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130929 KARA Goo Hara, Red Lollipop On Lips

Written By Kim Regina on Sunday, September 29, 2013 | 7:34 PM

Girl group KARA’s member Goo Hara revealed a self-camera photo.

Today, Goo Hara posted on her Instagram, “#candy” along with a picture.

In the picture, Goo Hara is wearing a hoodie, pouting her lips a little. She put her lollipop on top of her lips, making a straight face at the camera.

An internet user who saw this commented, “Goo Hara is so cute.”

Photo Credit: Goo Hara Instagram

130924 Kara's Kang Ji Young Poses for a "Boy Meets Girl" Vogue Girl Photo Shoot

Written By Kim Regina on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 | 1:19 AM

Kang Ji Young posed for the young fashion magazine “Vogue Girl” with a boy/girl concept titled “Boy Meets Girl.”

Kang Ji Young’s portrayal of the two sexes showcased her lovely yet playful charms. Eyes were drawn to Kang Ji Young’s dazzling beauty even as she dressed up as a boy.

Each cut showed both the boy Kang Ji Young as well as the girl Kang Ji Young. Eight different makeup styles were used for this photo shoot and although the photo shoot wasn’t easy to execute, Kang Ji Young displayed her talents and skills by pulling off each look.

Kang Ji Young is said to have picked each cut that would be featured in the magazine and showed a forward and energetic attitude throughout the shoot, earning the praise of the staff.

Meanwhile, Kara is actively promoting their latest single “Damaged Lady.” Kang Ji Young’s dual charm photo shoot can be found in the October edition of “Vogue Girl.”

130923 KARA Han Seungyeon-Park Gyuri Confirmed as MC’s for ‘The Show’

Written By Kim Regina on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 | 12:04 AM

KARA members Han Seungyeon and Park Gyuri have been confirmed as the new MC’s for the music program, “The Show: All About K-Pop.”

KARA, who is also very popular in Japan, have received a huge response from fans in Japan after hearing the news of their new MC position.

KARA Han Seunyeon and Park Gyuri are preparing a special episode for their first episode to thank and surprise their fans.

This show will begin in October and will be aired on both SBS MTV and Japan channel TBS.

130923 KARA Kang Jiyoung Reveals Charismatic Charm for Photo Shoot

KARA Kang Jiyoung revealed an interesting photo shoot online.

On September 23, Vogue magazine revealed a photos of Kang Jiyoung for a ‘Boy meets Girl’ concept shoot.

The photos showed Jiyoung sporting different hair styles and make up looks.

She showed her bright and bubbly personality at the shoot as she worked with the staff.

On the other hand, KARA is currently busy promoting their new song, “Damaged Lady.”

130920 KARA Han Seungyeon, Enjoying Her Vacation Riding the Bike

Written By Kim Regina on Friday, September 20, 2013 | 8:17 PM

Group KARA’s member Han Seungyeon revealed a picture of her vacation.

Yesterday, Han Seungyeon posted on her Twitter, “I’m on a break. Why am I so busy even though I’m resting?” and “This is the bike that I finally bought after hesitating for 2 years. I’m spending happy days. Happy Thanksgiving to you too” along with a picture.

In the picture, Han Seungyeon is wearing no makeup, riding the bike. She seems to be enjoying her break for Thanksgiving.

Photo Credit: Han Seungyeon Twitter

130919 What is KARA’s Park Gyuri Doing this Korean Thanksgiving?

Is KARA member Park Gyuri wearing a scuba wetsuit?

On September 18, Park Gyuri uploaded onto her Twitter, “I challenged myself to go scuba diving. It was really fun. I think I’m naturally an active girl” with a photo.

In the photo, Park Gyuri is wearing a black and blue scuba wetsuit and holding onto her goggles. It looks like the picture was taken before she actually went in the water. Her hair is tied up in a simple and neat ponytail.

Upon seeing this photo, netizens commented, “Why are you scuba diving this Korean Thanksgiving?” “I was wondering what Gyuri was going to do. It looks like so much fun,” and “Have a lovely Thanksgiving.”

130918 KARA's Gyuri Acted With Jang Geun Suk Before

Written By Kim Regina on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 | 9:19 PM

KARA‘s leader Gyuri recently revealed her childhood photos and talked about her start in the entertainment biz as a young girl.

On September 15, Gyuri and her mother appeared as guests on the idol special edition of KBS 2TV‘s “Mamma Mia.“

On that day, photos of Gyuri with comedian Lee Yong Shik and stills from her appearances on television as a child were shown. Her mother talked about the significance of the events portrayed in each photo and also revealed that young Gyuri’s singing and rapping had been featured on comedian Bae Yeon Jung‘s single album. Not only that, but Gyuri also starred as the lead of a musical when she was just a kid!

Later on the “speed quiz” segment of the show, viewers also came to learn that Park Gyuri once acted alongside the likes of Jang Geun Suk!

130916 Goo Hara is like a living doll in her new selca

Written By Kim Regina on Monday, September 16, 2013 | 3:20 AM

KARA’s Hara seemed like ready for a new hairstyle as he uploaded a selca of herself while doing her hair. In the photo, she looked like a doll with her small face, big eyes and tiny lips. She wrote, “hair hair hair hair hair”.

What do you think?

130916 Gyuri Chooses Joo Won Over Lee Jong Suk As Her Ideal Type

KARA member Gyuri revealed that she liked actor Joo Won more than actor Lee Jong Suk in the latest episode of “Mamma Mia.”

