BTOB in Singapore: They make 1,300 fans go 'wow'
K-pop group BTOB back in S'pore for fan meeting
It has been three long years since K-pop boy band BTOB made their way to Singapore.
And loyal fans of the seven-member group were duly rewarded at the two-hour I Mean fan meeting at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre yesterday.
During a fan interaction segment, seven lucky fans were picked to go on stage and have their wishes fulfilled by their idols.
The BTOB members obliged to requests that ranged from selfies to hugs.
The band's rapper Ilhoon, 21, made the audience scream when he lingered for a particularly long hug with the fan he was partnered with.
Student Leisha Tan, 16, said: "I wish I was one of the fans chosen to go on stage. The members are so friendly and don't put on airs! I am so jealous but still very happy to see them today."
Another student, Lim Shi Ting, 15, said: "My favourite member is Minhyuk as he is very handsome. I can't believe he took a selfie with one of the fans.
"I am very excited to see them again after three years as they are extremely talented and can sing so well."
BTOB, which stands for Born To Beat, debuted in March 2012 to much fanfare with their perfectly synchronised dance moves and catchy, infectious tunes such as Insane and Wow, which they performed.
Besides Ilhoon and Minhyuk, 25, the group also consists of Eunkwang, 25, Changsub, 24, Hyunsik, 23, Peniel, 22, and Sungjae, 20.
Dressed in identical navy blue suits, the idols kicked off their gig at 8.15pm with Wow, to a screaming crowd of over 1,300 fans consisting mainly of teenage girls.
They showed off their soaring vocals during touching ballads Way Back Home and It's Okay, which fans waved their blue light sticks along to.
The idols were not afraid to make ugly and funny faces to please their fans. In another segment, the members were asked to make facial expressions according to words read out by the hosts.
Leader Eunkwang went all out with over-the-top actions when asked to show "scared" and "cute" faces, making his fans cheer.
The crowd-pleasers gave heartfelt speeches towards the end of their gig. Popular member Sungjae said in Korean through a translator: "We had so much fun today. If there are more opportunities in the future, I want to come here more frequently. However, we are always interacting with you all on social media, so we will keep in touch."
Ilhoon said: "This moment feels so short as it has been three years since we were last here. It's been too long. But please wait for us, we will be back."
The event ended on a high with the boy band singing an encore of three popular tracks - Insane, Thriller and Shake It.
For fan Lee Meixin, 21, it was an unforgettable night as she had waited to see her idols in person.
The undergraduate said: "I started listening to them last year and I find their music very catchy, so I've always wanted to see them in person. The event feels a bit short but I am glad that I got to watch them live.
"It is definitely the best way to spend a Friday night!"
I wish I was one of the fans chosen to go on stage. The members are so friendly and don't put on airs! I am so jealous but still very happy to see them today.
- Student Leisha Tan, 16, who is a fan of K-pop boy band BTOB
Life does not imitate art
He may have played the popular guy in Our Times, the Taiwanese movie that took Asia by storm, but in real life, Taiwanese newcomer Dino Lee was the complete opposite.
The 22-year-old idol, who portrayed the smart, suave Ouyang Extraordinary in the coming-of-age film, told The New Paper in Mandarin yesterday: "I wasn't like my character at all. I used to talk back to the teacher and disobey her just for the fun of it. I liked to talk a lot of rubbish in class."
Lee also said he was not the kind of guy who was liked by girls in school.
"I wasn't scared of making funny or ugly faces, I didn't have the image of a handsome boy," he said.
"All the girls treated me like a friend."
The actor-singer is in town with fellow Eagle Music label-mates, Ian Chen, 24, and Bii, 26 - known collectively as Unstoppable 3 - to promote their new album Epochal Times.
The group will be holding a private showcase at Shanghai Dolly at Clarke Quay today and an autograph session at Eastpoint Mall tomorrow at 4pm.
Currently showing here, Our Times has grossed over $4 million at the local box office. It is the top-grossing Taiwanese movie in Singapore.
The story revolves around an ordinary high school girl Lin Truly (Vivian Sung), who pines over Lee's Ouyang. The school's troublemaker Hsu Taiyu (Darren Wang) falls for the school's prettiest girl Tao Minmin (Dewi Chien). Together, Truly and Taiyu work to help each other win their dream dates.
Chen, who played Taiyu's bad-boy gang sidekick, said he was a rebellious kid in school.
The Taiwanese actor-singer said: "I ran away from home before. I fought in school."
He said: "It wasn't until I found my passion for music that I learnt to focus and stopped doing all these attention-grabbing things."
Our Times also helped boost the pair's popularity overnight.
Lee recalled: "I was recording a live show in Taiwan and I went offstage to interact with the fans. They grabbed my arms and held on to me, and I couldn't sing!
"I had to pull myself away so I could continue with my live performance. I also got my hair yanked but I think all they wanted to do was pat my head."
Chen laughed and said: "I had fans holding on to my legs during school performances."
Korean-Taiwanese actor-singer Bii has had his share of outrageous fan encounters but the pretty boy wants to emphasise that safety is most important.
He said: "I've had fans beating red lights on motorcycles just to follow my van. It's very dangerous. I would scold them on social media if I see fans doing that as I am worried about their safety."
Their popularity with fans translates to their love lives as well, as the trio claim they have not experienced rejection before.
Lee said: "I don't like to be chased. I enjoy chasing a girl and winning her over."
"Talk to her, appear in her life every day, do mundane small things for her," he said. "That way, she will get used to the idea that I am now part of her life." - Jocelyn Lee