This gayo. This fucking gayo.

This post is dedicated to Jenny Trout, even though she probably does not care about K-pop. The title was just too perfect of an opportunity for a pun and a reference to her glorious Fifty Shades of Grey recaps.

SBS’s 2015 gayo daejun is four hours of mind-numbing sound and fury, signifying nothing, except perhaps how much I hate myself. Even if you don’t hate yourself, this gayo will drain the the will to live right out of you.

Somehow, with all the gayos I’ve watched since I got into K-pop, they still haven’t found a way to not fuck up their sound and camera work. And then there’s the clusterfuck that was the styling. Never have I seen such beautiful people styled so tragically. Shit, the styling was so tragic it even made VIXX look tragic and VIXX are (mostly) fucking Korean Greek Gods.

For real though, how do you fuck this up???

The fete was hosted by IU and some dude whose name I don’t know and people would probably yell at me for not knowing if anyone read this blog. I typically don’t pay much attention to MCs of these events since streams don’t have subtitles and even if I did speak Korean, would probably still ignore them anyway since I ignore MCs of English-language music shows too. Anyway I mention this because despite ifen thinking IU is some figure of notoriety now, the fact that she’s still getting hosting gigs and multiple stages on this gayo pretty much proves that the Korean general public gives about as much of a shit about the “scandals” as I do.

Me during IU's stages
Me during IU’s stages

I missed the opening acts because I couldn’t get my stream to cooperate but I do know that the VIXX portion was blink-and-you’ll-miss-it short, and I didn’t care about any of the rest of this lot so I was like “eh” and fiddled with the stream more. Then T-ara sleepwalked their way through two old songs plus “So Crazy” which only highlighted how terrible SC was compared to the rest of their generally flaw free catalogue. Soyeon also debuted another new face which meant I went through about half the performance wondering where the fuck Soyeon was only to have my mind blown. Their outfits resembled the ones in the Jingle Bell Rock scene from Mean Girls and it’s telling that they were actually one of the less awful outfits of the evening.

But is your manager a "cool manager?"
But is your manager a “cool manager?”

CNBlue showed up next to grace us with their faces but unfortunately their song “Cinderella” ensured that was all they were gracing us with. Mamamoo came on with “Ah Yeh Blah Blah” in colorful suits, also among the least ugly outfits at the gayo. Unfortunately for them, the song is almost as shitty as “Cinderella” so my stream stayed on mute. At least they looked good. Ailee belted out her latest “Ailee song by numbers a.k.a Beyoncé song from a few years ago by numbers” and I lamented the tragedy that occurs when mediocre songs happen to good people. I was entertained trying to figure out what was going on with her jacket, though, which probably cost thousands of dollars but looks like someone bedazzled something off the Forever 21 sale rack.

Apink came on with “Remember,” and I must say it was a good decision putting them this early in the lineup before it got too late and people started drifting off, since “Remember” might be the best sleep aid since Mamamoo’s catalogue. Once again, their outfits were probably the most entertaining part of the stage, as I was trying to figure out what the fuck the coordis were going for other than “anything red/white and bedazzled in the costume closet.”

"Please aim the camera away from these outfits, thanks."
“Please aim the camera away from these outfits, thanks.”

We waste some time with the MCs talking to AoA, and then my macbook decided to take a giant shit on my eyes and ears a.k.a iKon performed. I have to wonder how these fools got two stages when established acts earlier in the show had only one, but it’s YG and SBS has always been so far up YG’s ass they can see what he had for dinner. Ailee, Luna, Eunji, and Solar did a collab stage of “I Will Survive” and ifen wasted no time stroking their collective boners over American Idol-esque power belting and vocal gymnastics. Ifen also seem to have a collective boner for Mamamoo—undoubtedly a side effect of their power vocal boner because it sure as heck can’t be Mamamoo’s songs—and seemed butthurt that Solar was so awkward on this stage, but the whole thing was so awkward that Solar’s awkwardness just felt like a drop in an awkward bucket. The Dreamgirls-lite outfits just cemented what this stage was trying to do and I wondered if it was too late to start drinking.

Ailee: "Well, this is mildly better than the bedazzled jacket"
Ailee: “Well, this is mildly better than the bedazzled jacket”

SHINee’s Jonghyun performed next with the Wonder Girls’ Yubin and the ifan boner-stroking extravaganza continued. I was starting to pray for deliverance from the power-vocal spooge when Seungrisus delivered me via performances from IU and Hyukoh. I can’t say they saved the gayo given the horrors that were to come, but were definitely a welcome respite. Ifan favorite Red Velvet were next, wearing castoffs from the Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion wardrobe; unfortunately, the performance wasn’t nearly as humorous or memorable as that movie. Luckily, RV followed the crime against humanity known as “Dumb Dumb” with the far-superior “Ice Cream Cake” which rendered the stage worth watching.

Contrary to popular belief, SM did not invent Post-its.
Contrary to popular belief, SM did not invent Post-its.

