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Our Thoughts on the T-ara Break Up

August 2, 2012

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Ok, so we had a regular, plain-ole, easy to talk about TL;DR planned for this week about life in Korea and our experiences and stuff. It was gonna be smooth and easy! Then, the whole scandal with T-ara erupted, and we received messages everywhere: on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and our Email, asking about our thoughts on the matter.

So, we talked about it amongst ourselves for most of yesterday and half of today, and tried to figure out exactly what we wanted to say. We know, after all, that our opinions aren’t the most orthodox ones. We don’t feel outraged or sad or disappointed by the rumours, nor are we intrigued by the accusations or the juicy gossip or conspiracy theories (someone sent us an email suggesting that this was actually a plan by Korea’s president to distract people from some issues with Incheon Airport’s privatization). We’re indifferent to all of that. What we are interested in, though, is the dynamic between members of Kpop groups, and the operations of Kpop as a business, especially its marketing aspects. We’re more interested in the workings of the company and the final product in the music than in the idols and their personalities and personal lives. That’s the approach we’ve taken with our Kpop Music Mondays, and that’s the approach we’ve taken here with the T-ara controversy as well.

Hopefully we expressed ourselves semi-decently in our video. There are a few things we didn’t include, though.

We didn’t have the time to address the age ranking system in Korea and how it would affect the members in a kpop group. You’ve probably heard of kpop groups calling a member the “maknae” of the group. To those of us living outside of Korea, that might just means the newest or youngest member of a group. But in Korea, the maknae of a group or company has TONS of responsibilities to the older members. That includes being extremely respectful to the older members all the time, following orders without complaint (which could be costume choices, who gets the best seat in the car, first pick of anything), and they also have to do things for their “unnies” and “hyungs”. For example, maybe they’ll have to eat last, or hand out all the coffee, they might have to clean up after everyone eats in the dorms, or share a bathroom with the other youngest/newest member. There are tons of things the maknae has to do for their elders. Why? Because their elders were once maknae’s to someone else, whether in school, at a job, or at home so this is the time for them to be respected by someone younger then them. You’ve got to think of it like being in the army, where the maknae is the new recruit and everyone else is ranked higher. The reason we bring this up, is because Hwayoung was the maknae of the group (taking over Jiyeon’s position) and thus had to take over the submissive role of a maknae. As outsiders who aren’t in the group, there is no way of us knowing whether or not she was respectful enough to her elders, if awkward situations arose regarding her level of respect, or if perhaps her unnies were abusing their position as elders. I bring this up because I’ve seen a lot of pictures popping up on the internet claiming evidence of bullying because Hwayoung is getting last pick, or getting the worst seat, or being forced to eat something on a variety show. To me, that kind of treatment happens to the maknae in any kpop band and I just can’t see it as solid evidence against the other members of T-ara.

Another thing we wanted to talk about but quickly glossed over in the video about the stresses that arise from a hectic schedule: we talked briefly about how kpop idols go from place to place to place, do one thing, don’t rest, do another thing, don’t rest, travel somewhere else, barely rest in the car, do another thing, don’t rest, so on and so forth. In the video we mentioned how difficult it must be to be with each there all of the time, but we also think that it’s not just a matter of the amount of time they spend with each other, but it’s also a matter of them being overworked, sleep-deprived, and exhausted…AND THEN having to buddy up to each other.

Hell! Think of it this way: the two of us are one of the sappiest, lovey-doviest couples you’ve ever barfed rainbows over watching. When we’re deprived of sleep, though, and our schedules become too packed with lots of movies and other projects, we get snippy with each other when we’re planning and filming. It’s nothing bad, though, like fighting or yelling or anything like that, but we get short with each other, you know? And we’re married. I can’t imagine what it’s like for Kpop idols who work harder than us, for longer hours, with less food, AND THEY’RE NOT EVEN MARRIED TO EACH OTHER! We can resolve our disputes with snuggles and kisses. How do kpop idols resolve their disputes?

Another thing we glossed over: let’s look at T-ara as a group. They’re, what, seven members, right? Seven pretty, highly driven and motivated girls, plopped together for an infinite amount of time, who are viewed by the public in very superficial terms…and they’re all between 18-26. How about the fact that GIRLS ARE CATTY!* There’s bound to be cat fights happening all the time! We know the majority of our demographic is female: you know, you MUST have experienced being in large groups of girls and how not-so-smoothly that often flows, right? And this isn’t for just T-ara alone. We often wonder what are Girls’ Generation like with 9 members. How about After School? GOD DON’T MAKE ME THINK ABOUT AKB48!!!

Altogether, put a bunch of young girls together in a high stress scenario with little rest, a broken leg, and the constant need to put their best faces forward: there’s BOUND to be tension and eruptions. We’re not condoning anyone’s actions within the group, primarily because we will never know what actually happened between them (and news sites are more interested in stirring things up rather than reporting on news), so we won’t say who’s right and who’s wrong. What we will say, though, is that we suspect every band is going through their own crap, and they’re not skipping around with sunshine and lollipops everywhere.

We really hope that people don’t take this as a statement that we hate Kpop or that we’re saying bad things about Kpop with this video and post. Not at all. What we don’t like ABOUT Kpop, though, is the idolatry that goes on, how fans get so caught up in the lives of artists, and forget about the music itself. Whenever we meet a Kpop idol we always get comments like “how did you not faint or scream when you met blah blah” but to us, they’re just normal people. The two of us here at Eat Your Kimchi don’t give a burning crap about the lives of idols, how dreamy they are, how they act on TV shows, or anything like that. We barely even know the members names most of the time, and it shouldn’t matter if we know their names or not. What we care about is music. We want to talk about kpop not as fans who worship the idols, but as people who appreciate the music. You know what we’re saying?

Word.

*EDIT:

This is Martina, who wrote this blog post, and I understand that some people have completely misunderstood and been deeply offended that I said “girls are catty”. I clearly have poorly worded this and have made people think that I’m making a generalization about all women, and I’m sorry that it came across that way.

So let me further attempt to express my opinion somewhat clearly: In my personal experience of the world, which differs from your personal experience, I think that girls, BUT NOT ALL GIRLS, tend to be more catty than guys. However, guys can also be catty, but in my personal experience, I found that my male friends were much much less catty. My definition of “catty,” which might differ from yours, is when people create fights over trivial topics due to jealously. Examples of what I think are catty behaviours: saying mean comments about someone’s looks, being jealous about the attention someone is getting, purposely lying to someone to make the other person look bad. I absolutely did not mean that T-ara broke up due to the sole fact that they are female.

It was not my intention to offend anyone, and I’m honestly sorry that I did, but now I’m concerned that I’ve doubly offended you in the explanation of what I meant, so…I’m not sure what else I can do now apart from build that igloo I talked about in the video.

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Our Thoughts on the T-ara Break Up

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  1. In case you think it’s weird that I’m commenting on such an old video, I’m on an S&M maraton >.< But I was just wondering, if the only exception you'll make to your aforementioned rule is Chris Brown, are T-ARA now also in your bad books having worked with him? x x x

    3 years ago
    • Lol, that is an interesting question. This video was made before T-ara N4 worked with him.

      3 years ago
  2. You guys couldn’t have explained it better

    4 years ago
  3. What I want to know is why they decided to go to Korea in the first place. Were they already fans of Korean culture before they began teaching?

