Strong Heart Episode 65 (2/22/11) Recap Part 2
Shinhwa (meaning legend in Korean) has six members. Kang Ho Dong asked who was the most legendary out of them and Dongwan replied that all six were similar making it a difficult choice. He said when he first saw H.O.T growing up, each member had so much passion and desire in singing and performing on stage. It made him feel jealous and he learned much from observing them. But at the same time, he regrets not trying as hard as them. (Moon Hee Jun gave him a thumbs up in appreciation).
On the other hand, Moon Hee Jun said that if he was born again he would want to be a Shinhwa member. Then he went on to talk about how he wasn’t able to really enjoy any privacy during his five years as an H.O.T member (not being able to go to the bathroom or date any girls) due to their “mysterious” concept. But when he saw Shinhwa, they seemed to enjoy their lives so much. Whether they’re passed out in the waiting room, or when they lock themselves up and tell the manager, “I’m not going to work today,” Shinhwa always looked like they were having so much fun. So to him, Shinhwa looked like they were enjoying their lives to the fullest while remaining the top K-POP star at the same time. Kang Ho Dong said Shinhwa was the more “humanistic” idol group (humanistic in the sense they’re less mysterious and humble, or easily appraochable).
Kim Dong Wan started to compare H.O.T to Shinhwa, and gave an example of them using the bathroom. “Moon Hee Jun just said he wasn’t able to use the bathroom freely as an H.O.T member. But for Shinhwa, it was more like saying hi to the fans while urinating in public,” he said, making everyone in the studio crack up. “I would forget what I was doing instantly and just wave my hands at the fans while urinating,” Kim Dong Wan jokingly said, stressing how open-minded and “humanistic” Shinhwa was compared to other idol groups.
Lee Seung Gi also shared his story about Shinhwa. He said that Shinhwa really loved playing video games in the waiting room. “Usually most celebrities play hand-held, portable video games in the waiting room. But Shinhwa would bring their own large screen TV to the waiting room and play there. I mean the desk there is tiny but nonetheless they would set up a huge TV and their video game console right there! So I always had to rethink if I should say hi to them or not (when they’re so focused on playing games).” (Awww how nice Seung Gi)
Kim Dong Wan’s topic for today was “SM’s Present.” He said that when he first debuted, he took profile pictures. But after taking the photo, SM CEO Lee Soo Man asked him to come into the office. “Dong Wan, you have an odd-looking nose,” Lee Soo Man told Kim Dong Wan. “Come here, I’ll give you a present,” he told Kim Dong Wan and took him to a plastic surgeon. “And then he ended up giving me a new nose (Dong Wan’s revealing he’s got a nose job basically lol).” G-Dragon couldn’t stop laughing as Kim Dong Wan kept saying this is a new nose. He said his nose used to look like an Arab person’s nose, much like actor Shin Hyun Joon (he has a beak nose), but Lee Soo Man didn’t like the shape of it so it was his special present to Kim Dong Wan. But even after the surgery, his nose was still kind of crooked, and the doctor literally pressed the sides of his nose to reposition the bones (much like a chiropractor would do to his patient), and when he was done the doctor said, “Now it’s complete. You may go home.”
Kang Ho Dong then asked if Kim Dong Wan was the only Shinhwa member to have received a “nose gift” from Lee Soo Man. After slight hesitation, Kim Dong Wan said, “Umm, well, there are more members who haven’t received one. But due to their privacy, I can’t reveal what type of gifts they received.”
Seung Ri then jumped in saying he almost received a gift as well. He said YG Entertainment’s owner Yang Hyun Suk didn’t like dark circles under his eyes, and told him to get it fixed. So he went to see a plastic surgeon, however, the doctor told him, “No, no, you can’t get rid of these…just go home.” G-Dragon added, “If it was just dark to a certain degree, the doctor would do something about it, but Seung Ri’s case was just too extreme.” So Seung Ri asked the doctor why he could’t fix them, and the doctor told him, “There are basically three factors that generate dark circles: an unhealthy liver, rhinitis, and the structure of your eyes. You seem to have all three of them.” The doctor was telling him since he has all three factors, it’s impossible to get rid of his dark circles under modern medical technology. So for Seung Ri, he had to return the gift (plastic surgery) even though he got an offer.
