Ever wish you could change something that happened in the past? You think that if only this had happened, then things would be better or you wish that you knew something when you had to make a decision. Here we’ll discus my top 5 “What If?” moments in Kpop.
5. What if Jay Park was never dismissed from 2pm?
Though 2pm is extremely popular now, how popular could they have been had Jay Park not been dismissed from the group? They debuted as a 7 membered group in 2008 with “10 out of 10” with Jay Park as the leader. However, in 2009, unfavorable comments about Korea that Jay wrote on his Myspace page 4 years earlier were found. Jay decided to voluntarily withdraw from the group temporarily until the controversy died down, but he never returned as JYP terminated his contract in 2010 due to a separate “personal mistake”.
Despite whatever mistake he made, Jay Park did eventually return to the Korean music scene and is doing well as a solo artist. However, many 2pm fans believe that their time with Jay was their peak as it produced a more well rounded sound. Both Jay Park and 2pm are doing well now, but how much better could they be had they stayed together?
4. What if Hyuna never left Wonder Girls?
As many already know, in 2007, before Hyuna debuted with 4minute, she was briefly the rapper for the Wonder Girls. Her first song with them was “Irony“. However, in July of that year, she was pulled out of the group by her parents who were worried about her fainting spells and chronic gastroenteritis. But what if this didn’t happen? 4minute would definitely not be the group that it is now. Though Hyuna doesn’t have as many lines as the other members, she’s easily the face of the group and the only one with any true star power.
For that matter, does Hyuna become as popular as she is now if she stayed in the Wonder Girls? She gained a good amount of popularity through her appearance in Invincible Youth, as well as her solo promotions of “Change” and “Bubble Pop“. Hyuna’s reputation as a “sexy queen” along the lines of Hyori would most likely never have happened either. Though the Wonder Girls are still extremely popular, they have a completely different image than that. It’s really only because she was in 4minute, who does have that image, that she can explore this side of herself. In the end though, Yubin joined the Wonder Girls and Hyuna was able to debut with 4minute so it was probably for the better that this all happened.
3. What if the group 5 Girls hadn’t disbanded?
Speaking of Yubin, prior to her debut with the Wonder Girls, she was originally supposed to debut in 2007 with a group called 5 Girls. Current solo artist G.NA was the leader, and the other members were to be Secret’s current leader Hyosung, After School’s UEE, and former T-ara member and now current Spica member Yang Jiwon. However, shortly before their scheduled debut, their company ran into financial issues and they all went their separate ways.
On paper, this group would have done extremely well. G.NA and Hyosung would carry the vocal load, with Yubin as the rapper with UEE and Jiwon filling in the rest. Hyosung’s popularity has been growing recently and UEE is easily the most popular in After School. G.NA’s own popularity is nothing to sneeze at either. Combined, they could easily be one of the most popular groups in the industry now.
If Secret did not have Hyosung, I believe they’d still be able to carry on as Sunhwa and Ji Eun are both fairly popular in their own right and Ji Eun currently carries the vocal load already. On the other hand, Hyosung is their leader and is the glue that holds them together. With After School, though, I feel their popularity would drop massively without UEE. We will never know what might have been had they stayed together, but considering the success of each respective member, things turned out okay for them.
2. What if T-ara’s Soyeon never left SNSD?
Before debuting with the group in 2009 with “Lies“, T-ara’s main singer was a trainee with SM Entertainment and was considered to be the leader of the group that would eventually become the juggernaut that is SNSD. However, 6 months before their debut, she had to withdraw due to personal reasons.
Clearly SNSD benefitted from this and moved forward with Taeyeon as leader. Assuming they kept the members at 9 though, as the last member to join, Sunny would not have made the cut. Personally, I find Soyeon to be superior to Sunny vocally, so it’s an upgrade in that regard. However, considering Sunny’s popularity from variety shows and SNSD’s success with their current lineup, it’s hard to see them being more popular than they already are.
The tricky part comes in when you consider what to do with T-ara. They had already lost 2 members, which prompted the late addition of Boram,Soyeon, and Qri. Soyeon is the voice of T-ara and carries the vocal load probably more than any other girl group main vocal other than SISTAR’s Hyorin. With her, it brings into serious question whether T-ara would be as popular as they are now. While not as popular as the big three of Jiyeon, Eunjung, Hyomin, her voice is the biggest reason why I’m a fan of theirs. Without her, Hyomin would probably be main vocal and Eunjung shifts over to lead. I like both of them, but I doubt their ability to carry a song like Soyeon does. So while I’m curious as to what would’ve happened had she stayed, I’m actually glad she didn’t.
1. What if TVXQ had stayed together as a group?
To me the biggest controversies and “what if”s in kpop has to deal with TVXQ. In 2009, 3 of them, Jaejoong, Yoochun, and Junsu filed a lawsuit against SME and separated from the company. They argued that their contract was completely disadvantageous towards them and should be invalidated. The courts ruled in their favor and though the three reformed under the group JYJ, it’s been a bit of a sore spot still as they have been essentially banned from performing on any of the weekly music shows.
Given their immense popularity, what would have happened had Yunho and Changmin left as well? JYJ leaving is already a black mark on SME’s record, having all five leave would have been a catastrophe. SME is considered one of the big three entertaiment companies in Korea along with YG and JYP, would this have set an incredible precedent in the entertainment world? They would still have BoA, SNSD, f(x), Super Junior, SHINee, but their reputation would definitely have been tarnished. What if this led to their other acts thinking that maybe their contracts were unfair as well and led to a chain reaction of groups leaving?
On the flip side, what if all 5 had stayed together under SME? Consider this: according to Gaon Chart, since their debut in 2003, TVXQ has sold over 10.1 million copies of albums, singles and DVDs throughout their career in Korea and Japan alone. Their last Japan tour earned an estimated $90 million and that’s just with Yunho and Changmin. Their fanclub Cassiopeia is also said to have 5.5 million registered members worldwide. All this success, and you consider that they took a 2 year hiatus following the lawsuit, nor are you taking into account the album sales of JYJ, in spite of SM’s best efforts to stop them from promoting. If this is how successful they are now, just imagine the possibilities with all of them combined?