On September 15, Gyuri made a guest appearance on KBS 2TV‘s “Mamma Mia” and was asked to pick her ideal type between Joo Won and Lee Jong Suk.

She explained her pick saying, “I like guys who are more masculine.” Gyuri’s mother, who was also a guest on the show, picked Super Junior‘s Kyuhyun over SHINee‘sMinho as a prospective husband for her daughter. Her mother explained, “Kyuhyun just seems more well built.”

Super Junior member Kyuhyun, 2NE1‘s Minzy, Teen Top‘s Chunji and Cheon Myung Hoon were guests as well for this episode of “Mamma Mia.”

130911 Kara’s Han Seung Yeon Is Fed Up With “Airport Fashion”

Written By Kim Regina on Thursday, September 12, 2013 | 4:16 AM

Han Seung Yeon tries to clear the misunderstanding that she fought with a reporter because of “airport fashion.”

On September 10, she appeared as a guest on SBS’s “Hwashin” along with After School’s Uee. She explained that she can be quite blunt, which is contrary to her cute and bubbly personality on air.

MC Kim Hee Sun commented, “There was a time when Han Seung Yeon responded to a reporter who asked airport fashion, ‘My head hurts. It’s difficult to wear sunglasses everytime I go to the airport. Our members aren’t insects to be stared at.’”

Han Seung Yeon responded, “I wasn’t angry at the reporter, but about airport fashion in general. We should be able to wear comfortable clothes when going to the airport, but the place became a hotspot for fashion critics. When I wear something from the year before, reporters and netizens would say something. I was uncomfortable with that and was angry. That’s why my words came out the way it did.”

Uee was listening to the conversation and gave her input, “There are times when I wanted to come out nice on the airport fashion photos and dressed well, but no one was there to take the pictures. On the other hand, there are other days when I think, ‘No one will take photos today, right?’ and dress comfortably, but many reporters are waiting at the airport since many other idols and celebrities will be at the airport that day. To be honest, I stress over airport fashion.”

130911 KARA’s Hara is an elegant lady in new Instagram pic

Written By Kim Regina on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 | 2:53 AM

KARA’s Goo Hara updated her Instagram on 9th September with a pretty selca.

She is seen posing confidently to the camera, receiving much praises from fans.

Fans commented,”Prettiest idol”,”Elegant beauty instead of Damaged Lady” and etc.

Meanwhile, KARA started to promote their latest hit song “Damaged Lady” on various music shows.

130910 Kara's Han Seung Yeon Received Curse Letters For a Year from an Anti-Fan

On the recent episode of SBS’s “Hwashin,” which was aired on September 10, group Kara‘s member Han Seung Yeon revealed her painful past involving a malicious anti-fan.

Seung Yeon stated, “There was an anti-fan who harassed me for over a year.”

She explained, “In the letters this person sent me were handwritten curses and swear words. At first when I saw the letter, it looked so pretty I thought it was from a fan.” Seung Yeon also shocked everyone by revealing part of the contents from the letters.

In the past, Seung Yeon has received attention due to her message on her SNS on 2012, which stated to the anti-fans, “If I make you sick, please don’t watch me. If you hate me, just let me be. Do you have to make sure I know how you feel about me? Well then, thank you for letting me know.”

Other guests on this episode also included Uee and Kim Byung Ok.

130910 Kara’s Han Seungyeon Speaks Out About The Profanity-Laced Hate Mail She’s Been Receiving For The Last Year

In an interview this week for the South Korean talk show "Incarnation," Seungyeon described the hurt that the barrage of handwritten hate mail has caused her.

Fame comes at a price, as the cliché goes.

And for Han Seungyeon, of the five-member K-pop girl group Kara, that price has included a year of letters from a stalker that are filled with offensive language and hateful sentiments.

In an interview this week for the South Korean talk show “Incarnation,” Seungyeon described the hurt that the barrage of handwritten hate mail has caused her.

“For more than a year, this one person has been sending me handwritten letters filled with profanities and has been maliciously bothering me as an anti-fan,” the Kara singer said.

Seungyeon admitted that she repeatedly found herself tricked into reading the nasty notes.

“The person put the letter into a pretty envelope and writes on nice stationary paper, so I always end up reading it,” she said.

The Kara singer revealed the torturous ordeal when asked about a Twitter post from last year, that she explained was meant for her “anti-fan.”

“If it’s disgusting, you don’t have to see it,” Seungyeon’s tweet read, according to the publication eNEWS. “If you don’t like it, just leave it alone. Do I have to tell you personally for you to be satisfied? Thanks for letting me know.”

The ladies of Kara, who are currently promoting their fourth album “Full Bloom,” found themselves in damage control mode last week, after an interview on the program “Radio Star” left two members of the group in tears.

In the now infamous interview, band member Goo Hara is seen throwing her water bottle and welling up with tears when hosts Yoon Jong Shin and Kim Kuk Jin brought up her relationship Yong Junhyung of the boy band BEAST.

Kara member Kang Jiyoung began crying after becoming embarrassed when the hosts asked her to make “aegyo” or “cute” facial expressions.

Seungyeon, who tried to defend Hara when she started weeping, took to Twitter on Friday to apologize for her group’s behavior in the television interview.

“After worrying about how to express this heavy heart all day, I am posting something now.” she wrote.

