This expression and stance of HyukJae’s is probably the best representation of the past weekend. Truly. It was a REALLY BAD weekend to be a HyukJae fangirl. I had so much to say that I ended up not knowing what to say (and am still in a mess over how to say what I want to say) such that I just spent all my time after the broadcast ended watching and re-watching the group date in its entirety over and over again. And each time I would end up screaming at him through the latter half of the broadcast. But ah well. The pitfalls of being a fan. You shriek at him in pique and ire when he is making an absolute ass out of himself but still love him after the sound of that last scream of frustration has faded away. Such is the irrationality of it all. Thankfully the whole hullabaloo has since died down and no, fangirl-ism was not what I wanted to talk about.
My initial thought over the Fighting Junior group date was that it would run along the lines of that which Ssangchu had between SS501 and the Wonder Girls, ie everybody sits to share a meal, exchange a bit of information about themselves and their interests, play a few games. Same sort of a thing, just a little (??) rowdier coz it is, after all, a group date involving SuJu boys. And it pretty much turned out that way, just that I did not expect them to make it into an entire variety within a variety, complete with a show title, slogan, etc. Which, to my mind, was where the whole problem lay coz that took away the reality aspect of the programme and made it fully into a variety.
When the group date first started, most everyone was taking it as what it was with one clear exception: Teukie. Teukie was there in work mode and I think there is no need for me to even explain why since he is the one that has to keep things rolling so to speak. And he was very focussed on his task. Even when Sora collapsed on the table laughing at HyukJae struggling to pose EunSeo a question, he just spared her a look before he turned his attention back on HyukJae, waiting for HyukJae to finish his question. Ah, such is the working hubby.
As for HyukJae, I think at least half of his brain was in variety mode too from the start, or at least his ‘mood-maker’ switch was flipped on for sure because in my opinion, if he was earnestly attending the group date as 100% Lee HyukJae, I doubt he would have had had his hands on his sideburns all the time, nor would he have had the audacity to go tell all the ladies present that they were ALL his ideal or worse, attempt to get away with lying in front of his brothers that he has had no experience in love just to elicit laughter and reaction. Monkey, we ALL remember how you broke you hand! How dare you try lying about that?! Even I got angry with that outrageous lie! Grrr~
Still. I think that one of the real things which he did over the course of the first half was that of indicating interest in EunSeo. And even that is partly clouded with a slight doubt in my mind over whether it was genuine or whether he did it because he saw Hae’s immediate indication of interest and wanted to give his BFF some competition for the sake of it.
Speaking of which, maybe it was the way the editing was done with prior knowledge of how the whole group date turned out, but when I re-watched the episodes, I realised that where it came to the end pairings, there was a lot more focus on one when the other was either doing or saying something. Like when Min was on the guitar, there was a lot of focus on how SoYool was enjoying his singing, happily clapping along. Same happened when Hyuk announced that he had prepared only one gift to give, the camera was focussed on how Sena looked while he was deciding whom to pass the box to and her reaction when he picked EunSeo. On hindsight, it was already obvious then that she was disappointed that EunSeo was picked. And it was the same again when he went over to get EunSeo to dance with him.
Some have questioned that if she liked HyukJae from the start and for his talent in dancing at that, why did she not support him and pick his as the talent that she liked the most? If you ask me, I think it was only fair for her to have picked Min and not Hyuk. For one, his performance was not presented as a performance for all but for one so if anyone was to judge as to how he fared, it would have to be EunSeo. Even if you take his performance as one that was done for all, as compared to Min, he really did not do as well coz the start of his dance all the way till the shuffle started, was a very awkward mess. Hae understandably got picked because of the amount of thought and preparation that he put into his presentation (that and yes, there were probably a few sympathy points given over his being so nervous that he screwed up). And Kyu. He really should have just stopped at the song and left it as that. The magic trick was just… Okay, let us just not even go there.
My whole point is this: Sena was asked to pick whom she felt did best in the talent display and that was exactly what she did. If I had been asked to choose, I would have picked Min as well coz he was the only one that fully played up his strengths and had zero screw-ups doing it. Sena’s choice was rational and justified.
