I have to be honest. At this time last year, I thought there was no way anyone in Korean entertainment (music, movies, drama or otherwise) was going to topple Rain from the throne in my fangirl kingdom. If you would have asked me if it this could ever happen, I would have unequivocally answered ‘No’! So please imagine my own shock when it actually did happen. And, it happened with a force and fury I was not even prepared for. I have been asked by a sweet follower of the blog who has now become a treasured friend, to expound on the how, the why and the when MBLAQ’s G.O swooped in, staked his claim as my one true bias, and yes, promptly stole me away from his former mentor, Rain. So Endang, dear…I write this post for you.♥
Endang’s first question was, “When was the first time you saw G.O?” If you have been tooling around my blog in the past year, you may have come across the story about how I came to know of him. It all started innocently enough. In the early days of my blog, I focused on featuring a Korean entertainer, either actor or musician. I called the featured artist, a “K-Shot of Hot”. Since I was new to everything Korean in those days, it was the perfect way for me to get acquainted with various actors and musicians of the Korean entertainment world. When I chose who I would feature, I generally immersed myself in his work, whether actor or musician. Because Rain was commanding much of my attention when I started the blog and I was already fully immersed, he became my very first K-Shot of Hot.
I followed with actor, Hyun Bin and subsequently with Kim Junsu of TVXQ/JYJ fame. It was then that I decided that I would create a pattern of featuring an actor, then a musician as I moved forward with my K-Shots. I thought this was cool and also an ideal way for me to continue learning without stagnating in one genre. Plus, many of these entertainers crossed over into each other’s genres so I would most likely get a full complement of music, movie and drama with whomever I featured.
I was on a roll. After Junsu, I featured actor Yoo Seung Ho. During the early building of my blog, I began befriending other bloggers. I became quick friends with Nelly of MyMyooz. I honestly do not know what it was that triggered our friendship, but by the time I published the Yoo Seung Ho post, we were well on our way to BFF-land. Nelly is a big time Yoo Seung Ho fangirl. When I published the post on Yoo Seung Ho, I could hear Nelly scream all the way from Maryland. ^^
It was such a delight to surprise her with that post. She adores the young actor and was appreciative of my little homage to him. After the Yoo Seung Ho dust settled, I realized I was pretty much at a loss as to who I would feature next. I knew he was going to be a musician. But which one? Then I remembered Nelly talking about MBLAQ and G.O. I knew of MBLAQ because of Rain but I was not really familiar with any of the members outside of leader Seung Ho and maknae Mir. At that point, I not heard any of their music; however, since I had such a great time making Nelly happy with Yoo Seung Ho, I figured she would be equally pleased with my decision to feature G.O as my next K-Shot of Hot.
That innocent post was my formal introduction to G.O. Since publishing it on January 1, 2014, my life has not been the same. My plan to surprise Nelly in fact turned out to surprise me. My plan to shake up her fangirl world, created an avalanche in mine. My plan to continue featuring any further artists as K-Shots of Hot abruptly ceased. I was smittened, intrigued, and entranced. Even though I did not know it myself, I apparently had arrived to my one true bias destination. So I stepped delicately off of the Rain train and climbed aboard the Byung Hee express.
In the days leading up to the publishing of the post on G.O, I was on a steady diet of Jung Byung Hee. Endang asked me, “what was the first reason you came to like G.O?” When I began my research for the post, the first thing I watched was MBLAQ’s MV for the song Cry. Collectively as a whole, the men of MBLAQ were striking and sensual in this MV. And when G.O showed up on the screen, I was breathless. I thought….this is G.O? This is the singer Nelly has been talking about? One of he first things that captured my attention were his eyes followed by his amazing voice. G.O’s eyes are a combination of piercing and plaintive, gentle, dark and expressive. It must have been destiny that his eyes captured my attention first as they would certainly come into play later on when I had the opportunity to gaze into them real-time.
I was also captivated by the way he moved. I find the choreography in Cry to be provocative, and sensual. Couple that with G.O’s fine physique and it became lethal. I could not take my eyes off of him.
When I started pulling his Immortal Song 2 performances to add to the post, I knew I found my dream vocalist. Passionate and filled with emotion, I felt he possessed something many other artists of his generation lacked: Honesty. I also felt there was an old soul buried deep within the chambers of his being. His astounding knowledge and appreciation of music (a great deal of it written and recorded well before he was born) was a true testament to how he chose to cultivate his craft. It is no surprise that he felt comfortably at home on the Immortal Song 2 stage singing the songs of legends before him.
I could choose any one of a number of his amazing performances to share here. But his cover of Joo Hyun Mi’s 추어으로가는당신 (Now You’re Just a Memory) really stood out for me.