    5 years ago
  4. MWAHAHAHA!!! Hahah that’s so awesome!! See, parents do good things sometimes :p

    5 years ago
  5. I agree, both on the bullying vs. normal fights and the “I wouldn’t spend a cent on celebs who act like assholes” (though in my case I would worry less about wasting money on hedonistic activities and more for stuff like hate speech, violent behaviour, rape, murder…). Actually, I think it’s wrong to dismiss T-ara’s behaviours as just normal parts of petty bandmate conflicts, and I don’t need biased fan-accounts to believe so. The only materials I trust in this whole affair are T-ara’s Twitter messages, because seriously, what are the odds of someone simultaneously hacking multiple Twitter accounts around the time of Hwayoung’s tweet? Well, as I read that stuff the first time I remember thinking “Wow, writing passive-aggressive comments for the whole internet to see in reply to your fellow group member’s neutral post? Acting all together to have the upper hand? And e-hi5’ing each other as if you were heroines for doing all this? Girls, that is ugly”. Those tweets might not be evidence for actual bullying, however the whole thing sure smells like potentially career-hurting public shaming (little did they know that those comments would’ve involved the entire group in a scandal, instead of just putting the maknae in a bad light) and in general lack of professionalism. And yes, I don’t particularly like the idea of financially supporting an idol, thus someone created for young people to look up to, if evidence suggests that she/he’s the kind of inconsiderate, venomous person who might end up ruining someone’s life one day. I can always listen to songs on YT for free, if the music’s worth it.
    I was also a bit disappointed by the fact that S&M didn’t mention neither how KKS’s uber-exploitative, manipulative and overall creepy managment style might be the main reason major conflicts might have arised within T-ara, nor the fact that CCM’s poor handling of PR is making the situation much worse than it would initially have been.

    5 years ago
  6. Just saw your edit, Martina.
    You have my support. I’m afraid some people just don’t understand poetic license or language usage such as generalisation anymore.

    In saying that, Korean guys are incredibly good looking.

    5 years ago
  7. IMO, T-ara should be disbanded (dismembered? lols) because they are unprofessional. I’m sure there are lots of band mates that don’t get along but the way some of the girls behave publicly is really shameful. They hurt one girls image on stage and they hurt themselves. When you watch the youtube movies- their bullying is so bold. It’s not right.

    But I blame the management company. They didn’t deal properly with two major CoEd School scandals (Kangho and then Soomi). And as much as I dislike SME, I’m sure Papa SM wouldn’t tolerate a second of that nonsense. CCM, get your house in order.

    5 years ago
  8. Hooray! SANITY!

    5 years ago
  9. Haii~~I was wondering if u guise watched the Canadian team play in the Olympics this year…? If u guise did, what do u think about it? Do u guise have any messages for our athletes? As a fellow Canadian, I hope u guise can help boost the team spirit with your encouraging-ness!! Thanks <3

    5 years ago
  10. Haii~~I was wondering if u guise were watching the Canadian team in the Olympics this year. If I guise did, what do u think of it so far and if u have any messages for them??

    5 years ago
  11. To be completely honest, I didn’t even know about any of this until you announced what your next TL:DR was going to be.

    I agree: We don’t know what really happened and we never will.

    . . . . It does suck that all of this was made public, though. (Only because that leaves it open for theories and rumors.)

    5 years ago
  12. here’s a question.
    how serious is the whole ‘fandom’ thing in korea?? its pretty serious in some countries…so i was just wondering about it and how it works in south korea?
    like the ELFs, SONES, VIPs etc

    5 years ago
  13. I just wanted to put out another “THANK YOU” for this post AND video, clarification or not. Let’s face it : while one may not be able to say “GIRLS ARE CATTY” as a general rule… THERE ARE TONS OF CATTY GIRLS IN THE WORLD :) . TONS of them.

    I’m a girl, and even *I* recognize this. I’m not particularly catty myself because it would be quite hypocritical (you know, comments about looks and stuff) and it would also probably bite me in the ass later, but I completely understand the video.

    And guess what ? You guys are SO AWESOME that for some reason, when Psy’s “Gangnam style” got out and you reviewed it, I was tempted to watch the video. And I did. Me, the anti-YG person. And guess what ?

    I enjoyed it O_O . Me. Who was resisting resisting resisting as much as I could. That’s how powerful you are, hahahahaha XD !

    5 years ago
  14. THANK YOU FOR BEING THE VOICE OF REASON.
    (And providing me with good laughs with the “fart (f-art? O.o) incident” at the end of the super serious un-EYK like talk X”D )

    5 years ago
  15. very good video, your guys’ maturity was awesome, bravo for this

    5 years ago
  16. I some time wish some people in Korea think like you guys. I just hate it how they attack one or more in the kpop group to blame them for the other person problems. I agreed with you guys a 100% there human just like us that make mistakes all the time. That’s why a lot of kpop stars commit suicide which is sad. We should just let it go and just hope the best for the all the girls and for every kpop group that is going through the same thing. Oh you guys know about AKB48 cool. Now that’s a huge girl group o.0.

    5 years ago
  17. BRAVO!!!

    One more detail nobody is mentioning:
    Hwayoung has a twin sister. One of the disadvantages of twin closeness is that the closeness may make twins more conservative when socializing with others since twins tend to form their own communicative team, with their own language. They may then be very shy when they have to communicate individually with others.

    Sometimes what is interpreted as being outcast, it may simply be Hwayoung’s social skills.

    5 years ago
  18. Gonna put my question first, so it doesn’t get buried (and I’m a new viewer, so sorry if this has been covered already, slowly working my way through all the videos): What kind of subjects do Korean students study in high school? What exactly is an arts high school? Do places like that in Dream High even exist? (That’s one question, I swear).

    Hmmm, I’m a girl and I didn’t find the comment about cattiness offensive at all; I work in a predominantly female workplace and I’ve found it to be rather true (not generalizing, just making a personal observation). And I admit, I can be catty at times, and I think I have more catty moments than my male peers…so maybe that’s why I wasn’t angered by the remark.

    Anyhow, I saw this story erupting and thought many of the same things that were brought up in the video. I mean, even family members with shared DNA fight; put people who aren’t even distantly related and all super-driven together and expect them to get along perfectly 100% of the time? That’s just a fantasy. I mean, even bands that seemingly get along well in public, even with those I can detect moments where it’s clear one or more members needs time off from the others.

    Let’s take my fave band: MBLAQ. On camera, I’d say these 5 guys are as close as brothers, and as an observer, I believe I can feel their love and affection for each other. However, they can be downright cruel to each other – EVEN ON CAMERA – and they do indeed bully each other; yes, it may be in the realm of harmless teasing, but that kinda stuff builds up. One day, it’s all fun and games; next day, BOOM, Joon’s looking like the world is collapsing around him or Mir’s looking like a kicked puppy. So, yeah, even in seemingly close groups, these fractures exist. I accept that, and as a fan, I say, if it doesn’t affect their work, I let it go.

    5 years ago
  19. I gotta say, I think you guys hit it right on the nail! We DON’T know what is going on. And we never will. Chances are both parties are in the wrong. That is usually what happens.

    And people need to RELAX about famous people. I work at a restaurant that has many pro-athletes that come in. Now, I personally don’t care much about sports. Yes, I do like some teams, some sports, but I don’t pay attention to the details.

    Point being some member of a hockey team came into the store got a drink and the girl I was working with pointed out how he looked like a hockey player. Proceeded to search who he was, and got giddy once she matched the picture up with the face. It is just weird to see steps go backwards (from knowing the celeb on TV, seeing them, go crazy; rather than seeing the person, look up who they are, THEN go crazy)

    I guess I can keep such a level head because of two reasons. One I grew up with a famous person in my town who was level headed. I grew up in the same town as Bruce Springsteen. Which was good because he just walked around town like a normal person. I don’t know him personally, but just standing behind him in Starbucks and being more concerned about your Soy Latte keeps you level headed about celebs.

    And the second reason is because I worked briefly in TV. I was in a few commercials for FOX. Knowing HOW we picked some people for TV spots was- well crazy. I kid you not when I say I would hear my boss ask his wife to be in ads, and other TV spots because it was just easier than looking for people. It is sort of like what Simon and Martina say about “why is this person famous?” on a much smaller scale. A lot of it is chance mixed with talent. I had the talent to work in TV, but I just happened to work for the department that filmed promos.

    5 years ago
  20. Great response. I really can’t understand how people go so far to insult T-ara with no solid evidence to justify it when this sort of behaviour can lead to devastating consequences. This could seriously have affect on everyone’s mental well-being and the fact that I once got a reply basically saying “Good, the less members the better” has me severely worried.

    As for Tl;dr: How would you say foreigners are portrayed on Korean television? I recall a brief talk from you guys during the “blackface” incident and there was that outrageous MBC documentary, but it can’t be all bad.

