Katherine’s K-pop Recap: January 18-24, 2021

A summary of the news, current and upcoming comebacks, charts and music show wins, and more!

NOTE: Except in special cases, the news recapped in these posts will refer to K-pop only. K-dramas, variety shows, and other forms of entertainment will only be mentioned if there is an idol or idol group involved.

News to Note

  • CJ ENM released a statement on the ongoing conflict with n.CH Entertainment over managing rookie group TOO. You can read a translation here.
  • The Show announced that they were going to restructure their scoring system, but it initially appeared that the new system eliminated global fan voting. When international fans expressed their concern, the show clarified that element was also being reorganized and had only been temporarily removed. You can read more about the situation here.
  • Two members of GOT7 have officially confirmed their plans after leaving JYP Entertainment: Youngjae and Jackson have both signed with Sublime Artist Agency. From what I understand, Youngjae signed an exclusive artist contract while Jackson has a business arrangement with Sublime Artist Agency and his own management Team Wang – probably to coordinate activities in South Korea and China.
    • While Mark hasn’t officially confirmed his plans, he did start his own YouTube channel and announced that he will be dropping a collaboration single in February.
  • The general producer of MBK Entertainment and the CEO of Pocketdol Studio (an MBK subsidiary) were fined 10 million won each for manipulating votes during the first season of Produce 101. They bought about 10,000 fake internet IDs and had their employees use them to vote for the three MBK trainees who were competing on the show. While it did influence rankings, it was not enough to change the I.O.I lineup, which MBK idol Jung Chaeyeon was part of. You can read more about the situation here.
  • MAMAMOO’s agency RBW Entertainment made an announcement with their contract renewal situation. Currently, Solar and Moonbyul have chosen to renew their contracts with the company. Wheein and Hwasa are still in discussions, but according to the agency, things are going positively.

This Week’s Debuts and Comebacks

(Please note that I won’t necessarily link every release that came out this week – just the ones that I’m aware of or popped up on my radar. The same is true of the “Coming Up Next Week” category.)

Epik High, “Rosario”feat. CL and Zico (1/18)

AB6IX, “Stay Young” (1/18)

CRAVITY, “My Turn” (1/19)

Yunho (TVXQ),”Thank U” (1/18)

ONEUS, “No Diggity” (1/19)

Cherry Bullet, “Love So Sweet” (1/20)

Coming Up Next Week

Monday (1/25)Tuesday (1/26)Wednesday (1/27Thursday (1/28)Friday (1/29)
Golden ChildDreamcatcherHyunA
Bobby (iKON)

This Week’s Music Show Wins

The Show (SBS MTV)No broadcast/winner
Show Champion (MBC)(G)I-DLE, “HWAA” (1st win)
M! Countdown (MNET)(G)I-DLE, “HWAA” (2nd win)
Music Bank (KBS)(G)I-DLE, “HWAA” (3rd win)
Music Core (MBC)(G)I-DLE, “HWAA” (4th win)
Inkigayo (SBS)(G)I-DLE, “HWAA” (5th win)

Congratulations to (G)I-DLE for sweeping all of the music shows this week!

Album Sales, Streaming, and Charting

Gaon Chart

NOTE 1: Gaon‘s weekly charts reflect the previous week.

NOTE 2: Because not many K-pop songs make it onto the digital charts, I’ll only list the Top 5 for album sales and the social chart. Then I’ll make notes of any K-pop songs that placed high on the digital charts. To see a full breakdown of the chart, you can go here.

(The First Step: Treasure Effect)
( Resonance Pt. 2)
(I Burn)
(Voice: The Future is Now)
(The First Step: Treasure Effect kit version)
SocialBLACKPINKBTSSong Ga In (G)I-DLEIm Young Woong
  • (G)I-DLE claimed #1 on the digital download chart with “HWAA,” while their B-sides “Moon” and “Hann (Alone in Winter)” took #3 and #4 respectively.
    • “HWAA” also placed #4 on the overall digital chart.
  • VICTON’s “What I Said” placed #2 on the digital download chart.
  • BTS’s “Dynamite” placed #3 on the overall digital chart and the streaming chart.
  • BLACKPINK’s “Lovesick Girls” was #5 on the streaming chart.

The International Side of K-pop

  • BTS’s “Dynamite” ranked #35 on Billboard‘s Hot 100, marking their 21st week on the chart.
  • Several K-pop music videos reached some notable milestones on YouTube:
    • BTS’s “Fake Love” reached 850 million views. This is their 3rd most watched music video, after “DNA” and “Boy with Luv.”
    • BTS’s “Dynamite” also reaches 800 million views – the fastest K-pop group music video to do so.
    • Red Velvet’s “Bad Boy” became their first video to hit 300 million views.
    • NCT Dream’s “Boom” hit 100 million views. This is the first NCT Dream video to reach this milestone, and the fourth NCT video overall. (The others are NCT U’s “Boss,” NCT 127’s “Cherry Bomb,” and NCT U’s “Make a Wish.”)

Drama and Variety Show News

  • There has been lots of casting information about MNET’s upcoming survival show Kingdom. It was revealed that BTOB, iKON, and SF9 are considering offers to join the shows, while Monsta X turned theirs down. The Boyz, ATEEZ, and Stray Kids have already been confirmed to participate on Kingdom through a collaboration performance during last year’s MNET Asian Music Awards.Also, TVXQ has been confirmed to host the show!
  • Fandom and entertainment platform UNIVERSE announced they were launching two variety shows on their app. One features Kang Daniel, and the other features Monsta X. You can read more about them here.
  • Donghyun (AB6IX), Jaehyun (Golden Child), Subin (Victon), and Wooseok (Pentagon) are all starring in a YouTube web drama that just started airing this week. You can read more about it here.

Notable Variety Shows Featuring K-pop Idols

Weekly IdolKnowing BrothersAmazing Saturday
This WeekONEUSNon-idol guestsYunho (TVXQ) and DinDin
Next WeekGolden ChildNon-idol guestsNon-idol guests

Other Items of Note

  • Mark Tuan from GOT7 started his own YouTube channel, which you can see here. He quickly reached 1 million subscribers without even uploading anything.
  • The third season of variety show Busted! dropped on Netflix. They have many famous comedians and actors on the show, but in terms of K-pop, EXO’s Sehun and former Gugudan member Sejeong are part of the main cast. Other idol guest stars include EXO’s Suho, SF9’s Rowoon, VIXX’s Ravi, Oh My Girl’s Seunghee, and soloist/former Wanna One member Ha Sungwoon.

SOURCES NOTE: I get my news from a mix of sources, and all of them report the same information and sometimes cite each other as well. So rather than linking the exact article for each and every news item (unless the article provides a lot more detail), I will cite my general news sources below. Each of them will most likely have an article and/or tweet providing more details on the item in question.

MY REGULAR NEWS SOURCES: Soompi, Omona They Didn’t (Livejournal), The Seoul Story (Twitter @theseoulstory), and Girl Group Zone! (Twitter @girlgroupzone)

I also frequently used mes #TeamPinky (Twitter @OH_mes2), but I guess that person has decided to stop translating news articles this week. They were one of my primary resources, so I’m definitely going to miss them.


VIDEO SOURCES: Brand New Music Entertainment (AB6IX), Epik High’s YouTube channel, FNC Entertainment (Cherry Bullet), RBW Entertainment (ONEUS), SM Entertainment (TVXQ/Yunho), Starship Entertainment (CRAVITY)

OTHER SOURCES:  YouTube, Wikipedia, BillboardGaon Chart, KBS, MBC, MNET, Netflix, SBS

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