As I was on my way to school on a Tuesday, I didn't realize what my day would lead too. I was on the bus heading to class when I got a message from one of the CIEE advisors, Tina, asking if I would like to go to an awards show that was happening that night. I was so shocked, but I was not about to miss this opportunity to see idols and famous celebrities up close! I responded back yes, I would love to and four of the CIEE students and Tina went together! We met up and took a taxi since the show was taking place in Incheon. For those who know or have seen different Korean awards shows, we were heading to MBC Plus X Genie Awards Show.
Once we got there, we received our tickets and wristbands and split up into two different groups since our tickets were separated. Three of the girls were sitting in the upper seats while Tina and I were standing in the middle area near the stage and close to the seats where the idols would be. As they came out, everyone began to get excited and many people were jumping and taking pictures. We watched as these fashionable, very well-groomed idols came to take their seats. The idols that were there included Day6, Wanna One, BTS, Twice, Momoland, Heize, and surprisingly Charlie Puth was also there. The night was filled with many of performances and I did my best to snap as many photos and take as many videos as possible, but it was so crowded with so many others taking videos.
For me, there were two highlights that night. The first was being able to see Twice perform because they are really fun to watch. Also, it was funny to listen to the fan boys yelling out fan chants for Twice. During the other performances, all I could hear was the girl fans yelling out fan chants for their favorite boy groups but as soon as Twice came on, they were silent and instead the boys shouted. Just imagine a bunch of guys screaming out, "What is love?" and let me know if it didn't make you giggle.
The other highlight of the night was watching Charlie Puth perform with BTS. First, he sang and then Jungkook of BTS came on stage to sing with him. After which they talked for a minute and all BTS members came out while Charlie Puth played the melody to a BTS song on piano. It was interesting to me because I saw this blending of East and West pop-culture. It was incredible to see the influence K-pop has in the West, so much so that a western artist come all the way to South Korea to perform at a Korean awards show. I have seen some Korean awards shows in the past, but I have never seen an artist outside of Asia attend not to mention perform. I guess this really made me think about how influence Korean pop-culture is in recent years. It made me think about how crazy it is to be living in Seoul during this rising popularity of Korean pop-culture.
(Also for Wanna One fans, I took this video just for you.)
I'm so grateful that CIEE gave me this opportunity to see these awards show that I once watched only on my computer wishing I could go! I never imagined that one day I would be in the crowd alongside many Koreans enjoying idol performances and getting to see so many talented artists! It was really a great experience and will definitely be one of the major highlights of the semester!