    5 years ago
  21. I think it’s really difficult when one already established group gets a new member, like in this case. As you said they have to learn first how to survive in the Kpop world and second how to get along together so the band can survive too. I mean if they’re not friends or at lest in the same kind of relationship the band is bound to break up and soon.
    And when all of this is more or less done and suddenly a new member comes he/ she have to do it alone, not always with the help of the others. It’s really difficult, I remember Kyuhyun from Suju and Seunghyun from FT island talking about it. Let’s not talk about how the fans react or how the old members can get protective with their positions and exclude the newby. It’s always hard to be the new kid after all.
    So yeah I think this is the problem with T-ara. I personally won’t like it if my favorite group gets another member either. And I’m just a person who listens to them, how the members or the new guy feel?
    I’m not saying she was bullied or was difficult to work with. I’m just stating that probably she just couldn’t join the group properly.

    5 years ago
  22. Excellent take on the whole issue. It bewilders me, how people are just being swept by the reports and rumours, taking sides without knowing actually what went on and is going on. (You know how we always talk about kpop bias, and I am surprised fans of the other members turn against their biases so quickly.)

    And indeed, people forget that kpop idols, or any idol out there in fact, are humans. A kpop band is like a mini society, some click, some don’t, and every one has a different standing in this “mini society”.

    It’s really disappointing how their company has chosen to handle everything, from when the problem first started, to how everything exploded and now continue being a crazy PR mess. That’s the worst thing in this whole drama-rama.

    T-ara has really great music and it would be such a waste for them to disband just like this.

    5 years ago
  23. I’m so happy you aren’t like some other people that pick sides in this fight. I myself found out about all this T-ara stuff a few days ago and I was surprised how people choose sides so quickly and made such hateful comments, when they don’t even know what really happened.
    I’m not really interested in girl groups when it comes to k-pop, because I just can’t listen to them for a long period of time without a headache. (I have a really sensitive sense of smell and hearing and because of that I get migraines all the time. Too much perfume on a person or high pitched voices all around me and I’m not able to move because my head is ready to explode or I will barf all over things till I fall asleep.<- I'm serious, first time this happened I was 8 and thought I will die, since then my teacher didn't wear any perfume and I was seated by the window.) So I can't really tell what I think of T-ara as a group at all, because I don't know them and I can't even name a song by them, that's how good I know girl groups.
    But what I can tell is, yes it really is hard to live with a bunch of girls (I'm a girl myself, just to make it clear) in one room for a long period of time and trying to get along(Not saying that guys don't have any problems when in such situations). I used to dance (like tango, quickstep, rumba, pasadoble and such dances) and we had a training camp, where we needed to live in dorms for almost a month. It was hard, we woke up at 5:30am and went to bed at around 11pm and had a 30 minute break in the middle of the day, after lunch. And all the time I spent there I was constantly together with 5 girls I shared my dorm room with. I can't say that I didn't like them, but after the camp I started to look at them in another light. Like one girl was talking behind the back of the others and accusing them without knowing the details herself (we had a stealing incident), so I told the others that they might want to talk with the girl, before she goes to the trainer and gets them in trouble(I didn't even tell them what she has said, just that they might want to talk to her). Next thing I know, after a while I'm treated like a traitor by the girls that were accused, because I told them IN DETAIL what the first girl has said and they are now best of friends, so I in a way betrayed them too, go figure. I don't even want to think of the scenery that might have happened if we had the whole Korean age thing going on or if we had the public eye to worry about.
    So yeah, living with strangers 24/7 with not enough rest and trying to get along is really hard. And I agree with you Martina, guys aren't so catty as girls, that is one of the reasons I had more guy friends then girl friends in school. xD
    I mean, if girls fight it's usually like "Lets all ignore her and later on call her names", but when guys fight they punch each other in the face and in the end have a man hug and go get a drink together (I have actually witnessed this).
    I'm sad that because of media people are picking sides and what not, maybe if this wouldn't have gone in public it wouldn't be so messy.
    Hope you won't get bashed too much about saying your opinion and that some people will actually listen to what you said and understand that idols are people too, because some just treat their stars like they are gods and then get disappointed when they show their human side.

    5 years ago
  24. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tell me what that song is at 2.52 when Martina starts air drumming. Only my boyfriend and I are talking about how it’s similar to a song he wrote blah blah and I just wanted to know what it’s called :] xxx

    5 years ago
  25. It makes me deeply sad when a woman talks about women like that. The “a bunch of girls together is like a bag full of cats” idea is a really low concept to put out there of the gender that includes you, Martina. Girls can be bitchie as boy can bullie and be violent and on and on. Is a short-minded point of view that impoverishes our already poor condition in the world. We, more than anyone, have to take care of each other. Let’s!

    5 years ago
  26. I love the way you guys addressed this drama. When I received an email alert about the video, I cringed a little when I saw the title but you approached the topic with a good intentions. Thank you very much for this.
    Just to add on, this kind of thing has happen with two groups I am familiar with from the States and England (Original Destiny’s Child and original Sugababes). Those two groups were people who met at school or grew up together. It goes to show you whether you formed a group by yourself or a company put you together it isn’t easy working in a group.

    5 years ago
  27. You didn’t offend me Martine…girls are catty, especially the girls at my school -_-;

    5 years ago
  28. and yet martina was saying the other day that bang yongguk is dreamy (x hehe. i understand. we all have that little fangirl within us somewhere. but anyway, you guys never fail to intrigue/amaze/have me nodding in agreement with your opinions

    5 years ago
  29. hwayoung is older then jiyeon.

    5 years ago
  30. woww good job! thankss ;p

    5 years ago
  31. Well, U-Kiss solves their disputes with ”
    snuggles and kisses.” I’d be lying if I said I wish I was joking but I’m not. Hahaha by the way this is something their darlin’ leader has said himself.

    Anyway, your point of view isn’t lost on me. I was asked by a friend which side I toke but I was troubled. Being someone who at one point was bullied I felt myself feeling very sympathetic towards Hwayoung. With all these evidences started coming out I was even more swayed to her side. Some things were blown out of proportion but still I understood the point.
    But I thought about it harder. Let’s take Infinite for example. They are certainly a playful bunch but I’m sure they’ve had their disputes. If you watch any of the series shows they take part of you’d notice sometimes the members gang up on one member. More often than not it’s Sunggyu, their leader. How do we know if it’s all in good fun of making jokes about their oldest member? It’s true the members do this much more publicly so it doesn’t seem like secret. Hidden in plain sight comes to mind. For the record I don’t believe Sunggyu is bullied by his members.I think it’s his grandpa image they are trying to enforce.
    My point is that any of these incidents could be singled out, taken out of context and called bullying.
    I hate to bring another group into this but I can only think of this way to show my point.
    I’m not saying they didn’t bully her but I’m also not saying I’m convinced it’s as severe as the public keeps pushing.

    5 years ago
  32. Thank You for saying this!! this is really what fans need to hear!! I always feel like fans just take things too far sometimes and they need to learn to back off!

    5 years ago
  33. lol! I love the awkward turtle!

    5 years ago
  34. Idols have a lot of gas…

    5 years ago
  35. Wow this is the first time ive actually seen you guys get serious about something. I never thought to factor in the work a maknae has to put in. I do however believe some of the older members of T-ara abused it.

    5 years ago
  36. I loved that last paragraph of your written post. Why people get so ( well lets be really blunt) psycho over bands, I’ll never know. “Kpop Idols” are just people and I think people forget that. Maybe they are people that have vocal talent, dancing skills, visually pleasing, and/or well groomed by agencies but none the less they are still people. I really appreciate their effort and talent but I would never start a fight over it or be an over zealous fanatic and dwell on it. ON anther note, I really agree with you on the CB ( I refuse to say his name because it would bring attention to is trifling a$$) topic and I feel that he should never be able to make money in the music industry again.

    I’m done.YAY!!!

    5 years ago
  37. Well done! I completely agree with you guys! Even SHINee admit that in their early years Minho and Key didn’t get along at all. These things happen, and I think it would be a whole lot easier for everyone involved if people didn’t expect idols to be perfect.

    5 years ago
  38. Hi Simon and Martina, it’s not always true that maknaes do all those stuffs you mentioned in your comment. For example, wonder girls leader does cooking and cleaning up. Not the maknae. It depends on the people themselves. Everyone is please then it’s fine. Love and respect is more important. It’s not about the age.

