shinee: kings of kings, 5hinee???, once in a blue moon comebacks, always slays tho, taemin has killed people??, jonghyun cries, key/minho is loud, tofu leader onew, dibidibidissing themselves is a specialty, live vocals for days, visuals, rind dinG DONG DIGGY DINGY DING
shinhwa: you thought shinee were kings, actual gods, legends, eats cds for meals, fans are moms, doesn’t let members live/leave, grown men but also smol children, m style, don’t make them dance 2x speed dances, butt grabbing, kissing, they talk about farting a lot, grown men that i shouldn’t like but do, my mom thinks they’re good looking af
bts: any armys here xD, i thought rapmon was a pokemon, fans are kinda :/, lots of in fandom drama, despise exo/exo-ls, screaming, aloof, do they have other friends???, bulletproof boyscouts makes me cringe sometimes ngl, choreo will apparently kill you (lie), lightstick lowkey doubles as a weapon, FIYUHHHH OH AYE OH
got7: literally the easiest name ever jyp what u doin, actually has 7, united nations group, memes, wild af outside of korea, JACKSON, dab7, people talk a lot of shit on bambam :/, dancing kid yugyeom, they have a dog, a DOG, best leader jaebum, it’s jinyoung not junior, dancing kings with bts, gotbangtan saved my life, mark who?
exo: i’m not even gonna start, sm does whatever with them, members left, idk any names, only do and kai, fandom is kinda :/ too, despise armies/bts, CHOGIWA, wolf was a tragic era, no one talks about the history mv, call me (daddy) baby, good music, apparently invented everything????, exo next door was cringey and my life at the same time, kudae oolf naega oolf
seventeen: wait how many members???, boy with long hair (its not long anymore??), good at everything, self producing idols, short angery man writes songs, vernon is a meme, they’re all memes, american hyung josh, only chan is actually 17, they have a general leader????, sub units within a group???, justice for china line, have they ever failed at anything??, carrot is the fandom name???
infinite: hoya hoya hoooya, old man sunggyu,
weekly idol’s children, i have never met an inspirit irl, or online, unique sound, quality music, looked a lil dusty in the early days but thats ok
vixx: kinky kpop group???, lightstick vibrates????, i love n, and leo, they got me chained up lmao i’m sorry, i have never met a starlight irl either, where yall at???
24k: who???, just kidding, people don’t know who they are tho, i’m in love with the leader, listen to oasis its a bop, sunbaes to so many of ur faves its unbelievable, give em a listen, go to russia/europe on the regular???, go through so many lineup changes what is their company doin smh, look em up hunnies
toppdogg: T O DOUBLE G, T O DOUBLE G, who???, just kidding, lots of bops, give oasis and arario a try, members keep leavin like no???, stay???, one member is literally named camel, have a good ass fandom name, topp klass, vvvv nice, i have never met one irl, hmu lol
monsta x: i can be your hERO, joohoney, slept on, no one can spell their name???, all in changed my life, wonho is lowkey kinky, no mercy really had no mercy, kings of circle choreos, wheres thEIR FIRST WIN???, shownu is a giant teddy bear, you thought you knew memes, inventor of the meme, stan talent pls ;-;
vromance: STAN TALENT DO IT LOOK THEM UP RIGHT NOW STAN THEM, grown men i love but shouldn’t, vocals slay me, eats cds, so much potential ;-;
**this is all just jokes but @ me if you want lol it’ll just be for a ridiculous reason
What if I told you… BTS is an amazing group with great music but they did actually not establish the Kpop genre? That there were other artists there before that made Kpop a thing?? That a Youtube video with an east asian male included can be watched without pointing out that you think he resembles a member of BTS???
It’s not unfamiliar that Shinhwa debuted around the end of 90s, at the blooming period of the creation of ‘idol’, and being called ‘First Generation Idol’. After H.O.T and S.E.S, leading the idol entertainment companies, they were SM Entertainment’s third product.
About Shinhwa’s audition
The above image is ranked by the date Shinhwa members joined as a trainee. We don’t have to talk much about what happened before debut, in short:
Andy who was living in America formed a dance group with few Korean friends, joined a dance competition and got casted by Lee Sooman. After that he was picked as the final member of H.O.T, but gave up due to his mother’s worry about debuting at a young age, hence went back to America. After a year, Lee Sooman met Andy again in LA and brought him back to Korea. (At this time, some believe that Andy is already chosen as a Shinhwa member, but it’s unknown whether if it is a rumour among fans or a rumour from Lee Sooman.)
