Hi everyone, and welcome back to SB Week in Review! No doubling up this week, this review is single — unlike some idols (see below):

Serious News

  • The South Korean Parliamentary Election took place on the 13th. Park Geun-hye‘s conservative Saneuri Party lost its 16-year parliament majority. Slowing economic growth, increasing household debt and a high unemploment rate are said to be factors influencing this outcome. Main oppostion Minjoo Party benefitted the most from the turnaway from Saneuri.
  • The Seoul Metropolitan Council is in the process of introducing a welfare program for unemployed youth. Only 3,000 Seoulite jobseekers would be allowed into the program, but there are bigger problems. The Ministry of Health and Welfare has filed a petition against the program to the Supreme Court. A decision will be made in the upcoming months.
  • A stylist working under a large agency is being investigated by police over their drug use. There is speculation about who said stylist is, but nothing has yet been confirmed.
  • Taeyeon is the latest idol to go public about harassment from sasaengs. The idol’s phone number was leaked, leading to phone calls and messages coming in from different countries.

Comebacks & Debut

  • 20160418_seoulbeats_conanobrien_conankorea_tbs#ConanKorea took place over the weekend; the special saw US late night talk show host Conan O’Brien:
    • Receive a warm and enthusiastic reception at the airport
    • Pimp Kakao
    • Creep out his Korean teacher
    • Donate a market-bought octopus to an aquarium
    • Make a cameo appearance on One More Happy Ending
    • Hang out at the DMZ with Steven Yeun
    • Meet a cute gamer and a monk who is cooler than Conan could ever be
    • Learn Tae Kwon Do
    • Feature in JYP‘s “Fire” MV
    • … And more. What was your favourite part of Conan’s South Korea special?
  • SM‘s new boy group NCT debuted its first sub-unit, NCT U over the weekend as well.
  • JeA released the MV for solo single “Bad Girl.”
  • 4Minute put out a a 360VR video for “Canvas” off their latest mini Act. 7.
  • K-pop Star 3 contestant Sam Kim debuted with My Name is Sam.
  • Rapper Heize dropped “Don’t Come Back” featuring Beast‘s Jun-hyung.
  • Starship Entertainment rapper Gun released the MV for “Reload.”
  • Tiny-G member Mint released “Already Go Lady” under the name Mintty.
  • Untouchable member Sleepy roped in B.A.P‘s Yong-guk for an assist on his new track, “Body Lotion.” The track was also produced by Giriboy.
  • This week’s SM Station release is from Heechul, Mamamoo‘s Whee-in and Jungmo of The Trax, called “Narcissus.”
  • Eric Nam may have left After School Club, but we’ll now be able to see him on We Got Married with screen-wife Solar of Mamamoo. I wonder what their couple name will be?
  • Epik High made their Coachella debut today, and will be performing next Sunday as well; while we wait for fancams, check out the collaborative process that led to the creation of this poster.

20160417_seoulbeats_leehi_mystarTeasers & Announcements

  • Super Junior‘s Yesung will be making his solo debut with Here I Am. Fun fact: the KRY sub-unit solo debuts have actually happened in the same order as their names (Kyuhyun, Ryeowook and now Yesung).
  • A Pink‘s Eunji will also be making her much anticipated solo debut with mini-album Dream. She has also produced the title track, “Heliopsis.”
  • A new teaser for “My Star” off the other half of Lee Hi‘s Seoulite has been released. The half-album itself drops on the 20th.
  • Lovelyz continues to put out teasers for their new trilogy concept.
  • … As is Seventeen, for their first full album.
  • Up10tion has put out an album preview ahead of the release of third mini
  • Twice has sold out its pre-orders for comeback album Page 2.
  • Girl group Berry Good is gearing up for the release of first mini album, Angel, on the 20th.
  • Another girl group making a comeback is Two X with new agency Star Gaze Entertainment. The group had originally debuted under J.Tune Camp.
  • Boy group Lu:kus will be leaving its agency, Pan Entertainment.
  • Romeo‘s agency, CT Entertainment, is set to be acquired by Hunus Entertainment.
  • Two more girl groups have announced line-up changes:
    • Wanna.B‘s Seoyoon has left the group, while Roeun and Lina (Girl’s Day Minah‘s sister) have joined.
    • Mercury has added new member Seo A.
  • Produce 101‘s girl group IOI is set for a May 4th debut.
  • Infinite‘s Woohyun will be making his big screen debut, playing a school teacher in Mongdang Branch School Olympics.
  • Vixx has got fans excited with the concept film for upcoming release Zelos, which drops on the 19th.

20160418_seoulbeats_browneyedgirls_narsha_gqOther News

  • Brown Eyed Girls member Narsha is happily dating. Her boyfriend his apparently involved in the fashion business, and is the same age as Narsha. Congratulations to the couple!
  • Sadly, Oh My Girl‘s health issues continue, with Seung-hee being admitted to hospital after fainting backstage at Music Core this week. We wish Seung-hee full recovery, though it may not happen.
  • Ex-Day6 member Jun-hyeok has reportedly started a new YouTube channel.

(Daum, Sports Donga[1][2], Instagram, The Korea Times, MBC, SM Entertainment, Team CocoTenasia, TV Report, The Wall Street JournalXsports News, YouTube[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]. Images via: SM Entertainment, Team Coco, YG Entertainment, GQ)