“First off, we want to apologize to everyone who felt uncomfortable with us as guests on ‘Radio Star.’ We are reflecting on the fact that we showed unprofessional behavior due to our personal issues. We’re very sorry and thankful to the ‘Radio Star’ hosts and Park Jin Young who helped us during and after the broadcast despite our shortcomings.”

“We will do our best to show a brighter and hardworking Seungyeon, Hara, and Jiyoung,” she added.

130910 Kara: looking sexy without overexposure

Written By Kim Regina on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 | 2:58 AM

Kara released their new album on September 5. During four days of promotional performances, the female group wore exquisite outfits and manish suits without exposing a lot of flesh, as other female groups do.

The girls express strong charisma, in line with the theme of the lead song “Damaged Lady,” which shows confidence that they can appeal with mature beauty and without going bare.

An official of their agency says, “They have captivated people’s hearts by reversing the trend toward excessive exposure. Kara create a unique style with their performances of ‘Damaged Lady.’”

Source: TV Report

130904 Youngest Kara Member Kang Jiyoung Disses Gyuri??

Written By Kim Regina on Monday, September 9, 2013 | 3:47 AM

On the September 2nd episode of KBS 2 "National Talk Show Hello," all the members of Kara appeared as guests on the show. On the show, Kang Jiyoung, the youngest member of the group, revealed what she envied about each member of the group.

When the MCs asked her what quality of trait she envied most about the other members of Kara, she answered, "I envy Hara's small face and lean figure. I also envy Nicole's muscles and toned body. As for Gyuri, I envy her confidence." That last part elicited laughter from everyone, as it sounded a little like she was insulting Gyuri for not having another body part that Kang Jiyoung envies. However the youngest member's intention wasn't to insult Gyuri, but in fact to praise her for her confidence.

To this MC Shin Dong Yup said, "It sounds like there is no basis for this confidence." And instead of being upset or embarrassed, Gyuri coolly said, "Jiyoung, take your time and answer the question." Her cool manner of responding to such a statement has made people more attracted to Gyuri.

In this same episode of "National Talk Show Hello," Nicole admitted that she thinks EXO's Kai is cool, and has quickly become a hot topic among the fandoms.

130906 KARA, Bright Smiles With Mustache in M! Countdown Waiting Room

Girl group KARA revealed a group picture taken in the waiting room of ‘M! Countdown.’

Today, Mnet “M! Countdown” posted on its Twitter, “Hello! Tonight at 6PM, M COUNTDOWN COMEBACK KARA” along with two pictures.

In the pictures, KARA members are gathered together in front of the camera, holding up paper mustaches and making funny faces.

Internet users who saw this commented, “Thank you for showing us your bright smiles,” “See you soon,” and “So cute.”

KARA came back today with their title song “Damaged Lady” of their 4th album “Full Bloom.”

Photo Credit: Mnet Twitter

130906 KARA Goo Hara and Kang Jiyoung Show Tears on ‘Radio Star’

Kara’s members Goo Hara and Kang Jiyoung shed tears on the latest episode of MBC’s “Radio Star” which aired on the 4th. The viewer’s opinion divided between pity and surprise. These two opposing views were expressed primarily on the discussion forum on the official homepage of Radio Star.

Goo Hara showed tears when the MCs, who are known to be at times obscene and mean-spirited in their questions, badgered her about her love life. Goo Hara has been caught up in a scandal with her close friend Lee Soo Hyuk, and has also revealed that she is dating BEAST’s Yong Junhyung. Before the program began, Goo Ha Ra said she will answer every question honestly except questions about her love life.

However, the MCs of Radio Star disregarded this and asked her about her love life anyway. Yoon Jong Shin and Super Junior’s Kyuhyun were on the attack when Goo Ha Ra started to cry. Kim Goo Ra, who is usually the meanest MC of the program, chastised them, saying, “You should know when enough is enough,” and comforted Goo Hara, saying, “People need to talk about it often and a lot before it dies down, so have patience.”

Goo Hara apologized as well, saying that her emotions got the best of her.

Kang Jiyoung began to cry when the MCs began to speak to them about her playfulness. Being the youngest member of KARA, she confessed that she always felt that people didn’t think she was able to pull off the groups’ various sexy or boyish concepts. When the MCs asked her for a display of her youthful playfulness, she broke out in tears of frustration.

KARA was away from the fans for over a year, and this was one of the shows that they planned to appear on. They will continue to appear on TV shows to appeal to the fans that missed them for over a year.

KARA’s Han Seongyeon expressed surprise and compassion. She said, “I’m the crybaby of the group, but seeing the other members cry made me realize that they must have felt what I felt when I cried in front of them.”

130906 Singers shed tears on show

Two members of the girl group Kara cried during a talk show on Wednesday because they were asked to talk about a subject that makes them feel uncomfortable.

Goo Ha-ra and Kang Ji-young went on the MBC talk show “Radio Star” with another member, Han Seung-yeon, and chief producer of JYP Entertainment, Park Jin-young.

Goo cried when the hosts asked her questions about her romantic relationship as there were rumors she dated singer Yong Jun-hyung, of the boy group Beast, and actor Lee Soo-hyeok, of the KBS drama “Shark”.

As the hosts are known for asking guests questions in a straightforward way, she said she was scared to come on the show.

“I think reports come out in a skewed direction when I talk about relationships”, said Goo.

