Hello! I don’t even remember when my Outside the Book Nook was posted last time. Was it… Yiruma’s concert one? If yes, that would mean that I abandoned this segment for a good 3 months.
Actually there’s a reason why I don’t use this category much. As you can see, this is, in the first place, a book blog, which means everything bookish should still be the main niche of my space. Of course, since this is my space, and I’m entitled to do whatever I want to, I kept reminding myself that I started this with an intention of being a book blogger. But at the same time I didn’t forbid myself from writing anything non-bookish. I just wanted to avoid turning my bookish blog into anything else but the bookish blog. So that’s why I rarely used this tag.
As for now, I’ve been blogging about books for 3 months already, and I thought that people who read me are more than allowed to know about my other hobbies aside reading, so, today we are here to hear me ranting about my second longest obsession.
If you’re unaware of this acronym, K-pop stands for Korean Pop, meaning all pop music produced and performed by South Korea artists (not always, of course). If the song Gangnam style by PSY sounds familiar to you, then congratulations: at least you know about the existence of K-pop as a music genre.
I will tell about my background story as a K-pop fan in the nearest future (probably next week?), because I don’t want to spend another thousand words (I have a lot to talk about when it comes to k-pop, seriously) writing on my background story alone, and let’s move onto the currently trending survival program called Produce 101 Season 2.
Produce 101 is a survival program on Mnet, aimed to form an 11-member national K-pop idol group from 101 trainees of different agencies, that will be promoted in South Korea for 18 months, after which the contract will be terminated, the project group disbanded, and the members will come back to their respective companies. Season 1 was focused on creating a girl group, and Season 2 (currently airing) is focusing on a boy group.
K-pop idol is a musical artist signed under an entertainment agency. Prior to debut, all potential idols are reffered as trainees and must go through very strict training in order to debut. Training includes not only singing or rapping skills, but also dancing, variety, and public appearance. Sometimes acting and music production are also included in training, if the trainee has the potential in any of those skills.
As I mentioned, Produce 101 Season 2 is currently airing in South Korea, and the main focus of this season are young boys, aged from 15 to 30, all with different terms of training, talent and skills. The selection of Top 11 trainees are decided by online voting, and the trainee with most votes, and thus winning the program, will become the center (a member who receives most screen time and public appearance) of the project boy group. There are several evaluation stages where the true skills will be judged by South Korean nation, and after each evaluation, a pool of low-ranked trainees will be eliminated from the show.
As of today, there are 60 (actually 59, because trainee Ha Min-ho was withdrawn due to sexual harassment accusations) trainees left on the show, but I would still pick my favorite trainees from both currently survived and eliminated groups. Shall we start?
Current ranking (as of Ep. 6): 18
Also known as: Ren
Choi Min-ki is actually a member of 5-year old group called NU’EST, alongside with Kang Dong-ho (Baek-ho), Hwang Min-hyun, Kim Jong-hyun (JR), and Aron (the only member not participating in PD101). He is the maknae (a.k.a. the youngest) in NU’EST.
Min-ki initially has a big fanbase due to his androgynous looks, and is considered among international (and also Korean) fans as one of the prettiest idols (there is difference between being called handsome and pretty when describing a male idol in S.Korea) currently active. He actually has very impressive vocal skills that are overlooked because of his visuals. He is also known as the biggest Lady Gaga fan 🙂
Seriously, guys, Min-ki’s visuals are no joke.
(Rainbow Bridge World | RBW)
Current ranking (as of Ep. 6): 29
Lee Gun-hee is a trainee under Rainbow Bridge World (RBW) agency, a home to currently trending groups MAMAMOO, and VROMANCE, a.k.a. vocal queens and kings.
He’s yet to show his true potential and skills, but I personally like his vocal range, although I think he still needs to practice a lot more before actually debuting. But at least he has of the best reactions and facial expressions on the show.
Also he has those charming visuals 🙂
(Rainbow Bridge World | RBW)
Current ranking (as of Ep.5): 94 (eliminated)
Gun-min is another trainee from Rainbow Bridge World. Unfortunately, he’s one of the “victims” of Mnet’s so called evil editing (a term used in K-pop world to describe unfair post-production when a certain person gets little to zero screen time, or his/her screen time is used to show their bad side) that led to his elimination at the end of episode 5. I find it very frustrating that South Koreans slept on his actual vocal skills. Just look how he killed his part in Boys in Luv cover!
Current ranking (as of Ep.6): 8
Also known as: Baek-ho
Kang Dong-ho is another Pledis Entertainment trainee that is actually a member of the group NU’EST, known under stage name Baek-ho. Despite his sang nam-ja (manly/real man) looks, he’s actually a cutie with a honey voice! I mean, look at his SMILE. And I’ll tell you a very shocking truth: this boy was born in 1995 (as well as other members of NU’EST participating in Produce 101).
He regained lots of love from S.Korean voters after his performance with the song Boys in Luv (original by BTS):
Sure you’d like this cutie to be your boyfriend. He has it all 😉
Current ranking (as of Ep.6): 38
Also known as: Dancing King of Produce 101 Season 2
Hong Eun-ki caught my attention after the dance battle the trainees had between preparing for evaluation performances. This boy does almost everything, from contemporary dance to wacking. Like, seriously, his dancing diva attitude will blow you away:
(at 0:15 THAT SEXINESS OVERLOAD ARHGKHLGLB; and also his duet contemporary dance with Zhu Zheng-ting is flawless!!!)
I NEED MORE OF SASSY DANCING DIVA HONG EUNKI PLZZZZZZZ
(HF Music Company)
Current ranking (as of Ep.6): 21
Park Woo-dam shooked me with his vocal skills. If he wasn’t the main vocal for Mansae performance, I really doubt anyone would recognize his real talent. Plus his visuals really remind me of Seo Eun-kwang from BTOB (another vocal kings’ boy group). And he somehow looks like a vampire in this profile picture, no? Thank you, heavy make-up lol