Welcome back to another edition of SB Week in Review. While it was a relatively quiet week, it certainly didn’t pass without a few huge stories. Here’s all the updates you might have missed!
- April 16th marked the two year anniversary of the Sewol Tragedy. Many celebrities showed their solidarity for victims and families from Instagram posts to special performances.
- Just before South Korea hosts the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, reports surfaced this week of the long covered-up abuse of ‘vagrants’ leading up to the 1988 Seoul Olympics. According to multiple official documents and interviews, thousands of children, elderly, and disabled were rounded up from the streets and sent to live and work in a facility known as Brothers Home in Busan. Those rounded up were forced into labor — as well as sexually and physically abused — as South Korea prepared for the international stage. It is estimated that by 1986 the number of inmates at Brothers was nearly 4,000, most of whom faced dire conditions and extensive forced labor. The dark history has been largely covered up by politicians, one of whom is still serving in public office.
- Produce 101 trainee, Choi Eun-bin has fallen into a bit of a legal mess after it was revealed that she had signed contracts with two different agencies (G.M. Music and Nextar Entertainment) while appearing on the show under only one of them. Following the show, she reportedly was unable to be contacted, and G.M. Music has decided to press charges.
- Allegations were raised this week against the security at SM Artium Coex theatre saying that the male staff member had inappropriately touched a fan under the pretense of searching for camera equipment. SM quickly came forward to deny the claims and explain that what transpired was standard for fans who are suspected of carrying film equipment. Furthermore, after looking at the CCTV no misconduct was observed. Furthermore, the theatre announced that from here on out, a female employee will handle all inspection.
Comebacks & Debuts
- Did UP10TION‘s latest release manage to capture your “Attention“?
- APink‘s Eunji made her solo debut this week with “Hopefully Sky” and the mini Dream. Her debut also earned a perfect all-kill on the charts! APink also thanked fans for their 5th debut anniversary with a special MV, “The Wave.”
- Speaking of solo debuts, Yesung (Super Junior) released his first solo album, Here I Am — and single of the same name — this week.
- The second half of Lee Hi‘s Seoulite dropped on the 20th, alongside the MV for “My Star.” Did the second half live up to the quality of it’s predecessor?
- VIXX changed things up with the upbeat track, “Dynamite” and their new single album, Zelos.
- BTS rounded out their youth trilogy with the special release, “Young Forever.” We can expect two more MVs from the special album, Young Forever, out May 2.
- Bizzy‘s back with “All I Need.”
- VIBE is back after two years with “1 Year, 365 Days” featuring Gummy.
- ZE:A members Kevin, Hee-cheol, and Dong-jun will all be releasing solos over the next couple months. Kevin kicked everything off with “Collection” on April 21.
- The SM Station track for the week is “Pain Poem,” performed by Kim Bum-soo and Kenzie.
Teasers & Announcements
- Seventeen continues to tease their “Love & Letter” comeback. Look out for their first full-length album on April 25.
- Twice is also kicking up their teasing game, with multiple video and image teasers for “Cheer Up.”
- Fellow rookie girl group, Lovelyz, have become spring goddesses in their teasers for A New Trilogy, while the ladies of April have transformed into Tinkerbells for their upcoming mini.
- Following a tumultuous few months, ripe with online controversies, it’s official: Jang Hyunseung has withdrawn from Beast. The group will continue as five, while Hyunseung will continue as a solo artist under Cube Entertainment. It’s only April, but 2016 is shaping up to be quite the year for big changes.
- For the weekly round-up of casting news:
- Kangin (Super Junior) will star with Han Bo-reum in the web drama, the Sound of the Bells; D.O. (Exo) is set to star in With God, while Exo’s leader Suho has been cast in the web-drama How are You Bread?; Exo’s Chen and Xiumin will also be airing a special online travel show, Traveling Without our Manager; and Gong Yoo will play the lead in Kim Eun-sook‘s next drama, Goblin.
- Produce 101 girl group IOI plans to release two minis and two singles over the next year.
- We can anticipate EXID‘s return in June!
- BTS and Twice have been added to the K-con NY and LA schedules (respectively). The roster for Kcon France has also been released. For those planning to go, who are you most excited to see?
- Lee Soo‘s (MC the Max) recent casting in Mozart! ruffled a few feathers. Back in 2009, Lee Soo was charged with solicitation of an under-aged prostitute. Following the scandal, he kept a pretty low profile until last year when he started to re-climb the variety ladder. Musical fans not only threatened a boycott, but began to raise funds to counter his casting. Ultimately, it was announced that Lee Soo will no longer be part of the production.
- Oh My Girl‘s Seunghee fainted while filming for Music Core, and was rushed to the hospital on April 16. WM Entertainment has since come forward to announce that she suffered from hyperventilation and is currently resting. No word on how long (or how soon) it will be before she returns to “Liar Liar” promotions.
- Rumors began to circulate that Miss A‘s Suzy was working on a solo album, however JYP quickly stepped in to deny the claims.
- F(x)‘s Victoria also found herself in the midst of dating rumors with both actor Yang Yang, and her manager. The accusations were denied both officially by her studio and through a personal statement.
(Associated Press, Naver:            , Nate:     , Daum, No Cut News. Images via Big Hit, JYP, Plan A Entertainment, WM Entertainment.)