Gyu-hyun of Super Junior, who is also a host on the show, said, “Goo can see the end of her career when I start talking”. Goo responded that Gyu-hyun would also have a lot to lose and started crying, claiming that her tears were from anger.

Kang cried when Kim Goo-ra, one of the hosts, asked her to show a cute face as she is known for acting cute in Japan, but Kang said she didn’t know how to act cute.

By Lee Sun-min

130906 Album Review: Kara's "Full Bloom"

Back in 2007, the four feisty lasses of Kara were ready to “Break It.” Six years, a few lineup changes, and dozens of flights across the Sea of Japan later, the girls have grown into “damaged ladies” singing a different tune: “if it ain’t broke, then don’t try to fix it.”

Full Bloom, Kara’s fourth Korean studio album, picks up where last year’s Pandoraleft off, serving up the now quintet’s signature, coquettes-come-of-age sound: a marriage of bubbly, synth-infused electro-pop and jazz-funk overlaid with R&B melodies and baby-woman vocals. The album evokes a sense of deja-vu. We’ve heard it all before. But, instead of it feeling stale, Kara’s consistent return to form is comfortable and familiar, like an audio blankey, and displays the band’s strong sense of self.

Nine tracks (seven original plus two instrumentals) tell tales of love outside of reach—paramours losing interest, lopsided love matches, holding onto a dying relationship, despair after having been dumped. Despite pathos-tinged lyrics, the album remains lively, perhaps hinting at hope for future romance, even in the darkest hours of dejection over love lost; and navigates ever-changing pacing and mood with veteran dexterity. The album may not be innovative, but it’s good at what it does.

Full Bloom opens with the first single, “Runaway,” a subdued R&B-pop ballad, pretty and sad. No dubstep “bwooomp SKEERTCH!” to be heard for miles, this song isn’t overly concerned with trendiness—which is probably the source of the maturity of its sound. Lo-fi is the name of the game, with acoustic guitar providing a beautiful melodic backbone and interjecting funk rhythm, and an old-fashioned, snare-heavy drum keeping cadence, horning in on the territory of the studio software and percussion machines that dominate pop nowadays.

“Runaway” features eight repeating bars of a minor-chord melody cut momentarily by a jazzy upturn, only to return to the gloom, conveying the resignation of a woman who realizes that she’s the only one in love in her relationship. Kara’s feather-light vocals punctuate the delicate beauty of the melody. A solid start to the album, “Runaway” is a good way to dip your toe in the pool and feel things out before diving in.

Kara abandons melancholy and cranks the energy up to eleven in “Damaged Lady.” The current single and the best song from the album in my summation, track two is a dynamic romp that seamlessly moves back and forth between electro-pop and power pop, single and double time, making werewolves envious of the ease and control with which the song manages its transformations. It opens with breathy talking, expectant percussion, and rock guitar that usher in a lush, synth-heavy sound as the beat drops. The song settles into a skittish electro-pop tune with a R&B melody. Then heavy guitar riffs and a faster pace shift things into power pop mode and the song begins to sound like the lovechild of J-pop and “Danger Zone,” from the Top Gun soundtrack. It returns to slower-paced electro-pop, only to power up again and again. Sky high harmonies and accents round out this Sweetune-composed winner.

Next, Full Bloom moves onto “1+1,” a delightful, jaunty electro-pop ditty. Sugary and futuristic-sounding, the track displays what Kara brought back from Japan, besides duty-free rum raisin-flavored Kit Kat bought at Narita Airport. High-flying synth flourishes and digital-sounding clicks and ticks, coupled with a sweet melody and a girlish ebullience have Kara sounding as much like competition for J-pop acts likePerfume as it is for SNSD. These electro elements also give the song a space-aged feel. Bump this in your hovercraft as you traverse the congested arteries of Tokyo’s sky-ways in the year 2100, remarking to your android friend in the passenger seat on how weird it is that people used to get around on wheels.

Kara loses me with the next track, “In the Game,” which sounds to my ear like it was ripped straight from a commercial for a local casino. I can imagine a television screen showing someone’s grandpa doing that shoulder shrug dance and hot-stepping to the beat as he fans himself with his newly-acquired loot, a grin on his face as wide as the Grand Canyon. Win big at Charles Town Races and Slots!

But the song is about a game of cat and mouse between potential lovers, not septuagenarians hitting the jackpot. A contemporary blues/funk hybrid, “In the Game” features a strident horn section, sassy vocals, and a baseline which, surprisingly, is supplied by piano and not a string instrument. Rock guitar accoutrements help the song stay consistent with other tracks on the album, like “Runaway,” and accentuate that genre’s familial link to blues. There’s nothing technically wrong with the song, but I think Kara has taken the desire to express maturity a little too far with this one. “In the Game” will never get carded when it orders a drink at a bar.

Clearly citing Jocelyn Brown’s 1982 hit, “Somebody Else’s Guy” as its spirit animal, and bearing some resemblance to Miss A’s “Help Me,” the next track, “Follow Me” deftly melds peppy electro-pop with funk. The song boasts a grooving baseline with a sweet back beat—it would make Rick James proud—and a Parliament Funkadelic-like melody. Yet clear, girlish vocals and synth elements keep the song from straying too far into the funk, in which it may be out of its depth. Anything would sound like the coolest, most contemporary song ever after having listened to “In the Game,” but this one is a solid addition to the roster, even without the primer.

