Weekly Roundup: Big Bang Continues Domination and Jun Ji Hyun Has a Change of Heart
Last week, Big Bang continued to create big bangs on the music scene, while there was also much buzz surrounding Lee Seung Gi and his upcoming drama.
On the other hand, the beloved IU came under fire for a simple mistake before succumbing to a nasty cold, while one major actress’ initial denial, then admittance, of her engagement shocked the entertainment world.
Read on for more of this week’s rise and fall.
Stars on the Rise
1. Big Bang Continues to Dominate
Big Bang continues to reign over the top spot of our Stars on the Rise list for the third week.
After weeks of teaser images, videos and previews, Big Bang finally unleashed its fifth mini album, Alive on February 29, returning with a bang as the album’s tracks immediately took over the top ten rankings on various online music charts.
The music video for Blue was also a winner as it ratcheted up 8 million views in a mere five days on YouTube. The number continues to rise, and as of March 5, the video has been viewed more than 12 million times.
Big Bang’s Seoul concert, which served as the kick-off for the group’s global tour also drew to a close on March 4 to sold-out crowds and rave reviews. All that’s left for the group now is conquering the rest of the world.
2. Lee Seung Gi’s New Drama Builds Buzz
After exiting KBS2’s 1 Night, 2 Days and then the surprising announcement that he would be leaving his post on SBS’ Strong Heart in mid-March, fans may have been worried that it would be a while before they would see their beloved Lee Seung Gi on the small screen again. However, lucky for fans, no wait is necessary as Lee’s upcoming drama, MBC’s The King2hearts is set to begin airing on March 14.
The hearts of fans are already fluttering from the previously-released preview stills and buzz continues to build around the interesting storyline centered around a South Korean prince and North Korea’s top female soldier.
Lee’s upcoming drama is up against some stiff competition in the same time slot, however, with JYJ’s Park Yoo Chun entering the ring with his drama in one corner and Lee’s friend and former 1 Night, 2 Days cast mate Uhm Tae Woong throwing his hat into the ring as well.
3. Lee Da Hae, the Next Big Hallyu Star?
After considering offers from various agencies since her contract expired with her previous management agency earlier this year, it was revealed on Febrary 29 that actress Lee Da Hae had signed with Forestar Entertainment, ending months of speculations on which agency the popular actress would join.
As a rising star in China and beyond, her casting in a new Chinese drama and her growing popularity, as evidenced by her astounding 2.6 million followers on her Weibo, Lee’s signing is sure looking like a winning catch for Forestar.
4. The Voice of Korea Continues to Climb in Ratings
Amid the slew of singing competition shows on television currently, one might think the pool would be too saturated for a new music show to make it. However, Mnet’s The Voice of Korea is proving doubters wrong.
Since recording a 2.3 percent viewership rating for its inaugural episode, ratings have been steadily climbing with the latest March 2 episode hitting a record-high rating of seven percent, according to the AGB Nielsen Media Research and it continues to hold on to the number one spot for its time slot on cable television.
The show has drawn praise for its talented contestants, which include former idol group trainees, musical actors and even previously debuted singers attempting to make it in the tough music industry. And with the battle rounds kicking off on this week’s episode, there’s no telling how far ratings will climb.
Stars Falling Flat
1. Jun Ji Hyun Flip-Flops on the Marriage Question
Ever since Jun Ji Hyun’s agency confirmed she was dating Choi Jun Hyuk, grandson of Hanbok designer, Lee Young Hee, the big marriage question has been on every one′s mind. After months of denying it, Jun not only admitted on March 1 that she was getting married to Choi but that the date and location had been set for June 2 at the Jangchung-dong Shilla Hotel.
The surprising announcement was received well by fans, but some raised questions on why Jun had ardently denied the rumors all this time. Many have speculated her reasons were tied to Jun’s potential worth as an advertisement model, while others pointed to the background of Jun’s 180-cm tall, handsome and rich boyfriend, saying they would have done the same if they were in Jun’s shoes.
2. IU and Her Not-So-Good Week
The beloved IU is known for her singing, acting and pretty face, but even the “nation’s younger sister” can have a less-than-stellar week.
It all began with the February 26 episode of SBS’ Inkigayo, when MC IU wrongly announced Se7en as the winner for the show’s Music Fans’ Top Song Award, which FT Island had actually won. Although it was an innocent mistake, which she immediately apologized for, FT Island fans were displeased and they let her know it on the show’s message boards.
The busy singer then came down with a severe cold and sore throat, leading her to cancelan event in Incheon. Although her representatives said she would be well enough to attend the Korean Music Awards, she was again a no-show despite having snagged three awards that night.
Not even IU, who is juggling all her activities in Korea while simultaneously preparing for her entry into Japan, can win ‘em all. Let’s hope this upcoming week proves to be better!
3. Kim Rae Won Wrongly Accused of Crime
After reports had surfaced that an ′actor Kim′ was booked and charged for assaulting a policeman in a drunken state, netizens went into a frenzy trying to figure out the identity of the actor.
Unfortunately for Kim Rae Won, who happens to share the same last name and age, 31, as the criminal, malicious rumors began to spread. However, the police stepped in before things could worsen, denying Kim as the perpetrator. Sounds like Kim was yet another innocent victim who fell prey to a netizen witch hunt.
4. More Embarrassing Photos of Kim Soo Hyun Emerge
When old photos of Kim Soo Hyun in his lesser-known days as a reenactment actor emerged, the photos of the slightly chubbier and frizzy-haired Kim were regarded as “cute” by most netizens.
But photos of the actor sporting a 2:8 ratio side part proved more difficult to defend. Still, whether he’s sporting a frizzy ‘do, a 2:8 ratio part, or even a ′mop-head′ the actor is still pulling in fans, advertisement deals and casting calls like it’s nobody’s business, so soldier on Kim Soo Hyun!
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