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Archive for April 2011

Date 2011.04.29

Tonight the format of the show changed a bit and instead of the MC introducing the show, there were clips of the kids filming a commercial and surfing their me2day account (aka Korean version of Twitter aka irrelevant because there’s real Twitter).  Baek Chung Kang and David Oh compared how many followers they had (over 41,000) while Shayne jealously looked on.  Shayne has a huge following in Korea so I’m sure his numbers aren’t that bad.   Another change is that only one contestant was being eliminated instead of the usual two.

Last week, there were 4.3 million votes cast which goes to show you how popular this show is becoming.  Not only that, the show must be racking up some major endorsement deals based on the new bottles of tea on the judges table, the filming of commercials, etc.

The challenge as noted by several news articles was to remake a Cho Young Pil song.  I’ve heard of the guy but I don’t know much about him.  After researching wiki and my mom, I conclude that he’s like the Korean equivalent of Elvis.  The rock/pop god of his times.  Surprisingly he wasn’t this weeks mentor.  Instead Cho Young Pil’s band “The Great Birth” stepped in to help the six contestants do justice to Cho’s songs.  And even better, the band was going to back these kids up during their performances, the first time the band has played for anyone other than Cho in 20 years.

First up was Baek Chung Gang singing “미지의 세계” aka “The Unknown World.”  I know I root for him and don’t seem neutral but I swear he keeps getting better each week.  I was amazed at how he was able to change the tone of his voice to fit this song.  Also the nasal habit he has disappeared during 90% of this song.

KYA said that he seemed to be low on energy today but appreciated his voice while Mentor Shin said that each week its getter harder and harder to point out the flaws and noticed that he was less nervous today.  Mentor Lee seemed to indirectly address the drama from last week (she and mentor Bang had given ChungKang low scores which caused a huge influx of negative comments toward the two mentors) by saying this show was not about drama but about people becoming singers and Chung Kang isn’t fully there yet.  He wasn’t dynamic today and needed work.  Mentor Bang said that he seemed awkward with the band and noticed the nasal sound more today (I must be deaf because I thought he did much better today with the nasal habit).

Bang: 8.1   Lee: 8.2   Shin:  9.0    KTW:  No Vote   KYA:  8.8 = 34.1

Next up was Son Jin Young singing “바람의 노래” aka “Song of the Wind.”  Vocally he was so much better than last week.  Also several weeks ago, Park Kollen had noted that he has better rhythm than say Lee TaeKwon which really showed here.

KYA said that today was the first time she saw him not as someone trying to be a singer but as a singer and said that he was able to control his expressions/emotions better than in previous weeks.  Mentor Shin said that the first half of the song was a bit weak compared to the second and Mentor Lee agreed.  Mentor Bang just stated that he wants Jinyoung to sing like he sang during the audition phase.

Bang: 7.9   Lee: 8.5   Shin:  8.6    KTW:  No Vote   KYA:  8.6 = 33.6

Third was Jung Heejoo singing “이젠 그랬으면 좋겠네” aka “I Hope So” and girl wore a dress tonight.  Her mentor has a interesting eye for fashion and I was hoping there would be a change of clothes considering they’ve been putting Heejoo in two piece ensembles when I was pretty sure she’d be able to pull of something more…feminine.  I can’t say I like the dress but its definitely a change.  Her performance as usual was on point.  I almost never have anything bad to say about her performances.  I did notice that she had some control issues but that’s about it.  Her stage presence is good, not great but better than some others.

KTW said the song really suited her voice and color.  Mentor Shin stated that there were times where she incorrectly hit the note short when she should have held the note for longer and vice versa but liked the emotion she put into it.  Mentor Lee agreed with Shin and added that she needed to work on the chorus.  Mentor Bang said that it was beautiful but it wasn’t dynamic enough.