Smoothie,” track six on the album, is chill, adult R&B-pop that some may find soothing, while others may be bored to tears by it. An unassuming, electronic R&B beat, contemporary jazz guitar, and Rhodes piano—a cross-genre ‘70’s staple that sounds a bit like a muffled music box—give the song an urban adult contemporary feel. None of these elements is bad on its own, or even necessarily in concert. But when featured in an uninspired song (as “Smoothie” is), they make a bad thing worse, possibly even pushing it into smooth jazz territory (gasp!). To my mom, you top this off with a soulful voice and it’s good listening. To me, it’s a non-pharmaceutical sleeping aid. I take this song as an opportunity to rest up for the home stretch.

Thrusters are on full for the last leg of the trek with “2Night,” Full Bloom’s swan song. The track marks a return to energetic electro-pop after the album’s experimentation with adult urban contemporary and foray deep into the funk. Although it’s got its quirks, “2Night” incorporates features of the other songs, as well, serving as an appropriate conclusion to the album. A funk baseline, contributions from the brass section, rock and funk guitar riffs, synth accents, and youthful verve connect “2Night” with the other tracks. While a dance beat, doo wop piano, and a pop melody eerily similar to that of “Say You’ll Be There” by the Spice Girls set this track apart from the others. It’s nice to end an album full of romantic angst on a high note.

On the tortuous path from The First Blooming to Full Bloom, Kara has developed a winning approach to their music that, to them, doesn’t need tweaking. Gone is the youthful brashness of “Break It,” tempered by an acknowledgement of vulnerability and pain, maturity, and a stronger sense of self. The hints of hope amongst the lament throughout Full Bloom perhaps reflect the resilience that comes with age. At some point, hopefully we’ll see Kara exhibit the versatility that comes from years of experience, as well

130906 KARA’s new albums rank high in Korea and Japan

KARA is displaying its overwhelming popularity in both Korea and Japan.

According to DSP Media, KARA’s fourth full-length album ‘Full Bloom’ ranked at the top of Korea’s HanTeo Chart for four consecutive days since its release on the 2nd. Also, the group’s fourth full-length Japanese album ‘Fantastic Girls’ rose to #3 on the Oricon Weekly Album Chart.

With the lack of promotions in Japan due to their Korean comeback, it was testament to KARA’s huge popularity in Japan to achieve such an excellent result on the Oricon.

An representative stated, “KARA’s new albums ranked high on both Korean and Japanese charts at the same time. During their “Damaged Lady” performance at comeback showcase, over 50,000 viewers watched simultaneously from 38 countries, including Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.”

130907 Kara's Han Seung Yeon and MC Yoon Jong Shin Apologize for Kara and "Radio Star" Controversy

Han Seung Yeon of Kara and MC Yoon Jong Shin responded to the controversy around Goo Hara‘s and Kang Ji Young‘s emotional and teary outburst on the program “Radio Star.”

On the September 4 broadcast of “Radio Star” Kara came on as guests for their first variety program since their comeback for “Damage Lady.” During the show Goo Hara tried unsuccessfully to dodge the topic of dating and her recent scandals and surprised everyone by crying. Later on, Kang Ji Young also shed tears after the MCs pressured her to do aegyo.

There were mixed responses from the internet community on what happened on the show. Some said that the MCs had gone too far while others said that Kara should have expected the questions and had a more professional attitude on the show.

Han Seung Yeon was also on the show (but did not cry) and took to Twitter to apologize on behalf of the Kara members. She wrote, “I want to start off by apologizing to the people of ‘Radio Star’ who cast us on the show. We will reflect on the fact that our individual attitudes on the show were not professional. We want to apologize to and thank the show’s MC and our fellow guest Park Jin Young for caring for us during and after the show.”

She also added, “I am posting this after spending the whole day agonizing over what to say.”

Yoon Jong Shin was one of the MCs on the show and he took to his own personal Facebook to respond to what had happened. “I think their tears was the most honest response. As always, we are mischievous and try to cause trouble. Our guests cannot always respond tactfully and laugh it off. I’m sure they were going through a hard time. I take responsibility. I apologize.”

One of the writers for “Radio Star” also took to Twitter to give her two cents. Kim Tae Hee (not the actress) wrote, “Kara is more polite and better at variety shows compared to other girl groups. Although they did get emotional during the recording, they were quick to laugh it off and loosen the mood, and I appreciated it. Please don’t speak badly about them! They are kind and pretty kids.”


130908 Goo Hara’s ‘unsightly photos’

The disbanding incident between Kara and DSP Entertainment is into its 16th day. Unpredictably, a twist has occured. According to Japan’s ‘Tokyo Sports News’, the popular Goo Hara originally wanted to leave DSP. However, DSP has gotten hold of her private photos with her boyfriend, and are using them as a trump card over her. As a result, she had no choice but to return to film the serial, URAKARA.

Kara debuted in 2007 and its members are 20+ years old. Their breakout song Honey was even covered by Taiwanese singer Yao Yao, and fans love it. Their popularity does not lose to SNSD in Japan. However, popularity does not mean wealth. So, besides leader Park Gyuri, the other 4 members requested for a release from their contracts, citing breach of trust as their reason.