    5 years ago
  39. I used to love Chris Brown until tht beating incident happened but R. Kelly is ALOOOTTTT worsee in my opinion

    5 years ago
  40. Thank GOD for neutrality! I was thinking about the same thoughts, but I felt like I was the only one that could sympathize all of the T-ara members, including Hwayoung.

    5 years ago
  41. Was I the only one enjoying the over-reaction of the fans? :P I laughed so hard at so many of the comments.

    5 years ago
    • When they started becoming death threats towards the T-ara members, I kinda stopped finding it funny. :

      5 years ago
  42. And don’t forget – Kim Kwang Soo is a total d-bag. Simon, you look like you’re lacking sleep. Dr. Meemersworth must be a night owl.

    5 years ago
  43. I am so flipping glad what you said about Chris Brown. To this very day, I refuse to listen to any of his songs. He beat the sh** out of Rihanna and everyone just forgave him? Are you f***ing serious? That pathetic little sh** should have gone straight to jail, dropped from his label and basically blacklisted. If there is ONE thing that always manages to piss me off is that people ALWAYS forgive celebrities. They literally get away with murder or molestation (I do believe you can think of which celebrities I am talking about). And people just forgive them. Why? Because they are good looking and sing fairly well? Well I guess if I want to escape prison, I should just become a superstar. If a normal, everyday John Smith beat the sh** out of his girlfriend, he would be in the darkest cell in prison. But Chris Brown got off with a slap on the wrist. Get the f*** out of here and sell stupid elsewhere.

    5 years ago
  44. In Korea,what kind of pets can you find in a pet store and how expensive are they?And what is the price for pet food,veterinarian visits, toys, etc.? What is the most popular pet in korea? ( this is for your TL;DR!)

    5 years ago
    • I know that they have done short videos about stuff for Spudgy, but I too would like a well thought out pet TL;DR. I think it would be a fun and less controversial video. Thanks for suggesting it, even though I don’t know if it will happen.

      4 years ago
  45. You two wonderfully stated how I’ve always felt about kpop and could never say as cohesively as you guys did. I respect idols for committing to all the hard work and hard times they go through to follow their dreams no matter the cost. I’m an older fan (in fact a little older than you two) so I see it all differently, but at times I still can’t help but feel lazy compared to what kpop singers do everyday. These young guys and girls have a commitment to their dreams that most of us will never be able to understand or

    I love the music, it is what holds me to the scene. I could careless about the drama, but I do have one major care for all of them it is this. That they could all have a real vacation from time to time. Not just be robots who poop out music. It’s a momma bear attribute I have, but I see them so exhausted and I just want them to have a least one week off to be with family, friends, and yes away from each other and their fans. But more than anything, to take one of those days and just sleep.

    5 years ago
  46. So I don’t know what is going on, but I will watch your video anyway… will that make me a creepy stalker fan…please :)

    5 years ago
  47. I just wish the best for all of them ^^

    5 years ago
  48. I know T-ara will never be the same and that sucks cause they made really good songs, both catchy dance songs and powerful slower/ ballad songs. Also, they have good dances and live performances!
    I wonder if they’ll ever release Sexy Love or Day by Day part 2. Everythings’ recorded, well, maybe they would have to replace Hwayoung’s lines with Eunjung’s, but besides that its already done.

    5 years ago
  49. LOL don’t even start on the 48 groups, I mean there are so many sister groups of AKB48 and there are now more than 48 members in AKB.

    This situation should just be called reality check cause it’s just telling people Idols can’t be perfect and are humans.

    5 years ago
  50. When you guys talked about Chris and how horrible he is, all I could think about is my friend. She says that Chris beating Rihanna up was Rihanna’s fault. Apparently, she hit him first. Apparently, my friend was there -__-”

    5 years ago
  51. Wow you guys are like professionals! Seriously~ I look up to you guys and your views on idols! And your right about how fans get caught up into the lives of the idols because I admit *raises hand* that I am kinda or sorta am like that! It’s not too great now that I think about it. And about how you guys think that all idol groups go through that you guys are completely correct! I mean even Super Junior has admitted to arguing between the members!~ EVERYONE IS HUMAN AND WE MAKE MISTAKES (:

    5 years ago
  52. Well, one of the main reasons I follow you guys is precisely because of that blasé attitude you have towards kpop artists. You hype it up a bit (I’ve noticed :p) for your videos, but it’s nice to know that there’s still some people out there who can appreciate music without worshiping the artist.
    Having graduated from a musically-specialised high school, I’ve got many, many friends who are now professional singers and musicians, so I know that they’re not any different from me – they just have gifts in different areas, and I appreciate that.

    I find it sad that you even had to tell people this.

    On a brighter note, ORIGINAAAAL!!!! xD
    And during all that ‘farting’, I swear I started smelling some foul fumes in my room…. >.>

    5 years ago
  53. A totally on target discussion of the K-Pop/entertainment business world (and so many other worlds). Your post unfortunately probably serves little purpose, as anyone that needs the reality of these environs explained to them and hasn’t arrived at an understanding on their own in the first place is probably a lost cause and not practiced in rational arguments or fact-based analysis…or worse…one of those reactionary netizens burning CDs and calling for beheadings.

    5 years ago
  54. They started learning about it in the attempt to communicate better with their students. Talking about kpop (in English) makes students more interested in learning English.

    5 years ago
    • I’m just another Nasty who helps them moderate the Kpop Charts when I’m free (and single).
      I happen to know about their kpop discovery because I’ve stalked them for a while, and they’ve already mentioned it several times :)

      5 years ago
  55. I think they mentioned this in one of their previous videos. Their first kpop was the song Step by Step by Battle I believe.

    5 years ago
  56. you guys should make sure to have korean subs for this…………..koreans really need to watch it, more than us from what I saw

    5 years ago
  57. I really like your take on this. You guys are doing a great job!

    5 years ago
  58. What you guys saying is totally true, i mean with the technology today, everyone interested in the kpop lives all over the world, the new travelling fast, their are not only competing against each other in Korea also with the recognition they want to get outside. Thus look at the history of the older idol, only what 1 or 2 group still maintain their relationship. The problem not only occur within kpop group, i’m sure it is also happen to the group/band in the other part of country.

    5 years ago
  59. you guys handled this subject amazingly! i didn’t even know that the inncident with t-ara even happened until i watched this! i agree with you that it is just the music that comes with kpop, and not the drama and stuff that comes with being an idol.

    5 years ago
  60. i completely agree about the chris brown thing!
    ever since he beat rihanna i cannot look at his face without wanting to scream, and the fact that girls still throw themselves at him, even when hes become more of a douchebag, is completely insane to me!

    5 years ago
    • What’s worse is that some of them were trying to defend Chris Brown and somehow make it Rihanna’s fault.

      5 years ago
  61. Awesome.

    5 years ago
  62. Well when yout think about it these idols are idols because they want to sing and get involve with music and getting further into the entertainment industries also getting themselves well-known for their songs that’s an every aritist’s dream are and it’s kind of true what S&M saying about “how fans get so caught up in the lives of artists, and forget about the music itself”

    5 years ago
  63. Thank you, I totally agree. Finally someone said this.

    BEE! BEE! BEE! BEEE BEEEBEEEE :D Props to whoever gets what song I just “farted” :D

    Edit: “We can resolve our disputes with snuggles and kisses. How do kpop idols resolve their disputes?” :D I believe alot of Kpop fans hope, they do just that :D:D

    5 years ago
  64. I go for the music too. When the idols dont sing well, i dont even give them my attention when fans cry over their beauty and close their ears about the music.

    But i do fan girl, a lot, but mostly to those with beautiful powerful vocals. Or the group has some good damn music.

    In T-ara, i dont find anything special in their music or vocals. I can never find that spark or intense feeling whenever i listen to their songs.

    5 years ago
  65. I totally agree with simon and martina, it is not fair for people to ask for EunJung to be removed of WGT (sorry 4 my Engrish :D)

    5 years ago
    • Your English in this comment was perfect, though I don’t know about your other comments, as I haven’t seen them. Can I ask what does WGT stand for? I assume it’s a Kpop Group.

