Welcome back, readers! This week we are moving into the second week in July, and music shows are heating up with the return of a number of big name idol groups such as Wonder Girls and Beast. To add to the fun, this week saw debuts and comebacks from a number of rookie and somewhat rookie groups, including NCT 127, Seventeen and parody group C.I.V.A from the God of Music. This week’s winners showed some interesting variety, with EXID starting off by taking the trophy for The Show, then passing the first place position to Sistar on Show Champion and M! Countdown, and eventually ending with Taeyeon, who won awards for both “Starlight” and “Why” on Music Bank and Inkigayo respectively. There were many great performances this week, and it’s impossible to include them all, so let me know what I’ve missed in the comments below!
Wonder Girls’ “Why So Lonely,” MBC Show! Music Core, July 9, 2016
This comeback has really opened my eyes to how amazing Wonder Girls is as a long running girl group – since last year, the group has successfully managed to reboot their image as a band, and experimented with various styles of music that have received good responses from the public. “Why So Lonely,” with its reggae influence, differs from the usual bright girl group summer releases; instead, it offers a more laid-back jam that goes well with a slow day in the hot weather. The beach setup certainly helps to evoke this mood of the song, with both the day and evening lighting suiting the music incredibly well. The members also perform the song with an ease similar to the vibe the music conveys, and the tiara on Yoobin is an interesting touch styling-wise.
Beast’s “Ribbon” KBS Music Bank, July 8, 2016
Beast has chosen a good concept for this comeback – the sophisticated, classy style suits the members’ maturity, and this, in turn, allows the group to execute it exceptionally well in the performances of the song. While the choreography looks much more restrained compared to their previous releases, the formations and details cause it to actually be quite intricate, and consequently entertaining to watch. In addition, although the emotional vocals of Hyunseung will be missed in this new 5-membered Beast, “Ribbon” makes good use of the members’ vocal colours, with Yoseob and Dongwoon being allowed to show off their skillful falsettos, and Junhyung’s flat-sounding “Tie up a ribbon” being one of the most memorable lines of the song.
Sistar’s “I Like That,” SBS Inkigayo, July 10, 2016
Everything about Sistar’s comeback is so well done this year. Not only is the song addictive and different from what the group has been putting out for the last two releases, the performances are also incredibly well thought-out – the swishing of the curtains and the removable skirts are eye-catching, and allow Sistar to show a elegant sexiness that is alluring to watch. In terms of styling, the members also look gorgeous in the black outfits, and combined with Soyou’s hairstyle and the set design, the group appears positively royal in this performance.
Seventeen’s “A Midsummer Night’s Sweetness + Ice Cream Cake + Crush + Patbingsu,” KBS Yoo Hui Yeol’s Sketchbook, July 6, 2016
If there is an idol group title along the lines of “best at medleys,” Seventeen would certainly be one of the front runners. After impressing with their girl group medley on Show! Music Core last year, the group continues to pull off a compilation of summer songs in this performance on Sketchbook. The natural transitions are one of the specialties of the group, as is their ability to use their large numbers to their advantage, through playing with formations and splitting into groups in performing the choreography. Finally, what is probably the best part of their performances is that the members effortlessly exude playfulness, making their stages entertaining to watch.
Five Ws’ “Ultra Dance Festival,” SBS Inkigayo, July 10, 2016
For fans of those dance collaborations that happen at year-end music festivals, Inkigayo has prepared a special stage consisting of six girl group members – Seulgi from Red Velvet, Mijoo from Lovelyz, Euijin from Sonamoo, Yooa from Oh My Girl, Eunjin from Dia, and Mina from Twice. The selection of performers is one of the factors of success for this stage – main dancers aside, most of the members also have that powerful and sexy image within their groups, making them capable of pulling off this concept. When it came to the solo stages, they each owned their parts, but the girls also showed consistency as a team. Now if only Inkigayo had captured the performance with better camerawork…