However, less than a day after that, Goo Hara changed her mind, expressing regret at her decision to ask for a release from the contract. Kara is now filming in Japan. They even told their Japanese fans, “We’re sorry for the mess created by this incident, and we’re okay now. We will work hard to complete the filming of this serial, thank you for your support and protection.”

But outsiders have guessed that the situation is not as simple as it appeared. According to ‘Tokyo Sports News’, DSP has Goo Hara’s ‘unsightly sex photos’ taken with her boyfriend. This made her worried that the photos would be exposed, so she had no choice but to return. Even though the disbanding situation is over, some people in the Japanese media believe they will disband after the filming ofURAKARA.

News 2010

130908 Goo Hara is Allegedly Rude because "MCs Gotta MC"

To put it as humanely as possible, there’s always going to be a raging double standard towards idols, or public figures of any sort really, in terms of how they’re forced to present themselves towards the public. It’s not a completely unfounded expectation either, especially considering how celebrities career’s are basically nurtured by how much fans love them and how the public perceives them. It’s all part of their job, right? Look good for the camera, smile, keep the atmosphere up, don’t create unnecessary drama (unless, of course, Dispatch catches your scandal in the act). In that sense, is anyone actually surprised that Goo Hara of KARA is currently receiving an enormous amount of flack for becoming frustrated to the point of tears on KARA’s latest appearance on Radio Star?

The thing is, even with the obvious celebrity double standards in place, t’s still sort of head scratching that Hara is completely burdening all the criticism for what’s happened. In summary, the MCs asked Hara what’s one topic that she’d rather Radio Star not broach. Clearly uncomfortable with answering, considering MCs are known for turning whatever you don’t want to talk about into fodder, Hara hesitantly replied with “dating”. Of course, you gotta expect the expected, and the MCs basically continued the segment probing and joking about Hara’s dating reputation. The straw on the camel’s back seemed to be Kyuhyun‘s comment when he remarked “If I open my mouth, Hara will be over.” which caused Hara to eventually start crying, creating a palpably awkward atmosphere in the studio.

Looking at the turn of events, it’s still kind of dumbfounding that Hara is being put on a stake for this. For one, you’d think in any situation where a group of men rib someone so tirelessly that they end up crying, there’d be a tiny bit of sympathy for the other party, or at least some tongue clicking towards the clowns. For two, Hara only broke up with her boyfriend Junhyung from BEAST four months prior to this. Their relationship was always kept low-key, neither really revealing much about it to the public even when probed. With this knowledge of a recent break up in mind, is it really that shocking to believe Hara might become upset by questions skittering around the topic? If anything, wouldn’t this play out somewhat like a flipped version of the recent Jesse Eisenberg-Romina Puga situation? I’m not saying Kyuhyun deserves vitriol for this, but wouldn’t convention dictate he and the other MCs be labeled a jerk for taking things a bit too far?

Of course, this is where it seems as though they’re protected, and Hara is damned, by MC immunity. It’s their job to ask the hard hitting questions, to pull the hushed-hushed answers and broach the controversial topics. No one’s even considering putting any heat on Kyuhyun, Yoon Jong-shin, Kim Kuk-jin, and Kim Gura — before anyone can even get a word of criticism towards them in, it’s stopped by “they’re only doing their jobs as MCs.” Or, my favourite: “Radio Star is known for being tough about these kind of things. If you can’t handle it, don’t go on it.”

Fact of the matter is, there is essentially no mainstream Korean variety show that’s really hard hitting in any real-life way. Considering how many idols go on Radio Star, it is far from being some kind of utopia when it comes to extracting the raw truth. Radio Star is definitely one of the more enjoyable shows for idols to go on — for the most part the MCs are familiar with the guests, witty, funny, and it’s comfortable all around. That being said though, it also feeds into a wider culture where it looks like MCs are pretty much given leeway to say whatever they want to their guests because, y’know, MCs gotta MC. This incident with KARA and Hara isn’t a commonality in Radio Star’s case, but it’s not exactly a one-off in terms of the larger scheme of things. After all, just watch one episode of Beatles Code and try not to feel the flitter of temptation to reach through the computer screen and punch one of the MCs in the face. Whether it’s making stabs at Infinite about their sexuality and manly prowess, or rudely dismissing Brown Eyed Girls, there’s always an uncomfortable line being tight-walked but there’s never any articles spewed out about it.

Of course, this can all be tied back to the fact that Korean culture (and many Asian cultures as well), has always had a “tell it to your face” kind of attitude. I’m sure many Asian readers and writers of Seoulbeats, me included, can relate to having old family friends or relatives come up to you and make some kind of comment like “You’ve gained a lot of weight!” or “You’ve gotten a lot darker since I’ve last seen you!”. However, then comes the part where outside of the affronting honesty and lack of tact, there is always a large emphasis on politeness, especially towards elders. That’s where the unfair dichotomy stems from, and why it may be that MCs seem to get away with so much. Even though the MCs aren’t family friends or relatives. there’s always an atmosphere of comfort and friendliness that’s trying to be fostered when it comes to variety shows.

However, the excuse of “culture” only comes so far. If Jia, Fei and Kan Mi-yeon can all become irritated at Leeteuk‘s jabs at Suzy‘s weight, and if Jonghyun and Kim Tae-won can both mutually agree that there’s pretty much no reason to talk about other’s dating life, then it’s not like it’s “Korean culture” to be rude and invasive. Maybe blunter than usual, but Asians aren’t inherently rude or tactless like so many generalisations like to make it out to be. Not to mention the many cases of guests looking blatantly uncomfortable or affronted by some of the questions asked of them make it apparent they aren’t faced with behaviour like that every day. Unfortunately, all they can really do is smile, nod, and hope a journalist doesn’t screenshot it and write an article about their unpleasant expression.

