What a week!!
I mentioned this before, but there are 3 Flower Boys who occupy the flower boy loving territory of my heart: Kim Hyunjoong, Jung Ilwoo, and Lee Seunggi. And in one week, I actually got to see all them up close! Am I awesome, or what? Heeheee.. Also, disclaimer, this is purely a bragging post laden with enormous fangirlism sentiment, not informative or rational at all. At this point, I shall have no more reservation in declaring my fangirl insanity and will plod on shamelessly. Plus, it’s pretty image heavy. Close the window, if you will.
Also, heaven has sent me a sign to upgrade my camera because out of these three “sightings” I could not get any good pictures.
The Uneventful One: Wherein I Begged To Take a Picture and Failed
I found about Jung Ilwoo’s Nix fansign in Seoul one day before the actual event. I just happened to see soompi and his DAUM fanclub to discover that I was one day away from the chance to see this 6 ft tall of fair smooth skin with killer smile and (at the time) horrible perm. In short, I was so hyped up for this. It was great enough to be able to see him in the play Beautiful Sunday in March, so even if I left Seoul without seeing Jung one more time, I would be content. True, I definitely wanted to see the person up close, and coincidentally, this was THAT exact opportunity.
Except that the place was FREAKING far from my place that it took 2 transfers of subway and it took almost 2 hours to get there. The thing about transferrring subway line is that the walk involved is always so far. Also, I just HAD to forget my camera and ran back to my room. I was rushing so much and when I finally got to the destination station, I realized that except for the station, I had no clue where the fansign took place exactly. So, for about 10 minutes I was just wandering around aimlessly to the direction I THOUGHT the fansign was.
By coincidence (it’s really all coincidences that hold this thing together) I saw two girls holding Jung Ilwoo’s sign and arrived at a sports store where the fansign was held, all thanks to them. I arrived at like 15-20 minutes after the fansign started and OMG, luckily, I could get a number and waited in line. What must be noted, and what was quite embarrassing, was the fact that the majority of the fans waiting there were in school uniforms, and seemed to be around 15. Those schoolkids seem to be the neighbourhood students who just happened to walk by the store and saw the chance to get his autograph. To be honest, the actual people who came there for the sole purpose of seeing Jung were very few. But then again, this was 4 years after his claim to fame Unstoppable Highkick, 1 year after his hyped up drama Return of Iljimae ‘failed’ commercially and his other drama My Fair Lady failed critically. He spent 2010 mostly in theater production (aforementioned Beautiful Sunday), a few commercial ads shooting, and mostly stay away from the screen.
He wore a black ensemble. I was actually wishing he would’ve worn something brighter. When I got there, he was already inside, giving out his autographs. Good thing, the store was small and it was only covered in glass, so you could see the entire thing from outside. He greeted everyone with his signature smile. When my turn came up, I already wrote my name on a piece of paper. I was one of the VERY FEW foreigners there (only saw two other girls from China and that was IT!). This is so cheesy, but because everyone waited outside and only entered the store when it was their turn, I had almost unobstructed view of the dude 2 meter away for like 3 minutes. My turn was up, he asked my name. While waiting, I was rehearsing my Korean to say something meaningful to him. I wanted to say that I’m a huge huge RoI fan and I wanted to blab about how awesome said drama is. But I was sooo star-struck when I saw Jung Ilwoo face to face that I ended up just telling him the classic overused line, ‘I’m a huge fan!’. Lame ASSSSSS T__T
Also, I seriously begged EVERYONE if I could please please please take a picture with JIW, pulling the whole ‘I’m a foreign fan’ card. In my mind, it should’ve been easy, because like I said, there were like 3 foreign fans who came and the fansign was so low-key and there were really few people coming. I tried asking the security guards and the president of JIW’s fanclub. Heck, I even asked JIW himself, to which he replied apologetically ‘Sorry, no.’ So I didn’t want to press further.
I waited a bit until he was done and took pictures then instead. GAAAWDDD, dude is SO fair. My superficial self immediately regretted that I didn’t dress up a little, but my logical self just quashed that thought with a simple ‘geez, what are you hoping for, anyway?’ so that was that. I’m not loving the hair at all, but man, his smile is like a bajillion watt, sooo brilliant. The event itself was pretty quiet. Slightly more than 100 people came for his signature, but some just stuck around there to watch, 150-170 people max.
