“You see your seniors but you don’t greet them?”
Do Wook looked at the two of them who had their legs crossed and were silently muttering.
If the theme of a picture was the end of an idol singer with neither popularity nor talent, the image of the two of them, smoking a cigarette with an aggressive look in their eyes, would fit the theme perfectly. They looked that pathetic.
“I apologize. I didn’t recognize you.”
“What…? You didn’t recognize me? Are you blind?”
“Hey, just let him be.”
Sensing that he was going to start yelling, one of the other people attempted to stop him, wary of the surroundings.
They might be sunbae/hubae in the song industry, but Do Wook didn’t feel the need to extend any courtesy to the two people in front of him.
The problem wasn’t their popularity or their skills. It was a problem of personality.
At that moment, Oh Baek Ho, who had been looking for Do Wook, called out to him.
Once Oh Baek Ho appeared, the two of them backed away hesitantly.
“What are you doing here?!”
“Ah, I came to say hi to Kim Woo Yeon-nim but he wasn’t here.”
Do Wook purposely emphasized “Kim Woo Yeon-nim” with a loud voice.
Only then did the two hostile people realize that the reason Do Wook ignored them was because of Kim Woo Yeon. However, that was all. In fact, they hardened their expressions, even more upset.
“Is that so? You can say hi later. Let’s go to the waiting room for now and change into your wardrobe. But…were you in the middle of a conversation?”
At Oh Baek Ho’s question, Do Wook looked at the two with a side glance.
Oh Baek Ho’s physique and vibe already made the two people lose their spirit. They were the type to become meek in front of someone strong. Do Wook shook his head.
“No. Let’s go.”
Oh Baek Ho, who was leaving the hallway with Do Wook, looked back after barely taking a few steps.
“Don’t you see that this is a non-smoking area?”
“Wha…What’s it to…”
The two people, who were about to retort how it wasn’t any of his business, shut up and backed off when they saw Oh Baek Ho’s expression harden.
Afterward, it was Do Wook’s turn for hair and make up so he couldn’t go see Kim Woo Yeon, who was also getting ready for the performance. Kim Woo Yeon was extremely sensitive in anticipation for the performance anyway. Not wanting to accidentally mess him up while he was getting ready, Do Wook decided not to go and say hi.
His only thought was that rather than trying to see Kim Woo Yeon, he should put a little more effort into preparing for the performance, so that he wouldn’t be embarrassed to be called a first place nominee side by side with Kim Woo Yeon.
The order of performance was KK with their comeback performance first, followed by Kim Woo Yeon, who achieved the miracle of climbing the music charts for 2 consecutive weeks.
(TL note: but…M2M and KK both hold records longer than 2 weeks.)
Sul Lae Im, who was still acting as the Life Song MC, introduced the two performances with an enthusiastic voice.
KK’s performance was much more perfect than the rehearsal.
The first song was ‘Something’, which was prerecorded. KK decorating the stage with their very colorful, light and sporty outfits was aired on the broadcast. They were showing a wider range of expressions than they did at their debut and they seemed more comfortable around the camera.
About 200 KK fans were mesmerized by the prerecording. The 200 or so people were waving cheering sticks with the KK logo in unison and went crazy as they watched KK. The sparkling blue light was moving as one.
(TL note: The redundancy was strong in this paragraph)
The same was true for the ‘Very Sorry’ performance as well, which immediately followed on the live broadcast.
The music stream was one thing, but there was an immense amount of people who were drawn in by the music video performance. Also, a wider spectrum of people than before were watching Life Song ever since Kim Woo Yeon became first place. Numerous music fans were waiting in anticipation to see what KK’s performance would be like.
‘This performance, it’s also an opportunity to draw in fans.’
Do Wook thought as the stage lights turned on and he waited for the melody to start. The melody for ‘Very Sorry’, which he had listened to a million times on repeat over the last few months since he started composing, split the air and started to play.
The crowd cheered loudly for KK from their seats. In sync with the cheers, the lighting illuminated the KK members. They captured on one screen all six of them standing in a line wearing a suit.
At that moment, feeling the thrill throughout their entire body, the KK members started to move.
People watching the live broadcast were blowing up the comment section of the streaming site with comments about KK.
-Crazy!! Crazzzyyyyyyyy ㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ*
(TL Note: ㅠㅠ is a crying emoji in Korean)
-Who are those people performing right now?