The thing here is MC-ing isn’t an isolated skill, and a good MC should be malleable and adjust their style for different guests. The constant teasing and probing might work for some guests, but it doesn’t mean it’d work for others. Yoo Jae-suk is a great MC because he’s charismatic, but he also tends to his guests and brings the best out of them. It’s not good enough just to be snarky and call it a day. Likewise, if an MC can take a good go at their guests, then there should be some equality where the guest is able to play off them as well.

Also, let’s be real. The fact Hara is a female definitely does her no favours when it comes to reception. While male guests do get to play off the MCs and stand on equal ground with them, female guests are expected to laugh at everything that comes their way and take everything in stride. Jonghyun gets to shut down most talk of his dating scandal with a simple “it’s hard to talk about”, while Hara is always bothered about it, and showing any frustration towards the treatment spurs on backlash. Her relationship with Junhyung has always been on the down-low, hardly ever talked about while it was going on unless the MCs would really never let it go, and they avoided flaunting their relationship in public towards cameras. So now that they’ve broken up, why should she suddenly be pressed to air all about it now?

Not to mention, if you watch the video clip, Hara was pretty adamant on laughing it off and making a joke out of till the very end. She also dropped blatant hints that it was difficult to talk about throughout the segment (more like outright stating it in the beginning), and it’s only at the very end that it became too much and she began tearing up a tiny bit. In all honesty, she was taking it as a pretty good sport in the beginning, and it should be an MCs job to pick up on the fact that she really doesn’t want to continue talking about this and just segway into another question. Instead, it reached a point where Hara became upset, and the audience were angry at how awkward she made it. There are claims she was even moreso out of line because she threw a “tantrum” in front of a senior like JYP. This is pretty much ludicrous, because watching the video she was hardly throwing a tantrum, and at the very least if she was, the MCs and JYP were all getting a huge kick out of it. That was, of course, until she teared up and they realised they may have crossed a line.

This is the problem with audience reception. They want to know all, but they want idols to be on their best behaviour, and they don’t want to face awkwardness when watching these shows. Even if what the MCs were doing weren’t intrusive, the audience can’t expect MCs to be able to get anything really dirty out of idols without there being some kind of emotion or hesitance. If an idol does talk easily and openly about what’s meant to be a “sensitive subject” then you know for sure that’s scripted.

MC Yoon Jong-shin recently came to Hara’s defense, stating that he pushed her too much. Unfortunately, that didn’t fly, and instead there’s more backlash towards KARA for making the poor innocent MC apologise, along with cries of
why didn’t the editor just edit it out?”. My guess is that the PDs of Radio Star are out to air the juiciest bits of their program — no duh — the ones the audience would be most interested in. Hara becoming miffed at dating scandal being brought up would definitely fall under juicy, no? Unfortunately, at the same time the audience don’t want to see idols be anything but pristinely mannered in the face of a sensitive topic. “Why would you make it so hard for us to watch?” they exclaim, while pretty much feeding off celebrity gossip.

Celebrity culture and what’s wrong and right will always be a morally grey area. When someone makes a living off being a public figure, there’s a give-take relationship to be expected. Personally, I don’t think Hara’s dating and personal life is anyone’s business but her’s, especially considering how she went out of her way to prevent it from being the public’s business. At the same time, I can’t fault people for being curious about it. That being said, if you want to get hard-hitting interviews and want to know about these idol’s real life, then you need to be prepared to deal with real emotions. Yeah, they’re celebrities, but they’re also real people. Their life isn’t a show for public consumption, and you can’t expect interesting or scandalous information to be dealt to you with all the prickly frills cut off. Hara shouldn’t be getting any hate for this. Everyone wants to know about her dating life, so she’s asked about it constantly, and when it gets too much she ends up crying a bit even. That’s a natural order of events. If all of Hara’s detractors don’t want to watch the “awkwardness” that comes from her being prodded and teased about a personal issue, then don’t feed into the demand to know so much about her private life.

(Naver, Nate, Youtube, mydaily, Dispatch)

130909 KARA Nicole Compliments Lee Kwang Soo, ‘Manner TOP 3 Out of All Male Celebrities I’ve Met’

Girl group KARA’s member Nicole complimented Lee Kwang Soo.

In KBS2 “Entertainment Relay” aired today, KARA was interviewed for their new album.

On this day, the reporter asked, “You worked with male actors for the music video. Everyone else was good-looking, but why did Nicole do it with Lee Kwang Soo?”

Nicole, shocked, replied, “Lee Kwang Soo is very charming. He’s in top 3 of being nice and having nice manners of all male celebrities I’ve met.”

Photo Credit: KBS2

130903 KARA Contract Negotiations Going Well, Group Will Most Likely Stay With DSP Media

Written By Kim Regina on Tuesday, September 3, 2013 | 11:09 PM

Despite rumors that suggested otherwise, KARA’s agency is confident the girls will stay under their label come January.

As many fans of KARA already know, the K-Pop girl group’s contract with their agency DSP Media ends in January.

According to the company and the group, the two parties have been discussing options for a contract renewal for some time now.