The Fangirl Experience: Wherein I Waited for 8 Hours to see SS501 (and CN Blue and MBLAQ)
A fellow SS501 fan from Philippine came to Korea so we decided to catch some SS501’s comeback performances (Love Ya is addictive, right!). We were planning to see the TVN’s new music show Newton and KBS Open Concert the next day. I actually wanted to see Open Concert more because Newton was so new that I didn’t know what to expect. I registered for tickets, but Open Concert was all done for. I could only get the tickets for Newton. I hesitated to come because I had like two presentations the next morning, but I figured I could just go home around dinnertime and did them then. Well that totally didn’t happen.
So my friend already got there around 12. We had no idea what time the thing would start, but she figured it would be better to be there as early as possible. If we had gone to the 3 big music shows, we would have to be there at 7 in the morning!! I finished up some stuff and got there at 2. We found out that having a ticket meant we were being prioritized to go in, so it was good. We waited outside until about 5 and they lined us up and we went in to…wait inside, lol.
I think it was around 6 that they let us in, and voila, CN Blue was on stage!! And the thing about Newton is that there were no seats, only standing. The distance to the stage was less than a meter too. I was in the second row, so I got to see CN Blue pretty closely. I chose to stand near my favourite, Jungshin, who also seemed to everyone’s favourite. People were like shouting his name over and over. A quick rundown of first impressions: Jungshin was uber uber cute. Minhyuk was so much more handsome in real life. Yonghwa’s foundation was so thick. Jonghyun was too far from me to make an impression. They recorded Just Please and came back later for the live show of LOVE.
Surprisingly (at least to me), the one who was more interactive with the audience was Jungshin. In general, theywere all quiet, but Jungshin often responded to the audience screaming after him. But all in all, I was so glad to see CN Blue after my thwarted attempt to get into their fansign event months before.
After CN Blue’s performance, MC Gil came on stage with his Leessang counterpart. Epik High, Tiger JK, and Yoon Mirae were also on stage. I thought at first they were each going to sing but apparently they were just there for the opening, which lasted for about 3 minutes. Uhm, okay, so that was it??? Oh well.
Then the unthinkable happened. They told us to get out of the studio because SS501 was going to rehearse. WTF! It was already dinnertime and I had not seen MY Hyunjoong. I was getting annoyed at this constant cockblocking. But alas, we were all herded out and waited outside. A little commotion happened when Hyunjoong himself arrived for the rehearsal through the front door.
But anyways, finally we got in again. I was a bit disappointed upon seeing the stools because it seemed like they were just going to sing Let Me Be The One. I wisely picked my spot on the left because Hyunjoong’s spot tends to be on the left. And true enough, he WAS sitting the second from the left. My friend is a huge fan of Jungmin who was sitting on the far left so we were both thrilled, heheee.
Tho I’ve seen SS501 on their Encore concert and Dream Concert, but hell, my seats were like a galaxy away, they were always sooo far. This time, the boys were actually in front of my naked eyes, and I didn’t need to use binoculars to see their face, lol. Another quick rundown: Jungmin and Kyujong looked more handsome in real life, Hyungjoon looked thinner, Youngsaeng was a bit shorter, and Hyunjoong didn’t look much different on and off screen. Kyujong, particularly, just screamed HAWT. He looked so good.
SS501, being more used to screaming fangirls, was more interactive with the audience. They smiled a lot and responded to the audience more. So they sang Let Me Be The One and retook it a couple more times. One cute incident: they were gonna start recording and the PD told people to be quiet. Only, because there were a lot of foreigners, some couldn’t understand and just kept screaming. The PD was like ‘Can anyone shut them up in English?’. This is when Hyunjoong suddenly quipped ‘Calm down, caaalm down.’ in a funny voice. Only, instead of calming the fangirls, he got the audience screaming an octave higher and a few decibels more. Perhaps, he was embarrassed, perhaps he was just weird, he just started cracking up randomly at his own quip. Which led to THIS, pretty much his only smile the entire evening. Oh, this is not my picture, by the way.
People were pretty crazy, they just yelled the SS boys names repeatedly. When Kyujong was walking my way, I screamed out his name and he waved back. Heee, Kyu, you’re my number 2! How cuter can you be?? Jungmin and Hyungjoon were ones more responsive to audience. Hyunjoong is seriously NOT interactive with audience at all, hell it was sooo hard to see him smiling, lols. Duuude, you’re so pretty when you smile, do it more often! But at the end of the show, a couple of fans had small presents for him and were calling his name and he actually reached out to the audience to receive them. That was a really nice bit.
After they finished, MBLAQ took the stage. Audience was mildly supportive, but when they started NG-ing over and over, most of the audience, who was there for SS501, started getting pissed, lol. What they said: You gotta do well next time, okay!, what they meant: Get off the fucking stage now!