It was Eun Hyuk’s turn this time to share his story. But in his case, he first approached Lee Soo Man with the idea of making some ‘changes’ to his face. So he asked for a ‘gift’ too, and they went to see a plastic surgeon. But the doctor told Eun Hyuk, “I don’t think you need a gift (plastic surgery).” So Eun Hyuk thought to himself, “Oh, I guess my face looks good enough and it’s unnecessary to get a surgery.” But then, the doctor went over Eun Hyuk’s whole face pointing at each feature, and told him, “If you change your eyes, you have to fix your nose like this. And if you do that, then you’ll have to touch this part. So basically, you would have to change your whole face!” (It’s funny but sad at the same time. It’s the harsh reality of Korean celebrities…not all of them get plastic surgeries, but it’s very common to get some sort of surgery done).
That’s when Kang Ho Dong pointed out, “Ever since we started talking about plastic surgeries, the female guests all of a sudden turned very quiet. Don’t try to avoid eye contact with me.” (Wonder why…)
Kang Ho Dong suddenly called out Kim Hye Jin, catching her by surprise. He said he just called her for fun, but then she started telling a story about how people posted pictures of her old pictures claiming it’s her pre-plastic surgery photo. “But those are pictures of me right now. My face is the same. So I’m thankful they’re posting it up as if they were taken before I got plastic surgery” she said. Kim Dong Wan chipped in, “So they’re photos of you after you already received surgery…!” Kim Hye Jin refused to say anything (lol).
Moving on, Lee Seung Gi and Kang Ho Dong brought up Shinhwa’s trademark group greetings. Shinhwa always seemed to reach out one of their arms with hands facing down. Dong Wan explained that that group greeting first originated from Eric’s immature taste. Their original idea was to stand still and shout out “Shinhwa is your role model” while giving a thumbs up. But it looked too immature and unprofessional so they scrapped that idea. Then it evolved to the second version. Eric was really into “Bio Man” at that time and so he raised the idea of greeting the fans in a funny pose (similar to Bio Man’s). But after a while, they realized the pose was way too difficult to pull off and so they finally decided to go with the hands facing down pose.
Then the two MCs said Super Junior’s group greeting looked very similar to Shinhwa’s and asked if they copied it. Shin Dong explained, “To be clear, Shinhwa has their hands facing down, but we have our palms showing up. Honestly we didn’t copy Shinhwa but rather Boom (Boom has the same motion as Super Junior when greeting fans).”
Moon Hee Jun also shared H.O.T’s group greetings. He said the initial idea was to say, “Try biting all ten fingers and they all hurt (This is an old Korean saying that means all of your children are equally precious). We are your five fingers, H.O.T! (So lame…lol)” But that idea was scrapped immediately, and then the second idea was, “Eagle Five saves the world (Eagle Five was a popular cartoon in the early 90s). H.O.T saves the K-Pop world!” That idea was cancelled again, and then the next catch phrase was, “Try putting us in your eyes and it won’t hurt. We are H.O.T. (another old Korean saying that translates to you’re so precious it won’t hurt to put you in my eyes).”
It was Big Bang’s turn to explain their greetings. Seung Ri gave an example saying, “Hi all, Big~Bang~!” with his hand motion. G-Dragon said they had weird ones in the past too, but they all got cancelled because it looked too complicated. G-Dragon explained, “Big Bang is a giant space explosion. So we were going to say, ‘Big Bang!’ and then jump to the sides as part of our greetings (as if a supernova explosion just occurred).” All the guests seemed to really enjoy it and said it’s a fantastic idea.
Then Kang Ho Dong asked Kim Dong Wan how all the other Shinhwa members were doing. He said he keeps in touch with Eric very often and so he revealed some photos from him. One photo had Eric squatting down at home with a hoodie on, and another had him trapped in a golf club carrier. “Eric recently started playing golf and sent this photo asking me to join him,” Kim Dong Wan said.
Then Lee Sun Jin, former super model and now professor, talked about her height. She said models don’t reveal their true height on air because they’re too tall! In fact, her official height on TV is 175cm but in reality she’s almost 179cm (Wow!). She also talked about her past career, saying, “I was the Kim Tae Hee and Jun Do Yeon of Korea’s model industry (she was that prominent in the modeling industry).” Kang Ho Dong said there was a top star who confessed his ideal type woman was Lee Sun Jin, right here in this very studio. “That’s me,” Kim Dong Wan said with his hand up. He said, “I accidently bumped into you once in Apku (a hip area in Seoul where a lot of celebrities go) and thought you were really hot.” He added, “I like women who look very Asian with thin facial lines. She used to have thin, slant eyes and had that Asian beauty in her. But I don’t know since when, but after she received this ‘gift,’ she kind of lost it…” This story caught off Lee Sun Jin as she confessed, “I really contemplated it for a long time. But I hated my slanted eyes and really wanted to get those big, circle eyes. So I got a little surgery done. But how did he find out? Not a lot of people realize it…” Kim Dong Wan said it’s because he’s kept his eye on her for a long time (she was her ideal women type after all!).
