In not quite so surprising news, CCM has just announced that Hwayoung’s contract with them has been terminated effective immediately.
You can read more of the details on Allkpop, Tiara Diadem, or Soompi, but pretty much what everyone was expecting to happen came to pass. In light of all the rumors of bullying within T-ara, CCM has decided to remove her from the group.
First off, I want to say that even though I expected this, I feel it’s such a waste of talent. Hwayoung was coming into her own as a rapper within the group and in a way it freed up Eunjung to be another vocalist and take some load off of Soyeon and Hyomin. Her personality was always interesting to watch on “Hello Baby”, “Dream Girls”, and “T-ara Pretty Boys”, and I was looking forward to seeing her more in the future. Alas that is apparently not meant to be.
That being said, there is clearly more going on behind the scenes than what was announced or what we can garner from the various tweets or supposed evidence of her being bullied. T-ara has suffered in the past rumors and other controversies about them being fake and rude, and this will do nothing but further flame that image of them. Granted, it might just be from being overworked and always on edge, but it’s still something that has stuck with them. I’m assuming this friction within the group is also partly what led to the decision for them to start living separately this year. My friend Thekoreanjjang has always mentioned that he felt that Hwayoung never really got along with the group, and it seems like he was right after all.
I really am curious what Hwayoung did to alienate herself from the rest of the group. If it’s something like the T-ara members weren’t happy about sharing their fame with someone who didn’t put in the same work as them, I fear for Ahreum and Dani. Hwayoung was at least with them for their best run of success last year; Ahreum and Dani are pretty much jumping in with what seems like very minimal training. There are rumors that Hwayoung’s nip slip on Inkigayo was intentional and the other members were annoyed that she went along with it.
Regardless of the reason, I really hope that something similar doesn’t happen with Ahreum and Dani. Well, Dani not so much, but Ahreum at least. Being a vocalist, I was actually all for her inclusion in T-ara just because their line distribution is so very skewed. I’m a huge fan of the group, but I’ll be the first to admit that Soyeon, Hyomin, and Eunjung are really the only ones who can really sing. The rest are okay, but very limited in their range. Jiyeon did impress me a bit with her performances in Dream High 2, but I still maintain that she’s more suited to singing slower paced songs than what T-ara normally does. With Hwayoung gone, Ahreum can slide into the role Eunjung took as the second lead vocal after Hyomin. Eunjung can then slip into her former role as main rapper. Thekoreanjjang and I always suspected that Hwayoung was insurance for Eunjung in case she left the group, but with her gone, I’m not sure who takes the rap lines on times when Eunjung can’t do performances. I’m assuming it’ll be Ahreum though as she seemed capable of delivering them based on her performance in “Don’t Leave”.
At any rate, I doubt we’ll ever know the true story of what transpired here. It’s easy to take sides in this disagreement, and I’ll admit that it doesn’t really look good for T-ara and CCM. If it is discovered that T-ara really did bully Hwayoung without justification, then I’m all for them being completely shunned from the music industry. Personally, regardless of the actual truth, public judgement has pretty much been passed on them and I can definitely see this as the end of T-ara as a group. However, as a fan of both Hwayoung and the other T-ara members, I do wish that they can get pass this and continue with their respective dreams.