Published on October 28th, 2013 | by aeroplanes0
Running Man Race Start!
If you’re reading this to relive the wonderful memories from the fanmeet last Saturday, surely you’d agree that it was a great event, well-organised and thoroughly entertaining from start to end. If you’re reading this because you missed the fanmeet, I’d definitely recommend you attend the next time the Running Man cast makes their way to Singapore!
Since the variety show started airing more than three years ago, the seven fixed cast members of ‘Running Man‘ have amassed a very strong and loyal following around the world, and their popularity was undeniable; the 3000-strong crowd that turned up on Saturday was evidence of that. Even though the cast was missing the much-loved Jaesuk and the Betrayer Giraffe Kwangsoo, the remaining 5 members, Sukjin, Gary, HaHa, Jongkook and Jihyo had no problems putting up a terrific show, effortlessly revving up the audience and entertaining everyone from beginning to end with great games, songs as well as a generous serving of their usual wit and humour.
Much like how they implement different concepts for different episodes of Running Man to keep things fresh, a ‘Boys Over Flowers‘ concept was utilised for the opening of the fan meet, with Jihyo playing the role of Jandi, while the remaining 4 male members portrayed F4. The members kicked off the event with a rendition of one of the drama’s theme songs ‘Almost Paradise’. A very wise choice, considering the popularity of the drama amongst K-pop-loving fans!
What’s a Running Man event without games? In keeping with the spirit of the show, the members were split into groups and proceeded to play several games with some really lucky members from the audience, pre-selected before the fan meet. The first game was chain charades, in which participants had to act out certain animals and pass the actions down the line until the final person, who would have to guess the animal. The Running Man members were full of cheeky antics throughout this segment – HaHa exaggerating (to hilarious effect) his impression of a monkey to make it easier for the final guesser… or how about Gary, when placed behind Jihyo, making a heart sign for her instead of acting out the lion like he was supposed to? There really wasn’t a single dull moment.
The second game saw Jihyo affirming her position as the Ace on Running Man, when she became the first person to kick her slipper into one of the cubbyholes. Not to be outdone, Jongkook spent eons inspecting all the available slippers and picking out a “good” one, and managed to be the second and last person to land his slipper in a cubbyhole too. We’re not sure how much truth there was in his earlier declaration that he’s not at all a competitive person!
By the time the Running Man members started picking lucky fans for the next game, the cast had completely started their “variety engines”, and were on a roll with their witty comments and actions, much to the delight of the ever-responsive crowd. HaHa deadpanned that he might pick another fan when the audience member he picked ran onto stage without much expression. They also seemed to be in really good moods, breaking out in song at every opportunity. Sukjin started singing along to PSY‘s ‘Gentleman’ when the instrumental was playing in the background, while HaHa spontaneously started chanting “like a G6, like a G6” when Jihyo picked seat number G6 during the lucky draw.
The third game may be familiar to those who are avid fans of the show. The lucky fans chosen had to vigorously shake off post-its stuck to their bodies. Sukjin displayed his prowess at composing songs on the spot by making up and singing a random ‘Sorry’ song as he mischievously stuck post-its all over the fan. Of course they wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to really “dress up” the fans with the colourful post-its!
The fourth and final game is the classic bell tug-of-war, and this time all the Running Man members were on the same team. The audience participants were all petite females and didn’t seem like they were going to win, and so more audience members were added after every round they lost. Eventually the audience team won after outnumbering the Running Man members 9 to 5.
After all those games and interactions with fans, the Running Man members retired backstage to get ready for the next segment, while a video made up of clips from the show was shown on the big screen. At the end of it, Kwangsoo appeared on screen in a video message, apologising for not being able to make it to the fanmeet due to his busy filming schedule. In typical Kwangsoo style, he even did an impromptu “say hey!” and “say hey ho!” call and response with the audience. I don’t know about you, but after all these years of watching Running Man, there’s nothing I’d like more than to participate in one of Kwangsoo’s famous “audience interactions”, be it an audience wave or a simple “say hey ho”. And since he’s not physically present… yelling at the screen is the next best thing. Don’t believe me? Just ask any Running Man fan.