As a foreign student, Shin Hyesung was casted in a SM audition held in LA. It was in 1996, and was the same year that Lee Sooman met Andy again, and according to Andy as a trainee that time, after listening to Shin Hyesung’s vocal, Lee Sooman exclaimed “It’s really great isn’t it”.
Eric same as Shin Hyesung, was casted though LA audition. Although he joined the audition as suggested by Andy, he already met Lee Sooman in the past. And according to Lee Sooman and Andy, Eric was already popular among Korean students at that time.
Lee Minwoo studied at Jeonju Art High school, he joined Everland Dance Competition with friends and got casted by a SM manager. (His friend who was also casted as a trainee wasn’t able to become a Shinhwa memebr but debuted through other entertainment company)
Junjin studied at Ogeum High School who was already famous for his dancing skills. And through sunbae Ahn Chilhyun, H.O.T Kangta suggested him to be a trainee.
At last, Kim Dongwan was popular as a band vocal in Whimoon High School. He also gained the title of ‘Whimoon’s Moses’ (Meaning that wherever he walked past, students separated a road like Red Sea for him.)
tvN The List 130311:
About Kim Dongwan at Whimoon High School
Different companies wanted to get Kim Dongwan in and they even sent special manager for him, knowing all his schedules following him around to get a chance (as reported by DSP relations). Until one day Kim Dongwan was unexpectedly casted by a SM manager on street, while holding a big teddy bear for his girlfriend.
None the less, they gathered as trainees and after one year to few months of training, only six were chosen to debut as Shinhwa’s final members.
People call them SM’s mischievous icon.
Different to other idols with a mysterious concept (especially SM’s H.O.T and S.E.S), arguing with fans outside the dorm, getting drunk, bringing a television to play games at broadcast stations, escaped dorm but got caught and all received punishment, etc. Until now these were remained as legend stories in the industry, and you can find these easily on different humour-sites as Shinhwa’s history.
Therefore even after 10 years, I believe that their weird and extraordinary stories will remain on the internet. And that because of the contrasting image to other idols during such time, their unique image brought them to the exposure in variety.
In 1999, Shinhwa’s 2nd Album (T.O.P) brought them a late-coming huge response, forming the unique passionate fans, and achieved their goals. In the 5 years of contract period, even though there were various incidents (especially the life threatening accidents).
They continued in striving and working hard, showing a different style with every album.
At that time, I also thought their story will conclude with a happy ending…
With the passing of time, 5 years of “idols’ maximum survival time” went by, Shinhwa and SM’s contract came to an end in 2003.
During that time, groups debuted before Shinhwa or debuted at similar time declared disbandment, even without an official announcement, the members left and worked in different fields. At that time, the running period of idols were expected to be around 5 years, and the number of albums was also ended at 5. However, Shinhwa in 2002 released their 6th Album. From that time onwards, they began slowing breaking the limits of idols.
Recalling SM Entertainment sunbae idol groups, in 2001 due to conflicts between members and company, H.O.T went in a status of “half disbandment”. S.E.S in 2002 disbanded according to members’ will, and debuted as solo singers.
And in 2003, when everyone expected SM’s third child, Shinhwa will go through the same path as the other idols.
But as we all know, such expectation did not came true. Before talking about Shinhwa’s next decision, let’s look into their experience in SM Entertainment which may considered as a turning point.
Chapter 1.5. Shinhwa Promoting as 5 (2001)
When Shinhwa released their 4th Album in 2001, without Andy, promoting as 5 members is what everyone knows. Andy also mentioned it on a programme himself, and as what we know, it was due to his personal issues. But the truth is, recalling the incident in 2001, it was not just solely a personal uncontrollable case.
Andy’s Activities on Hiatus
[Author’s NOTE: Although I do not know how much this incident has impact on Shinhwa, this could fully represent how they realised the actual relationship between the group and the company. And this is also the incident which made Shinhwa fans lost trust towards the company, and that it is not totally irrelevant to the future conflicts. Below is according to my recall of the situation and rumour during that time+ what was reported on media+ Andy’s future explanation.]
