Year-end award shows are always entertaining for me because it’s basically an attendance award (as is all award shows) and it’s interesting to see both the awards that are given out as well as who the winners of these awards are. The Asia Artist Award – which is one of the more rare award ceremonies to include both idol groups and actors under one setting – just recently held its ceremony on November 28, 2018. The award show lasted for about a good 5 hours with BTS wrapping up the ceremony as the headliners of the show.
I’ve heard of AAA (I’m just gonna reference to it as ‘AAA’ instead of spelling its entire name out) back in 2016 when it was first held in a relatively small auditorium. I remember paying attention to the award show only because BTS was performing and I wanted to check out their performance. However, I also remembered seeing actors and actresses sitting in the audience during the award show and just being so confused at how there were both idols and actors gathered under one roof. It’s rare to have a ceremony with both idols and actors under one sitting so AAA stood out to me for that specific reason. I still don’t care for AAA (and award ceremonies in general), but I’ve always found AAA interesting in its ability to invite the biggest stars in both K-Pop and acting to its award show.
This year, the big stars of the night were BTS (of course) and actor Lee Byung-hun (Mr. Sunshine) out of the actors category. They respectively won the daesangs of the night with BTS winning the ‘Artist Daesang’ award for music while Lee Byung-hun won the ‘Artist Daesang’ award for television/film. I think both BTS and Lee Byung-hun were deserving of the daesang’s and while I myself might not be a big fan of Lee Byung-hun, he is one of the most popular and credible actors in Korea so his win did not come as a surprise.
Maybe what was more funny and entertaining to viewers were the names of the awards that the ceremony was handing out to attendees. Everyone who went basically got an award so the show was 5 hours long (seriously, anyone who stayed and watched the entire thing deserves an award of their own!) with performances from all the idol groups mixed in between. Some examples of the awards that caught people’s attention (and confusion) was:
- the ‘Focus’ award which D-Crunch and W24 won
- the ‘Eco-Creator’ award which actor Park Hae-jin won (what does that even mean?)
- the ‘Fabulous’ award which was awarded to TWICE and BTS
- the ‘Brilliant’ award which was given to SHINee’s Minho and actress Lee Da-hee
- the ‘Best Emotive’ award which was given to 2PM’s Junho, actor Jung Hae-in, and actress Lee Sung-kyung
There were many more awards that were given out to the other attendees which were not as confusing and comedic, but still, everyone who was at the award ceremony got some kind of award. It was obvious the producers of the show were pressured to come up with as many award names as possible so that everyone would get something that night. Another aspect about the award show that puzzled viewers was when 11 different idol groups won the ‘Artist of the Year’ award which is usually just given to one idol group as it’s generally considered a Daesang award. At the AAA, Zico, Wanna One, iKON, TWICE, Seventeen, Monsta X, Mamamoo, GOT7, Nuest W, Sunmi, and BTS all won the award so though fans might have been satisfied with the results, some others might have also been confused with how many idol groups won the award (I know I was).
Of course, you can’t watch the show and not talk about the performances. While I acknowledge that the line-up to the AAA was pretty impressive (you had the rookies like (G)-IDLE and Stray Kids there to the bigger groups like Seventeen, TWICE, GOT7, and BTS), the performances weren’t the best. Since I didn’t watch any of the performances other than BTS’s, I can only speak about BTS’s performance and the audio issues they faced. During the live stream, you couldn’t hear the rap line as well so it seemed like there was a problem with their mics. However, it turned out that only the audios sounded messy during the live stream as their mics seemed to be operating just fine at the actual venue. Whatever the issue was, it was disappointing and frustrating for fans who endured 5 hours of the show just for BTS’s performance and then not even be able to hear them when they finally performed. The audio is always an issue at award ceremonies and you would think that these shows would do better by now in ensuring that their microphones work properly, but they’re still struggling to provide good microphones during performances. You especially don’t want to mess up on BTS who was inarguably the biggest K-Pop group to attend the award show that night.
Since the award show also does invite actors, there were a list of reputable actors present such as Lee Byung-hun, Ha Jung-woo (YES I KNOW. HA JUNG-WOO WAS THERE! I totally wasn’t expecting him to be at an award ceremony like this LOL), Yoo Yeon-seok, Ryu Jun-yeol, Joo Ji-hoon, and many more. I’m quite obsessed with Ha Jung-woo at the moment and he’s one of my favorite actors so you could just imagine my reaction when I discovered that he was at the award show! AAA is not a reputable and credible award ceremony so to have a prestigious and successful actor like Ha Jung-woo at your award show is an incredible accomplishment (I really would only re-watch this show for him and BTS). Of course, he seemed like he didn’t want to be there, but I don’t blame him. The award ceremony was five hours long and let’s be honest, the award show was intended for idol groups and their fans only. Our actors and actresses should just stick with the Blue Dragon Film Awards, Baeksang Arts Awards, and other awards shows designated just for actors and actresses.
AAA has attempted to mix both actors and idol groups within one setting, but it doesn’t seem to know how to execute that successfully just yet. Actors and idol groups are so different from one another and are in two totally different categories that it feels odd to see them together under one roof. The AAA seems to already be struggling with managing and handling the idol groups alone, combine that with actors and actresses too and you have a mess for formula. I acknowledge the AAA’s wishes to associate both actors and idol groups with one another, but until the award show can find a way to successfully do that then separating them apart for now would maybe be the best idea.
It’ll be interesting to see how much longer the AAA remains and operates. Obviously, there’s a lot of money and effort going into the award ceremony for them to be able to invite both top actors and idol groups to the show. Maybe better audio and award names will help boost the award show’s reputation.