-Starting today i’m a Key Ring ^^ First day with KK ^^
(TL note: I think it’s worth mentioning here that in Korea, you count the days you’ve been dating because every hundredth day is important. So when you become official, you say that day is your Day 1)
-Does anyone know the name of the cute guy that just went by? The red hair.
-I guess you’re curious about my boyfriend’s name~ Its Park Tae Hyung~
(TL note: This is used to jokingly say someone is getting arrested. Two ways to interpret it could be KK is getting arrested for “stealing” people’s hearts by being too good or that the fans were getting “handcuffed” to/hooked on/obsessed with KK).
– This performance is on fleek;;;* The group choreography is amazing…
(TL note: ;;; is more Korean emoji)
-Are they a traffic light? Their hair colors are wild.
-Kang Do Wook. ㅠㅠㅠㅠ (my dying words)
-They’re rookies but their performance was so good! There’s nothing more important than being a good performer…
‘Very Sorry’, which would raise KK to tremendous stardom in the future, started to play.
Finally, all that was left was announcing the first place.
After Kim Woo Yeon finished his performance, everyone that participated in Life Song today came on stage for the first place announcement, starting with the MC.
Among them were the two people who were in the hallway in front of the waiting room earlier. The two of them and their teammates were placed in the corner that doesn’t get much screen time. Their eyes met with Do Wook’s when he walked past them to get to the frontmost line, but the two of them quickly turned their heads.
The male MC and Sul Lae Im were in the middle with Kim Woo Yeon and the KK members standing on either side of them. The KK members watched the VCR showing the scores with a flushed expression. Their expressions were captured on screen.
On the other hand, Kim Woo Yeon had a calm expression. The performance was over, so his nerves had calmed down.
Kim Woo Yeon had also been a no-name for a long time. He knew to be grateful for just being first place for two weeks in this day and age.
“Then let’s see which singer will have the honor of being first place this week…!”
“The first place is,… the first place is…!”
The scores came up on the screen. In both the broadcast score and music chart score, Kim Woo Yeon’s score was higher.
“The first place is…KK!”
(TL note: Yes, you probably read that correctly. Kim Woo Yeon’s scores were higher but KK won. It is explained further down the chapter.)
Confetti and flower petals were showered on stage and the screen showed KK’s face with the caption ‘1st place’ above them.
Sul Lae Im handed flowers and the trophy to KK’s leader Jung Yoon Ki. It had only been 3 months since they debuted, but they had already received the trophy numerous times.
The six members huddled to give each other big hugs and briefly shared a moment. You could only see their backs on the screen, but it was possible to feel the camaraderie among them.
Jung Yoon Ki grabbed the microphone to say his acceptance speech.
Jung Yoon Ki had actually been worried about various things before the comeback. Since the debut album did well, there was pressure for the first full album to do even better. When the song was ready and they were preparing for the comeback, he was confident that it would do well, but he was still uneasy despite how perfect everything was.
Also, as he watched the members giving it their all, especially Do Wook who participated the most and put in more effort than anyone else, he also felt a sense of responsibility as the leader.
Jung Yoon Ki’s eyes turned red.
“Honestly, I was really worried but…to the fans, who made it possible for us to have the honor of getting first place the same week as our comeback, Key Ring! Thank you!”
When he mentioned the fans, the audience became abuzz again. The sound of fans cheering for KK was resounding.
After Jung Yoon Ki finished his acceptance speech, the MCs made their closing remarks.
The melody for ‘Very Sorry’, today’s first place winner, started to play again.
The singers congratulated KK as they walked off stage. The members nodded their heads, still in shock over what happened.
At that moment, the staff who were watching the stage started to whisper after seeing an unexpected sight. It was true for the audience as well.
“The two of them…what’s going on? Have the camera zoom in on the left side of the stage!”
At PD Hyun’s orders, the screen was flipped to what Camera 3 was recording.
It showed Kim Woo Yeon and Do Wook having a conversation.
“Kang Do Wook, congratulations!”
As the KK members were being congratulated by their fellow singers, Kim Woo Yeon approached Do Wook and congratulated him.
Do Wook thanked him and gave a deep bow. Kim Woo Yeon patted Do Wook’s shoulder and smiled.