One day, KKFS (Korea Kent Foreign School) was rumoured to have students from high status families getting into university with no qualification. And in this school there were two popular idols. They are S.E.S’s Shoo (Yoo Sooyoung) and Shinhwa’s Andy (Lee Sunho). (S.E.S’s Eugene was a graduate from this school)
Reporters who were starving for news did not miss this chance. News on TV and newspaper all brought the two names out. At first, it was “an idol member”, and then it became “S.E.S’s Miss Y and Shinhwa’s Mr L”. Later, they even reported with their real identities. People who heard about the university entrance scandal began to judge and blame them. Of course, this also happened in the fandom.
(For reference, I was only 4th grade at that time, just began liking Shinhwa, but still am able to remember this shows how big impact it brought…)
About this incident, if we start from the conclusion, the school which had an university entrance scandal, happened to have a foreigner student Andy (with foreign residence). Andy was 12th grade at that time, applied and got accepted for Hankuk University of Foreign Studies on English. Shoo also was accepted in university already.
However when the news broke, the spotlight of the media went onto “idol’s improper university entrance scandal” (in reality they just happened to be a student there) instead of the “high status family scandal”. Whereas the universities which were at the centre of the scandal, used “not qualified” as an excuse to cancel KENT students’ accepted university application. Of course, from the the surface their reason made sense. KENT was not a proper high school course, hence they were not qualified for university application from the start.
(I need to point out that, not only Andy and Shoo, whether all Kent students did got blamed due to “not qualified”. For reference, all foreigner high schools are recognised as proper high school course now. But it was only not recognised during that time.)
Therefore the high school education was not recognised, concluding with a Junior high graduate, cancelled university entrance.
ENDING LIKE THIS?? Then it would be great….
Due to the KKFS incident, a lot obstacles were created to Andy.
1. As Andy’s education was not recognised, Andy’s past 3 years studying at KKFS as a student was rejected. This created a problem to Andy’s reason to stay in Korea. Hence before his identity was made clear, the business activity (=as a singer) became impossible.
2. Male adult who is not a student, by principle is required to receive military health check, and before that travelling is forbidden.
Therefore, until Andy got the military health check, he was forbidden to leave the country. It would be great ending like this, receive the military health check and solve the legal problems. But to make thing worse, Andy’s “personal issue" broke out. Andy’s mother in US suddenly went really ill.
For reference, Andy was born in a single parent family, without any male parent, it means that he is responsible to act as the father’s role. Andy as his mother’s guarantor was really urgent to travel back to US, but due to what happened in Korea, until the travel ban is removed, he could only wait.
During such process, Andy even made a lawsuit about the university application was inappropriately cancelled. Some may misunderstood his action, but he did this not because of to escape from the military check, but instead if he could resume the “student” identity then the travel ban would be removed and he could rush back to US. But at last it did not succeed.
Also, rumours began to spread everywhere. From Andy leaving out of the dorm, to become missing, temporary leaving the group, withdrawal from the group, and even rumour on suicide. (About attempt of suicide, at that time the company explained it was because of taking excessive cold pills leading to gastric spasm, and was sent to the emergency. I personally think such issue is still questionable, but it is not a significant point here, so I will end this here.)
Afterall, Andy successfully received the military check and due to not qualified education (finally as Junior high graduate), and was decided as “reserved placement” in military, he left all rumours behind and quietly left for US.
After few months, Shinhwa came back with their 4th Album.
Without Andy, as 5.
What ironic is, Shinhwa with one member less, the album received well results, it’s actually really popular among the public. People started to give them more recognition for trying the un-idol-like concepts.
Some even said that ‘Hey Come On’ is the next level in music. And ‘Wild Eyes’ as the continuing song, received even greater reaction than the title song.
No matter if it is music, variety or the media reflected that Shinhwa could be perfect as a 5 members group. But this did not make people satisfy because of the subtle atmosphere. Some fans appeared to not care but feeling lost, and some fans even accepted that Andy is already not a member. Shinhwa seems to realise that before the return of Andy, they have the responsibility to stay in their position and try to make Shinhwa better.
However looking at Shinhwa promoting without him, Andy thought that he no longer had a position in Shinhwa.
Due to Andy’s inability to support the hospital fees (US hospital fees are different to Korea’s ones), he brought his mother back to Korea after few months. Looking at Shinhwa striving forth, began to feel the distance in between, or began to feel the guilt that may block Shinhwa’s development. He did not go back to the dorm but instead hid in a college building somewhere in Seoul.
