Ooh, them good old end-of-the-year award shows. Mnet Asian Music Awards and the Melon Music Awards was hosted just recently with MAMA being held from November 25-December 1 in countries Vietnam, Japan, and Hong Kong. Meanwhile, the Melon Music Awards took place right after on December 2 in Korea.
I don’t really care for award shows and for which group takes which award home. I’ve always cared more for the performances, but even then the camerawork, lighting, and stage set-up sometimes can ruin some performances so there’s not much that is going for me there when it comes to award shows. However, I decided to tune in this year primarily because of BTS (and other groups like WINNER and Red Velvet). As with every year, the winners of the Daesangs always gets the most attention (+ controversy) and this year was no different.
Mnet Asian Music Awards 2017
At the MAMA awards, BTS ended up taking ‘Artist of the Year’ award, TWICE won ‘Song of the Year’ with ‘Signal’, and EXO won ‘Album of the Year’ with ‘The War.’ With my prior post about the MAMA awards and my personal beliefs on how it functions and operates as a whole, I’m not surprised that BTS, EXO, and TWICE were the big winners of the night. Like I mentioned in the post, Mnet knew better than to have their most popular groups go home empty-handed. They were not going to let any of these trendy groups go home empty-handed because that just means less fans next year which means less money which we all know they do not want. Therefore, they gave out awards to each of the big groups and everyone got to go home with an award (even if some were debatable but we’ll leave that aside for now). Many fans were arguing over who was going to win what or some fans were worried about the voting because their bias groups weren’t winning in votes. Meanwhile, I had predicted all along that Mnet was going to hand some kind of award out to everyone and that proved to be true in the end. It didn’t come as a surprise.
This year’s MAMA line-up was exciting, especially with news about how Taemin and Sunmi were going to have a collaboration or how NCT and Red Velvet were also going to collaborate. Unfortunately, both collaborations were underwhelming and fell a little bit short of my expectations. I had expected their collaborations to be longer and to be more interactive. Taemin and Sunmi was a duo that I had never thought about before, but was so excited to see when I heard about the news. However, their collaboration was just one appearing in the other’s performance for a few seconds before leaving the stage. I wanted to see more interactions between the two in their performances. Maybe my expectations when I hear the word “collaboration” is now too high, especially when there used to be collaborations like the one between Big Bang and the Wonder Girls that still remains iconic and legendary to this day (I’ll never forget about their collaborations. One of the biggest highlights of K-Pop for me). I was expecting Red Velvet and NCT’s collaboration to be a group one, but instead it was primarily Seulgi and Taeyong just dancing with one another. While there was a group collaboration between the two groups, it was only for a few seconds before both separated and went respectively their own ways. So much for hyping us all up about collaborations and then proceeding to have it only be 30 seconds long. It should have been longer!
DAY6 was also at the MAMA awards this year and I’m so happy and glad that they’re finally getting to step foot into these type of award ceremonies that usually are exclusive to everybody but idol groups. Unfortunately, instead of getting to perform the many songs they worked hard in producing and releasing this year, they ended up just performing a short cover of GOT7’s ‘Never Ever’ before being joined on stage by GOT7. It’s such a shame that such a talented and underrated band was finally invited to an award show after many years of hard work to only have to serve as support for their peers and not even get to perform their own songs. I hope DAY6 gets better treatment in the future.
Now onto the awards for MAMA (which you shouldn’t take seriously because it’s rigged and biased af), Red Velvet ended up taking ‘Best Female Group’ which I think was fairly accurate. Red Velvet has had a very interesting career. For being a girl group from SM, you would think they would be better managed and be a lot more popular earlier into their career than they are now, but it seems like the girl group is finally starting to get the recognition and fame that they deserve. They started to get the attention of folks with ‘Russian Roulette’ (still one of my favorite songs) and then moved onto hits like ‘Rookie’ and ‘Red Flavor’ this year which blew up in Korea. This year was a great year for Red Velvet and if SM continues to invest in Red Velvet like how they did this year and give the girls another 3 comebacks in 2018, I can see them really rising even more and staying on the top in terms of girl groups from the 3rd generation. WANNA ONE won ‘Best Male Group’ which I don’t think is so wrong either. They were super popular and successful this year and appeared everywhere in Korea. Of course, they won because they’re Mnet’s sons, but I wouldn’t say it was ridiculous that they won this award considering their status and level of popularity right now in Korea.