      4 years ago
      • Nop its not a kpop group its a show called We got married where EunJung used to be, oh and thanks :D

        4 years ago
  66. I think any group of people, stuck together, can be ‘catty’ with each other. Especially when tired/hungry/overworked. However to dismiss something that may be happening all the time as just normal behavior is where I disagree. When little fights due to stress etc start to become a regular thing, with more than one other person joining in, and it actually having a lasting effect on the victim is where i draw the line. Like you have stated, they are in the age group of 18-26 and are not children anymore. They should possess the social skills to be able to sort out their conflict. I mean, come on, she was with them for 20 months! If there is still internal conflict after this length of time – something isn’t right. I am not saying I believe Hwayoung was being bullied but that If conflict was happening – it shouldn’t be. If you get me :)

    5 years ago
  67. simon and martina you guys nailed it. i agree with you 100%. I was never a Queen and even if the rumors are true I will still listen to their music if it is good. Most kpop fans like kpop for the idols themselves and not the music which I think is why so many ppl are ganging up on T-ara and saying they will never listen to a T-ara song again. That just means that T-ara didn’t have a lot of fans to begin with if so many are willing to become ANTI T-ara fans w/o knowing what really happened and listening to all the gossip. Even though Hwayoung got kicked out she’s probably better off. She obviously wasn’t happy with them so I wish her good luck in her future endeavors.

    5 years ago
  68. I think you guys make a good point in the video. They really don’t get to choose who they are in a group with………And people will always be like, “Look they get along so well in their shows about their daily live and on variety shows!” ….And as much as I REALLY hope the groups do have a decent or a really good friendship, it’s not a set it stone thing……………Though I would assume ( this is just my opinion though ) smaller groups probably have it easier. Living in a dorm with maybe 3 or 4 other people sounds easier then a dorm full of like…10+. o.o; But then again it might mean a less likely chance to find even 1 person you really bond with in the group. That all being said; I’ve never really been a fan of T-ara, but I wish them all the best. Hopefully their careers can overcome something like this.

    5 years ago
  69. QUESTION! SIMON AND MARTINA! How did your lives change when you guys switched from being teachers to bloggers? Do you miss you students, getting out and the pay? And the difference in lifestyles?

    5 years ago
  70. This video really helps in understanding the dynamics of a K-pop idol group!
    Also about the CB with the Rihanna issue, you won’t be happy to know that they are back together, so sad!

    5 years ago
  71. Guys, I love you. You put into words my thoughts. Now when my friends will ask my opinion about K-pop scandals, i will let you talk for me (or the video). I will save time fouuuuuuuuuuuh !

    5 years ago
  72. I’m sorry but the videos I’ve seen of how Hwayoung has been treated does not just come down to her being the maknae. There’s a video where Jiyeon goes to high five all the members but she clearly and intentionally skips Hwayoung. There’s a video from Japanese TV where a person is taking pictures of all the members of T-ara and showing them to Japanese on the street and asking them who they think is the prettiest. One of them picks Hwayoung and all the girls laugh with obvious scorn at the choice.

    5 years ago
    • that japanese video isn’t about who is the prettiest, but the scariest. it’s written kowai (scary), not kawaii (pretty)

      5 years ago
  73. I think that’s a loaded question (for them I mean). Outside criticism does not seem to be received kindly in their neck of the woods. At least not in the age of the hysterical internet.

    5 years ago

  74. We want to talk about kpop not as fans who worship the idols, but as people who appreciate the music.”

    i love this statement..

    5 years ago
  75. It’s nice to hear a normal and honest opinion about this matter. You guys really handled this question well and I was looking forward to your answer on it. It’s a shame the media has made this intio quite a spectacle. If only they were more like you ^_^

    5 years ago
  76. Worshipping them (idols) is sinful because the are ordinary people that were lucky enough to be blessed with signing, acting and dance abilities. I love their songs though! That’s what the important thing is in the end. Well if I was with a group of girls for 24/7-365 days a year, then you’d be certain to be plenty of cat fights and abusive verbal exchange! What I do when people talk about me or want to start something , I ignore them because they are not important to me and mean nothing to me.

    5 years ago
  77. Couldn’t have said it better. ^_^

    5 years ago
  78. As much as the maknae thing is true but some of the evidence I have seen was convincing enough to show that it was more than just “being the maknae” in comparison to how other groups treat their maknae.

    5 years ago
  79. Well its episodes like this that keep those tabloids gainfully employed. Jealousy, rivalries, catfights, etc…. sounds like something out of a soap.

    5 years ago
  80. You guys should review the new 3 female group D-Unit! One of the members is Wooram (T-ara’s Jeon Boram’s sister) They have a new song out called “I’m missing you”

    5 years ago
  81. My question…What is up with the glasses? I have seen so many wearing false glasses and I wonder what the deal is. I have been wearing them for 28 years and don’t know why people would do the fake thing, Martina? Thank you.

    5 years ago
  82. Wooow!!!! Seriously, this video is worth it….. I hope they resolve everything quickly…. I can’t say I don’t care about their personal life and all….. but I’m not so into it….as to forget that they are also humans……and humans are bound to make mistakes……. Anyway, whatever the case disbandment or not….. I hope T-ara and Hwayoung will be okay….

    5 years ago
  83. “and news sites are more interested in stirring things up rather than reporting on news”

    For reals. I see these ridiculous articles that basically say, “The second cousin of the best friend of the the brother of the sound mixer said that…” I think someone should email Soompi or Allkpop, claim to be a friend/relative/employee and declare that T-ara are actually the Lords of Kobol, and that Hwayoung is a cylon. They’d probably publish it. (nerdy reference concluded).

    As for the business of K-pop, it’s actually very much like the classic Hollywood studio system of yore.

    History lesson shall commence….Now: Before the 1950’s, the movie studios basically owned their performers. So while in the k-pop world musicians are affiliated with YG, SM, JYP, Cube etc. In classic hollywood actors were affiliated with Paramount, Universal, Warner Brothers and MGM. There were studio feuds (YG vs. SM = Warner Bros. vs. MGM), actors were developed and prepared by the studio in what they called “The Factory”. The studios told them what to wear, who to be seen with, where to be seen, what to say, where to live. There are stories of stars getting calls to show up at certain glamourous spots, and a makeup and wardrobe person would be there waiting for them. The studio basically created a public persona for the actors (the classic Cary Grant line is, “Everybody wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant.”) and they worked them like dogs making movie after movie. If they didn’t want to do a particular movie, they would put them on suspension and extend their already unreasonably long contracts (it was very similar to an indentured servant contract, no joke.) The system finally ended when the actress Olivia de Havilland sued Warner Bros. when they tried to extend her contract. It went all the way to the California Supreme Court, which decided in her favor. A law was passed called the De Havilland law and to this day protects actors, musicians, writers, etc.

    ANYHOO, my purpose in sharing this is that is when I first became aware of not just k-pop, but the business of k-pop, it struck me that they were following the same patterns. The trainee system, unreasonable working hours, the highly controlled public image. What people need to understand is that what they see on tv and what they see in the videos and what they read in the magazines is a performance. It’s a performance meant to please us, but it tells you nothing about the performer. These performers are just ordinary people, who are talented at a particular thing. And as ordinary people, they have ordinary problems, just like everybody else.

    5 years ago
    • I get what you are saying. But for an artist, being an idol is VERY ideal. Not because you can become famous, but it means job security. You sign a contract for x amount of pay. And if the group fails, you might find some other job within the company.

      And I am glad you mention the old entertainment industry in the US. Going back even further, film actually never publicized their actors. They were afraid that they would demand most of the money. Until a famous actress (back then they would be called by their character names, like if we were to say Ted instead of Keanu Reeves) started a false rumor that she died in a tragic accident. This caused a big uproar. She stepped out and made a statement saying “I couldn’t of died! I am the actress!” This of coarse got her name out there, and forced companies to release actor names, and started the whole star system.

      Point being companies are always trying to control the fame of actors, actresses, singers, and athletes. Sometimes I think it is justified, mostly to control egos (look at sports, most of them are jerks) But it is mostly about money.

