Dec 19, 2013

Hallyu Surfer's Year End Awards - Music Edition

Ack. I had promised myself to complete the second half of my Year End Awards before last week ended but things got crazy and will only get crazier the closer we get to the holidays. So, before the crazies get in the way of my blogging, I'm here to cap off my Year End Awards with more high school yearbook award titles to hand out to our favorite k-pop artists of 2013.

Without further ado, dim the lights, here we go.


Most likely to win the lotto, but lose the ticket - Lee Taemin (SHINee)

Aside from being an awesome dancer with killer vocals to boot, this SHINee maknae is also known for his infamous "magic hands" (stop it with your dirty minds, haha). This boy has been known to easily walk away from a broadcast station with mic still in hand, lose his train tickets (twice in the same day!), misplace his passport, and once even returned to Korea bare-footed because he lost his shoes overseas. Can you imagine how fast that lotto ticket is going to go missing?

Most likely to be president - Bang Yong-guk (B.A.P)

Bang Yong-guk for Prez! If only because I'd love to hear the Presidential Address in Yong-guk's signature full bass voice. Also, I'd gladly point out his attempt on social commentary via single "Badman" - about which he, allegedly, had this to say: "I wanted to bring awareness. I feel that there are so many big issues that we should not forget about yet we forget them so easily. I felt that no one else would convey these messages about society if we didn't do it."

Most likely to take over the world - G-Dragon (Big Bang)

He's almost there, isn't he? With endless mentions of Big Bang's leader and rapper in Western media (whether for his music or his fashion), he's probably one of the more recognizable names in k-pop. Once the rest of the world realizes what we hallyu-starved crazies have (that k-pop is not just the amusing novelty of a chubby Asian man doing the horse dance across Seoul to a satirical song about the city's upper crust, with all due respect to Psy coz he's awesome but is not the be-all and end-all of k-pop), you best believe G-Dragon will be leading the pack of Seoul-based artists to really export Korean music, fashion, and cutting-edge trends to anyone else who cares to pay attention.

Most likely to be a Premier Footballer - Kim Junsu (JYJ)

Is there any doubt that were Xiah Junsu not a super successful pop star cum musical actor he'd be a professional football player? Nope. As a soccer enthusiast and captain of the South Korean celebrities soccer team FC MEN, fans have been lining up to watch him, not only on stage, but on the pitch as well.

Runners-up: Kim Hyun-joong (SS501), Yoon Doo-joon (B2ST)

Most likely to win an Oscar - Im Seulong (2AM)

Aside from having a gorgeous voice, 2AM's Seulong has also enjoyed quite an acting career. He started on the small screen in a character role in the drama Personal Taste and has since been in several dramas and movies, for which he has been consistently getting good reviews. In 2012, Seulong won the acting rookie award for his film debut in 26 Years. For his role in the recent drama, The Fugitive of Joseon, Seulong received overwhelmingly good comments, even having overshadowed the drama's lead actor.

Runner-up: T.O.P (Big Bang)

Most annoying but loved - Seungri (Big Bang)

Despite being a rabid Big Bang fan, there are still those days when Seungri will inevitably make my eyes roll at his sheer ridiculousness. At times annoying, most times endearing, there's a reason why GD keeps a tight leash on this kid. How very fitting then that his Twitter bio is a short reminder for him to rein it in a bit, especially on social media: "Once the tweet goes out, it cant be taken back kkkk."

Runner-up: Hwang Kwang-hee (ZE:A)

Most changed since freshman year - Park Bom (2NE1)

It doesn't take a cosmetic surgeon to tell you that this isn't Park Bom's natural face anymore. We've witnessed her transformation from way back when she was still a YG trainee being featured in Big Bang's music video to 2NE1's own debut, and her transformation has been a little short of distracting.

Best Hair - Hyoyeon (SNSD)

One of the things that makes k-pop so damn attractive is that they are not afraid of colors, and I love it. So is it any surprise that I'm a fan of the ever-changing hair colors of all our idols? And when Hyoyeon rocked the multi-colored streaks on a blond base (also seen on the many Forever 21 ads that I love) during their promotions for "I Got A Boy," I had a mini freak out. It was glorious.

