Noona Says: The Definitive Ranking of SHINHWA Members
Congratulations to Shinhwa! Sixteen years, twelve albums, and mandatory military service later, this ultimate K-Pop boy band is still going strong with wins on several music shows and they have never looked better. Among the many songs Shinhwa has promoted throughout the years, “Sniper” is one one of their best songs, because it stays trendy with the times without losing that distinctive Shinhwa style.
This legendary boy group is known for many things, most of them good. Not only are they the longest running music group in Korea, they are also variety show darlings, drama actors, successful solo artists, and headliners. How many idol groups do you know who has put out a nude photo book, had their own variety show, and has one of the most respected fandoms in the K-Pop world? Shinhwa is incomparable, yet they hold a very high standard for all idol groups to follow with their hard working ethics, mutual respect, and talent.
We all know Shinhwa is #1 in so many ways, but how do the members rank against each other? Noona has taken the nearly impossible but very pleasurable task of ranking the numbers, from the sixth to the very first. Check out her rankings and see how yours compares.
Oh Andy. I wish I could rank you higher, I really do. From the very beginning you were the overshadowed youngest one; the odd sixth member. It didn’t help when you mysteriously disappeared for the fourth album, when the group was a balanced five member group (three singers, two rappers). Later on, even you joked about how your rap at the end of the songs are usually overlapped with the chorus.
Since Andy wasn’t the best looking, nor the best rapper, or even the best dancer, but he made a name for himself as the guy with the funny dances (but I think at some point, Hyesung might have outdone him with the crab dance). He was a true underdog, one that came off as humble and accepting of his role on TV shows. He really would have ranked higher if he didn’t get caught in that weird celebrity gambling ring that may or may not have been a cover up for some political controversy (but you didn’t hear that from me).
Also, shout out to his geeky character in “Nonstop 4,” (and Hye Sung’s awkward acting), even if he didn’t get the girl.
5. Jun Jin
Out of all the members, Jun Jin had his life bared to the media the most. Not only does he have a famous father and an interesting real name (Park Choong Jae– which is supposed to be a weird name for a Korean…or was it old fashioned? One of the two), he revealed that his biological mother had left him and his siblings at his young age and that he had two stepmothers in his life. His name appeared in rumor mills as he dated other celebrities, and there was that time when he was taken advantage of by some woman who released photos of him passed out.
To me, Jun Jin was more like a drama character than anyone else. He is handsome and successful, funny and charismatic, yet has this sad childhood lingering in his adult life. I imagine girls looking at him and thinking, “I can change him. I can be the soulmate that heals him.” The good thing is that Jun Jin has been pretty clean the past years, except that weird dating scandal with one of the members from Spica (Everyone was like, “Why?”).
Eric was actually my least favorite member for many years. I knew he was handsome, everyone told me he was handsome, but there was just something about his face that rubbed me the the wrong way, and the fact that he was probably the most popular member in Korea made it worse for me. Was it the facial hair? His weird English raps that sort of made sense, but didn’t really?
Also, this. How do you watch this with a straight face (watch from 2:13)?
However, I changed my mind when I started seeing him on “Shinhwa Broadcast.” I liked how he was a little shy and awkward, but eager to entertain. There was also something about seeing him get frustrated at the other members, but helplessly so. I also became an even stronger believer in RicSung, and they will be my ultimate OTP.
3. Kim Dong Wan
Who doesn’t like Kim Dong Wan? Seriously, who? Not only is he handsome, talented, and oh my gawd his body is off the hook, but he seems like a genuinely good guy. The only scandal that he has ever been in is when he admitted he got his nose done, but he announced it in this humble and good-natured way, so it doesn’t even count. On “Shinhwa Broadcast” he made everyone groan with his cheesy jokes and self-aware grin, how do you not like a guy like that?
The first time I ever really noticed him was when he won the first season of “Love Mansae” back in…2001?! Was that really fourteen years ago? Does anyone else remember this show? Why do I feel so old?
2. Shin Hye Sung
His voice! His voice! Let me say it again! His voice! Everything about him is so smooth and velvety, I wouldn’t be surprised if he just has peach fuzz all over his body. I could listen to his voice all day, and one day I hope to have his song playing while I look sadly out a window on a rainy day. One of my favorite songs of all time is the “Doll,” and don’t get me started on the trio that is S.
He also looks so delicate, like a pretty doll. You know he would make a really pretty girl. He may seem effeminate but it’s also kind of funny to watch him boss around Eric and get offended when they tease him.
1. Lee Min Woo
Oh Min Woo. Where do I start? My original K-Pop idol crush. I remember the very first time I saw him, it was their comeback performance for “Hey, Come On!” and I was like, “Who is this adorable dancer?” Then I searched him on the internet and came to this picture:
I was in love. I wanted everything in that photo: that hair, the school boy uniform, that motorcycle, the red backpack, and even that band aid on his face. I would stare at this picture and wonder how something so perfect could exist.
My personal experience aside, Lee Min Woo is also extremely charismatic, a great dancer, a decent singer and rapper, and really handsome (his acting wasn’t awful either). I honestly believe that if he wasn’t so short, he would pretty much rule over the Korean entertainment industry. He is also so damn sexy. I remember blushing when his song “Just One Night” came out.
Also, shout out to all those fanfics written about him as that tortured bad boy with a gangster past. I don’t remember coming across any fanfic that didn’t have in that specific role, except sometimes he would have a dead ex-girlfriend he just couldn’t get over.
This is my ranking of the Shinhwa members, would you change it? Share your ranking below. Shinhwa Changjo!
CallMeN00NA is an editor at Soompi who got really distracted watching this, this, and this. She loves Shinhwa and hopes they last until they’re old grandpas who rock the stage in their walkers and dentures. You can follow her on Twitter.
*The opinions expressed in this editorial are solely those of the author.