      I think the thing that is interesting about this scandal isn’t about the actual issue between Hwayoung and T-ara- it is about what it could mean for idols. I don’t think much will surface with Korea since they are very much an “everything you say can effects both parties’ reputation” If Hwayoung was treated unjustly, and sued, she might win, but she may never be touched by another entertainment company.

      5 years ago
      • I see your point, and keep in mind the studio system lasted a good 30 odd years before an actor successfully challenged it. Others had tried, but most were afraid of, as you pointed out, risking their job security as contract players. Those who did try were painted as difficult and spoiled divas. It took an actress with a great reputation (though the studio did their best to smear her), and a lot of behind the scenes support from other actors, for the system to be successfully challenged. That actor support was the key difference. By that point, despite the security of being a contract players, many were tired of being treated like cattle. She was the right actress at the right time to make it happen. Of course, there was a perfect storm of events following this that helped reverse the tide of power (an anti-trust suit, television, the rise of the method actor, etc.)
        So what does this have to do with k-pop or the whole T-ara thing? I truly believe that the reason there has been such an angry response is 1. People love drama 2. People are pissed off that the fantasy has been revealed as just that, a fantasy. This T-ara incident has momentarily removed the glossy veneer, letting the public see that there is a system at work here and that all is not always unicorns and daisies behind the scenes. There is dissent among the ranks. That pisses the audience off because people like their idols superhuman. That’s why they call them “idols” and not just “very popular”. Something that contradicts that image calls into question their own judgement, meaning that they’re not just angry at T-ara, they’re angry at themselves as well. It’s important for the fans to identify a “villain” so they can continue the superhuman fantasy, excepting a few bad apples that snuck in. It’s important because the only other option is to recognize that “idols” are just ordinary, deeply fIawed human beings, who tell you want you want to hear, because that’s their job. People don’t want to think of the music industry as being so…industrial. I think when people realize *ahead* of time that it’s a performance, they aren’t bothered. They see it like Simon and Martina do. Idols are employees of companies that provide entertainment. They are working joes just like us, but with more money and a better wardrobe. As for the future of the industry, I don’t think the k-pop idols are anywhere near the point where they can successfully buck the system, but I think it will eventually happen. For now I think the biggest result will be that idols are going to get stern warnings about what they post on Twitter and the like. Christ, how is this so long! I talk too much.

        5 years ago
        • lol XD Yeah, I think (aside from seeing their gods fall) I think this has a lot of relevant issues in Korea society. Mainly bullying. I think this is an easy way to put misplaced anger about what happens in school. If you can’t help your friend, you can at least help your helpless idol.

          I think from the get-go with Korean music I was aware of how “industrial” it is. Because of it I was really hesitant going in. How can I say I am a “fan” if the artists have no control? But I still found myself listening to the same artist over and over, and occasionally I grow to like the personality of some artists.

          I mean these is NOTHING new about all of this. And not excluding the US… can someone say Partridge Family? Monkees? (I love the Monkees though XD)

          5 years ago
    • I’ve done some academic reading on Hallyu and k-pop Hallyu in particular, and one aspect that came up in several sources – that I found very surprising – was that the goal was not only to spread/sell Korean music across the globe, but also to spread the system of production itself. In other words, many of the leaders of the industry really believe they have found a formula for producing pop music that could and should be implemented elsewhere. (Actually, as much or more effort goes into producing the idols themselves, whose core group of fans will then automatically buy the music.) *coughendlessexoteaserscough*

      5 years ago
      • XD it is a little funny. Can’t be implemented EVERYWHERE. Not saying the US doesn’t have “follow the leader tendencies” but there is a reason why we only have idols for kids. We kind-of grow out these things after college (some don’t and that is fine) because we are told to question things, or we want to grow out of it to avoid looking uncool.

        Plus I feel like Americans we have this weird complex. We want to fit in and be part of the crowd like everyone else, but we are being told to be different and that we are unique. XD We get this weird “WE GOTTTA BE THE SAME BUT NOT TOO MUCH THE SAME” complex.

        5 years ago
      • See, it blows my mind that they wouldn’t realize it *has* been implemented elsewhere, a long time ago. Right down to creating such loyalty to a particular actor or actress that the fan would go see them in any movie or buy any product associated with them.

        You know, I made a lame Battlestar Galactica joke before, but for anyone familiar with that series, it’s now a relevant reference. Hey Korean music industry, spoiler alert, the cylons always end up rebelling.

        5 years ago
        • ha! this is very interesting! i am actually a college student and my thesis topic is none other than Hallyu itself! But mostly about the reception from international audience. 지니아, do you mind give me the references on the academic reading you’ve mentioned on your comment? And irritablevowel, do you have any references in mind about what so called the classic Hollywood approach? Thank you before!

          5 years ago
        • We have a taker! The definitive book on the studio era is “The Genius of the System” by Thomas Schatz. Also, “The Star Machine” by Jeanine Basinger is a really fascinating look at how stars were manufactured and the different ways those stars dealt with the system. It’s entertaining, but it’s also very anecdotal and may not be as helpful as the first. You may want to throw an email out to any film professors at your school and ask for suggestions. Film professors LOVE to talk about the studio era.

          5 years ago
        • HA! Don’t be surprised if someone takes you up on that.

          Not to mention, the US has had its own flirtations with corporate-formed vocal groups (okay, boy bands), but they suffered from similar problems and certainly did not revolutionize the industry.

          5 years ago
    • Spot on with the facts. I always thought K-pop industry was similar to the classic Hollywood

      5 years ago
    • Thank you for your insight into the business of K-Pop. I have often thought that the industry harked back to some of our older days, but I never realized to what extent. Who knows, maybe they’ll even have an Idol Union someday?

      5 years ago
  84. Well you guys don’t want to get into
    the T-ara drama but it’s okay to judge Chris Brown? I bet there’s
    plenty of stuff we don’t know about his situation. Some say Rihanna
    hit him multiple times first and such but hey… nobody knows for
    sure. People get crazy about “this guy beat a girl” stuff and
    think that’s all there’s to it.

    Some people even say that Daesung
    killed a guy last year but that doesn’t stop me from listening to Big
    Bang. I mean i love Daesung and Chris Brown as artists and i don’t
    judge them for their drama in their private life.

    Btw, Spudgy’s awesome.

    5 years ago
    • Nobody should be hitting anybody. (“She started it!” is a lame excuse. It didn’t work in kindergarten and it’s not going to work with the police, either.)

      5 years ago
      • I’m not pointing fingers. I’m just saying some people were in a really really bad relationship and it ended in physical violence. People shouldn’t just judge them like they know everything about their situation. They should’ve broke up before this incident happened but that’s sadly not the case.

        But we’re now 3 years further and they hang out and make songs together again. If they can forgive each other.. why don’t we forgive them?

        By the way, Simon and Martina are obviously in a great relationship. They have great chemistry, have fun and they’re spreading positivity around. Sadly not all relationships are like that.

        5 years ago
        • Okay, we don’t know the whole situation. But we do have that picture of a bruised and beaten Rihanna. He did that to her. I don’t care why. Nobody who calls himself a man would do that to a woman.

          5 years ago
        • No doubt. But it goes both ways, a good woman shouldn’t hurt a man either.

          Anyways, let’s just talk about Korea. That’s what we’re here for :)

          5 years ago
        • Agreed.

          5 years ago
    • Whatever the case maybe, it’s never okay for either sex to hit each other…just saying….

      5 years ago
  85. Suzy is popular among Miss A and Hyun Ah is popular among 4Minute but they are close and I think it’s hard to break up like T-Ara
    I think you guys right, if T-Ara continues to sing on stage,we keep supporting because we listen and feel the music,not supporting because of the idols.I don’t know what’s going on inside but I think there are some reason for everything(like what HyoMin say)

    5 years ago
  86. STOP BEING MY SPIRIT ANIMALS.

    5 years ago
  87. I totally agree with your thoughts! At first, they are ordinary people, just like us. And at second, they are artistic people who sing, acting and etc. We should respect and love them for this, but not for their privacy or appearance. I hope my English is readable. ))))

    5 years ago
  88. Guys, thanks for restoring my faith in humanity (or kpop fans, for that matter).

