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Everybody Changes – whether you like it or not.

January 23, 2009

So since it has officially been confirmed that SHINee are about to go on hiatus – their next Music Bank and Music Core performances will be good-bye stages – I wanted to do a post to commemorate this. (Because I’m weird and I fangirl them too much and am incredibly bummed that they’re going even though I’ve been begging for them to have a break forever.) I’m happy that they’re getting a break though and once I adjust to not seeing them regularly, I’ll start getting excited for their comeback but for now, just let me wallow.

So since I wanted to write something sensible instead of just going “Whyyyyyyyyy? Why are they taking my boys away from me? Who’s going to cheer me up now?! The world is a cold, cold, place and SHINee was my sunshine” and generally behaving strangely and like I should be in the loony bin, I figured I’d do a post about how much the boys have changed since they debuted. It’s been about eight months now and I’ve known them for seven, been regularly following their activities for six so I think maybe I can talk a little bit about it. But feel free to disagree.

So since all of the boys have changed in some way since their debut, I figured I’d talk about them individually, then go through as a group starting with makdoongie (since I usually go oldest–>youngest, I figured I’d change it up for today).

So let’s start with TaeMin. Makdoongie. SHINee’s Maknae. Hmm, well over the past few months, I’ve seen maknae get a lot more confident on stage. I’m not talking about his dancing, of course, because we know he’s very confident about that but as far as singing is concerned, he always looked so scared and unhappy when it was his time to sing at first that I worried about him. And you could tell that he struggled a good bit to sing his solo lines as well. That’s changed a lot now. I see him gaining more confidence on-stage, he doesn’t seem so scared anymore and he actually looks like he’s enjoying it when he sings sometimes. And his actual live singing has gotten a lot better! I saw him improving during the LLO promotions and then they switched to AMIGO and you could tell that it was really hard for him to adjust to singing more lines while doing their fast-paced routine but in these latest performances, his singing’s gotten a lot better and he’s doing a really good job of singing and dancing as well, especially given how tired they all seem to be lately. And he actually looks more confident now! Like he’s not afraid to sing. That’s good – it means he’s getting over his initial apprehension about his singing and starting to feel more self confident and he should! Because while he may not be the strongest singer in the group, he’s got a very nice voice and he shouldn’t be afraid to show it off. I really believe that with some more training, he’ll become a very good, consistent singer. So I hope SME gives him that opportunity and doesn’t just focus on his dancing all the time because by now we all know the kid can dance. Now I want him to get to sing too.

So that was maknae, now we’ll move on to his partner in tranquility – Minho. Ah, Minho-ah, he’s really changed so much over the past few months! I remember when I first started watching SHINee videos, he never talked at all and if he did actually answer a question in an interview or more so, say something of his own accord, that was a big deal! Because it was really rare, you know. And I’m not saying he really talks that much now – because he’s still pretty quiet – but he’s not as quiet. I mean, before you could tell that he really wasn’t comfortable being in the spotlight and he would usually pass up questions and allow one of the other embers to answer and it always annoyed me how hosts and MCs would put him on the spot and try to get him to talk (even though I wanted him to talk more too) because I felt like they shouldn’t force him – when he’s ready to talk, he will. And it seems like these days, he’s a little more willing.

I hear people say now that he’s gotten rid of his shell or at least, that he comes out of it a lot more and I agree. I’m not really sure when exactly it started happening (somewhere around here maybe) but I remember when I first realized it – the boys were doing an interview about their SMART uniform CF and the MC asked Minho a question and he gave her this long answer and all the while , he was staring straight at the camera as opposed to at the other members or at the mic or at the ground and it suddenly hit me how far he’d come from those days when he always passed up the chance to speak. Ah, I felt so proud of him then because it shows that he’s growing~ And more importantly, even though he’s changing, he’s still retaining his true personality. ^_^

Also he’s definitely gotten more comfortable on stage as well. I’m really starting to notice that his stage presence is becoming more pronounced and he’s picking up all sorts of …I dunno what to call them – charismatic moves? that I know are very popular with the fangirls. (Don’t believe me – watch, watch!) 😄 To quote someone’s comment on an AMIGO performance from not too long ago, ‘Minho’s really starting to feel his hotness these days’. Ha, well I dunno so much about ‘feeling his hotness’ but I think he’s definitely beginning to understand how to play up to the camera and give the crowd what they want – and that’s always a good thing, ne? LOL, I think I went from “So this charisma they keep mentioning – still waiting to see it” to “Okay, Minho, take it down! I’m starting to feel overwhelmed!”

