A week or so ago, someone posted the above to YG Rookies Confession at Tumblr. I chuckled and told myself not to bother, but let’s be real – I’m probably one of those who went batshit crazy, so why not. Let’s do this one more time.
I want to bury the hatchet as much as everyone does, trust me, but I did just watch the last episode of WINNER TV and surprise, surprise, Team B made an appearance at the end – is anyone surprised that the WINNER boys started bawling when Jinhwan appeared, when just seconds before the vibe was cheery and light? That didn’t sit well with me, so I figured it’s a good time as any to address this.
For the umpteenth time, let me clarify this first and foremost: No, I am not against Team B debuting, nor do I dislike them. Yes, I’m indifferent towards them. No, I’m not against them debuting, but yes, I have beef about them debuting this year. As it is, WINNER‘s debut is pushed back – again, is anyone surprised? This is YG we’re talking about after all, master of delays and postponement – and there’s still all this talk about four rookie debuts from the company, i.e. more than enough work for the company.
Here’s what irks me: WINNER deserves a proper début because you know and I know and they themselves know that they’ve more than earned that.
We watched it happen, we saw what they went through to know this is true. I’m not saying they’re not getting the attention they deserve, because that would be a false allegation what’s with WINNER TV, fan meet and even opening for BIGBANG but rather than keep beating the drum about his next big things, at this point YG needs to honest to God, just focus on his current lineup before anyone else.
It’s the least he could do, don’t you think? I’ll even go so far to say that he owes the boys this, at the very least this, after the emotional torture and spirit dampener that was his brain child, WIN: Who Is Next.
One might argue that by debuting both groups, it is a win-win situation for both and while that might be so cos hey, everyone’s happy right? Let’s not forget that YG drummed it into both the eleven boys onscreen and us the audience offscreen, that there will only be one surviving group, one chance to debut in the near future – one winner. He did so from Day 1, at every opportunity and turn he could when talking about WIN: Who Is Next. Any alternatives were flagged at that time, and so with every episode, it was like the boys and us the audience were slowly headed to war.
Yes, one might also argue that YG is only human. Just like the rest of us, it’s unfair to hold him liable to each one of his word, and of course he has every right to take them back et cetera. True, but we are not in some soap opera, or drama. Let’s be real: this is business, and if every single business person gets to eat and retract his words at every point with millions of dollars on the line and or thousands of lives at hand, we’d have poor business transactions left and right the world over.
It also makes YG a poor businessman, indeed.
As a professional and someone who is looked upon with respect and esteem in his field of work, I think it is therefore completely justified to hold him to his word. It’s a verbal agreement, and the best characters in reel or real life have always been those who walk their talk. If we’re all allowed to say whatever we want, whenever we want without regard to those who are listening – well then, isn’t that just dandy.
Long story short, yes I hold him liable to his words, every single fucking one of them, because he’s playing puppet master right now and it’s just cruel to subject these young’uns to more emotional manipulation.
You know and I know that you do, that I watched WIN: Who Is Next from start to end and was introduced to WINNER through the show, so why the bitterness? But you know and I know it too, that show was enough. It was more than enough when it comes to emotional manipulation. If you don’t think so, I suggest you re-watch the show and then watch WINNER TV. Note the huge personality differences in all five WINNER boys. The tension was especially high and so damn palpable in the former that you could honest to God feel their desperation. They literally thought this was life and death, the last battlefield. Why? Because the puppet master held the key to their future and he made sure they knew that. What’s worse is he dangled the damn key at every opportunity, enough for them to remember it’s just within their grasp but could as easily slip away. It’s tough love, if I can even call it love – at it’s worst.
In regards to the other two upcoming debuts, the short story is they’re long overdue.
The girl group has been talked about and mentioned repeatedly over the past two years that honestly it’s so douche of YG at this point if he doesn’t début them by the year-end. He keeps bringing up their début and pushing his supposed golden girl Jennie Kim to the spotlight, and yet his media playing is more adamantly towards WINNER and Team B, i.e. his male groups. No one is throwing uproar about the girls’ debut because they deserve it at this point, period.