Bang: 8.7   Lee: 8.9   Shin:  8.7    KTW:  9.2   KYA:  No Vote = 35.5

Next up was Shayne singing “단발머리” aka “Short Hair.”  This is one of the two songs I know from Cho Young Pil and Shayne did it justice.  I was a bit disappointed with how loud the background singers were and was hard to judge his singing at times but from what I heard it was great.  Shayne however really needs to work on his footwork.  From the waist up he seemed fine but once they panned out and you saw him trying to groove with the beat it just looked awkward.  I feel like his mentor told him to do that because Shayne did not look comfortable.

KYA said wanted to see a different side and she thought he showed it today.  However the second part lacked energy but she really is amazed at his Korean skills.  KTW said that the amount of practice and effort Shayne puts into his singing is beautiful.  (I wonder if KTW has ever done one of these shows without saying the word beautiful).  Mentor Lee said that the song is sweet and Shayne was able to portray that sweetness but he failed to move to the beat of the song.  Mentor Bang said that he loved this new side of Shayne.

Bang: 8.8   Lee: 8.5   Shin:  No Vote    KTW:  8.5   KYA:  8.6 = 34.4

The next contestant was Lee TaeKwon singing “Dream.”  Did they start shading in his eyebrows because I swore they were a bit darker today.  Again like Heejoo, I tend to look at things outside of his performance because he’s been consistently good each week.  Interestingly I saw a youtube clip of him singing Radiohead’s Jigsaw Fall Into Place and its amazing how he can switch from rock to ballad so smoothly.

KYA said that the rehersals were better while Mentor Shin said that while Taekwon tried to sing the song perfectly, its better to try to sing with more emotion.  Mentor Lee said that at first her score was low but when Taekwon sang a particular lyric it moved her so she upped her score.  Mentor Bang said that he needed to listen to the drums and hit the points of the song.

Bang: 8.5   Lee: 9.0   Shin:  8.7    KTW:  No Vote   KYA:  8.9 = 35.1

Final singer was David Oh singing “Lets Go on a Vacation.”  I actually thought this song was by Lee Seung Gi but realized it was a remake of Cho Young Pil’s original.  And omg David didn’t have his guitar.  And this was by far his best performance to date.  Also his mentor went all out and had David playing air guitar and released a ton of confetti into the air during the performance.  It was a spectacle but actually appropriate for the song.

KYA said that if he’s going to run around he has to make sure to listen to the beat and doesn’t go off key.  KTW said that he was sorry for ever saying David could only do songs with an acoustic guitar and hopes he keeps it up.  Mentor Shin said that the performance was great and Mentor Lee said that she wanted to go up and head bang with him.

Bang: No Vote   Lee: 9.3   Shin:  8.9    KTW:  9.0   KYA:  8.2 = 35.4

As the votes were being counted, the group performed to “청춘시대” in full rock and roll gear and choreography.  Also, the MC wanted us all to know that MBC is starting auditions for season 2 so get your bars up.

Baek Chung Gang, Lee Tae Kwon and Shayne were all deemed safe while Son Jin Young, David Oh and Jung Heejoo were up for the chopping block.  After encouragement from each of their mentors, Heejoo was eliminated from the competition.

I think everyone knew she was going to leave because its been a trend for all the girls to be eliminated early into any singing competition.  Somehow I hoped this show would be different but once I saw Hyeri leave I knew Heejoo wouldn’t be far behind.  Heejoo was one of the only contestants who was consistently good from the get go and like her mentor said at the end, she definitely wasn’t eliminated because of her singing.

Heejoo is from Canada and left to come to Korea to study music and tonight was the first time she’s seen her parents in over a year.  Its nice to know she’s got some family to lean on considering how hard this entire competition has been for her as well as the other contestants.  I wonder if they came on the same plane as Shayne’s mom because she was also in the audience cheering her son on.  Love the family moments.

Also, the band was AMAZING.  They made the contestants perform better and I had a really hard time trying to figure out who the stinker was tonight.  At first I was disappointed that Cho Young Pil wasn’t the mentor but I can see why the show had the band come and perform with the kids.  Seriously awesome.

Finally, can someone tell David Oh’s fanclub that “David in Us” doesn’t sound right.  Unless they actually want David in them.  Which in that case, carry on.