So that’s it for Bulka. Then we’ll go to Key-ssi. (I really wanted to write his full nickname in Korean but I can’t spell ‘Almighty’ like that so never mind.) Hmm, Key – you know, I don’t know what to say about him, really. I’m sure that he has changed a good bit but I seem to be having trouble thinking of any definitive ways at the moment….I’m sorry, Key! I feel like I’ve been neglecting him lately. Why don’t I have anything to say?  Well, I can tell you that while Key’s always been comfortable in front of the camera, he’s definitely become more candid and more open over time. (Thanks, Yunhanam!) He’s just not ashamed to be who he is, you know and I really like that about him. It’s a trait a lot of people (including myself) could use. Well that’s it for Key – I might edit this with more about him later.

On to Hyunnie! Hmm, you know, I think a lot of people misread Jonghyun. I hear people say that he’s an attention seeker or that he’s arrogant and it always makes me sad because (even though I also thought so at first), I would have thought that people would have stopped getting that impression by now. Trust me – I’ve seen a lot of SHINee videos and while it may seem to the casual viewer that Jonghyunnie does the most talking and that he always seems to be in the middle of things, that’s really not the case. He’s actually changed a good bit since their Replay days – back then, he really did do almost all the talking and it sort of seemed like he sang every time I saw him but that’s not the case now –  I’ve noticed that he’s actually starting reigning himself in in a lot of ways. Like these days, he stays quiet sometimes and lets the others answer questions as opposed to doing all the talking himself and if he has to sing something instead of going on and on and having to be stopped by the other members, he’ll stop himself now and he usually keeps the lines pretty short as well. I’m surprised – I never thought I’d see the day when Bling didn’t jump at the chance to sing something but I think that he’s starting to make a shift in his actions so that the focus can be more on the group as opposed to on him. It’s a good thing because it will make him a stronger group member and I’m really happy to see him being like that. And you’re probably thinking that he was in a band before so he should already what it’s like to have to share the spotlight with other people but honestly this is a really different situation, you know, and he has a very different role here so he’s going to have to make certain shifts – and not just him but everyone in the group will have to do so to some extent. It’s good that he’s starting to from so soon. I think that that way things will be better in the long run.

And finally, we get to Dubu, I mean, Onew. (Note to self: stop calling him dubu – must try to see him as an adult).

Speaking of, now is it just me or does Onew seem less childish these days? I feel like when I watch SHINee videos now (not performances really but other things), Onew actually seems like an adult. And I don’t mean that he’s just acting like one but he’s looking like one too. Like I rarely feel like pinching his cheeks now, even with the flat hair. Hmm, I do wonder if that’s a good thing – I mean I suppose – he is the oldest hyung after all. But still – he’s Dubu and everyone knows Dubu is just a six year old trapped in a nineteen year old’s body. Okay, okay – he’s older than six – but still! He’s my innocent Dubu who needs protection from the naughty-minded fangirls (myself NOT included) and to be pampered and taken care of because he’s so sweet and thoughtful and naive and wow, I’m going off topic…okay, I’ll stop now.

Anyways, Onew has definitely become more comfortable in his role as ‘the leader’. He’s settling into it more and I think it’s coming a lot easier to him than it did in the past and that’s a good thing because hopefully now people will stop wondering why he’s the leader and not someone else who will not be named and no, it’s not just because he’s the eldest. Dubu is a good leader – I’m not going to go into why now because I wrote a post about that a little while ago but if you’re wondering, you can watch this – it might help. In addition to that, he’s actually getting the charismatic thing down during performances. I told you! He’s actually getting to be hot – intentionally! My goodness, for all we know when the boys return from hiatus, Onew might actually have mastered sexiness. O_o Well. That is an interesting thought… For the time being though, I guess we can sum it up by saying that Onew is maturing – not only as a performer but as a leader and just in general. As my friend said, ‘our leader’s finally becoming a nam’ (or man in Korean). Now who would have thought that?

And as a group, SHINee’s definitely become more polished – during performances, their singing and dancing is always good, always consistent and they manage to deliver good, solid performances despite cold, illness and fatigue. They work really hard and always try to show a smiling side for their fans even when they may not feel like it, they’re respectful, humble, hard working and have not allowed the popularity and support they’re receiving to go to their heads which I hope is something that will continue for the rest of their careers. They’ve gotten a lot better at conducting themselves during shows and interviews and are usually able to deal with any mistakes or surprises during a filming or a performance like professionals. Ah, I’m sorry if it just sounds like I’m reading off a list of their accomplishments at this point but it’s late and I have to go to bed soon….so that’s it for now. I may edit this post soon with better descriptions – I lost my train of thoughtsomewhere around Onew and didn’t quite get it back. Sorry about that.

Anyway, thanks for reading! As a treat, check out this guy’s audition tape for JYPE. He attempts to dance to ‘Rainism’ on a crowded train in South Korea – it’s really funny! And the best part is how almost everyone just ignores him as he carries on. LOL, I don’t know if he got in but I’m sure he made an impression!

Well, good night.

Maki

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