Then ifen all went for a pee break during IU’s “Twenty-three” while I was bopping in my chair alone, and I wonder if this is how iKon fen felt when the jokes about their awfulness were flowing long and freely, but then I realize it isn’t, because IU is not awful (unless you count her dancing, which is somehow still better than iKon’s).

The Wonder Girls performed “I Feel You” and I’m still not sure how I feel about this remix, since it sounded more modern, and the 80s throwbackery is pretty much the only thing that elevates this otherwise dull song. I actually really wish that “I Feel You” was a better song because I love the concept so much. This is one time in which the gayo’s tragic styling worked, because it’s an 80s concept, and it’s kind of hard to make 80s styling worse. I know because I lived through it. Oh, and speaking of the 80s y’all should watch The Americans. It’s an amazing show and more exciting than this gayo.

Cut to commercials, and it’s too bad the gayo staff can’t serve drinks and sugary food through the internetz, because we could all use some right about now.

The gayo returns with EXO’s Chen and Baekhyun belting out a tribute to a prolific K-pop star of old, and ifen got to indulge in power vocal masturbation once more. Oh, and SHINee’s Taemin also showed up. Some fans wondered what he was doing with the vocal powerhouses but then he started playing the piano and everyone could jerk off now so it was all good. Immediately following these stages was a rookie extravaganza—an interesting timing choice, but nothing about this gayo makes sense so I’m not expecting it to start now. UP10TION kicked off this nugu-fest while ifan viewers were all tweeting variations on “hu dis?” Seventeen contributed one of the few worthwhile stages on this shitshow, starring Jeonghan’s hair. In fact I’d say Jeonghan’s hair outperformed most of the other rookies.

Hair porn and lip rubs? Best stage ever.

Twice was up next donning outfits that were so supremely tacky they came back around to awesome. They performed their “Bubble Pop” knockoff “Ooh Ahh” but it was all good since my love of “Bubble Pop” has earned them grace. MONSTA X finished off the rookie-o-rama, but I had to go take a whiz so I can’t comment on their stage.

"We're sexy / we're cute / our outfits don't suck to boot!"
“We’re sexy / we’re cute / our outfits don’t suck to boot!”
... too bad we can't say the same for the camera work.
… too bad we can’t say the same for the camera work.

I came back to BAP, and I don’t know if the song is good or not, because I didn’t bother un-muting. Don’t get me wrong, I feel for BAP given their issues with their label and support them on that, but not enough to voluntarily listen to their music. I went out to refill my drink and when I came back BAP were still going—oh wait no, it was GOT7; I have a hard time telling these faux hip-hop groups apart. Then G-friend came on to deliver us from hep-hap, and while other ifans were remarking on their inability to tell all the cute girl groups apart (while recognizing all the faux hip-hop boy groups instantly) I clocked G-friend from the first note. Lovelyz were up next singing a song I actually liked, and I’m not sure how I should feel about the fact that I also recognized them immediately despite not knowing this song.

vlcsnap-2015-12-28-05h25m45s429
I don’t know what you assholes are on about; these groups look nothing alike.

VIXX was up next and I proceeded to lose my shit because after all the audio/visual refuse I’d watched thus far I was ready to be slain. And I was slain, all right, but not in the way I wished to be slain. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Y’all know how I feel about “Chained Up” but I was essentially the fangirl equivalent of this at the moment:

TERI-Extreme-Thirst-300

So I was damn well going to pretend this mess of a song was the shit as opposed to just shit. We were blessed with a few closeup shots of N’s beatific visage, which is really saying something given how horrific his styling was. It’s like the coordis were trying to tone down his beauty to be fair to the lessers (of which many were present at this gayo) but still failed miserably.

"Trust me, in a few minutes, you all know what going mad feels like"
“Trust me, in a few minutes, you all know what going mad feels like”

I tried to thirst appropriately over Leo as well but his hair was cockblocking me severely. But the crowning killer of my lady boner and ensurer of my Kinsey scale shooting up to 6 occurred at the end of the stage when Ravi decided to epitomize #whoaskedforthis by thinking he was Lee Joon:

LOL like I was going to gif this shit

Before Ravi fans come at me let me clarify: I’m not sure I’m dragging his looks (though I am dragging the poor execution of his Magic Mike moment) so much as I’m dragging the fact that VIXX all look emaciated this comeback minus N, who’s naturally skinny so I’m used to it, and I really don’t need to see evidence of that. I just don’t find visible ribs and sternums sexy, I’m sorry. And before anyone comes at me for body-shaming you all know damn well VIXX don’t naturally look like this (minus N) so it’s not like I’m coming after them for something that isn’t preventable. Jellpi, feed your gotdamn acts.

