I don’t know how the 5th anniversary managed to slip my attention since Weekly Idol is, and has been for a long time, one of my favorite shows. (Actual anniversary was July 23rd.) With artists such as BTS, Girl’s Generation, SHINee, G.Dragon, Super Junior, AOA, Infinite, IU……the list of idol groups, soloists, duo’s, and individual appearances is almost endless, it would perhaps be easier to list those who have yet to appear than those who have.
Begun 5 years ago in a basement studio with white walls, little to no furniture, and hosts who really had no idea what the show was meant to be about I doubt anyone had even an inkling as to how popular it would become. In fact originally it was only meant to run for six weeks as a ‘special’. It was low budget to the extreme and was intended for cable/satelite, not broadcast TV. The hosts Jung Hyung Don (also written as Jeong Hyeong Don) and Defconn appeared lost and confused for the first few broadcasts, although even then you could see certain roles beginning to form. Doni, as many followers call him, was no stranger to comedy when he joined Weekly Idol as he had been on Gag Concert in 2002 and was a regular host on Infinite Challenge from 2005 onwards. Weekly Idol, however, allowed him more leeway to guide the show in the direction he wished it to take. Defconn, or Coni, was originally known more as a rapper and songwriter, although there were often comedic aspects to his songs. He won the Korean Music Award in 2004 for ‘Best Hip-Hop Album’. Since being on Weekly Idol, and joining 2Days 1Night in 2013, he has become somewhat a celebrity and many people don’t know of his early hip-hop days.
Now one of South Korea’s most popular shows, particularly among Kpop fans around the world. It is one of the few shows in which most idols seem relaxed, if not at the beginning of filming, then definitely by the end. They seem to have fun and many see it as an entryway into appearing on other Variety shows.Idol groups also want to appear as a good showing can boost not only their fan base, but also their album sales. The fans love the show because they get to see another side of their favorite groups.
With a free flowing concept made up of ‘corners’ or segments the show can provide multiple opportunities for idols to show of their personalities. One of the most popular segments is the ‘Random Play Dance’ where snippets of the group’s songs are played and they must instantly perform the choreography. My absolute favorite Random Play Dance group has to be Teen Top, not because they were the best, but because they made me laugh so hard. Some groups are notoriously bad at dancing to their own songs whilst other groups are almost perfect.
Another ‘corner’ is the ‘Profile Verification’. This is when Coni and Doni ask each member about things that may have shown up in their online profiles. Sometimes it is a simple as checking that their height is listed correctly, but most times the hosts pick a random or obscure ‘fact’ that needs to be verified. Many idols use this as a good opportunity to showcase themselves, or to prove how funny, or engaging, they can be. Some fans find that this ‘corner’ can wreck their bias (favorite) when they see a particularly cute or funny moment featuring a different group member.
For five years and 263 episodes Weekly Idol has kept many fans happy, and often amused at the antics of their favorite Kpop groups. Congratulations on your anniversary and I hope Doni feels well enough to return to the show soon. (Jung Hyung Don left Weekly Idol in Nov. of 2015 due to health issues and it is unknown when, or if, he will return.) To all the idols who have, and are continuing to help Coni in the meantime, thank you. A lot of us would really miss Weekly Idol if it were not able to continue. Here’s hoping for another 5 years.
If you haven’t watched Weekly Idol I highly recommend you do so. It is funny, and cute, and most of all entertaining. Most episodes can be found on Youtube and fans have also made collections of some of the funniest bits.
Have a great day everyone.
Photo credit to original owner, probably Weekly Idol. MBC