London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Celebrity news round-up: January 07

Rain, LKL’s man of the year 2006 has started 2007 on a low-note with a speeding ticket in Hong Kong at the start of his gruelling tour. He also underwhelmed one reporter at a Singapore press conference who found him just a little dull. This wasn’t a reflection on his performance on-stage (and I’ve yet to find any proper reviews of these): more that, given Rain’s broad portfolio of interests and abilities the reporter thought he should have had something a bit more interesting to say. If anyone finds a review of any of his World Tour gigs, please let me know. Meanwhile, here’s a pic of his Malaysian gig, courtesy of Popseoul:

Rain in Malaysia

Meanwhile Lee Hyori, chastened by her disqualification from the LKL woman of the year 2006 award has vowed to do better in 2007. She commented:

In the end, I came through that experience with more than what I lost. The most valuable thing I got from it was realizing how much I love singing on stage. Hopefully this year will be better. Instead of looking for simple popularity, this year I’m hoping people will see I’m improving my singing, dancing and acting skills.

We wish her well. She starts the race for LKL woman of the year 2007 with a clean slate.

Hyolee pink

Other Hyori coverage comments on her appearance in a one-off romantic drama on TV: 사랑한다면 이들처럼 (translation: Love like them). (Cue a not very in-depth discussion of an alleged image crisis for Hyori in the Chosun Ilbo). And guess what? In an effort to go one better than your average Korean melodrama, Popseoul reports that the plot involves both lovers having incurable diseases. Who’s gonna die first? And how many hankies will you need to get through that experience?

The same Chosun Ilbo article from which the above quote was taken also reports that she’s the third most powerful woman in Korea, after GNP head Park Geun-hye and Prime Minister Han Myeong-sook. I love these silly surveys.

Other silly surveys in the past few weeks:


A celeb who was unjustly neglected last year was BoA. Yes, she topped the Japanese pop charts, yes she was even number 2 in the world charts for a week, and yes, she was Korea’s highest-earning pop star. But somehow people didn’t seem to be interested, which is a bit of a shame. Compared with Hyori and the TV stars, BoA hardly seemed to register on the various amateur celebrity news blogs (and in respect of my sporadic coverage of the area, she attracted less than a quarter of the visits of Lee Sabi). Is there a lesson here: focus on getting the job done and avoiding the press, and you end up with more Won in your pocket? BoA has started 2007 on a high note, topping the charts in Japan again. Congratulations to BoA, the pop star who just seems to get on with it. And does it well, even though success comes at the price of loneliness, according to the Chosun.

Moon Geun-youngOther news? A trifling piece in the Korea Times suggesting that big names from the commercials don’t pull in the crowds when appearing on the big screen. No analysis is provided as to whether it’s anything to do with the stars’ acting skills or the quality of the film itself. Never mind – it’s an excuse for some pretty pictures.

The Korea Times also reports how Moon Geun-young’s attempt to break free of her “Nation’s Younger Sister” image is attracting adverse attention, with accusations of plagiarism in respect of her TV ad. But the Chosun reports that she’s been a good girl at university, attending all her classes.

And, coming soon, get the complete hallyu experience at Hallyuwood, the latest Korean-wave-themed tourist attraction.

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