I’m just going to leave this here so the expert can show y’all plebes how it’s done: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwW_Y6Ud3ao

Next there was an interview I kind of half-paid attention to because I was busy looking for enough Purell to bathe in, and then EXID came on to begin the purification process. I still think “Hot Pink” is a godawful song, but I can’t complain about the aesthetic, and aside from Hyelin’s hair the styling was generally kinder to them than it was to VIXX. That being said, the sound system sure as fuck wasn’t. Now while EXID doesn’t need your stinkin’ backing track, the gayo staff decided instead to pump it up way too loud and I could barely hear the vocals. I would’ve wondered if the gayo sound staff were also traumatized, but they’d been pulling this shit all evening so more likely someone was asleep at the switch.

Just a gratuitous screencap of EXID being hot.
Just a gratuitous screencap of EXID being hot.

AoA continued the purification process with “Heart Attack” although their outfits were sub-VIXX levels of terrible. But hey, at least everyone kept them on. Ifen proceeded to be extra about how horrible “Heart Attack” is after rubbing one out to whatever Got7 was doing onstage earlier so as usual I’m the combo breaker. And no, I’m not doing it deliberately, stop asking me that. I happen to be outside the typical demographic and target audience of these groups so is it so shocking my opinions are different? My goal here is simply to recap this gayo and inject my unsolicited commentary so you don’t have to watch it, so don’t let my sacrifice be for nothing. I could’ve done something really useful with those 4 hours like sleep or play neko atsume. The things I do for you guys.

In today's installment of "people who are prettier than your faves"...
I don’t sit through bad performances by beautiful people for fun, y’all… well, actually I do.

Ifen, no doubt traumatized by being forced to sit through another rendition of “Heart Attack” were able to get their healing sausage fest back on with BTOB followed by B1A4. BTOB are one of those groups I want to like but their songs keep preventing me from doing so. They performed a generic ballad, but I really like Eunkwang’s voice, so at least I got that much out of it. B1A4 then came on, and the most amazing thing about their performance was that they somehow managed to come out of makeup and wardrobe still looking like normal people and not oil-slicked aliens. I was actually digging the suave GQMF look they had going; too bad the song still sucks. What also sucked was the sound system and camera angles, with all these far-off shots and overhead shots and other stupid artsy shit no one cares about.

B1A4 wants you... to stop thinking there are any camera angles prettier than our faces.
B1A4 wants you… to stop thinking there are any camera angles prettier than our faces.

Next came a leader-line interview during which Xiumin and Jackson sexually harass N, and I can’t fault them for taste. 4Minute arrived to perform one of the few comebacks of 2015 that didn’t suck. Highlights include Sohyun’s abs; lowlights include the corn rows, the camera work, the sound, and pretty much every other technical detail. Infinite followed with their lackluster “Bad,” but at least there was some nice dancing. 2PM popped in from a bygone K-pop era to perform “My House” which actually wasn’t a terrible stage, even if I didn’t care for the song. Exo was next, and the gayo staff proceeded to rain hellfire down on themselves by fucking up Exo’s mics during the performance. This is deeply unfortunate since I was actually digging the “Call Me Baby” remix, though “Love Me Right” was awkward.

"I sat through the whole gayo for Exo and all I got were these lousy faraway shots"
“I sat through the whole gayo for Exo and all I got were these lousy faraway shots”

SHINee showed up to save the gayo with throwback bop “View” and “Hitchhiker” but even they fell victim to the shitty sound system. You could see them fiddling with their ear pieces during the performance, same with Exo. Then there was a SHINee/Exo “collab” stage in which both groups performed years-old songs and didn’t actually interact. By the time SNSD came on everyone was either drunk or asleep or both, so the gayo staff decided to use the most obnoxious flashing strobe lights possible during “Catch Me If You Can” thinking it’d wake us up but in actuality it a) made it next to impossible to see the actual performance b) likely triggered an epileptic fit c) was just fucking annoying. Next SNSD performed “Lion Heart” complete with creepy upskirt shots during the birthing-chair choreo. Keepin’ it classy, SBS.

Like I was going to post any upskirt shots, you perverts.
Like I was going to post any upskirt shots, you perverts.

Then Psy showed up and did a thing but I’m over him and his shtick so I tapped out and went to bed.

Oh, and apparently SHINee’s Onew won a leader thing and Exo fans are pressed, because apparently being pressed over the mics fucking up was too valid of a reason so they had to be pressed over something stupid instead.

And thus concludes the shitfest that was SBS’s 2015 gayo daejun. In a year of underwhelming comebacks, I guess it makes sense the first gayo followed suit. Still, there were things they could’ve done to make it more interesting, like a bare minimum of competence re: lighting, camera work, sound, and pretty much everything. While gayos of past years included special stages and collabs, the only special stage in this one was the tribute stage and the only true “collab” was the diva stage. Most of the regular stages weren’t any cooler or more exciting than the ones on weekly music shows. If anything, they were actually worse, with idols visibly annoyed by the crappy sound system or just eager to get off the stage and drink more egg nog. I can’t say that I blame them.

Here’s hoping the remaining gayos will be better. *Raises glass of vegan egg nog*

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