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MBC Strike: What This Means for Kpop Fans
MBC is finally going on strike which is completely not normal for Korea. As you probably know, the working culture in Korea is insane, especially in the entertainment industry where everyone involved (not just the actors) often work 20-23 hours a day. There have recently been un uptick in suicides by writers and producers because of the immense stress put on them. MBC is also known here in Korea to be under the control of bigger powers, such as the old president who was impeached. Rather than sharing the real news, the anchors were forced to spin stories to be positive for the president and to support her because the owners of the station were being put under pressure by the corrupt government. Basically MBC is just bad news, and the workers are sick of it. As of this week, the workers have all stopped coming to work meaning unless something was previously recorded, there will be no news, no radio, no dramas, no nothing, until they get what they want (way better working conditions and probably a way better CEO) Because of this, it looks like a music festival has been cancelled as well. BTS V and Twice Dahyun were going to host it and its line up would have included BTS, TWICE, Red Velvet, B1A4, BTOB, Teen Top, B.A.P, MAMAMOO, GFRIEND, BLACKPINK, iKON, EXID, NU’EST W, Lovelyz, ASTRO, and PRISTIN. To be honest, I don't really care that this was cancelled, as I'd much rather have thousands of people's lives improved than watch a few groups perform one or two songs each that we've already heard before. I'm sad if this was anyone's one chance to see these groups live (like if they were vacationing to korea) but in the long run I think it will help a lot more people than it will inconvenience. Here's to hoping the working conditions of people behind the shows we love so much improve greatly <3
Figure skating queen Kim Yuna in a relationship!
The next dating report to come from Korean media outlet 'Dispatch' is none other than 2010 Olympic gold medalist and 2014 Olympic silver medalist Kim Yuna, also known as 'Queen Yuna'! The figure skater is rumored to be in a relationship with a hockey player by the name of Kim Won Joong. It's said the two were able to grow close because they went to the same college and also shared the same ice rink during training in Korea. As figure skaters and hockey players practice at different times, it's difficult to run into each other, but with the common skating interest as well as being college buddies and also training for the Olympics, the two are said to have grown a bond. Due to their busy schedules, the two are said to only meet up two or so times a month, but they do make sure to spend special occasions together like their birthdays or Christmas eve. Kim Yuna's reps have sent out a press release to confirm the two athlete's relationship. Her management All That Sports stated, "We are informing you that the dating report about Kim Yuna dating is mostly true and that she is in a relationship with Kim Won Joong." In addition, according to an insider in the figure skating world, Yuna and Kim Won Joong have been dating for 3 years now. The insider commented, "It's been quite a while since they started dating. This is their third year." However, this duration has not been confirmed by Yuna's reps. Congratulations to Kim Yuna and Kim Won Joong!
Korean TV, This Is Just Getting Ridiculous
So by now we all know about Produce 101. In case you don't, though, here's a short breakdown: There have been two seasons on MBC (one for girls, one for boys) that takes 101 trainees and puts them through tests and voting until only a certain number remain and they create a new idol group (for a short period of time, then they go back to their original companies. The channel KBS is preparing to take it to the next level. The company is preparing a show currently called "The Final 99 Match" that will take performers that have had the chance to debut, but never found success. There are plenty of idol groups (unfortuately called "nugus") that have never really succeeded. Ideally, this show is where they get a chance to join a new group and get a shot at fame. That's sort of normal and understandable, but this is where it gets absolutely ridiculous. There reportedly will be 250 BOYS AND 250 GIRLS competing. 9 of each gender will survive and be placed into groups (number of groups have not been decided) I understand that idol TV shows are getting popular, much like how American Idol in the States led to The X Factor, The Voice, America's Got Talent, etc etc etc. But 500 people?! When they've already survived the harsh kpop audition and training system to debut? That must be so heartbreaking for all of them. I'd feel less bad if they were complete rookies with zero training but dang, to already debut...its like NU'EST being in Produce 101 right now. So sad for the fans :/ I wish everyone luck and hope it changes some lives for the better but I have a feeling this competition is going to be a heart ache. What do you guys think? source
Sochi Olympics: Yuna Kim's flawless performance cuts no ice in a Russian Arena
SOCHI, Russia — The brilliantly graceful South Korean queen of figure skating did everything necessary to retain her Olympic crown Thursday night while facing a feisty Russian kid in an arena filled with fanatical Russian fans. Yuna Kim never stood a chance. Yuna Kim never stood a chance. Some would call it scandal, others would call it skating, but common sense would call what happened at the Iceberg Skating Palace just plain wrong. Kim skated last and with perfection but could not withstand an earlier emotional charge from 17-year-old Russian Adelina Sotnikova, who used heart and the home-ice advantage to stunningly win the gold medal. Kim finished second, but it was as if she was never even here, as the strength of her presence was overwhelmed by thousands of chanting, cheering Russian fans while the beauty of her skating was ignored by a seemingly biased panel of judges. "I'm speechless," said American Ashley Wagner, who finished seventh. "This sport needs to be held more accountable if it wants more people to believe in it." From the moment Sotnikova skated in the middle of the final group, the scene here indeed bordered on the unbelievable. She began the night in second place behind Kim, and skated with a moving desperation, flying around with speed and athleticism and even charm, waving to the judges during her final spins. By the time she left the ice, a Russian crowd that had surely felt burned by Wednesday night's men's hockey loss sensed it finally had its landmark Olympic victory, and turned up the heat. They cheered and blew horns and chanted "Rus-ay-a" through the final three skaters. They chanted it even louder when a small Korean contingent attempted to chant, "Yu-na-kim." When it was finally Kim's turn to skate, the arena fell nearly silent. The pressure built when the judges made her wait on the ice several minutes longer than normal while calculating the scores for Wagner, the previous skater. While Wagner jokingly held out her hands with impatience, Kim slowly circled the ice again, and again, and again as if slowly losing steam. "After normal time, I had to wait a longer time, and I tried to think of my performance and not think of any other skaters who had skated," Kim said of the strange delay. Or was it so strange? One of the nine judges, Yuri Balkov of Ukraine, served a suspension after the 1998 Olympics for attempting to fix the ice dancing. Another judge, Russian Alla Shekhovtseva, is married to the former Russian skating federation president. Scandal or skating? You decide. As for Kim, by the time they finally let her skate, she gave a flawless performance that should have been enough to keep the crown. She did one fewer jump than Sotnikova, which cost her technically and accounted for the difference in the overall scores. But Sotnikova stepped out of one of her jumps, and, though she was more aggressive than Kim, she wasn't nearly as artistic. Kim was beauty, Sotnikova was brash, and the result seemed clear the moment Kim finished. Kim had surely become only the third woman to win more than one Olympic title. But then the scores were flashed and her gold disappeared and everything became murky. The crowd roared in both excitement and shock. The arena shook with both celebration and anger. While Sotnikova ran through a tunnel into the arms of a coach, Kim stalked off in the other direction. The women appeared together on the ice for the flower ceremony, but it was awkward, as they barely looked at each other. For several long minutes, Sotnikova and bronze medalist Carolina Kostner of Italy waved their flags while Yuna made no initial move to retrieve one of her flags. When their victory lap ended, Sotnikova and Kostner remained on the ice hugging and posing for photos while Kim quickly skated off and disappeared. Kim was clearly irked. Sotnikova was clearly stunned. Said Kim: "The judges give points and I can't do anything about that. I did all I wanted to do, like I wanted to do it.... I did all I can."