The Hottests: Taking the World by Storm

The Hottests: Taking the World by Storm

You’ve probably watched the 2PM flash mobs performed around the world by the Hottests (that’s what the 2PM fans call themselves, where “Hottest” is an acronym for the seven members of 2PM). Completely devastated after group leader Jaebum’s resignation, they elected to show their support to Jaebum and 2PM by performing flash mobs in their respective cities, from Monterrey to Paris and everywhere in between. The flash mobs are fun to watch because they are wonderfully performed and edited, and set to 2PM’s smooth vocals and catchy beats. But for me personally, it was the fans’ enthusiasm and commitment that won me over. I started wondering about the dedicated Hottests who managed to make the 2PM flash mobs a reality, and I set out to interview the flash mob participants themselves. Marie Frederique (Rik-U on Soompi) helpfully directed me to the 2oneday forum, where many of the flash mobs had been organized, and some of the girls who’d contributed to the effort kindly agreed to answer my questions. Most of these girls had danced in the flash mobs, although a couple stayed behind the scenes as organizers or videographers.  They were:

Maureen, Singapore
Naty, São Paulo, Brazil
Kim, Malaysia
GC, New York
RT, Vancouver (upcoming flash mob)
Katt, Montreal
Marie Frederique, Montreal
Edie, Sacramento (upcoming flash mob)

What was your reaction when you found out about the Jay/2PM situation?

Kim: Devastated, shocked, hurt and sad. I cried for days and had trouble sleeping at night. This is no joke – I couldn’t sleep for three days straight because of Jaebum.
GC: I was so shaken and devastated it drove me to tears. I wasn’t able to sleep for the night, which was a bad thing because I had school the next day.
RT: Heartbroken. Hurt by the netizens’ comments about Jay, because being North American of any descent, or any generation of immigrants experience identity crisis. Someone telling you that you don’t belong anywhere… is harsh.  I wanted to go to Sea-Tac and tell him “Welcome Home” to make him feel a bit better.
Katt: I was devastated. I knew as to what extent anti-fans would go to bring down their target, but that was beyond ridiculous. Digging up someone’s past seems to be their favorite hobby – but who doesn’t have bones in their closet? What disgusted me the most were the people who actually signed the petition for Jay to commit suicide. That is beyond incomprehensible.
Marie Frederique: I still find the whole story ridiculous. Anti-fans go too far and I can’t stop thinking: “If they hate 2PM that much, why don’t they just leave them alone and not listen to their music at all?” The whole concept of anti-fans in general doesn’t make sense at all, in my opinion. I feel very sorry for Jay and somehow understand why he left when 3000 people signed a suicide petition…
Edie: I guess you can say every Hottest was hurt. I was too, but I found it more unbelievable that some people just couldn’t forgive and forget about little remarks made ages ago.

Why did you guys decide to do a flash mob?

Naty: As soon as I saw it on 2oneday, I thought it’d be a good chance to show the world that Brazil exists and has a voice. I talked to people in the Brazilian 2PM forum and we decided! :D
Kim: To show our love and support for the seven members of 2PM. We realize that only fans can help save them from this horrible nightmare… huhu.
RT: To make 2PM and Jay smile and bring fans together at a critical time like this.
Katt: We wanted to show that Jay has dedicated and loyal fans all over the world. We wanted to be a part of something huge, something that we hope that put a smile back on his face were he to see our mob. For him to see that right above him but on the opposite coast, he has people who support his choices, no matter what. No questions asked. 
Marie Frederique: A lot of Hottests use methods that are questionable to show their support to Jay. I think a flash mob is not only fun to realize but also fun to watch. Post-its and boycotts are very harsh ways to protests; one of them is vandalism and the other just brings down the other members of 2PM. Let’s not forget that not only Jay is going through a rough time but the other members of 2PM too.


The New York Hottests

What song(s) did you choose?

