Time is passing by fast and already, we are reaching the end of October and also Halloween. However, let’s not forget the eventful month we’ve had and also the immense slew of comebacks November is guaranteed to bring us. Here at UnitedKpop, we work hard to keep you updated so just for you, here are five stories that have been a huge talking point across the Kpop industry.
01. Sunmi & Amber Hit Back
It is certainly rare to see Idols hit back and more often than not, they can return to bite you as we’ve seen a few times in the past year with troubled trainee, Han Seo Hee. However, when idols retaliate against rumors, it is often done very cleverly and sometimes a little tongue in cheek. Following in the saying of “No Tea, No Shade”, both f(x)’s Amber and former Wonder Girl, Sunmi have had their fair share of wit in the past month.
During promotions for her recent solo hit, “Gashina”, Sunmi already gained praise and also some questions herself as she performed a “part-switch” rendition of the choreography – which included the idol being up-close and sensually personal with her female dancers on live television. She was highly praised for having the courage to perform which in turn promoted LGBT within South Korea; a topic which is still touchy to the majority of society. It may seem positive enough but in this month, Sunmi has been hit with LGBT rumours; concerning herself?! Many online fans believed that the soloist was in fact homosexual, as her nails were cut short unlike the usual neat manicure seen among idols. To Western fans, this may seem completely crazy but fans noted that short nails are a stereotype for homosexual women. MAKE US Entertainment soon issued a statement concerning the rumours, claiming that they were not planning to retaliate and thought of it as “a result of excessive affection and attention.” Sunmi herself soon noticed the comments and retaliated with a cheeky comment on her Instagram, asking fans “Is there anything wrong with my nails?” which proved how relaxed she can be with her fans and not being afraid to speak her mind.
That wasn’t the only idol to hit back, with Amber Liu taking to her vlog channel; What The Pineapple to respond to Hate Comments. In true Amber fashion, she replies to each with hilarious sarcasm as she and her friends spend the entire video looking for her chest, which is strangely being kept hostage by a budget version of Pennywise. Of course, there is clear enough warning at the beginning of the video that her response will be tongue-in-cheek but despite her awkward companions asking “Did you check under your shirt?”, it is still fun and refreshing to see the Amber we know and love show that such comments don’t really affect Idols as online trolls may hope. In fact, in the case of the f(x) rapper, her androgynous style has always been a talking point among fans so it’s wonderful to see that she’s still representing herself among the stereotypical female idols. Stay savage, Amber!
02. W.orth the Wait for NU’EST
October was already proving to be a huge month for Produce 101 Season 2 Alumni; JBJ & Rainz making their project debut, Wanna One preparing for a comeback in November but of course, there was still one question left to ask; what next for NU’EST? Here at UnitedKpop, we covered their rise, fall and battle to the top in a past OP-ED but the answers we needed were soon to be revealed with NU’EST W – the unit made up of Baekho, JR, Aron and Ren while Minhyun continues his year-long promotion with Wanna One. Both L.O.Λ.Es and fans of the show were eagerly awaiting for their mini-album, “W.HERE” and they were certainly in for a treat with two new tracks and a solo song for each member.
Already, the Pledis quartet have been on the rise, topping multiple real-time charts in Korean with “Where You At”; including Melon, Genie, Bugs, Naver, and Soribada. The title track topped South Korea’s national music charts, gaining a chart “Triple Crown” in the second week of October. However, the accolades haven’t stopped there as their tale of redemption finally has a happy ending. Despite being at the last chance saloon in Produce 101, NU’EST earned their first ever music show win during the October 19th broadcast of M! Countdown. In the 24 hours after gaining the win, their celebrations were soon escalating as they gained their first music show win on mainstream broadcast during KBS’ Music Bank.