He didn’t express his emotions, but it also meant a lot to Kim Woo Yeon to stand side-by-side with his student Do Wook as first place nominees.
Kim Woo Yeon knew very well how sincere Do Wook was about singing, how talented he was, how much effort he had put into developing his skills, etc. The message he received from Do Wook before the broadcast reaffirmed Kim Woo Yeon’s opinion.
It was a message saying it was an honor to be nominated for first place alongside him. It was a message that could have come across as pretentious if someone else had sent it, but it was from none other than Do Wook, so Kim Woo Yeon took it at face value.
Kim Woo Yeon even felt proud as he watched KK’s performance, which took place before his performance.
‘I knew he would be successful, but, as always, he surpassed my expectations.’
However, Kim Woo Yeon did not express those feelings verbally. If he were to say that to him now, it would only be boastful. He should have said it to him before he became successful.
For now, the one word ‘congratulations’ was enough.
Do Wook could feel the affection coming from his teacher as he patted his shoulder.
Kim Woo Yeon was simply a vocal teacher at an academy, and Do Wook paid tuition to form a student/teacher relationship with him.
However, Do Wook knew that Kim Woo Yeon put in a lot of effort into teaching him that went beyond teaching an academy student, because he recognized Do Wook’s strong desire to sing a good song. There were many hard training sessions, but thanks to that he was able to develop the vocal skills to not be embarrassed no matter where he performed.
Furthermore, despite his complaining, Kim Woo Yeon had helped out Do Wook a lot. They wouldn’t have been able to find Yong Soo Chul without him, and it was thanks to him, though unintentionally, that they formed a connection with Kim Soom.
And most of all, he was the singer of ‘If It Were A Dream’. Do Wook gave Kim Woo Yeon a warm, moving embrace.
“You’re grossing me out!”
As expected, he acted like he was doing it begrudgingly, but he also gave Do Wook a tight hug while pretending he couldn’t push him off. Their short and tight embrace was aired live.
Kim Woo Yeon criticized idols without hesitation.
That same person approached KK member Kang Do Wook first, a member of his rival team that was a first place nominee along with him. He initiated a conversation and even gave him a warm hug.
The combination of a member of KK, which took the entertainment world by storm by getting first place at the same time as their comeback, and Kim Woo Yeon, a vocalist with a bad temper, piqued people’s curiosity and interest.
The article came out about 3 days later.
< ‘Old King of Singers’ Kim Woo Yeon, KK’s Kang Do Wook Is My Talented, Beloved Pupil!...Reveals Special Circumstance >
Kim Woo Yeon revealed in an ‘Old King of Singers’ interview that when he was still unknown, he worked as a vocal teacher to make ends meet and Kang Do Wook was a student he taught during that time.
Kim Woo Yeon was the type that only said words he had to say, even when he was evaluating a veteran singer’s song, like ‘He’s good. He’s an amazing person.’
That same Kim Woo Yeon was saying in an interview that Do Wook was ‘someone who wasn’t lacking in anything, whether it’s looks, talent, or dedication’ with a proud face, which made people think of Do Wook very positively.
All the members were in the car on their way to Time Square in Yong Deung Po.
“Do Wook, it’s fascinating that the teacher from the vocal academy you used to attend privately was Kim Woo Yeon. Man.”
Jung Yoon Ki said as he watched the Old King of Singers interview on his phone. Oh Baek Ho was the only one who knew that; the rest of the members had no idea.
Rather than hiding it, it was more that he felt it wasn’t worth mentioning.
“Yeah. Please introduce us later too~ I want to tell him that his singing is really great!”
At Ahn Hyung Seo’s words, Do Wook scratched his head and replied that he would arrange it if the opportunity arose.
There was only one reason KK got first place on Life Song, despite scoring slightly lower than Kim Woo Yeon in other categories. It was because their album score, despite being a smaller percentage of the overall score calculation compared to the broadcast voting and music chart scores, was exceptionally high.
The importance of a core fandom was proven once again.
It was true that their popularity had increased compared to last time, but there was another reason their album sales were so high.
It was a strategy the company planned in order to take advantage of their increased popularity. They raised the album sales by holding autograph sessions in Seoul. In order to win an autograph session, each fan bought a frightening number of albums.
(PR note: yes, the fans actually bought multiple copies of the same album. Crazy.)
And today was the day of the problematic first autograph session.