Maureen: One of us remixed 2PM songs. There were “Again & Again”, “I Hate You”, and “10 out of 10”.
Naty: Actually we did the time-stop flash mob. I wanted to use “What Time Is It Now?” because I thought it’d be cool lol, but in the end, we did a simple flash mob with “10 out of 10” and “Again & Again” chorus.
Kim: “Again & Again”… we were inspired by KHottests. ;)
RT: “Again & Again”.
GC: We originally chose “Again & Again”, but decided that this song was done already by KHottests and probably more by other areas. We changed our mind to doing “10 out of 10” and incorporated dances from “I Hate You” and “Again & Again” and other moves Jaebum was seen doing in performances.
Katt: We chose “10 out of 10” for many reasons. First, because it was a really fun debut song and 2PM looked like they were having so much fun while dancing. Second, it holds great meaning to us because 2PM ARE 10/10 for us. Third, we wanted to stand out from the other flash mobs. :)
Marie Frederique: At first we were asked to not do “10 out of 10” because some Hottests wanted to keep that song to celebrate when Jay would be back but we stuck to our original idea.
Edie: “Again & Again” and “10 out of 10”.

How did you plan it out and coordinate your schedules? How many people planned to participate and/or showed up?

Maureen: There were four organizers so we were the one planning them then updating the thread about it. More than 60 people came.
Naty: I don’t really know, it was crazy and we had no options about which day we could choose. There were… fourteen people?
Kim: Most suggestions and ideas were discussed in our forum, myhottest2pm. MyHottests from all over the country contributed ideas for the event, and more than 50 MyHottests who were in the area came. We filmed our time-stop flash mob as well that day. ;)
GC: We planned it so we did “10 out of 10” on October 10th (10/10). But there was a conflict. October 10th was also SAT day for most juniors and seniors in high school, me being one of the seniors. This prevented people from attending the practice [because they needed] to study. Once I showed up, I only saw a few people. Slowly people started to come and learned the dance last minute. We were happy with the amount of dancers we had at the end, and grateful.
RT: As more than 100 people joined our group, I was optimistic about the event being a success. Because of the overwhelming response, I thought there’d be more people willing to participate… but only one-fifth of the people said that they would be attending and doing the event. Only one-third of that one-fifth showed up for practice. The turnout brought me down because I did my fair share of organizing information, composing messages, and thinking up of ideas with my assigned choreographer and spokesperson. I nearly lost hope, but I’ve worked so hard to make it happen, and I’ve made a commitment to Jay and 2PM, so I’m pushing through.
Katt: I organized a meet-up first, where we all got together at one place and discuss our flash mob. Over 35 people showed up. I created a group on Facebook with all the details concerning the meet-up and ideas as to when/where to hold the practice for the dance. Then members spread the word and before I knew it, a huge group was waiting for me at the designated waiting spot.
Marie Frederique: A lot of Hottests joined to help filming, keep an eye on the bags, or some even showed up just to watch the dance! It was great to have so many people united! On the dance mob, you can see around 30 dancers but we had at least 20 extra people who heard about the mob and came to watch it. When we filmed the time-stop, we counted 50 heads. 
Edie: The dances were a little hard at first, but once we got the hang and the flow, the moves became easier. I had to practice, estimating the time, ten hours. The 2oneday thread is almost the only communication option we had with our participants. About 30 people are planning to participate.


The Malaysia Hottests

Did the event really take place at 1:59 PM? :D

Maureen: Yup!
Naty: NO LOL! XD It was raining really hard so we had to wait until everything was clear and did it like at 2:15PM.
Kim: Hehe, we started early in the morning so that we have ample time to practice. We started shooting at around 12pm, and our shooting went on till around 3:30pm. We managed to make our own countdown from 1:59pm to 2:00pm, looking at the big screen in front of a bank there. Some passerby joined us doing the countdown, and they didn’t even know what’s going on! ;p
RT: It will be. =)
Katt: We were able to do our time-stop flash mob at exactly 1:58 and froze until 2pm. We just moved right away from our dance location and made our way to our time-stop location.

Was it difficult to learn the dances? How often did you have to practice?