Best Couple - Trouble Maker

Trouble Maker made a comeback this year, and boy were they sizzling in the video (and the many stage performances that followed). Despite the questionable chemistry, the very fact that they even dared to go this far in a k-pop video was refreshing. In a society that boasts of its modernity and yet clings hard to its conservative roots, the culture that bore k-pop can be quite confusing. We like our idols sexily hip-thrusting to Western-influenced EDM music but God forbid they hold hands with someone of the opposite sex. So, for me, the endless skinship between B2ST's Hyun-seung and 4Minute's Hyun-ah was not just sexy, it was a bold statement that I've been waiting to hear since I started listening to k-pop.

Runners-up: Taemin-Naeun (We Got Married), Key-Eunji (We Got Married), GD-Hyungdon (Infinity Challenge)

Best Teacher - JYP (KPop Star)

Say what you want about Park Jin-young and his endless technical ramblings about half-air-half-sound vocals, scales, and whatnot, but when he pointed out on the first episode of KPop Star 3 that Han Hee-jun (of American Idol fame) not only sounded old-school (because we already knew as much) but why he did, my jaw dropped. As an avid Idol fan, I watched the season Hee-jun was on the show, and not once did any of their judges discuss in detail the problem with Hee-jun's vocals and what he was doing wrong. JYP not only explained why and how, he had matching demos to go with his explanation. Respect, man. Respect.

Runner-up: G-Dragon (WIN: Who Is Next), YG (KPop Star)

Best Dressed Female - CL (2NE1)

With her many fashion forward attempts, 2NE1 leader CL has had quite a number of misses, but when this girl is on target, it's a freaking bullseye. She's not afraid to dress down or up or sideways, and that's what we love about her. There's always a buzz with what she wears, no matter what it is. Funny, then, that the most recent buzz was all about how she didn't bother to wear anything.

Best Dressed Male - T.O.P (Big Bang)

GD keeps getting the fashionista card handed to him, and I understand why. Big Bang's leader is a cut above the rest in terms of experimental fashion. The group's main rapper T.O.P, on the other hand, is more understated and classic - but always flawlessly tailored and gorgeous. Doesn't matter if it's jeans and a hoodie or a Thom Browne suit, T.O.P infallibly looks good. If the clothes does, indeed, make the man, it's no wonder Rolling Stone ranked him among the hottest sex symbols of 2013 despite this rapper's aversion to exposing more skin than necessary.

Best Dancer - Kai (EXO)

There's just something about this kid and his dancing. Every time I watch an EXO video, Kai never fails to stand out. He may be doing the exact same steps as all the other members but he does it with such flair that I'm just sitting here wondering how exactly is his body able to move like that. Maybe it's his ballet and jazz dancing background that helps him because, even though Kai dances with controlled sharpness and precise movements, he is still gloriously graceful.

Runners-up: Taeyang (Big Bang), Taemin (SHINee), Hyoyeon (SNSD)

Best Musician - Kim Jaejoong (JYJ)

It really is unfortunate that JYJ and its members' solo efforts have been relegated to the sidelines of k-pop. I'm not saying they're not still super successful and insanely popular, because they're all that and more. Living legends, all three of them. But imagine if they were given the opportunity to perform their music on programs like Inkigayo, Music Bank, or Music Core? Imagine how much bigger they can become if they are able to draw in younger audiences? It really is a shame because Jaejoong released some of the best rock-inspired singles this year but distribution and fanfare has been limited due to TPTB.

Runners-up: G-Dragon (Big Bang), Jung Yong-hwa (CN Blue)

Best Newcomer - Lee Hi

I am a YG fan through and through, and nothing cements that truth more than the rookies they've been slowly introducing to us in the past year. Lee Hi debuted mid-2012 after her successful stint on talent search program KPop Star and burst into the scene with the awesome track "1,2,3,4." This year, she churned out several more wonderful singles, each one of them highlighting her gorgeously soulful voice. For a girl this young, it's already clear that Lee Hi's future in k-pop is going to be a solid one.

Runners-up: EXO, Kang Seung-yoon

Biggest Flirt - Henry Lau (Super Junior-M)

Anyone who was able to watch the "What's Your Name?" episode of Happy Together on KBS would know what I mean. Henry was adorable and utterly hilarious on that show, much to fellow Super Junior-M member Kyuhyun's chagrin. Them girls had no idea what they were in for.

