Hello everyone and welcome to not just a new edition of SB Week in Review, but a new year as well! We’re barely a week into 2018 and there is already so much news to catch up on, so without further ado:
- The firing of CEO of Fantagio, Na Byeong-joon has created chaos in the company. The move was instigated by JC Group, a Chinese fund that currently holds a 50.07% controlling stake in the company. Staff have threatened to go on strike in response. It is not clear if and how this will affect the artists managed by Fantagio, and we will have more on the story as it develops.
- In a shocking but ultimately not surprising move, T-ara have left MBK Entertainment. Hyomin posted a message to Instagram stating that she and her fellow members — including Eunjung, Jiyeon, and Qri — hoped to stay together as a group. We wish T-ara the best of luck in their endeavours.
- Exo‘s Baekhyun has apologised on Instagram following outcry for comments he made about depression. At a recent fansign, a fan had opened up to the idol about their depression, and Baekhyun had given them words they found comforting. Other fans reading the fan’s account online felt differently, however, particularly about Baekhyun’s statement that he did not understand why people had depression or anxiety, and his allegedly advising against taking medication for such conditions.
Debuts & Comebacks
- TS Entertainment debuted the first new group of 2018, boy band TRCNG.
- HeyGirls also debuted with “No One But You.”
- Mamamoo returned with the ballad “Paint Me,” which sadly left our reviewer underwhelmed.
- Our reviewer felt Momoland’s “Bboom Bboom” to be a little disorganised, but the song seems to be finding favour with a number of fans.
- Everyone’s favourite Filipino-American K-pop star Kreisha Chu dropped her first EP, Dream of Paradise.
- SM Station started 2018 off right with Luna and Amber‘s “Lower.”
Teasers & Announcements
- On the 8th:
- Block B return with repackage Re:Montage.
- Stray Kids will put out pre-debut album Mixtape.
- On the 9th, Oh My Girl make their first comeback as seven with Story Book.
- On the 12th:
- On the 17th, JBJ return with “True Colors.”
- On the 18th, Sunmi is back with “Heroine.”
- On the 29th, Suzy will have a new album to join Yes? No?
- iKon have a second album in the works.
- Hello Venus‘ Alice will debut solo under her birth name, Song Ju-hee.
- After the birth of her daughter, actress Han Ga-in will be making her comeback in the K-drama remake of BBC‘s Mistresses.
- In2it, of Boys24 fame, will be visiting fans in Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia on a small Asia tour this February.
- CL will make her Hollywood debut in the film Mile 22.
- CL also uploaded a snippet of unreleased music on Instagram, likely part of her US music ventures.
- We usually have a big couple reveal at the start of the year, a Dispatch tradition, but 2018 went into overdrive with reports on the following pairings:
- G-Dragon and Jooyeon (formerly of After School) are now official, after denying past rumours.
- MBLAQ‘s G.O confirmed that he was dating actress Choi Ye-seul.
- G.O’s former groupmate Lee Joon was revealed to be dating actress Jung So-min.
- Former Beast member Hyunseung is dating former gymnast and current professional bowler Shin Soo-ji.
- And Hyomin is allegedly dating a media group CEO, though there has been no official word confirming or denying it.
- FT Island‘s Minhwan announced his impending marriage to ex-Laboum member Yulhee — congrats to the couple! There are also rumours of Yulhee being pregnant, but these stories have not been confirmed.
- In enlistment news:
- T.O.P will be recommencing his military service as a public service officer. The Big Bang rapper had been discharged from his initial posting as a military police officer after being charged and convicted for marijuana use and had taken further time off for recovery after being hospitalised (warning: link contains mentions of suicide).
- G-Dragon will also be enlisting this year.
- Actor Lee Hyun-woo will also be commencing his enlistment in February.
- Golden Child‘s Jaeseok has decided to leave the entertainment industry, reportedly for his health. We wish him the best of luck with the future!
- And for any of your K-pop idol hopefuls still out there, SM will be holding auditions in ten countries this year.
Wishing everyone a (belated) Happy New Year!
(10Asia, Instagram, News1, Osen, Star Today, TV Report, Twitter, Yonhap. Images via: WM Entertainment, MBK Entertainment)