Where things get interesting and controversial is with the Daesang’s. TWICE won the ‘Song of the Year’ award with ‘Signal’ and while ‘Signal’ was popular, I don’t think it was enough of a hit to be song of the year. With that being said though, I do think they won the award rather because they’re TWICE than because ‘Signal’ was a hit in Korea. I knew EXO was going to win some Daesang because… it’s EXO and they’re still at the top right now in terms of groups from the 3rd generation. I think ‘Album of the Year’ was most fitting for them out of the 3 daesang’s because while it wasn’t my personal favorite album from them, ‘The War’ was not bad and did well in terms of sales. I’m just glad that BTS won Artist of the Year because this year was such an immensely successful and hectic year for the boys. Having embarked on a sold-out world tour, receiving the Top Social Artist award at the BBMA’s, pre-selling a million ‘Love Yourself:HER’ albums and then selling thousands more with the comeback, performing at the American Music Awards for the very first time that no other K-Pop group has done before, appearing on national and popular TV shows like Ellen DeGeneres and Jimmy Kimmel, and so much more, this year was really BTS’s year domestically and internationally. It wouldn’t have made any sense for them to not have won at least one ‘Artist of the Year’ award at any of the award shows because literally they set precedents this year that few or no other Korean group or artist has been able to ever do. They made history by being at the BBMA’s or performing at the AMA’s and while some might argue that that isn’t a big deal because other K-Pop groups have tried breaking into the American music industry before (PSY, Wonder Girls, SNSD, Big Bang, etc.), I would argue that it is a big deal because they’ve done things that no one has been able to do before. BTS represented K-Pop in those moments that they were in the U.S. and we shouldn’t ignore that.
There were also actresses and actors present at MAMA to present the awards including: Song Joong-ki, Lee Young-ae, Lee Je-hoon, Ji-soo. Nam Joo-hyuk, Kim Jae-wook, Kim Yoo-jung, Kim Min-suk, Kim Sae-ron, Ahn Jae-hyun, and Song Ji-hyo (<3).
Melon Music Awards 2017
I would assume that the MMA’s is a little bit more credible because it’s Melon and their judging criteria is a little bit more reliable than MAMA’s, but I think they fell into the same pressure and expectations this year that MAMA has been falling into for the past few years. IU won ‘Album of the Year’ with ‘Palette’, BTS won ‘Song of the Year’ with ‘Spring Day’, and then EXO won ‘Artist of the Year.’
It’s not a surprise that these 3 were our big winners for the night, but I do think it is debatable as to who won what. IU could have easily swept all the 3 daesangs. However, we all knew this wasn’t going to be possible and that there had to be other winners for the Daesang’s. It just doesn’t sit right with me for some reason that she won ‘Album of the Year’ with ‘Palette’ because I know she was worthy of also winning either of the 3 Daesang’s. Maybe this is just me knowing how strong and popular IU is in Korea that I’m feeling this way, but I don’t know.
Even as a huge BTS fan (and y’all know this too), I’m a little puzzled by how BTS won ‘Song of the Year’ with ‘Spring Day’ and I think the boys themselves were too a little shocked at first. They weren’t expecting to receive an award for ‘Spring Day’ considering that it was part of the repackaged album of ‘You Never Walk Alone’ and was only promoted in Korea for a week. I know it stayed in the charts for 47 weeks (I believe?) so the public obviously liked it, but I don’t think it was a song that was worthy to have won ‘Song of the Year.’ That’s not to say that the song isn’t good or beautiful or amazing; No, trust me. The song is by far one of the most beautiful songs to have ever existed and I’m glad that the song is on the charts and that the boys won an award for it, but it just doesn’t quite make any sense to me as to how it was ‘Song of the Year.’ I don’t know. I think it would have made more sense to me if WINNER’s ‘Really Really’ won ‘Song of the Year.’ That song was probably one of the most popular songs in 2017 alone. It was a huge hit and was everywhere and everyone was singing along to it. If WINNER had won ‘Song of the Year’ with ‘Really Really’, I wouldn’t have even been mad because it would have made sense to me. I’m happy and glad that BTS won a Daesang, but I felt like Melon was doing charity work and fell into the pressures of giving awards to the most trendy groups in Korea. The same thing applies to EXO with ‘Artist of the Year’ which also leaves me puzzled and confused, but I’m not gonna say anything about that.
As for other winners of the night, I was so shocked but happy that Suga won an award for ‘Wine’ which is the first song he’s created as a producer. He really wasn’t expecting to win an award for it and I don’t think any of us were either so I’m super happy and proud that he got the award. It’s his first song as a producer too so hopefully this will serve as motivation for him to continue producing more songs in the future and for him to keep working hard.
In terms of performances, I do think the performances were better than MAMA’s. The camerawork wasn’t so bad, the lighting was nice, the stage layout wasn’t too bad either. Everything looked nice and the cameras didn’t focus too much on the audience so that was great to see. I just wished WINNER received better treatment because for the songs that they released this year and the heights that ‘Really Really’ achieved in Korea, they deserved better. They got awards stolen from them that should have been given to them. More hope and better luck next time hopefully.
Of course, these are purely just my thoughts and opinions on the two award ceremonies. How did you feel about them? What did you think about the performances? What are your thoughts on the Daesang winners? Share them down below in the comments!
Source: Mnet K-POP @ youtube, Planet Peach @ youtube, 17D @ youtube