    5 years ago
  89. word

    5 years ago
  90. WORD! nuff said~

    5 years ago
  91. I really used to be like this– just music and that’s it. I particularly loved CNBLUE, 2NE1 and Big Bang. I only cared about their respective music and songs. But the more I got into Kpop, it was like I was sucked into this hole that keeps getting deeper and deeper. It’s creepy. I blame the moment I started watching variety shows. One day I just woke up and realized I know almost every single name of the active Kpop idols. My sister gets really shocked when we listen to a Kpop song or watch a Kpop music video, and I start spewing out massive information about this member or that member or what happened with this and that. I wasn’t like this before AT ALL!

    I swear to God it’s addicting and creepy. But that’s how it happened with me. Once you get into it, it’s hard to turn your back away from it. I really wish there comes a point when I get over this. I know I will get over this but now I really miss those days when my sister and I will listen to 2NE1 songs and we’ll have a blast because we know nothing about the stress, the drama and all that. Sigh. :(

    5 years ago
    • I used to be like that too, and then I got hardcore, but then I was away from kpop for a long time, due to no internet connection. So it helped a lot:P
      I REALLY like ALL the music T-ara has, (but I don’t know any of the names), so I am a little sad because of this controversy…

      5 years ago
    • You’re comment is the most relatable thing i have EVER read in my entire life. Acknowledging you have a problem is the first step to overcoming it; after reading your comment, for the first time ever, I acknowledge that I am addicted to these Kpop idols. And it’s not a good thing and I really need to get a life; I realized.
      Kpop rehab, here I come… :/

      5 years ago
      • Lol. That’s good then. I guess we’ve taken our first step? Hopefully. Fighting! ^~^

        5 years ago
    • Yeah I guess it’s human nature. What makes it even harder for me is that I don’t have any friends who are as into Kpop as I am. My sister likes some of them but she doesn’t exactly delve into every single detail. So every time I feel the need to discuss it with someone, I have no choice but to go on the internet and the cycle repeats itself. Lol. (BTW, as I write this, it’s almost 2 AM here!!! HA!) It doesn’t really affect my life very extremely. I mean, I still go to work as a fully functional human being. But my current interest in Kpop is like 80x more than my interest before.

      As long as it doesn’t ruin my life, I know I’ll get over it. And when that happens, I know I’ll reminisce about the days when I’d stay up really late just to ogle at the sight of my Kpop biases. :)

      5 years ago
      • Ok…basically everything you said here is exactly like me!! LOL Its 1:53 am here. None of my friends are remotely interested in Kpop and the second i started watching variety shows I was way addicted, like its bad.

        4 years ago
        • I too blame variety shows …. but there just so good

          4 years ago
    • I totally under stand what you’re saying. It’s like when I first started I was just in to the music but now I stalk my idols like a crazy fan girl. It nothing wrong being a fan girl, sometimes I feel like we go to far and we think we now our idols in real person. that thought creepy’s me out. I try my best to not go to far with the idols. right know I try my best to just like my idols for their music and hard work. Im sorry about my bad english ^^”

      5 years ago
    • To be honest, if it wasn’t for creepy stalking fans, it wouldn’t be hot online and you wouldn’t be searching for it. Its easy to stalk esp if you’re online. Internet is crazy. Not all rumors are true. You’ll get over it soon. :)

      I love 2ne1, bigbang. But that’s it. I’m not crazy over them, i’m crazy over their music. You’ll never go crazy over them if you have other stuff to do with your life. Try to distract yourself once in a while. Read books, or fly with the wind. I don’t know.

      5 years ago
    • true that! i agree with you 120.9%!

      5 years ago
    • Used to be a hard core crazy kpop fan, but i forced myself to leave kpop and i did for a year. Than an awesome group debuted and here i am again lol!!

      5 years ago

    • Once you get into it, it’s hard to turn your back away from it. ”

      i feel the same way..

      5 years ago
    • i feel your pain! i once had a life too!!! hahaha

      5 years ago
  92. Hey simon and martina!!!! You guys are awesome. I also made a video on T-ara, and have two other videos. If you guys could check it out and other people too I would be honored. The channel is kpopindian. The video is called “T-ara’s Hwayoung Bullying Reaction”

    5 years ago
  93. Amen to your Chris Brown comment!

    5 years ago
  94. THANK YOU for this video, guys. And even though you couldn’t address the maknae thing in the video, thanks for blogging about it, because it really is a very important dynamic when considering the relationships of Kpop groups. Sometimes people think they know everything about a group or scandal or whatever, but really? That’s the most ignorant position you can take.
    Also, thanks for that bit about Chris Brown, too. Him and Kanye REALLY get me going. I mean, I won’t right now, I’ll spare you guys, but really… -_-

    5 years ago
  95. Wow, that was really good! Idk why but when you talked about how idol group members didn’t know each other beforehand I thought of BigBang. GD and TOP were good friends and had been singing together since before BigBang. It’s initially because of GD that TOP even got into BigBang. And GD was really good friends with Taeyang pre-debut at YG because they were both there since they were 12, working together. I find it really sweet how they knew each other before, and find it extremely cool that they ended up in the same amazing group. You don’t see this in kpop a lot. Regarding t-ara, I can understand what they were going through. Not only were all the conditions Simon and Martina stated placed on them, they also have a retarded CEO. But no matter how much we discuss the t-ara issue, the end result is the same. Their image is completely wrecked. What I’m personally waiting for, is for a t-ara member to say SOMETHING. I’m sick of the CEO’s lies…

    5 years ago
  96. I do have to say, a lot of this is reminding me of what happened just over a year ago with U-Kiss. Kibum suddenly stopped appearing with U-Kiss, then the rumours started then bam over night drama about both Kibum and Alexander leaving. Kibum spoke up a little bit at the time saying they found his skills lacking then faded off. The issue with Alexander persisted longer mostly because he first stayed in the company then only formally left after a show case a few weeks later. A year later we still don’t know what happened and like with T-ara we will never know. Only the members in that group probably know what happened.

    I think at the heart of this issue is two things, one how attached people get to their idols and two, how poorly this whole situation was dealt with. It was messy right from the get go, and how KKS deals with situations doesn’t help anything either. I’ll likely still listen to their music if it is go. I just probably won’t actively follow them anymore like I used to. And its more for the reason that I am disappointed with how this situation was dealt with more than anything else.

    5 years ago
  97. I hope you don’t get too much backlash from younger people who haven’t reached the point where they understand this concept of idols NOT being gods or in any way really different from your or me.
    I think you treated the topic very well, and managed to develop good points, which hopefully worked as eye-openers for those who fall into the category I mentioned above!
    I have, like you two, thought about how stressful the life of a kpop idol must be, so the video wasn’t anything “new” to me, but the part in the blog post about the role of the maknae was very interesting! Thank you for bringing it up.
    Maybe you will want to post a more relaxed tl;dr next week, so the spirit of tl;dr doesn’t become too “political”, and then, since people seem to be requesting it to a large extent, move on to sasaeng fans in two weeks? (Personally I don’t know what you could say about them; they are people who fail at recognising that idols are people too. It’s sad. Not much one can do, you know?)
    Anyway, as I said, I think you did a good job with this video! EYK fighting! ;D

    5 years ago
  98. THE TRUTH IS SPOKEN! Chris Brown really is a dickhead.

    5 years ago
  99. omg i love you guys so much… nobody knows what happend and never will unless you are T-ara… so why bother picking sides… ppl been driving me crazy about it…

    5 years ago
  100. i totally agree with u guys!
    My question is do u guys have a favorite group in the k-pop industry and y?
    thanks!

    5 years ago
  101. Im not really a fan of T-ara but which one is Hwayoung?? It takes me a while to know who is who

    5 years ago

  102. The two of us here at Eat Your Kimchi don’t give a burning crap about the lives of idols, how dreamy they are, how they act on TV shows, or anything like that. We barely even know the members names most of the time, and it shouldn’t matter if we know their names or not.”
    wat
    Martina
    what about TOP

    5 years ago
  103. Ahh thank you now I hope some of those biased people watch, read, and listen to you. It pains me to see people bashing on people who may be completely innocent not realizing what they’re doing is bullying too. Hypocrites. We might never know what happened but at least this incident exposes people to what kind of problems idols go through and perhaps get a psychologist for the company or group as someone mentioned below (or above?! xD I don’t know). I’ve been trying to get to people by saying that their “proofs” are unreliable but people believe what they want to believe. And all those anonymous sources will keep coming as long as people support them and watch the world burn.