In the case of Akdong Musician, one might argue that it’s unfair, because they’re new to the company and a product of KPop Star, not some open audition and especially not after long, grueling years of training. Except here’s the thing – the fact that they’re from KPop Star, the winner no less, is exactly why they’ve earned their début. In fact, I am pretty sure the KPop Star contract stipulates that the winner gets to début within a year of winning the contest; I remember reading that somewhere with Park Ji Min. If this is indeed true, like it or not, Akdong Musician as well as the company – YG, I am looking at you – are obligated to deliver before the year wraps up.
So to the person who submitted it, thank you for expressing your sentiments. I hope the justifications above are clear.
Which now brings me to Team B‘s recent appearance in WINNER TV. I’m of two minds about it, to be honest. I thought the video messages were really heartfelt, sincere and it was great to know the boys are doing great – not that I doubted, but it’s always nice to rectify this ourselves – and most importantly, all eleven boys are indeed cheering each other on, even now. Especially now, really. It’s sweet.
…but was it necessary?
I’ve said this plenty of times, and I’ll say it again: I am a big believer in timing. There is a time and place for everything and everyone. Yes, that video message was sweet and begs reflection that if the boys get along with each other, why are the fandoms going batshit crazy against each other? However, it’s WINNER TV, and more than that – it was the last ten minutes of the entire show, for God’s sake!
Did you really need to do that? Was that necessary? That was just mean.
Seconds before Jinhwan popped up on-screen, the boys were their cheery, goofy selves and fighting back tears at the video messages from family. And then… bang, suddenly it’s back to being all about Team A versus Team B. It’s always about the damn competition and the show that pitted them against one another. Here’s what I have beef about: it’s like WINNER will never be able to free themselves from the shadows of their former contestant, and the show that defined their début.
If one looks at WIN: Who Is Next in a positive light, that’s great, and if one looks at it in a realistic light, it’s inevitable. I understand; perhaps I’m making a mountain out of a wee mole? However, doesn’t it feel like the comparison will follow them at every point, turn and outcome? What makes me angriest is for some unknown reason, the implied context is always such that WINNER didn’t earn their début – as if they stole it from someone, or something and that’s highly untrue.
I hate it because I feel like even the five boys think so – as if they deserve it less so they’re constantly apologizing for winning over their juniors, or saying things like they owe it to the six other boys to do right, yada yada. Why the guilt? Why the constant, persistent reminder? You’re not guilty of anything; you didn’t take something that wasn’t yours. You earned it as much as they would, had they won.
Then there’s the inherent Asian culture, one that typically prizes hard work above all else. I’ve read comments about how they’re riding the waves of their seniors, or that it looks like they’re not working hard enough on their début album.
You know what? Fuck that.
When it comes to WINNER TV, my god it’s only 50 minutes weekly and it’s so mission/theme-based that it’s pretty much like the boys are participating in an event; it’s not their daily lives. There are 24 hours in a day and it’s only a 50-minute footage per week, plus they hardly showed us any scenes in the studio (I wanted this so bad), so what do you know that I don’t, about how hard they’re working on their début album? Plus elaborate please, when you define hard – is slogging, pulling all-nighters the only kind of hard work deemed acceptable? Why is that, tell me please, why?
Maybe I am beating on the same damn drum, maybe this is what you mean when you talk about going apeshit crazy.
But you know what? I strongly think it’s a matter of principle and fairness. It’s a matter of principle to hold the organizers of a competition liable for the rewards as well as abiding by earlier defined rules. It’s a matter of principle to walk one’s talk. It’s a matter of principle to treat others kindly and fairly, to give credit where credit is due. It’s a matter of principle that as a leader, one is fair and just.
To accept otherwise and anything less, that’s injustice.