There are no more female contestants on MBC’s Star Audition Birth of a Great Star now.  Damn.  It came down to Son Jin Young, David Oh and Jung Heejoo.  Of course it was obvious that she was the one eliminated since it seems to be the m.o. of these singing contests to get rid of the girls first.  Recap coming soon.

There’s a Korean cooking show called “Best Cooking” and this episode shows us how to made Yook Gae Jang, a spicy beef soup eaten with rice and side dishes.  *Spoiler* In the movie Le Grand Chef, the main character was a talented chef who left the profession after almost killing a group of diners with his food.  Years later, he enters a cooking competition in order to beat his rival, a famous celebrity chef.  After several rounds, the last challenge is to cook something for a descendant of royalty.  While the celebrity chef goes all out making something out of Gourmet Magazine, our hero cooks a humble bowl of yook gae jang and wins the entire competition.*

 

For the stock:

300 grams of beef brisket
3 stalks of green onion
10 cloves of garlic
10 cups of water

Seasoning for the beef:

1 & 1/2 TBL Red Pepper Powder
1 TBL minced garlic
1 & 1/2 TBL sesame seed oil
Pinch of black pepper

The vegetables:

100 grams of cooked braken (fern stems)
100 grams of mung beans
1 stalk of chopped green onions

Seasoning for the soup: 

1 & 1/2 TBL Red Pepper Powder
1 & 1/2 TBL sesame seed oil
1 tsp bean paste
3 TBL soy sauce
Pinch of salt

Cooking:  

Before you start cooking, you have to drain the blood from the meat by soaking it in cold water for an hour.  This removes much of the distinct smell that meat has and produces a cleaner broth.  To make the broth add the 10 cups of water, the meat, the three stalks of green onion and the 10 cloves of garlic in a pot on high heat.  Once it boils, lower the heat to medium low and let it simmer for an additional 40 minutes.

After 40 minutes remove meat and let it cool before shredding it into pieces.  While you can use a knife almost every Korean mom I’ve seen make this uses her hands to shred the meat.  Once shredded, the meat needs to be seasoned.  Take the 1 & 1/2 TSP of red pepper, 1 TSP of minced garlic, 1 & 1/2 TSP of sesame seed oil, a pinch of pepper and mix well.

Then prepare the braken called “gosari” in Korean and the mung beans.   If you have dried braken, it must soak in water over night and then cook it for an hour.  However, many Korean markets now sell prepackaged braken which you can slightly blanch in hot water.  Once cooked, cut the braken into smaller bite sized pieces.

The mung beans, like soy beans have a odor and therefore should also be blanched in water for 10 seconds.


Once the ingredients are all prepared, place a pot on medium and add 1 & 1/2 TBL sesame seed oil and 1 & 1/2 TBL red pepper powder.  Stir the pepper into the oil and once the oil begins to rapidly bubble add your stock (make sure to remove the green onions and garlic before you do this).

Add the seasoned meat, the braken, mung beans and the chopped green onion.  Also add the 3 TBS soy sauce, 1 TBS of minced garlic and a pinch of salt.  *Here the cook adds 1 teaspoon of bean paste which I’ve never seen anyone do.  She says its her grandmother’s secret and that it gives a depth of flavor.  So do as you will with this little secret.*  Once everything is added let it boil and its ready to eat.

Rain fangirls over Sting on his twitter after meeting him at the 2011 Time’s 100 Gala.  LOL I never thought I’d see Rain writing “OMG!!!!!!” on his twitter.

Source (Rain’s Twitter)

Date 2011.04.26

On the same day Jay Park released his first solo album, MBC aired “Dramatic Jay”, a documentary style program following Jay as he prepared for his comeback.  As most kpop fans know, Jay Park was the leader of 2pm before a controversy forced Jay to leave the group and the country.  His fans were determined to get him back into the industry and as the show reveals, after 596 days Jay Park’s comeback was official.