    5 years ago
  104. oh, u talked abt T-ara? somehow I felt as if you were talking abt JYJ – TVXQ all the time ^^ thank you for this movie, totally agree with you guys.

    5 years ago
  105. I think this T-ara thing has gone too far and made to be way worse than what it’s suppose to be. I don’t know if there was an event before that happened liked this, but I must say, this is really crazy.

    5 years ago
  106. Shinhwa farted in their TV show so yes I can image an idol farting lol XD

    5 years ago
  107. brava. well said

    5 years ago
  108. lol I’ve didn’t know they split after watching this i know now lol
    aw this sucks but i agree with every word u said because no body actually knows what happened and no one will! ..we all just need to hope for the best for them and time will pass very fast and people will forget and things will go back the way they were….i guess

    5 years ago
  109. I really love this video, this is exactly what I think about this scandal. People just don’t get that they are humans and it’s completely normal for them to fight. It must be really common in groups.
    Thank you, I feel a lot better thinking people will actually be able to listen to your opinion, because that’s a good way of thinking you guys have ! :D

    5 years ago
  110. I think your point about her being the maknae is a good one: As an ELF I’ve heard tons of stories about Kyuhyun entering the band late and then getting treated poorly etc…

    HOWEVER–I would like to object to your point about girls being catty, in bold. I think this is a sexist stereotype you shouldn’t be endorsing. Looking at Super Junior, they have had similar experiences (see all their drama, including the story they just told on Strong Heart) and yet they’re male. I think your argument would have been stronger if you had just left gender out of it–it was unnecessary.

    5 years ago
    • I agree with you, principaly in the Kyuhyun case. A member entering in a group later – think about us entering in a new class – is difficult to fit in (speccially in the entertainment). But Kyuhyun seems to be a lot more talkative than Hwayoung, and SM does’t make idols fight against each other with peaople rotation in groups like CCM. -look, i’m not saying SM is the best. they also suck, the things they do with their idols…

      5 years ago
    • Dont lie to yourself. Girls are more likely to be catty. Super Junior case is showing exactly how boys not taking relationship problem too seriously as a problem, they can even speak it out in front of the camera. I am a girl, and I don’t think the catty thing is sexist sterotype.. I think it’s just discribing the nature of girls who are more sensitive, more possessive etc.. .

      5 years ago
  111. Martinaaaaa, where did you buy those glasses? They’re so cool! I live in Europe, do you think I can buy them of the internet?

    5 years ago
  112. HA! I know I shouldn’t be laughing but that Chris Brown thing was so funny to me….I need help….o-O….anyway…..
    I love you guys….every thing that you said is exactly what I try to tell my friends….It saddens me that things like this happen, but we are all human and honestly I am here for the awesome, clean music….
    I think every kpop fan needs to watch this before they become crazy stans…^^

    5 years ago
  113. Awesome TL;DR! I really like the approach you’ve taken (and I was just getting tired of the whole “BULLIERS HAVE TO DIE” on allkpop). The T-ara drama did not really surprised me. It was bound to happen: in a certain way, the company “imposed” a new member. Whether it brought a “better sound” or not, this addition completely changed the group dynamics. Sure, the other members could have been “nicer” towards Hwayoung and Hwayoung might have tried “harder” to be integrated (perhaps the fact that she became the new maknae as you said did not help her…). But we should not blame them for not getting along,we’re humans after all (“L’enfer, c’est les autres”). Just hope that both will continue to have a brighter musical career…

    5 years ago
  114. …Well, this is new. Such a fail Korean, so out of loop on everything :P
    This is hardly the first time a KPop group broke up due to member conflict anyway.

    Anyone heard of S#arp, a famous co-ed group in the 90s? They broke up around the turn of the millenium b/c the two female members were on really bad terms and it escalated into a nasty physical fight. With seven/eight people, the drama’s probably worse.

    Can’t add anything else other than I agree with EYK. The only real person you might be able to blame is their company CEO for putting them through slave labor-like work schedule (which probably made everything worse) and having shitty team management.

    5 years ago
  115. This remind me of “The Greatest Love”
    Ae Jung was once the most popular member of girl band The National Treasure Girls. However 10 years ago the band broke up and she received most of the blame. Despite her warm personality her career has suffered ever since and she now spends her time fighting for air time on variety shows . Thank you for explaining this whole drama, cause I couldn’t really go through all the news and rumours and really figure out what was going on, I didn’t read that much tough.

    5 years ago
  116. Oh my LAND. Thank you SO much for that one last paragraph in your blog post, I relate to it a ton! Recently with the whole ordeal about y’all reviewing Psy for KMM and how you guys were (essentially) harassed by some fans, I totally wanted to spout and spew about this kind of fan-ing (idk what to call it hah). The dedication many kpop fans have to their idols is really amazing (and I’m not saying it in a good or bad way, it just is what it is)… Not just with kpop either, it’s for any kind of celebrity, though it seems more extreme with kpop.

    5 years ago
  117. So tell me, honestly, did the Dr. make it’s own personal guest appearance during the making of this fine video?

    *:QUESTION:*
    “What kind of television is on in Korea? Is it a mix of kpop/western/anime? All i ever see are talk shows or gag shows or competitions… (What is the night time teve like? o///O? Is is pervy or full of nostalgia?) IS THERE AN AMERICAN CHANNEL?

    5 years ago
  118. That was a very intelligent response, and I am glad to know that there are people like you in the world.

    5 years ago
  119. la la la la LOVE you guys u always put a smile on my face and u made this scandal slightly less depressing :D

    5 years ago
  120. this was the best view i’ve seen on the topic this entire time. then again… i’ve been reading fan posts made by kids that have been talking on this subject

    5 years ago
  121. You guys are awesome! You totally summed up all my feels about the whole T-ara/Hwayoung issue. People forget that this has happened before, maybe not as messily as T-ara/Hwayoung, but Oh Wonbin left FTIsland saying that he wanted to do different types of music – did you listen to his first solo song? It sounded exactly like FTIsland. Plus FTIsland didn’t hide the fact that Hongki and Wonbin had physical fights before. And, I’m totally sure it will happen again in the future.

    As for the farting, I totally lol’d.

    5 years ago
  122. couldn’t agree more :)

    5 years ago
  123. I try to not care very much about the idols lives, but first, as someone below said, we have all these shows talking about their lives and even if I don’t have too much time to watch all of them, it’s so hard to be “impartial” in that way.
    Yet I listen to music firstly because of the music (and not the singer), but also it wouldn’t be true if I told that the song being from my favourite group doesn’t make me like just a little bit more (although if a song of my fav group isn’t of good quality, I would absolutely think and say it).
    But, I mean, certain things of idols I can put aside, but others would make me think “I don’t want my hard-earned money going to a s** of a b**** that beat women” or anything bad like that, right?
    So… everything is relative xD

    5 years ago
  124. I know this doesnt have anything to do with the topic of the video , but Martina I love your makeup :D !

    5 years ago
  125. Ahah you guys are so random! random fart music time!! ヘ( ̄ー ̄ヘ)

    But T-ara had 8 members, up until Hwayoung was kicked out, so they are 7 now, and I appreciated your thoughts~

    “is the idolatry that goes on, how fans get so caught up in the lives of artists, and forget about the music itself.” right on!

    5 years ago
  126. unverifiable sources = AllKpop. well atleast to me. they have been titling their artices with EXTREMELY misleading titles lately. shame shame

    5 years ago
  127. Hear, hear! I was always curious about maknaes and now I feel enlightened.

    5 years ago
  128. Preach that Chris Brown argument! PREACH IT HARD.

    5 years ago
  129. I think that the one who is handling this the WORST is the company, CCM. The band members (now & former) are acting pretty respectable considering everything but the official stuff & interviews from CCM is really just making things worse. They seem to be the ones feeding the trolls the most. IMHO. If someone just muzzles CCM I’m sure things will quiet down.

    5 years ago