In any case, Hyuk was clearly swayed towards EunSeo at first and that continued all the way through till Sena decided to make her move with the ‘There Was A Small Bear’ six-line poem. Some said that she lost pride by throwing herself at Hyuk but really. With how dense he was, if she had not (literally) hit him so hard, I doubt he would have noticed her existence especially with how his enthusiasm died when he found out that she was four years his senior. See how easily he forgot that she was a noona after she whacked him six times on the arm and kissed him six times on the hand, all till he made fun of Teuk being 30 thereby offending her as well? Yup! My point exactly.
Be as it may, I strongly believe that loss of pride was not a factor that caused her to cry. In fact, I think the main cause of the tears was this:
While everyone was split into their respective groups to decide as to whom they wanted to be paired with, Hyuk wrote a note for Sena which he crumpled and tossed up to the second floor to where the ladies were. The note read “Please pick me~ There Was A Small Bear“. With Sena pre-disposed to already liking Hyuk, she was obviously happy to receive the note and did exactly as he had asked her to do, and that was to pick him. And it turns out that she not only picked him once, she picked him twice for she filled both of her options with his name and his name alone to make sure that he did get paired with her.
And it was obvious that through the rest of the group date, the idea that Sena had was that they would be sticking through with this pairing and this was especially so when she said after the group dance that it gave her an opportunity to see how flirtatious her man can be. And that was said with obvious reference to Hyuk who had been going around dancing with every one of the other ladies at every opportunity that he got although he pretended to not get that the remark was directed at him.
With all this in mind, let us now put ourselves in her shoes where she invests faith and chooses the guy that asked her to choose him, only to have him do a 180-degree on her to not only NOT choose her in the end, but instigates the third party to tell her to stop calling him. Dear reader, if I were her, I would not only have called him ‘nappeun nom’. Fan or not, I would have flung the contents of the nearest bottle of water in his face. OF COURSE she will cry!! Which girl wouldn’t?!? Seriously, even if feeling rejected does not bring the tears, the anger and disappointment over having been played for a fool would.
To be honest, I was doing some serious wondering myself as to why Hyuk did the 180 when a short while earlier, he had been talking to Teukie and the rest of his brothers over how happy he was being on the receiving end of Sena’s display of affection. Some would say that Sena’s forwardness put him off hence he spiraled back to EunSeo. But to my assessment, that happiness of his was genuine coz as far as I know, he does, more often than not, end up being the butt of the joke and ‘abandoned’ in the end for his more visually appealing counterparts. So to me, he was genuinely quite happy being paired with Sena. In fact, if there was anything that I would pick to scold him for up till that point in time, it would be for his refusal to teach Sena the basics on how to bowl and instead told her to just go on instinct alone. When he did that, even Misun in the studio said that he had a bad boy vibe to him. But I ignored that coz Sena did say from the start that she likes people who seek to improve on themselves so I figured that this line of ‘coaching’ from Hyuk would appeal to her? In any case, he was really paying attention, watching her when she bowled and was being very encouraging about it so that was acceptable to me. That and yes, if he did try teaching and still ended up with that one pin result despite the cool pose at the end, it would have been additionally embarassing. *coughKyuHyuncough*
In any case, the trigger factor for Hyuk’s complete turnaround was the rules of the final pairing selection simply because it was of a free-for-all style and fully engineered especially for trouble. And this is where the bulk of the EunTeuk variety mechanism kicked in since they took full advantage of it. Honestly, I understand that given that it is a variety show, there has to be variety and yes, I understand that was what the both of you were working to achieve. Variety, which means bucking people’s expectations to give them the unexpected. But could it not have done in a better way??
I can understand why Hyuk opted to ‘steal’ EunSeo from Hae coz Hae was the one that was most emotionally invested in his partner and therefore the most likely to react. And to have this sort of a sabotage work, the person being sabotaged HAS to react. It was also easier and more logical for Hyuk to target EunSeo since Hyuk had already shown signs of liking her in the beginning so while it would be a surprise, it would not be an illogical surprise. That YoolMin were already sealed from the start and therefore unmoveable totally eliminates them from possibility of attack, and Kyu… Personally I do not think Kyu was interested enough in YeonJoo to put up a fight if she got stolen. That and who in their right mind wants to cross the evil maknae?? Hyuk, on a normal day, can barely out-talk Kyu much less plot to steal girls from him so… In any case, that Hae’s a bit more of a pushover as compared to the others also made him an easy target.