Not getting a haircut, not shaving, shower with cold water, only able to sleep with soju and aspirin.
After that, as what we all know, Andy returned back to Shinhwa.
After Shinhwa’s 4th Album promotion, Shinhwa Changjo’s 5th Fan Meeting was held. It was the biggest event among all fan meetings held, and the venue was Jamsil Main Stadium. According to Andy, that day Lee Sooman contacted him and told him to join the fan meeting. Andy at the waiting room heard the fans shouted ‘Lee Sunho’ even without him on stage, teared up. To hide the weeping eyes, he borrowed a pair of sunglasses, and stood in front of the fans after a year.
When the fan meeting was coming to an end, Andy appeared at the last encore stage, greeted everyone shyly.
Shinhwa, once again returned as six.
However, even just naming this “after experiencing hardship, Andy returned to Shinhwa”, the impact this incident brought is definitely visible.
The point is, the person who called Andy to join the fan meeting is Lee Sooman, from this aspect both Andy and the fans were thankful for.
But the question is, this company called SM, left Andy out during their 4th Album promotion, appears to be doing a kind of experiment.
When Andy is not in Korea, leaving him out, released a new album. Using the finished recording, and re-record it as 5 members, and making it into an album with 5 members. [-> Do anyone know where this is from?]
Idol groups were normally with 5 people, even with 5 voices, they were flawless no matter if it’s album or variety, the appearance of the 5 members were perfect.
The members did not mention Andy as much, called Junjin as the ‘maknae’ and called Shinhwa as ‘5’.
From all these actions during the promotion, could SM be trying this out to make Shinhwa as a 5 members group? People already made such assumption.
Also, about Andy’s rumour, fans complained that SM did not handle it well. In reality, Shinhwa’s fanchant during 4th Album promotion, determined to add ‘Lee Sunho’, showing how much they anticipate Andy’s return.
But about Andy’s news or his future decision, SM did not voice out any opinion. When Andy was bothered by rumours before the military check, and the situation was so bad that he even went to the emergency, SM did not state clearly that Andy was not related to the university entrance scandal, and did not show a strong will to solve Andy’s problems.
At least this is what fans’ thought. (If SM actively solved the problems, the fandom won’t split). At such situation, SM still promoted 5 members Shinhwa, created fans’ further distrust towards the company.
Of course, with Andy’s return, the saying of “5 members Shinhwa” became solely a rumour, or you can call it SM’s failed tactic. Even if the rumour is true, that SM tried to take Andy away and make Shinhwa as a 5 members group, then this project was not only an experimental failure, but it brought unexpected negative impact to SM.
Using this incident as an example, not only Andy, SM can ignore their personal will and change the members of Shinhwa at any time.
Shinhwa could no longer be 6 at any time, even the group’s survival is uncertain, this is what the members clearly realised.
Back to 2003.
Even though it was revealed after a long time, H.O.T and S.E.S disbandment was mainly due to contract renewal. H.O.T’s situation was due to members’ individual contract renewal, conflicts and misunderstanding grew, leading to disbandment. S.E.S’s situation was SM tried for individual contract renewal, but due to contract problems, conflicts grew, and finally announced disband while at the top position.
Same as the two previous groups, before contract renewal, the company began to secretly seek individual members. The first person who got suggested for contract renewal was Lee Minwoo and Shin Hyesung. Lee Minwoo since debut was in charge of choreography, lyrics and song writing, these various areas, showing a strong individual talent. Shin Hyesung is Shinhwa’s main vocal, from the collaboration with Lee Jihoon, it showed that he is strong enough to become a solo vocal. In another words, SM saw their ability to step out of the ‘idol’ limitation and became a ‘musician’, hence chose them for another contract.
However, witnessing other groups’ unwilling disbandment, continued promotion while treating one member as non-exist, Shinhwa objected the company’s action, and decided to betray (?) SM as 6, making such significant decision.
End of Chapter 1. About SM Entertainment Next: Chapter 2. About Good Entertainment
watching andy interact with teen top, up10tion, and 100% but then watching him on variety shows with shinhwa is like having dinner with your friend’s quiet, conservative family, but then later seeing your friend’s dad drunk at the nightclub shaking his booty