While there were originally some concerns that come 2014, the group would disband leaving the members to seek out careers with other labels, that is looking increasingly less likely.

On September 2, DSP Media updated fans and followers with a few more details about the contract negotiations.

“The members’ contract renewal is progressing very well.It looks like they’ll continue to promote under the name KARA,” said a spokesman for the company at the group’s Full Bloom showcase performance.

KARA fans can breathe a sigh of relief, everything seems to be going according to plan and it should only be a matter of time before we hear the official news that the KARA members have signed a new contract and are on their way to producing more great music in the future.

130903 KARA’s Nicole expresses her interest to EXO’s Kai

KARA’s Nicole recently confessed that EXO’s Kai has caught her eyes.

On September 2nd episode of KBS’ ‘Hello’, KARA member appeared as guests after a long hiatus on Korean variety programs. During the show, Nicole expressed her worry about being edited out, to which MC Shin Dong Yup suggested, “Try to talk about very personal things.”

The MC then asked Nicole if there were any male idol group members that have particularly caught her eyes. Nicole answered, “Out of the idols out lately, I think EXO’s Kai is the most handsome.”

130830 Jiyoung asks fans if they're ready for KARA's comeback next week with a picture

KARA's Jiyoung asked the fans to get ready for the group's comeback with a selca.

On August 30, Jiyoung wrote, "Finally the music will be released next week. Is everyone ready!?!" as she attached the above picture.

Jiyoung grabbed the fans' eyes with her charismatic stare while biting her bottom lips.

After seeing her update, the viewers wrote, "Giant baby is really pretty", and "Jiyoung's stare selca, so cute."

130902 Kara Shows Off Their Sexy and Strong Side in Comeback MV for "Damaged Lady"

Kara makes their long awaited comeback this week with their fourth album “Full Bloom,” and have now revealed the music video for their title track “Damaged Lady.”

“Damaged Lady” was composed by Han Jae Ho, Kim Seung Soo, and Lee Chang Hyun (Sweetune) with lyrics written by Song Soo Yoon.

“Full Bloom” was released today, September 2 in Korea. Top composers such as Han Jae Ho, Kim Seung Su and Sweet tune took part in this album, allowing the girls to experiment with different types of genres. Fans will be able to see these transformed girls in this nine-track album.

130902 Gangnam is covered with banners promoting Karas new album

According to a September 2 announcement by their agency, Kara’s music video and the new song “Damaged Lady” will be released at noon. Returning to the domestic stage after a year, the group remakes itself into a bunch of “bad girls,” with a mannish look and hard-hitting lyrics.

A day before the official release, a photo promoting the concept of the song appeared in several areas of Gangnam: Samsung Station, Garosugil at Shinsadong, and Rodeo Steet at Apgujeong. The 30 banners will stay there for two weeks to help promote the new album. They also promote G+Star Zone, a program run with the Gangnam-gu Office, appealing for donations for the poor.

At Uniqlo-Ax Hall in Seoul, Kara will hold a showcase commemorating the release of their new studio album Full Bloom, which contains two versions of “Damaged Lady.”

Source: TV Report

130902 KARA Reveals Sexy and Charismatic Performance at Showcase

Girl group KARA performed their new song, “Damaged Lady” for the first time at their showcase.

On September 2, KARA held their showcase for their 4th album, FULL BLOOM, and performed “Damaged Lady” for the first time in public.

For this album, they went with a ‘mannish’ vibe and rocked pants and suits for a more sexy and charisma appeal.

KARA commented, “Please support us as it has been awhile since we’ve made a comeback. We have decided to go more manly rather than sexy this time.”

Their mini fan showcase proved to be successful with around 700 fans there supporting them.

130902 KARA Park Gyuri Confesses, ‘My Short Hair was a Wig’

KARA member Park Gyuri revealed a self-cam photo online and received much attention.

On August 31, Park Gyuri posted on her twitter, “My short hair was actually a wig,” along with a photo.

In the photo, she reveals her long hairstyle and beauty.

In their new song, “Damaged Lady” teasers, she had been sporting a red short wig to go along with their ‘mannish’ concept.

KARA held their ‘Full Bloom’ showcase today and performed their new song, “Damaged Lady.”

130903 KARA Gwiyomi Battle: Gyuri VS Seungyeon

KARA performed their new tracks such as Runaway and Damaged Lady on their showcase yesterday.

Besides promoting their new songs, the girls show off their cuteness on the showcase, check out Gyuri and Seungyeon’s Gwiyomi, who did better?

130902 KARA Nicole and Kang Ji Young Try to Seduce the Camera

Written By Kim Regina on Monday, September 2, 2013 | 5:50 PM

Recently, girl group Kara‘s members Kang Ji Young and Nicole revealed an adorable photo of themselves.

On her Instagram on September 2, Kang Ji Young uploaded a picture along with a short message, “With Nicole Unnie.”

In the released picture are Kang Ji Young and Nicole gazing at the camera. They both have their long hair down and are wearing sleeveless shirts. Kang Ji Young is holding a finger to her lips, while Nicole has her lips in a sexy pout. With their smoldering gazes, both Kang Ji Young and Nicole look gorgeous in this photo.

Fans that saw this picture commented, “They are so sexy,” “Both look pretty,” and “I am looking forward to Kara’s comeback.”

Meanwhile, Kara recently released its new song “Damaged Lady.”

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