Naty: We didn’t practice. XD
Kim: Not so difficult for me, since I’ve been observing and watching the MV a billion times, and tried dancing to “Again & Again” by myself (but I’m not such a good dancer). When I joined the dance flash mob, I practiced on my own for a couple of weeks, met up with the other participants and practiced together with them for a whole day, and we had our last practice together on the day of the shooting. ;)
GC: The dance wasn’t difficult at all, honestly. The dances moves for “10 out of 10” were pretty simple. We only had one practice day, but another Hottest and I created a tutorial video for those who couldn’t come to the practice so they can practice throughout the week.
RT: It wasn’t difficult for me because I’ve watched a few videos and some moves are straightforward. I learned by mirroring it and slowing it down. I practiced everyday until I got it right. We booked the dance studio for practice, which was hard to find a cheap one in an easy place to get to. I was really pumped when we went to check it out, and rented it for an hour.
Katt: A lot of Hottests voiced their concern about being unable to dance. Once again, I mentioned to all Hottests to watch videos of 2PM’s choreography. They had ample time to practice in their own homes. A couple of days later, we rented a studio for six hours. We covered the parts that were difficult, then did the choreography that everyone practiced at home. It wasn’t meant to be perfect or completely in sync; we just wanted to have fun. We only practiced that day since we were having our flash mob the week after. :)
Marie Frederique: “10 out of 10” is a very tricky dance because there are a lot of acrobatics which we tried to add, but we took the level down by replacing the hand springs by cartwheels. Luckily enough, we had a b-boy who joined in the end to add some of Jay’s signature moves!

How did it feel to dance in public? Did the performance go as smoothly as you had hoped? What was the public’s reaction?

Maureen: The performance was awesome, but I think some other Hottests joined in the dance and ruined the choreography. The public was supportive! ^^ Some were shocked of course.
Naty: While we’re talking and deciding about the time-stop, we kept dancing! XD It was really fun. We didn’t care about it at all. XD Everyone was looking at us thinking we were crazy and we even got some cents from a guy! LOL
Kim: It was so embarrassing at first, but thinking of Jaebum and 2PM, and looking at the other MyHottests, I shook away those feelings and enjoyed myself. ;) I believe we did great, seeing that we practiced in quite a short time. We even had some impromptu changes for the dance steps right then and there, but the shooting went on smoothly. The public, though they have no idea on what we were doing, cheered for us ;) There were some people who voluntarily recorded video messages for 2PM, and some even spontaneously joined our dance flash mob. ;)
GC: You would not feel a moment of embarrassment if you think this is for our boys, for 2PM. To be honest, I didn’t feel one bit of embarrassment dancing in public. I was more excited. Although I was the one with the hat covering my face, it was more of being filmed part. I don’t really like being filmed. :) As for the performance, when I saw it on the camera, I was very shocked at how well it turned out. We had a crowd of people watching us.
Katt: It felt great. We were doing something that we all stood up for and that we believed would make a difference. Fortunately, we were all there on time and had an hour to practice prior to the filming of our actual flash mob. My mom came to see our mob and she said she was very impressed. Knowing I had organized it, she was very happy about the outcome and was really impressed at the amount of people that came. And all for a boy from Korea? She called us crazy – but I was really happy nonetheless. :)
Marie Frederique: Everyone was smiling and singing along. A lot of 2PM fans came just to watch us perform but we also surprised a few people who watched the whole performance. An elderly man came to me and said he likes to watch young people perform like that on the street. When I mentioned it was for a good cause, he was really happy and gave us his support.

Were there any mishaps or glitches that didn’t show up on the video?

Kim: The only trouble that we had was the noise pollution, huhu. There were so many cars, buses, etc at the place and we couldn’t hear the music cue for our dance. But somehow we managed to pull it through ;)
GC: The weather was perfect that day. It was as if we were supposed to do the flash mob dance on that day. The weather wasn’t too cold and it was beautiful. The sun was shining bright. =D
Katt: If you watch the video, you could see three girls doing cartwheels at the end. The girl in green got kicked on the head by the girl in black! We all saw it and we all felt bad but it was almost the end so we just had to stick it through for a couple more seconds. We also didn’t anticipate it to be that cold – we were freezing. But it was all worth it. Fred did an amazing job at editing all the footage. She kept it true and real. Any mishap would’ve been added to the video. 
Marie Frederique: I decided to not hide the sequence because I wanted to show how everyone was determined to finish the dance. Like they say, “The show must go on!” Also, we were very lucky because we did not get kicked out from this location. A guard approached us and asked us what we were doing when we were rehearsing and we said it was a school project. She made us sign papers and said she liked our project and didn’t bother us at all after that.