And this is what shaped my first (bad) impression of Lee Joon. To show MBLAQ a little more love, they had a bunch of MBLAQ fans, complete with black balloons, to fill up the space right by the stage. Because at this event, almost 100% of everyone was there for SS501. What struck me as rude is how most of MBLAQ gave very little attention to those few of their fans. Literally there was only one person who engaged the MBLAQ fans. Lee Joon in particular was either too focused or was too disinteredted in his fans. Even the manner in which he exited the stage rubbed me the wrong way. I’m sorry, but dude just looked like a douche.
But anyways, I’m not here to write about MBLAQ. After MBLAQ I got pissed for real because they told us to wait outside AGAIN!! We ended up waiting an extra 2 fucking hours before they let us in for Love Ya performance. OMG, by then I lost all fangirlism desire. Because fuck, it was midnight already and here I thought I would be back home by 8 at most. Geez.
But when we got in, the studio was transformed completely. Chandeliers were hanging and the string orchaestra were neatly lined in the back. The SS members and dancers stand in an extension stage, all ready to go in black themed outfit and makeup. Of course I scrammed to Hyunjoong’s side and man, it was suuuuper close, about a meter away or so. There was NO distance from the stage and again, I was in the second row. The audience got too crazy so Kyu, the former president body, tried to alingned the distribute the fans and aligned them to the other side, but audience were like Shiroooo, lol, poor guy being ignored.
BTW, Kyujong and Hyunjoong looked positively sexxayyy, that was pretty much the first time I acknowledged that these guys could actually be sexy.
But then Hyunjoong turned his back cos the choreography of Love Ya dictated, and I was like EBAHRDFXFG!! WTF, come back to me, face!! So I ended up staring at his butt longer than his face the entire time T____T. Fans at the other end were so lucky.
Hyungjoon made some mistakes with the coreography and this girl kept screaming informally, ‘Hyungjoon-a, do well!!’, and Baby replied with a ‘Yes m’am.’ LOL. Even Youngsaeng asked the audience to cheer for Hyungjoon so he would do well, which only embarrassed Hyungjoon further. He retaliated by kicking Youngsaeng evenly. Baby’s tantrum.
After the performance ended, Kyu came to our side to return his mic, and he was nice enough to extend his hand to the fans and we got crazy trying to touch it, oh man, if my mom saw me in all my fangirl glory, she would have a fit.
I was so lucky that I came to this music show. Cause it was a really new one, nobody knew about it yet and the amount of people that came only amounted to less than 200. The word hadn’t got out so the people were fewer. Also, some people got home before Love Ya, which made it easier to get good spot.
But yeah, the thing ended and I quickly got home, because fuck, I had to finish doing a presentation that would start in less than 8 hours. Personally, I don’t think I can do this often. The whole waiting thing really wastes your time. I spent basically half a day just dedicated for this, and the performances, if you add it up, were only about 2 hours. The rest was the wait.
But I gotta concur that because I didn’t have much expection for this show, to be able to see the band up close was worth it.
The Activia Adventure: Wherein I Sneaked into Lee Seunggi’s EMPTY Waiting Room
Now THIS, I was really anticipating. Out of the 3 Flower Boys, Lee Seunggi was the one I had not seen. So I was prepared to exert all my energy to see him in this Activia fansign event, especially since I heard that one of Seunggi’s fansign event was literally canceled because of the mass he had gathered and it was deemed not safe to carry out the event. I got there about 2 hours before the event started and was surprised to find only 4 ladies waiting there. But that excitement died fast because I was told that the sign was on a lottery basis and winners were already decided, so only the winners could get in.
So my friends and I used the usual Foreigner card and begged the staff that if at least some winners were no show, they could get us in. The reply was optimistic, they told us to wait. So we waited, along with 15 other fans if maybe we could get in. We were also guessing which way Seunggi would walk in. Then Seunggi came! Only, none of our predictions was correct since he came from the other side. He walked in, waved, swerved left, and was out of sight in 2 seconds. The first thing that came to mind: OMG, ahjumma hair!! I loved how he dressed though. It was summery and he actually colour coordinated with Activia’s green signature colour.
But all and all, my spirit was downcasted. I had little time left in Seoul and if I didn’t see Seunggi then, I would just leave without ever seeing him. So in my mind, it was decided: There was no way I would fail to see Lee Seunggi TWICE!