Class Clown - Key (SHINee)

A lot of people are put off by Key's strong personality, but I love him. I find him hilarious and hella endearing. Even his Instagram account is a goldmine of funnies. I start laughing the moment he starts laughing even if I have no idea what he's laughing about. It's a good thing then that the producers of We Got Married keep guesting him on the show. It doesn't matter if he's hanging with fellow SHINee member Taemin and his wife (APink's Son Na-eun) or with his '91-line friends Nicole (KARA), Mir (MBLAQ), and Jinwoon (2AM) with his wife  -- Key just cracks me up.

Runners-up: Jo Kwon (2AM)

Biggest Dork - Shinhwa

No one can rival the epic dorkiness of this ahjussi idol group. I couldn't even pick just one of them. They are all dorks of varying sizes and 4D-ness - and Shinhwa Broadcast is all the better for it. I don't think I've ever gotten through an episode without cracking my sides laughing. Sometimes it gets to the point where I find it hard to take them seriously as a singing group. Ha.

Runners-up: T.O.P (Big Bang), Onew (SHINee), Yesung (Super Junior), Amber (f(x))

Winning Moment - SHINee's win at the 2013 Melon Awards

Was there anything more touching than the moment SHINee took to the stage to accept their Best Artist of the Year Award at the recent Melon Awards? None of us were prepared for the amount of tears the boys collectively shed. At one point, Key had to move Jong-hyun's mic away from him because everyone could hear his angry sobbing. Eventually, the boys of SHINee were not the only ones with tear-streaked faces in the arena, Shawols and the EXO hoobaes were crying right along with them. After all of SHINee's hard work, releasing 3 albums this year, the win felt so deserved.

Runner-up: Ailee's Top 10 win at the Melon Awards

Hottest Freshman - Kang Seung-yoon

Honestly, back when I watched Superstar K2 almost three years ago, I would never have thought that I would love Kang Seung-yoon as much as I do now. I kept an eye on him though when he got signed by YG, feeling slightly confused as to why a guitar-playing alterna-pop musician would join a primarily hiphop-centric agency. Fast forward past his short stint as an actor and finally to his official debut as a solo singer, I am pleasantly surprised by how much I loved his first track "Wild and Young" and I am happy he stuck to his singer-songwriter roots. This boy can sing anything though. Needless to say, after winning alongside the rest of Team A in WIN: Who Is Next, I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for his second debut as part of YG's newest boy group.

Prom Queen - Lee Hyori

The queen came back this year, not only with all-kills on the charts, but with the good news of marrying her musician boyfriend Lee Sang-soon (the two had a quaint little ceremony in Jeju-do on September of this year). There's no denying that Queen Hyori is not only super pretty but sexy as well and she showed up at this year's Mnet Asian Music Awards looking like a hip-hop goddess.

Prom King - G-Dragon (Big Bang)

Despite Big Bang not having any group releases this year, G-Dragon sure had a busy 2013. In January, he embarked on a 4-dome tour of Japan and followed that up with his first solo tour of Asia. And then in September, he released his second full-length solo album Coup D'etat which featured both Korean and international artists like Missy Elliott, Sky Ferreira, Diplo, Bauuer, Zion.T, and Lydia Paek. A total of 7 tracks from this new album charted upon release. 2013 was clearly GD's year, being recognized for his music and style both at home and abroad. Unlike our Queen, our King did not get hitched this year, but he did start an adorable bromance with comedian/entertainer Jung Hyung-don.


And just like that, I've finally ended my Year End Awards. It's been quite a year in k-pop and dare I say I'm looking forward to what's in store for me in 2014. On the top of that list is the official debut of Winner (Winner TV has been awesome so far, by the way). I need a Big Bang comeback asap. Also, an actual 2NE1 album would be great.

If I don't get to blog before then, happy holidays everyone! xoxo


  1. GD is Prom King and Most Likely to Take Over the World. He's one lucky, talented guy!

    1. Ha. I seriously couldn't think of anyone else who would fit those titles. I must've been in a GD state of mind when I wrote this. ^_^