The show begins with Jay arriving at a dance studio to practice for his music videos.  We are introduced to some of his dance team including two bboys from the famous Rivers Crew Bboy Jo-T and Bboy Rookie.  It must be a huge honor for Jay to be in the company of such renowned bboys, especially since he grew up watching clips of these guys dancing.  The two must also be very close to Jay because for some reason they had new sneakers for Jay.  Bboy Rookie explains that it’s a thank you gift and Jay awkwardly accepts not knowing what he supposedly did to receive it.  We also get to meet Ha Woo Shin, a popular choreographer who has choreographed for kpop groups like 2pm, Beast and Supreme Team.

During break time, the guys play some competitive Tetris and it seems Jay needs to work on his blocking skills.  The producer asks what Jay’s favorite game is and Jay cheekily replies “The Truth Game.”  So they do just that.  When asked whether Jay would pick dancing or singing Jay answers that while he’s lately found singing to be extremely fun he picks dancing because without it, he wouldn’t have met the friends he has.

The music video incorporates several bboy moves at the request of Jay who wanted to showcase the danceform.  Bboy Rookie gets Jay to do a tumbling move which involves Jay doing a forward flip in midair.  He shyly tells the camera that he’s a bit scared while bboy Rookie admits that the moves are even hard for him to master.  Jay tries over and over to land on his feet but fails.  But Jay explains that if he wants to do something he has to do it no matter what.  So we get a montage of him flipping and falling, flipping and falling.  The producer asks why Jay bboys when its so dangerous and Jay answers in typical Jay style “because it’s fun.”

What we assume to be days later, Jay and the bboys go out to relieve their stress.  What’s better than getting wasted?  Bowling.  It seems Jay has fallen in love with the game and explains that every time he plays he learns how to get better and better.  He likes it even more when there’s a wager, making things a bit more interesting for all parties involved.  At first Jay and his teammate Bboy Jo-T fall behind and we see Jay failing to get any strikes.  However after a shot or two of Milkis (Korean carbonated yogurt soda), Jay gets his second wind and eventually annihilates his competition.

After the game the crew goes out for some Korean BBQ and we get to see Jay scarf down Korean beef and bean paste stew.  Surprisingly Jay likes this food more than steak and bboy Rookie says Jay has the taste buds of a Korean.  But Jay is quick on his toes and replies that they would need some soju to go with the BBQ.  Spoken like a true Korean.

When Bboy Rookie eats a super hot pepper, Jay ends up playing rock, paper scissors with a group of girls with the losers eating the pepper.  Jay wins and in a scene worthy of a variety show, each guy prepares a hot pepper laced lettuce wrap for the girls and feeds it to them as punishment.

We also get an explanation of Jay’s tattoos during dinner.  The one on his back is the name of his fan club and he momentarily pauses to tell the camera that he loves his fans.  We love you too man.  😛  Also the stars have no meaning and Rookie decides the stars mean that Jay’s a superstar.  The bromance between Jay and Rookie is too cute.

Some time later, we get to see a meeting of the suits to talk about the actors for several roles in what I assume is a film.  The director asks to meet with Jay and there are questions as to whether Jay can speak Korean like a native.  They are assured that his language skills are up to par and in the next scene we see Jay at the set of Mr. Idol.  Jay says that he’s frustrated because he wants to work out, practice for his debut and work on his album but all he can do is wait for filming to begin.  So during his down time Jay writes lyrics for his second album and goes on twitter.

Finally after 5 hours we get to see Jay’s acting.  He plays a particularly ornery idol who has a bad ass attitude.  While  his acting is impressive Jay admits that acting is hard for him.  He’s still not used to the entire concept of it, the huge amount of down time and the fact that filming is usually done in isolated areas.  Its not something he sees himself doing in the long run.

On the day of the mv filming, everything starts off well but Jay fails to perform the front flip he had practiced so long for.  Eventually the have him do a back flip and continue with filming.  However, the day begins to grow longer and Jay starts to grow tired.  The bboys try to lift his spirits and get him pumped for the bboy portion of the video.  However, Jay and the boys have a hard time completing their stunts and injure themselves.  However, after numerous takes the boys successfully complete each move, including the front standing flip Jay had failed to land several times before.