And yes, there was a first. Lee Seunggi had a campaign event in Konkuk University and I specifically skipped my class to go for it. But none of us actually even knew WHERE in Konkuk Univ the event was held. Upon entering the univ, we saw a huge black van with super tinted window passing by. We immediately suspected it was Seunggi’s van. We didn’t run after the van (still sane, y’know!) but that fueled our spirit. We looked high and low for this event, only after we lost the van, we couldn’t find it. We literally walked all over the campus for over an hour JUST searching for sounds of screaming, people gathering, anything. But no avail. Later, when the pictures came out, the event was a closed seminar thing in an indoor venue. Seeing as a campus is FULL of those, I don’t think we could have found it even if we had stayed longer. But anyways, that first time was a failed attempt.
So this time, I was really gungho. The waiting fans got into arguments with the staff because as it turned out, there were at least 10 winners not showing up. Now, if most of the fans at Jung Ilwoo’s fansign wore school uniform, most of the fans at Lee Seunggi’s fansign wore perms. About 80% of the fans showing up were…mothers (I’m avoiding the word ahjumma here). So they have honed their arguing skills.
At first, the staff asked if people were okay letting the “3 Foreigners” (us) in. At first the ladies were like okay, then suddenly they weren’t okay anymore because they said they were older than us, students. But then after more arguing, the ladies decided that fine, let the stupid foreign girls in. And they were now actually vouching for us to be let in. This time, the staff changed their minds and no, we couldn’t get in. By this time, I was freely cursing. FUCK YOU ACTIVIA!! I WILL NEVER BUY YOUR YOGHURT!! MOTHERS, MAKE UP YOUR MINDSSSSSS!! Etc.
One of my friends (one that later actually got a picture with Seunggi, boooooo) was supremely pissed already and was ready to leave. But HELL NO, I was going to stay and see this elusive Mr Lee! So I saw some ladies walking to the other side and disappearing to where Seunggi walked in earlier. I followed them and we ended up downstairs, in Seunggi’s waiting room, where we could see the entire fansigning event from above! This is where I shot all these pictures from. The waiting room had a window film so we got to see everyone, but nobody downstairs could see us.
The fansign ended and we all quickly got out so as to not be caught. So the aforementioned friend stayed back and she saw Seunggi coming out and asked for a picture. At first the manager refused, but Seunggi said okay. Lucky girl, and we all hate her now. But I got out quickly and stood by Seunggi’s van (YES, the black one I saw in Konkuk Univ, ugh!). He came out, hair still terrible, but damn, so handsome! I had a camera in my hand but pretty much forgot all about it.
I waded my way through the crowd (which actually only amounted to 30 people at most) and stuck my hand out. I wanted to impress him with my Level 1 Korean, but the only thing I said was “Lee Seunggi, I’m from *country*” (in English too), which was about as lame as his permed hair T___T. He was like Ah yes, and shook my hand.
And my euphoria level just shot through the roof. KYAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH. I know it’s tacky and perhaps slightly deranged, but I just couldn’t believe that I finally saw this dude up close. He is thinner than taller than I expected. And he’s one of those who looks better in real life than in pictures. I mean, I think Seunggi looks better in motion than in still images, but even compared to motion, he still looks better in real life. He’s really fair skinned and his complexion is really good, his hand is also way smoother than mine.
What must be noted I think is how NICE Lee Seunggi is. He really sets the bar to how nice a celebrity should be. The other two pretty boys, Jung Ilwoo and Kim Hyunjoon just PALED in comparison. He really makes an effort to be down to earth and tries as much as possible to engage people. During the fansign he listened to whatever the sign receiver said and he would offer a high five or a handshake or whatever. In comparison, while Jung Ilwoo smiled a lot, he was more reserved with words and physical contact. Whereas Lee Seunggi seemed to genuinely liked interacting with people. And I’ve heard that Lee Seunggi is a celeb that if invited to some sort of event and he had the time, he would attend.
So that concludes my week of Flower Boy chase. I count myself as lucky because in all three events, there weren’t a huge number of people and thus the chance of seeing the person I wanted to see was A LOT bigger. If say, I had gone to Music Bank or other music shows, it was absolutely not possible to see SS501 that close and for free (Newton had no requirement that we brought an artist CDs or anything). If the Jung Ilwoo fansign was located in a more crowded area, like in a shopping mall or popular shopping street like Myungdong, definitely I would have to content myself with waiting outside while jostling with many people for the chance to view Jung in the 30 secs we had while he was getting in/out of the store. But the one surprises me the most is Lee Seunggi’s event. It was very low key, perhaps because the date and place were announced only a couple of days before the event, so not many people probably knew about it. But yay for me, hehehe.