The second part of the fan meet was all song and dance. Sukjin took the stage first with ‘I Swear’, a song he sang at an audition a long time ago that was dug out and shown to the world on Running Man. I thought he did really well considering he sang the whole song in English!
Gary was up next, and the appreciative shrieks for him almost brought the roof down; I’m not kidding. He performed three Leessang songs – ‘You’re The Answer To A Guy Like Me’, ‘Can’t Breakup Girl, Can’t Breakaway Boy’ and ‘Turned Off The TV’. He did the first two alone, and the last with his Monday Girlfriend, Jihyo. Even though Gary often seems like a clueless character on Running Man, he’s completely a different person when he’s performing. He was full of confidence and swag, and his charisma was out of the world. No wonder we spied so many fangirls donning the Leessang snapbacks! They’d probably kill to be in Jihyo’s shoes for a second that evening. At one point the Monday Couple was even singing adorably together with their arms around each other. Say aww together now.
Just when you thought the evening couldn’t get any better, HaHa exploded on stage with a insanely high energy medley. His style of music was perfect for hyping the crowd, and in no time everyone in the audience was on their feet and jumping along to super fun hits like ‘Busan Vacance’, ‘Rosa’, ‘You’re My Destiny’ and ‘Story of a Little Kid’. He tore through his performances with such zest and passion, it’s really impossible not to be infected by his enthusiasm.
If HaHa’s segment was a tornado tearing through everything in its path, Jongkook’s next segment would be a chilly yet comforting drizzle. The change in tempo and mood was vast, but getting to experience Jongkook’s outstanding live singing is something I wouldn’t trade for the world. It’s no secret that the Commander has an outstanding set of pipes, and he put them to such good use during his execution of classic hits ‘One Man’ and ‘Today More Than Yesterday’. His singing voice is velvety-smooth, extremely melodic, and washes over you in the most comfortable way possible.
To wrap up the event, all the Running Man members appeared on stage to say their goodbyes. They expressed their gratitude for the warm welcome and emphasized several times that they had enjoyed their time in Singapore. Gary also said that he hoped the next time they come back to Singapore it would be the film Running Man, and with Jaesuk and Kwangsoo in tow as well.
No fan meet would be complete without an encore, and the Running Man members made sure their encore was a satisfying and memorable one, starting with the familiar strains of Jongkook’s all-time classic ‘Lovable’. All five cast members gamely did the robotic march in the song’s choreography, much to the amusement of the audience. The encore eventually escalated into a big, super fun party, with audience members leaving their seats and surging to the barricades to see, for the last time in a while, their idols up close. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the evening!
Games and good songs aside, I thought one of the main contributing factors towards the success of the event was the chemistry between the members. The members were all so comfortable with one another, and they were so incredibly in tune with each members’ tempo that everything just flowed very naturally. An example of this would be during an early talk session, when Jongkook mentioned “good relationships”, Sukjin just silently slid off his chair and switched seats with Gary so that Gary and Jihyo could sit together. It also helped that all members have had so many years of experience in the industry, and they knew exactly what to do and what to say to get the best response from the audience.
The Running Man fanmeet had everything a Running Man fan could ever wish for – entertaining games, live performances of songs we often hear on the show, great chemistry and witty banter among the members… I’m sure every one who was present at the show would agree that it was an amazing experience. Keeping my fingers crossed they’d come back to visit soon!
Were you at the fan meet? What were your favourite moments? Please share them with us!
You’ll be able to catch Running Man on Channel ONE every Friday at 11.45pm.
(StarHub TV channels 124, 820, 823 and 876 / SingTel mio TV channels 513 and 604.)
We would like to sincerely thank ONE TV Asia for the media invitation.