This win is more than special as it is a new record for the longest period of time between debut and first music show win; with NU’EST taking 2,046 days, or 5 years and 221 days in total, which is longer than the record held by BTOB (1,480 days). For many fans, they may it was definitely a long while coming. Congratulations to the boys for their amazing achievement!
03. Idols Assemble for Second Chance in “The Unit”
At long last, some unsung KPop heroes are getting their much needed shot. With the success of NU’EST, the industry may finally be seeing the light and introducing the concept of “Idol Reboots”. YG is already giving some groups such as ONF, KNK, LOONA and Dreamcatcher a chance to show a new side of them in “MIX NINE”, but KBS2’s “The Unit” is proving to be a huge hot topic. Already, we have seen a long list of idols who are adored and considered under-rated be confirmed for the show including Boyfriend, IMFACT, Topp Dogg, MYNAME, Brave Girls, SPICA and the list goes on and on.
As of this article being written, the show has not yet been televised but the first open recordings are complete and less than half of the contestant pool will be facing elimination in the first round before the Idols are divided for their upcoming performance missions. In true survival show style, they have released a huge ensemble track, “My Turn” and the male groups’ first mission song, “Light”. With that and their all-star mentor panel including Rain, Hyuna & Taemin, it has already gathered massive attention which is already going to be a great benefit for the groups going past the projects and ultimately the two groups which will be promoted at the end of the show; which premieres on October 28th.
04. BTS on UK Airwaves
BTS have already broke into the UK Charts with their 2016 release, “Wings” but their latest release, “Love Yourself – Her” has taken things to a whole new level. Throughout their promotions, UnitedKpop has been covering their domination in the Official UK Charts and the love calls don’t seem to be stopping any time soon. With the help of their monster hit, “DNA”, the boys became the first Korean group to have reached #1 on the UK iTunes Chart and in over 50 countries around the world. Furthermore, they managed to break their own record on the Official UK Album Charts, with “Love Yourself – Her” debuting at #14.
However, it has taken more than their viral music video and album release to receive so much love from the UK. ARMY have been fighting hard to get “DNA” played on commercial radio, and this month, their love and hard work has certainly paid off with BTS getting their first ever UK Radio play on The Hits Radio, with BBC Radio 1 soon following suit all thanks to presenters, Olivia Jones and Adele Roberts. ARMY have returned the favour by sending flowers to both presenters as a special thank you for promoting the group within the UK but there is still more to come; with Olivia Jones revealing that Rap Monster himself will be speaking about ARMY and much more on The Hits Radio, on Thursday 26th October. Make sure to follow UnitedKpop for more updates as BTS continue to dominate the UK Airwaves, one station at a time.
05. November Comeback Frenzy
If you thought October was crazy, prepare yourself because fans are already dubbing November as a monster month for comebacks. Already, the list of artists confirmed to return are as follows; MONSTA X with “Protocol Terminal”, EXID with “Full Moon” (with a possible return of vocalist, Solji), Astro with the second part to their “Dream” saga, Seventeen with their second full album “TEEN,AGE”, Wanna One with “1-1=0” and many others including Block B & Gugudan.
However, there is one fully anticipated return that has been a long time coming. That’s right! SMTown loyal fans can rejoice as Super Junior will finally be making their return to the industry with “PLAY”, their 8th studio album with seven members; Heechul, Donghae, Eunhyuk, Shindong, Siwon, Yesung & Leeteuk. Despite news that Heechul may not be fully participating due to health issues, that has not stopped ELF from reuniting and embracing the group who were one of the many who cemented SM Entertainment’s place in the K-Pop Industry and also adored seniors to the younger generation of idols. Get ready, because Super Junior will rise once again on November 6th
That is it! Another month has come and gone but there is still so much to look forward to as we race towards the year’s end and of course, the annual music awards. Until then, you are now up-to-date with some of the most notable news among the UKP Team. Make sure to follow us on both Facebook and Twitter so you can keep up to date with all the stories noted this month and breaking K-Pop news as it happens in the UK.