quick-paced ceremony, with the notable exception of one person:
SMA Needs Junsu’s Name, But Not His Presence Apparently
JYJ‘s Junsu bagged the popularity award, which was decided pre-show through a paid voting system open to the public (i.e. fans). Despite being a winner, though, Junsu was a no-show at the ceremony thanks to an ongoing broadcast ban placed on JYJ. Nevertheless, Junsu apologised for his absence and lack of control over the situation on Instagram. Later, Junsu showed his award to fans via the V app.
But while KBS was too scared of SM to let a JYJ member be caught on their cameras, they apparently weren’t scared enough to not include him in the popularity award nominations. And they seemed perfectly fine with letting Jun Hyun-moo use Junsu for some ‘banter’ with Hani. Hani actually shed tears; though a debate is ongoing as to whether she was upset over mention of her relationship, or if it was the injustice of her longtime fave being prevented from appearing on broadcast — again — that got to her. Jun Hyun-moo hasn’t escaped the public’s ire either.
Top New Artists Kick Off the Show
G-friend performed their two title tracks against a magical woodland backdrop; the group’s stylists attempted to introduce variety to the usual pastels with some bedazzled sweaters; however the black backing of the bling, without anything to balance it out, threw off the whole look. Everything else about their performance was up their usual standard, but these outfits stand out from their usual soft look in a bad way. The stylists should have used white backing and gone all out with the bedazzling (rather than just sticking to the hems), though I guess budget and time could be factors. Also, that shade of green does not go well with white/off-white.
On The Other Hand, Red Velvet Won The Outfit Lottery
A Feel Ghood Performance
But even with all those cameos, this stage didn’t have the most collaborators…
Zion.T ft. The SMA Audience
Twice Gets The Mozaic Treatment
JYPE was nowhere to be seen at the ceremony, and fans have been speculating that the recent controversy surrounding Twice‘s Tzuyu was the reason. With partners like iQiyi, I guess it’s not surprising that SM would bow to any Chinese pressure, actual or perceived. Twice was nominated for the New Artist award; and while I personally didn’t think the group was going to win, seeing the group’s album cover blurred out still left me feeling uneasy.
Jang Jae-in’s Perfect Synchronicity
Shinee Steals The Show
BtoB Hams It Up
Like Shinee, BtoB also gave a lovely performance … And they also gave great face. Many an idol was caught off guard by the camera, but they were able to rearrange their initial looks of surprise and shock to something more pleasing for viewers, like a smile. BtoB, however, went in the opposite direction. Looks of abject horror decorated the members’ faces, with Chang-sub being the most memorable purely through perseverence — he was the .jpeg to everyone else’s .gif. Not what you generally expect from an act that wins awards for ballads, though their human pyramid on the red carpet should have clued me in beforehand.
BTS Brings The Energy and Defeats Dizziness
BTS barrelled through that performance in an almost violent manner, leaving me slightly out of breath afterward. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a visceral reaction to a BTS performance, but here we are. Will 2016 be the year I become a BTS fan? I’m looking forward to finding out.
BoA’s Impressive Performance Concept
This set was wonderfully thought out, and while the execution wasn’t 100% perfect, BoA ulitmately did justice to the concept.
Popularity Award: Junsu (JYJ)
New Artist Award: Seventeen, G-Friend, iKon
Best OST: Jang jae-in
Best Ballad: BtoB
Best Trot: Hong Jin-young
Best R&B/Hip Hop: San E
Hallyu Special Award: Exo
Best Dance Performance: Ailee, Monsta X
Performance Culture Award: Hyukoh
Bonsang: EXID, Red Velvet, Taeyeon, Vixx, Zion.T, Yoon Mi-rae, BTS, Exo, A Pink, Sistar, Big Bang, Shinee
Digital Record of the Year: Big Bang’s “Bang Bang Bang”
Record of the Year: Boa’s Kiss My Lips