After filming Jay admits that his landing wasn’t perfect and doesn’t feel satisfied his performance.  But he’s a perfectionist and says he’s always been like that, whether its his dancing or singing.  It’s never good enough.

Finally, the show concludes with clips of Jay joking around.  He wants to send a video love letter to Han Ye Seul and then tries to pretend that the woman putting on his mic was trying to molest him.  And in the cutest moment of the show he looks into the camera and says “I Love You” complete with the quintessential FOB heart.  JJAN!

Trying to translate Jay’s lyrics but I find it hard to translate lyrics without losing the meaning of the words.  Usually a direct translation fails to express the feelings of the words. Damn I need to work on my Korean.  Its so hard to translate anything anymore.

Listen up.
The day you left I couldn’t believe it.
I was devastated and my world fell apart.
You coldly turned your back on me girl, I can’t believe you would leave.
I thought we would be forever but what has become of our love?
We’re strangers now but still I can’t let you go.

I would give up everything to be with you.
I never strayed and looked only to you but you left me and my heart aches.
I had followed you where ever like a dog oh.

I usually find girls to be easy
and play all night and love to drink
but now everything has changed and all I want is you.
Why aren’t you next to me?
I can’t do anything without you by my side.

You’re a bad girl.  You left me.  Where did you go?
I feel like I’m dying but why don’t you care?  You’re a bad girl.
You’re a bad girl.  You left me.  Where did you go?
I feel like I’m dying but why don’t you care?  You’re a bad girl.

Where did you go Where did you go Where did you go Where did you go Where did you go?

I’m an idiot for being thrown away
And I’ve closed my heart because you played with me
Your actions ruined our love.
Our love was gone like your feelings for me
Baby why was I so blind to see?

I would give up everything to be with you.
I never strayed and looked only to you but you left me and my heart aches.
I had followed you where ever like a dog oh.

You’re a bad girl.  You left me.  Where did you go?
I feel like I’m dying but why don’t you care?  You’re a bad girl.
You’re a bad girl.  You left me.  Where did you go?
I feel like I’m dying but why don’t you care?  You’re a bad girl.

Where did you go Where did you go Where did you go Where did you go Where did you go?
Where did you go Where did you go Where did you go Where did you go Where did you go?

(rap)
When you look at me and smile all I see is your cold expression.
All day I wonder whether to dial your number or not.
The way you looked at me with your cold eyes still lingers
But now it’s not real but only in my dreams do I talk of my sorrows (?)

Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Why you on abandoned me girl
Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Why you on abandoned me girl
Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Why you on abandoned me, abandoned me abandoned me

You’re a bad girl.  You left me.  Where did you go?
I feel like I’m dying but why don’t you care?  You’re a bad girl.
You’re a bad girl.  You left me.  You’re really a bad girl.

Where did you go Where did you go Where did you go Where did you go Where did you go
I was always there for you but you were never there for me yeah

Jay Park had been hyping up his new music video on his twitter and promised his fans that it would be up at midnight.  However midnight came and went and after waiting for almost an hour, several website have posted the video.  Seems nothing is working out for the guy.

Usually a 4 minute video should take from 5 minutes to an hour to upload depending on the size of the file and speed of your connection.  However he created a new youtube account since his original account was suspended and I’ve noticed that as a new user, it takes significantly longer to upload a video.  But that might just be me.  Plus he’s probably uploading the high high high definition version.  Probably a few hundred MBs.

Too bad.  It seems like he wanted to be first to debut it but what can you do.  The Korean sites had authority to post it at midnight and once anything hits the internet, its basically a free for all.

After watching the video, there really isn’t a story line.  Its basically him and his dancers with clips of him looking distraught, clips of him with some girl and clips of Dok2.  It was stylized like certain Taeyang videos and it doesn’t help that Jay is already compared to the guy.  The dancing was great but there was a definite break in momentum at the end when one of his dancers attempted to do a bboy move.  Blah.

Hopefully the music video for “Tonight” is more original.  Definitely one of the better songs off his mini album.

—-

Woo hoo, he finally posted the video!  Still not liking it but at least I get to see him in high def.  And boobies!