But I have to really hand it to Hyuk. Once he decided to turn into the asshole, he really turned on full bastard mode. His “Thanks for your time” to Sena floored even Kyu, and Hae and Sena were both in a state of disbelief which next progressed to rather hilarious denial.
“EunHyuk sshi… Who’s that? Ahh~ The one with blondish hair and a playboy attitude?”
“Who [is my best friend]? Oh Siwon~ Yes he’s my best friend. Who? Lee HyukJae? We did know each other for a long while…”
Aii, even Siwon got dragged in… >_<”’
Honestly, if it was left at that, I think I would have just remained at disappointed over his not picking Sena because I sincerely think that she is very sweet on him and imo, they look really nice next to each other. The bad boy routine did make for great television though because amidst all the noise in the studio, Misun was highlighted as declaring that Hyuk had to continue being the bad boy. And when he pulled that stunt with EunSeo on Sena, Misun was shown calling him “charismatic”. So there is value in having a bad boy present on the programme coz if I look and listen to the studio response, what Teukie and Min said through their Twitter postings were true in that Hyuk did a great job in running the variety. But what Hyuk said too about it not saving himself from being a complete ass was true too because I was absolutely furious with the level of callousness in what he did next.
HyukJae ah, if you had answered DongHae’s call to EunSeo that way. If you had done that to DongHae it would have been laughed off and yes, it would have worked as a joke. Why? ‘Because you guys have known each other for ages and can get away with doing things like that to each other. Also because you guys are guys. But Sena’s a girl whom you have just met and getting EunSeo to do that to her was really too much. If your strategy was to just continue rejecting her, why could you not have just switched off your phone? Or cut the call? Too boring for television??
It was clear from the reactions in the studio that people understood that what Hyuk did was for variety’s sake, that he was purely trying to be funny and create entertainment. And even for me, from the way he reacted when Sena cried, I could tell that he truly never expected it. He did not expect her feel so hurt from the things that he did to the extent that she would cry. But as I explained in the beginning, which girl in Sena’s situation would not cry? In fact, that she did not give up on HyukJae after that stunt was, in itself quite a feat.
And wow, talking about EunSeo. Making use of the anchovy to capture the east sea?? Small wonder she got so much hate!! But I do also wonder if she went back to DongHae because of Sena. Coz from what I saw, think all of the ladies were affected when Sena cried. HyukJae himself looked like he had aged ten years from the time he went to try help dry her tears till he had to stand before her again after having been kicked aside for Hae. Misun unnie was correct. Bad boys do get their just desserts and I think HyukJae really had his served to him that day. What could be worse than standing there hearing that the first girl whom you made cry on national television is your own fan?? Even Hae flipped over backwards when he heard it and I am sure that Hyuk’s own “Oh crap!” expression said it all as to just how BIG a screw up the whole thing was. But still, I thought it very endearing how he was looking all round for help from the rest when Sena called him one last time and our ever reliable Min was standing nodding in encouragement to tell him to do it. Lee SungMin is ♥~!! ^o^
Through this whole exercise, I think the biggest winner was Sena. Despite everything she still managed to maintain a level of graciousness and I think the way she handled HyukJae at the end was appropriate. Everyone in the studio and even Teukie was expecting her to be mean to Hyuk because he had been so mean to her, but she instead assured him that she will not make things difficult for him and even thanked him for answering her call. All this after he made her cry. Aii… How’s one to not like her??
But yes, hooray for Bear Couple!! ^o^ Despite all that mess, I still think that they look adorable together, especially with the matching hair color that they both had at that point in time. They have both gone darker now but what they had then looked great with the superimposed teddy ears! So cute!! ^^
Now I am REALLY waiting for TeukSora’s housewarming party. I am sure that they have already filmed it since Min himself said recently that he does not know if he will meet his “Yool-nim” again. That was a bit sad for me coz I thought that YoolMin was a cool pairing too! Their combined aegyo was so cute!! I hope that they get to meet soon and SungJin gets his wish of meeting SoYool as well. Kona Beans anyone? ^^
In other random news, Kibum follows both Sena and SoYool on Twitter. Now if only Kibum was still active in SuJu…
PS : DongHae ah, must you smack the table every time you get jealous of your Teukie hyung and hyungsu-nim? The poor table… T_T