Soyeon And Subin Open Up About Struggles Due To Controversies, Hateful Comments, And More
The latest episode of “Miss Back” featured Soyeon and Subin sharing stories about their groups’ struggles in the past.
The program is a mix of a documentary and variety show, and it follows a group of “forgotten” female singers who are hoping for a second chance at success. The cast includes Gayoung from STELLAR, Nada from Wassup, Raina from After School, Sera from 9MUSES, Soyeon from T-ara, Soyul from Crayon Pop, Subin (Dalsooobin) from Dal Shabet, and Jung Yujin from The Ark. Leading the show is singer Baek Ji Young, who is the singers’ producer and life mentor.
Soyeon told her story in the October 22 episode, sharing her experience as a member of T-ara who suffered due to a major controversy after allegations of bullying in 2012, which were later disputed.
The group started out very popular in Korea, and Soyeon said, “One time we did seven events in one day, during one 10-day period we only went to the dorm to shower, and when we didn’t have time to shower we all washed up as a group at a public bath.” She continued, “We were so busy that we couldn’t recognize how popular we were.”
Soyeon is now promoting as a soloist following the group’s disbandment. “Group activities ended three years ago, and this program is even more meaningful because it’s the first program I’ve been on as a fixed member on my own,” she said.
Footage showed Soyeon being an MC for her labelmate Kim Ho Joong’s fan meeting, and she watched the performance from backstage. Soyeon said that she felt bad that fans were seeing her being a supporting guest at an event rather than the singer. “I miss it, of course,” she said.
On the way home, she spoke to her manager about her hopes to hold her own fan meeting too but she wondered if she’d be able to fill up such a venue with fans. When she got home, she checked T-ara’s fan cafe for the first time in a while and found that the last post was from August and the fan who was the cafe’s manager was inactive. “They must have found it really hard to wait like this,” she said.
Soyeon said in the studio, “After the misunderstanding, we received hate in Korea, and we ended up doing a lot of overseas promotions and getting many opportunities from overseas.” After focusing on activities abroad for so long, she said she that didn’t feel confident about performing in Korea.
She spoke about a time when the audience at a performance turned their backs and ignored them until they finished performing. She said, “I wanted to help with junior artists’ concerts too but I wondered if I could be helpful to them. I had no confidence so I became scared that I’d just interfere.”
Soyeon also met with former 2NE1 member Sandara Park, and they talked about how they were on similar paths as soloists after being in groups. They spoke about how they received both love and criticism as idols, and there were many times when people would pretend to be fans while writing malicious comments.
Soyeon shared the most shocking malicious comment that she saw. “In 2012, we were in a car accident that was so bad that the car had to be scrapped,” she said. “It was such a large accident that even though we were wearing seatbelts, two of us including me were thrown out of the car.”
“After reports came out, I was lying in my hospital bed and I read a malicious comment that said, ‘That’s too bad, we could have sent them off,'” she said. Sandara Park replied, “That’s not just crossing the line, that’s basically psychopathic behavior.”
Soyeon also shared in the studio, “There have also been people who belatedly apologized through private messages, and I was grateful for that.”
Soyeon performed Park Sang Min’s “One Love” on the show. She said, “I’m happy when I’m performing but I’m also scared. I’m afraid about performing alone, so I came on the show to get over that.”
Subin (Dalsooobin) of Dal Shabet also told her story. Subin described how the competition was fierce when the group promoted because there were so many active girl groups, and Dal Shabet never won on a music show.
She’s begun her career as a solo singer-songwriter, and she’s even started her own company. On why she set up an office in her home, Subin explained that it was because she doesn’t yet make enough to pay rent for a studio. Subin shared that she is concerned about how working from home might bother her family. She said, “Although they say they can deal with it, I feel really sorry about the noise. They’ve helped me a lot and supported me in such a difficult situation.”
Subin then had dinner with her mother and two sisters, during which Subin mentioned the time when the four family members had lived together in a one-room apartment. Her mother spoke in an interview about how she and Subin’s father had separated when Subin was in middle school and they’d then gone through a hard time financially.
Subin said, “After my parents divorced, I went on my own at 15 to be a trainee.” As she wasn’t able to afford rent for even cheap housing and she didn’t want to ask her mother for money, she would go to a 24-hour fast food restaurant, order a coffee, and sleep there. When she decided she really needed to shower, she would do so at a sauna. Subin cried as she spoke about her past.
Once she achieved her dream of being a singer, Subin became the head of the household at the time of Dal Shabet’s debut. Her mother said, “We moved thanks to Subin, and we want to help to lower the stress of her having to pay the rent.” Her sister described Subin as playing the role of a reliable parent to her younger siblings, expressing her thanks.
Subin said, “I think we’ve grown up well, I’m so proud.” She teared up as she expressed her gratitude to her mother and talked about how close they are.
Subin met up with a few longtime fans for a meal, serving them food she cooked herself, and she was pleased when they liked her pasta. During their meet up, they reminisced about memories. They ended up talking about a time during Dal Shabet’s promotions when the group and fans suffered because of malicious false reports.
“It started when we did a couple dance with a boy group at a year-end award ceremony,” Subin explained in the studio. “That’s when really severe false reports started coming out about the member who had done a sexy dance.”
She continued, “A false report came out that said that at the ‘Idol Star Athletics Championships,’ our fans had raped, slapped, and even kidnapped other fans. The police even came to the filming venue.”
“I think that after that, we weren’t able to receive support,” she said. While it was confirmed after the incident that it was a false report, it remained as a painful memory for the members and their fans too. Subin said, “At the time, I was so upset and I was scared that our fans would leave.”
Ahead of her performance, Subin said, “There’s still so much that I haven’t been able to show yet,” she said. “I’m going to show everything like I’m peeling layers off an onion.”
She then performed a medley of songs by the show’s hosts, including Cool’s “Woman on the Beach,” Baek Ji Young’s “Give My Lips,” Celeb Five’s “I Wish I Could Unsee That,” and Baek Ji Young’s “Dash.”
The “Miss Back” members then began staying together in a dorm and took part in a photo shoot for their posters. The goal of the show is to have the cast members make a new start with a “song of their life,” and the first one of those songs was revealed in this episode. It is a track called “Invisible Girl” (literal title) by composer Yoon Il Sang.
“Miss Back” airs on MBN on Thursdays at 11 p.m. KST.