The Montreal Hottests

What is the general feeling of participating in such an event? Would you recommend it to other fans?

Maureen: It was awesome to see everyone get together to support Jay and 2PM! I’ll recommend it to other fans! It’s really fun!
Naty: It’s awesome really. I feel so happy that I could organize and make this happen. It’s an amazing feeling… I can’t even describe it. :D
Kim: It’s fun and enjoyable, and I’m so happy to be able to meet so many new friends who share the same love that I have for 2PM, hehe. I would definitely recommend it to other fans! Through events like this, you’ll be able to discover your possible hidden talent, and you’ll get to meet so many different characters who share the same interests as you! ;)
GC: When you do this kind of event, you feel such an adrenaline rush that you go crazy afterwards. You also grow such a close relationship with other Hottests, it’s amazing. After the dance, the dancers stayed longer in the city to just talk and chill. We were jumping around, dancing, taking pictures with each other. It truly is an amazing feeling. When the day is done, you wish you can replay it over and over again.  I would definitely recommend it to other fans.
RT: I sacrificed sleep, studying, and money for this and I have no regrets. It’s a roller coaster of emotions lol. It’s iffy but exciting at the same time. It is stressful if you’re in midterm season, which is right now haha.
Katt: HELL YEAH! Organizing this has truly been an amazing experience for me and for all Montreal Hottests. Who knew that so many people in our area shared one’s love and dedication towards our OneDay boys? It’s amazing! I’d highly recommend to all Hottests out there to participate in their area’s projects because you meet amazing people and create bonds! I’m really happy because we’ve all gotten so close at such a short period of time – it’s really, truly, such a blessing! :D
Edie: It’s something you can just do to have a positive effect on people. You don’t need to expect something in return, having fun in a good way, that’s what I call it. I recommend this to anyone, not just fans.

When you watched the other flash mob videos, did you like any of the other performances in particular?

Maureen: I like the KHottest one, very organized and cool.
Naty: I liked the Montreal one. :D
Kim: Personally, I think that the dance flash mob done by KHottest is by far the best, and I’m always touched and feel proud whenever I watch their vid. ;)
GC: When I saw other flash mob vids, I loved all of them. They all did their best to show their love and support for 2PM and Jaebum. My absolute favorite had to be KHottests. I say KHottest’s flash mob dance because they were our inspiration to do it in our area. They also did an incredible job with the dance.
RT: I liked KHottests and Montreal Hottests so far. =)
Katt: KHottest’s first flash mob was amazing. We hoped to be as good as them but despite the outcome of our mob, we knew that we did our best. But I believe that we did an excellent job. It’s only normal to be proud of our own project, right? :)
Marie Frederique: Nah, we’re the best! (Just kidding.)
Edie: I can’t single one out in particular, but all videos were well done. They all showed great support. :D

Do you think Jay or the rest of 2PM watched your video? How do you feel about the support you guys have been showing to Jay? Do you think it will change the situation?