Viewing all of the MBLAQ MVs and Immortal Song 2 performances, his covers of western songs (sung perfectly in English), and various live performances on Korean music shows sealed his place firmly with me as an extraordinary artist. His was a talent that even stood out from his MBLAQ brothers, in my opinion. Rain chose well when he placed G.O in the main vocal position of MBLAQ. And even if G.O did indeed possess idol good looks, I still think it is his talent, intelligence, charm, authenticity, charisma, humor, and humbleness that remain among his strongest assets. That it all comes in such a pleasing package is simply a bonus.^^
I continued researching. I kept finding more. In addition to the music, I took note that he and MBLAQ began participating in variety show appearances as early as their debut in 2009. I have yet to completely watch everything in full but I will say my favorite so far has been Hello Baby. Watching G.O in Hello Baby showed me that not only was he a kind-hearted, thoughtful and soft-spoken man, he also had a genuinely gentle and patient way with children. This gave him even more ammunition to completely ensnare me. If you haven’t watched the show, I thoroughly recommend. With moments like these…
…it was easy to see his charm, his tenderness and genuine delight interacting with the children. He literally dared me not to fall for him.
I suppose it was my good fortune that as I was discovering G.O, he had been cast in the musical, Seopyeonje, and rehearsals for the show were in progress at that same time. I did not hesitate in thought, action or reason once I made that discovery. I promptly told myself that I was going to go to Seoul to see him perform on the musical stage. I admit that I am reasonably impulsive. I also admit to going full throttle when something (or someone interests) me. The pull to see him was stronger than my will could resist. It was quite literally non-negotiable. I had to see him.
Endang’s third question was, “what was the first reason you loved G.O?” Before I reveal the reason, I have to say that I know precisely when that reason revealed itself. Indeed. It was Saturday, April 5, 2014 at approximately 10:30pm KST. It happened on a crisp spring evening, under a clear star-filled sky outside of the Universal Arts Center Theater in Seoul. And, it happened so very unexpectedly.
I had no point of reference as to what the drill was post-show when I arrived to the Universal Arts Center on the evening of April 5th. All I knew was that I missed the show that night but journeyed to the theater in any event so I could get my logistics settled before G.O’s next performance on April 8th. I also went to meet up with my sweet Japanese friend, Yuko, who did see the show that evening. I wanted to meet her and I wanted the 411 on the show and his performance. I never….ever expected that I would see him before I even had the chance to meet her!
Without warning (at least to me) G.O exited the theater and walked right past me as he headed for the small black mini van that would safely return him home. Swarmed by a handful of fans and his quiet protective driver, he walked briskly, but not hurried, to the van. What? How? Wait……this would never happen in the US….so how could this be happening here and NOW and right in front of my eyes no less? That is how I felt. I was dumbfounded. I think I went into immediate fangirl shock. There was no way it was this easy to see him. To be this close to him.
(My first ever attempt to get a picture of G.O……fail!)
But it was. And while the fans stood outside the passenger side of the van waiting for him to get situated and eventually roll down the window, I stood at the front of the vehicle still in shock. Did you ever have that moment in your life when you just go blank and freeze? I was in the throes of that when this was all going down. I just froze in front of that van. That was….until he looked up and saw me.
All of those hours of researching him, viewing videos, scrolling through pictures, watching him playfully move through variety shows and every other activity I was engaged in to know more about him, converged into that very moment on April 5th when I looked directly into his eyes, blew him a kiss, and watched those beautiful deep eyes of his fall into the most wonderful smile I have ever been on the receiving end of. The face mask he wore obstructed his smile but when G.O offers you a broad smile, his eyes follow suit. Sometimes I think when he is happy and smiles, his entire body smiles. I am of the school of thought that if a smile reaches your eyes, then that smile is truly genuine.
(I admit to really enjoying reliving that moment, by the way. ^^ I have previously written about here.)
On April 8, 2014, I watched him burn up the stage as Dong Ho in the hauntingly beautiful Seopyeonje. G.O, the show, the music, and the entire cast mesmerized me. Director Lee Gina has such a unique and sweeping vision. I am happy she has been G.O’s director in each of his three musicals. I was equally happy to be there witnessing his award-winning performance.
If the evening of April 5th pushed all four chambers of my heart to completely surrender to him, it was perhaps April 9th when I think he and I may have officially imprinted on each other. No, not in the Twilight sense…heheheh. What I mean is, I think it was then that he placed me into his memory bank. That was the evening I actually had the courage to call out his name as he stepped directly in front of me (see picture below) to circumnavigate the mini van and get to the passenger side of the vehicle. I had a gift I wanted to give him and I wanted to personally hand it to him. I was successful. He thanked me and as he continued his walk around the vehicle, he turned, and while walking backwards, asked me where I was from.
(My second attempt to get a picture of G.O……fail!)
That was it. It was official. I was all his. My newly discovered bias asked me a question. Inasmuch as the events of April 5th may have dropped me into the rabbit hole of love for this man, it was the moments interacting with him after the show on April 9th that sealed off both entry and exit. There was no escape. And now, seven months later, I am proud to say that I am still his willing captive. You see, now that he has stolen my heart, he is simply refusing to give it back.
(My third attempt to get a picture of G.O…..semi-successful!)
This then, dear Endang, is my story of the first time I saw G.O, the first reason I liked him and finally, the first reason I loved him. I hope I have answered your questions thoroughly. I probably could have done it in less than the 2000+ words it took me to tell you…but once I get to writing about him, I find it difficult to stop! I appreciate your asking me to write about it again. It has brought back all of those amazing and wonderful memories of both the show and most importantly, meeting the man himself. And so from my heart which he so boldly abducted, I thank you.♥