The thing that idols couldn’t live without in this 21st century is variety. Since sometime ago, idol groups started existing in various variety programs, an attempt to be closer to the public eyes. The first generation of variety-dol was Jokwon, followed with KwangHee as the second generation, and today, there are two people who are fighting neck to neck with the title. They are none other than BTOB’s Lee MinHyuk and Jung IlHoon.
“1+1 Kyeomi” Jung IlHoon Vs. Romantic Athletic Lee MinHyuk
Jung IlHoon who once wished to be the team’s charismatic member showed off ‘Kyeomi Player’ on MBC every1 ‘Weekly Idol’, allowing him to be crowned as the nation’s ‘cutie’. Fixed on the program after that broadcast, Jung IlHoon also received the nickname as ‘Grill Fairy’ in the show. Jung IlHoon expressed, “I usually hear people commented about me being cute, but I really can’t be cute” and, “I work hard to be gentle. I tried to become less talkative, but it looks like it works the other way round”, he revealed. Although he once worried if this image might stick to him, he wondered “if that’s just natural”, and his greed for this opposing character was born as well.
“When I think about it, although I looked easy-going and youthful during normal times, on stage, it seems like I wanted to show my sincere look. So I DJ-ed during United Cube Concert. When other idol groups starting parodying ‘Kyeomi Player’, I was really stressed about it. ‘Did they really watch me?”, I wondered about that. I remembered watching a lot of parodies, and even foreigners parodied it too.”
Followed after Jung IlHoon, Lee MinHyuk had proved his existence through tvN ‘The Romantic Season 2′ and MBC ‘Idol Star Championship’. In ‘The Romantic’, during the process of being coupled with Jewelry’s Kim YeWon, he gained nicknames such as ‘fishery man’ and ‘love god’. “It’s really disappointing since I’m not that type of person”, he revealed and continued with “I’m difficult in opening my heart to someone. I’m that type that takes some time before knowing someone else. As a result, it seems that I looked caring to everyone”. In fact, he’s an innocent man that would only look at one person when he has decided his heart.
“During my shoot, I thought about the fans. As broadcast starts, I worried a lot about my fans’ reaction. So I thought of it as ‘Since it’s just for variety, I will go there with a happy heart’. As a rookie who appears on ‘The Romantic’, it was burdensome. Although I did not hear much good stuff about me after the broadcast, I made good connections with all the cast. I never travel like this before, so it was something like going for MT.”
Jung IlHoon who is a senior in variety shows, expressed, “I watched ‘The Romantic’ and there are some good and bad points about it. Although there are some who disliked watching it, there are still those who liked it” and, “I just hope that (Minhyuk) hyung doesn’t get hurt about it. Contents wise, he really did better than me, so I’m proud of him”, as he praised his teammate.
Not taking variety lightly! “Preparation steps in order to jump higher”
After IlHoon’s value rose through ‘Kyeomi Player’, he had received the nickname ‘까임 방지권’ (?). Lee MinHyuk who had ‘overwritten’ Jung IlHoon has now gained BTOB members’ attention. Why is it so? This is all thanks to ‘Idols Star Championship’. Lee MinHyuk participated alone among the members for Men’s 70m run and 70m Hurdles. He won gold medals for both categories and even won a bronze medal for high jumps. “Were you originally that fast?”, we asked, and his answer was “I was shocked when I knew that I ran faster than I thought”.
“‘If I were to win lots in this program, will my air time increase?’, I thought of that too. Since I’m the only one from BTOB participating, I felt the responsibility and therefore my competitive side was strong. I did all my best. In the future, although we do want ourselves to be made known on variety shows, we also want to show our sides as singers. I fear that we might hear comments like ‘He has the face but without talents’, so we will do even better.”
Both of them became popular through variety programs, but their main occupation is still a singer. Jung IlHoon was in charge for the rap making and featuring for Hyuna’s ‘Green Apple’ and G.NA’s ‘Oops!’ while Lee Minhyuk earned ‘Huta’ as his nickname during his high school times. The both of them expressed, “There weren’t many chances for us to show what we have yet. But every morning, we think of our album, every day we would think of meeting everyone as soon as possible on stage”. Jung IlHoon further added, “I am able to quench my thirst through featuring stages, but the greed is still there. I hope to come out soon”.
As such, the both of them went on with ‘United Cube Concert’ in Korea and Japan. Lee MinHyuk expressed, “We will show our greed for the stage, and hope that everyone listen to it” and “It’s regretful that we couldn’t do more, we’re regretful because it was short”, as he reminisced the concert then. Jung IlHoon further held the opening stage for the concert. He added, “I was able to perform a lone, so I was happy about it. It was a stage after many training I’ve been through every day”.
“When other singers are promoting, we had thoughts of ‘faster coming back’. Every time that happens, we tell ourselves ‘let’s not rush things. The time will come, so just prepare to our fullest”. I think it’s like that. We’ve became impatient every day. (laughs) I don’t think we can do anything about it. Now, we’re in the process of working hard to jump higher.” (Lee MinHyuk)