SHINee’s Minho Shares How His Older Brother Is The Secret To His Endless Passion

On the January 17 episode of SBS’s “My Ugly Duckling,” SHINee’s Minho made an appearance as a special MC.

Minho, who was discharged last November from mandatory military service, had enlisted in the Marine Corps. Despite his time in the military, the celebrity moms on the show commented affectionately, “You still look like a baby.”

Minho said, “[The thing I wanted to do most after my discharge] was go to the broadcast station. This is my first time on broadcast in a while, so I’m excited.”

Minho is frequently named as one of the “passionate three” in SM Entertainment, which also includes TVXQ’s Yunho and Super Junior’s Choi Siwon. Minho said that his passion and competitiveness were influenced by his older brother while he was growing up.

“He’s two years older than me, but there was a gap between everything we did,” he said. “He was better at studying, better at sports, and much more popular. On top of that, he’s good-looking, so my mom would always tell me, ‘Aim to be half as good as he is.'”

Minho’s older brother majored in physical education at Seoul National University, the most prestigious university in South Korea. Minho said, “I’ve never even been near the top 10 in the school, but he was always in that area. There were times when I was envious, and times when I was just annoyed.”

He continued, “On Valentine’s Day, I got two chocolates and was happy, but my brother came home with a whole basketful. I was really jealous then. I wanted to win over him so badly that once I messed up everything on his desk.” (Typically, girls give boys chocolates on Valentine’s Day in South Korea, while the favor is returned on White Day on March 14.)

Minho’s father is known as the soccer coach Choi Yoon Kyum. Minho said, “As soon as he retired from being a professional soccer player, he became a coach. As a result, he didn’t have much time to spend with us, particularly during winter training [which is often done abroad or in warmer regions]. He told me that he ranks himself 0 in terms being a good father.”

“But I’ve never thought of him like that,” he went on. “Ever since I was young, I always took pride in seeing my father on the field.”

In response to a question about whether he wanted to be a soccer player himself, he said, “Of course I thought I would have to be a soccer player. That was my dream growing up. But my father actually opposed it. He said that it was a difficult path and forbid me to take it.”

In the end, Minho chose the entertainment industry. He said, “I went to an audition in the first year of middle school and got in. But my mom opposed it and said, ‘How can you be a celebrity?’ I became convinced that I needed to study and get into high school to get her permission. So I improved my grades and she gave me permission.”

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