The show moved on to Tim. Tim’s topic was “Unmanly phrases.” He started off by saying, “I’m also trying to promote my album (Unmanly Phrases is his new album title).” Kang asked “So how does the song go?” Tim started to sing his song and everybody got really impressed (But you can briefly see Seungri with a blank impression seeming a bit bored lol).
Tim said he felt a little guilty when he first got this song because he’s acted immature in his past relationships and was never really a gentleman. He said he’s not the type who likes to express his true feelings and tends to shy away from approaching a girl first. “I’ve never in my life said I liked a girl first,” Tim said, surprising everyone in the audience. Kang Ho Dong started singing Tim’s biggest hit song, “I Love You,” asking how he was able to sing a song that repeats how much he loves a woman. So Kang Ho Dong asked, “Is it because most girls just fall in love with you even before you approach them first?” and Tim gave a shy nod saying, “Yeah, little by little, they do.”
Then Kang Ho Dong said, “If you say you’re a shy guy and don’t know how to pick up a girl, then you are usually implying that there is a girl that you are really interested in right now but haven’t been able to talk to her. Isn’t it?” But then Kim Ja Ok said, “Then you should have just told me. If you really liked me, just be honest.” Tim said there is a girl that he really likes, and it’s been nearly a year and a half since he liked her. “We’ve been really close friends for a long time. Honestly I gave her some hints, making really small moves, so she would realize my true feelings. We usually play Secret Santa…” Tim said, until Kang Ho Dong interrupted and said, “Yeah, a lot of celebrities play Secret Santa.” (This is Kang’s way of inducing comments and creating gossips, because if Tim said yeah here, it would mean that the girl he likes is a celebrity.)
Tim continued, “So we played this Secret Santa game, and exchanged presents and stuff. But I got something special just for her on the side. I tried to express my true feelings through it, but I don’t know…” So someone asked, “Are you still keeping in touch with her?” and Tim said, “Well, it’s on and off.” So people told him, he has to man up and just force a hug or do something to really show his true feelings. Tim said, “I did try it. This one time I made up my mind, and decided to just hug this girl out of nowhere.” Seung Gi apparently whispered into Kang Ho Dong saying, “That’s called a ‘Back Hug.’” (‘Back Hug’ has sort of a manly connotation and doesn’t fit Seung Gi’s soft image).
Seung Gi went on saying, “So I attempted to put my arms around her from the side. But it turned out to be worse because I ended up just tapping the side of her back and telling her to have a good night instead.” Tim used formal language in replaying the whole scene, and someone from the side asked him, “Oh, you use formal language to her after a year and half!” Kang Ho Dong jumped in and said “That’s how it is between celebrities.” (Another attempt at making Tim admit the secret girl is a celebrity lol). Tim said he’s really concerned because the girl will know for sure he’s talking about her if she’s watching this show. Tim said he wants to be a real man and express his true feelings in front of her, not through some TV show. Jung Joo Ri jumped in and said, “Then you should just tell her you like her before this show gets aired!” Kang said, “Yeah, you should tell her today and when this show actually gets aired at night, you two can watch it together!”
Seung Ri was asked what advise he would give Tim, and he said, “Since Tim has a sweet voice, he should try to capture her heart by singing to her.” There was hardly any response from the crowd as no one in the studio seemed to say a word for a second. Kang Ho Dong said Seung Ri’s response was very unlike his usual self (Seung Ri is known for his upfront, bold, sometimes controversial comments). Tim was later given a chance to express his feelings by singing to her on TV. He ended up singing his hit song “I Love You.”
The show moved on to Super Junior M’s Henry. His topic was “Korean-style English is so hard!” Henry introduced himself as being half-Taiwanese, half-Hong Kongese. His Super Junior teammate added, “Henry is a musical prodigy who can play both the piano and violin really well. Henry is a member of Super Junior-M, our sub-group that does activities in Asia.” Henry said it’s been a little over three years since he came to Korea. Seung Gi asked him what was most difficult when he first lived in Korea, and Henry replied, “English in Korea is so hard. When Koreans speak English, their pronunciation is a little different. For example…” Seung Gi suddenly cut him off and turned to Kang Ho Dong telling him, “Please pay attention even when the topic is English. Don’t be scared of English.” (A jab at Kang Ho Dong’s weak English LOL).