Naty: I hope they will! I’ll send the link to JYP. I have hope that everything we’re doing will make a difference.  I’ll always believe that our love is greater than anything! ^^
Kim: I really hope they watch our video. They need to know that there are so so many people loving and supporting them all the way. We’ve been showing endless support for the 2PM boys, we’re even planning on other 2PM related activities to show our love for them. ;) I believe that the situation will take its turn to a positive one; I hope all of our sweat and tears won’t go to waste. ;)
GC: I would like Jaebum and the rest of 2PM to know that we’re supporting them and that they have support and love from fans all across the world. I feel we’re giving our best to show them our support. Again, I hope it will change the situation and show JYP that we will not give up. We aren’t ignoring 2PM as a six-member group; we still love and support them. It’s just we would like Jaebum back with them to continue the experience as an idol with his second family in Korea.
RT: Korean and international fans are working their butt off in bringing back Jay. That’s why I think JYP hasn’t made any brash decisions yet and is just following up on promises made before Jay left. Everything he does is under scrutiny so he’s watching himself. Our mobs are showing the dedication, commitment, creativity and people’s determination in doing this for Jay and 2PM. It’s one of the ways that we can be heard.
Katt: I’m quite certain that those boys know how to search for themselves on Youtube, so I’m really hoping that they’ve seen ours. Our love and support for our boys will always be unwavering and true. No matter their decision, we’ll always back them up no matter what. Deep down in our hearts, we know that the rest of the 2PM boys miss their leader, so we’ll keep praying and persevering. It’d be nice if these flash mobs would have a share in a positive outcome, but one can never know. It’s been so long now and still no new development concerning Jay – but like I said, we’ll keep hoping and praying. If ever the boys did see our mob, I’d just wish that I was there to see their reaction – hopefully a smile. :)
Marie Frederique: I don’t know if Jay watched ours since it was released just a few days ago… but I hope he watched some of the mobs! If I was in his shoes, I would probably check how my 2PM brothers are doing…you just can’t miss the mobs if you are watching 2PM clips. I’m sure he watched at least one.
Edie: I think the support Hottest has been showing is tremendous. I love everything about it. Whether or not it changes the situation, people, 2PM, and Hottests all over will know how much we actually do care for a boy band.


The Brazilian Hottests

Do you have any advice for people who want to show their support to Jay and 2PM?

Maureen: Join projects organized by 2oneday and/or other forums. ^^ Or… create your own project!
Naty: Try it! You can try anything. Tweeting, sending letters, taking part in international projects. The feeling is just amazing.
Kim: The most important thing, I believe, is to show to them that we will always and forever love them no matter what happens. Always show respect to all seven of them, and to the other Hottests as well. ;)
GC: My advice to other Hottests would be to do the best you can do in anything you do. In any project or whatever you guys are doing for Jay and 2PM. There’s no project too little or too stupid. Everything we do is to support 2PM and Jay. Just remember, we do not want to talk down on JYP. That’s not our goal. Our goal is to show that we support 2PM and Jay, and that we’re not ignoring the other members. We love and support all of them. Please remember to respect the company and everyone else.
RT: No matter how small or big your support is, push through it. No matter what size of a project it is, when you combine it all together of what iHottests and KHottests are doing, it becomes one big thing.
Katt: No matter what you do to support 2PM, please make sure to keep it friendly and fun. Thanks to these boys, we’ve all united globally as Hottests, as their supporters. We’re as much of a family as they are. Let’s all work together to bring genuine smiles back to their hearts and faces.
Marie Frederique: Stay peaceful and have fun. We are all sad about Jay and 2PM’s current situation but let’s not make fools of ourselves. Hottests is a big family; you wouldn’t do anything to damage your family’s reputation, right?

Finally… any last words?

Maureen: Support Jay! ^^
Naty: It was my very first time organizing something like this. I couldn’t sleep and was very nervous. But after it’s done I just feel so good to know that I’m doing something to show Brazilian Hottests’ love and support. I just hope our voices can reach people’s hearts. (:
Kim: I’ll always believe in 2PM as a seven-member group, and will always love them and support them no matter what. This dance flash mob is just a small event to show my love to 2PM; it can’t be compared to the many happy and laughable moments that they’ve given to me. I really wish for good thing to happen to them, and I hope my prayers will be answered. I’ll keep on waiting for Park Jaebum; I believe he’ll come back to his 2PM brothers someday. ;) 2PM JJANG!!!~
GC: REMEMBER: Love & Respect. We are Hottests and always will be. HOTTESTS JJANG =D<3
Katt: Definitely much love and respect to all the Hottests out there – fighting; we’ll get our leader back. Have a nice day. :)
Marie Frederique: I <3 soompi? lol
Edie: Thank you Hottests, Soompi, and 2PM. You’re all a 10 out of 10.

Flash mob videos discussed in this interview: Malaysia (also a local news story), Singapore, New York, Brazil, and Montreal. Keep an eye out for the upcoming Vancouver and Sacramento flash mob videos, as well as the current and upcoming efforts from Mexico, California, Seattle, Boston, Paris, Germany, and more! The Hottests are taking the world by storm!

Headline image: The Singapore Hottests

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