Henry was later asked about Hermione (a Harry Potter character). Shin Dong said the members once talked about Hermione together but only Henry couldn’t understand what they were talking about. Shin Dong kept explaining who Hermione was and later Henry finally understood who it was. The reason was because of the different pronunciation; in Korea Hermione is pronounced “He-Ru-Mi-On-Nu” whereas in English, it’s pronounced “Her-Mai-O-Nee.” Kang disagreed saying everyone who saw Harry Potter calls her in the Korean way (Making fun of his bad English). Tim joined Henry and argued it’s in fact pronounced Henry’s way, but Kang just kept ignoring them. Tim said he had similar experiences. “For me, it was Whitney Houston. In America, she’s called ‘Wit-Nee Houston’ but in Korea she’s pronounced ‘Hwit-Nee Houston.’ (Seung Ri is seen pointing at his upper teeth because ‘wit-nee’ in Korean also means upper teeth lol).
Tim continued, “When I first got to Korea I learned a lot of new swearwords, like 18 (pronounced ‘shipal’ in Korean, which is also a swearword). So I asked my mom, what 18 meant, and she started yelling at me. She told me to pray all of a sudden! (Some Christians in Korea pray when they commit a sin)”
Kang went back to Henry and asked what the toughest part was in understanding English in Korea. Henry said it’s when ordering food that he has the most difficulty. Seung Gi followed up by asking, “Even when ordering hamburgers?” but Henry couldn’t understand the “hamburger” part. Seung Gi started using body language, pretending he’s taking a huge bite out of a burger (typical Seung Gi :) cute and funny!)
Henry went on, “When I first came to Korea, or actually, when a foreigner first comes to Korea, people sometimes take you wrong and think you’re really rude (He used to word ‘ssa-ga-ji’ which is a slang word for rude). They think your manner is really bad. So I asked my fellow members, ‘How do I become a nice guy here?’” The other Super Junior members said they would help him out and told him how to reply to certain statements (Implying that if Henry were to become a nicer person he would have to start using pickup lines and use word-play)
“What’s your zodiac sign? (byul-jari in Korean)” and they would say, “It’s the person sitting next to you (yup-jari).” (They’re playing with words here because both words contain the ‘jari’ part. So he’s basically saying your zodiac sign is the person sitting next to you). Henry continued, “Or where are you?” and they would say, “In your heart, exit #2.” Another joke he heard was, “What kind of liquor do you like? Your lips (liquor is ‘sool’ in Korean, and lips is ‘Ib-sool.’ It’s another wordplay joke. So again, he’s saying your lips are his favorite type of liquor. In other words, Henry’s fellow Super Junior members just taught him some cheesy pick up lines). Kang Ho Dong said the Super Junior guys are really “legendary” (Shinhwa in Korean; taking a poke at Shinhwa member Dong Hwan who was there as a guest). Henry later gave a live performance with a piano and violin, giving a cover of Jason Mraz’s hit song, “I’m Yours.”
And then, actress Kim Hye Jin talked about her college years and career as a designer. Kang said she looks like she’s in her 20s but in fact she said she’s 35 (can you believe it?).
Personal Thoughts: It’s always fun to see these Big Bang guys on variety shows. They look so fierce and have so much energy when performing on stage, but it seems like they have a completely different persona off-stage, almost like an alter ego, as they turn completely soft on these shows. Nonetheless, they’re brilliant story tellers and they never cease to amaze me with their entertaining skills. I guess the same applies to Super Junior M’s Henry, who I haven’t seen much on variety shows but had pretty funny stories in this episode. He totally rocked it with his Jason Mraz’s cover and I think he’s going to have a great career. Considering he’s multi-lingual, so skilled musically, and comes from a culturally diverse background (of course, being young and cute also helps!), I think there’s no question in his global star appeal. I really liked Dong Wan’s return also because he’s such an amusing character. It’s unfortunate he had to bring up personal stories, e.g. getting a nose job, to gain air time but he gave a lot of goofy moments throughout the show. It’s amazing how these idol singers (or former ones) are so talented both on and off the stage, and I wonder how they train themselves to be such good entertainers (both singing and talking). Anyway, “Strong Heart” is amazing. They managed to pull off consecutive episodes with DBSK and Big Bang. Wonder how the next episode went? Stay tuned…
(@cherryspirit and @jbarky contributed to this article)