Hi folks! Today I’d like to introduce to you 7 singing pairs in Immortal Songs 2 that you might not know about, (but totally should). This list is going to be the first in a series, which unfortunately cannot be exhaustive, due to the sheer amount of talent that is showcased weekly.
I would say that Davichi is the most popular of the pairs in this listing. Made up of Kang Min-kyung (강민경) and Lee Hae-ri (이해리), the pair debuted in 2008, focusing on pop ballads. According to Wikipedia, Lee Hae-ri explained on a music show that their group’s name is derived from the Korean phrase da bichi (다 비치), which translates into “shining over everything”, illustrating their desire for their voices to be spread over the world. Having debuted in 2008, and releasing songs year after year, they naturally have an impressive listing. You can see their full discography here.
Now, to the matter at hand – Davichi both released a new mini-album and performed on last week’s Korean broadcast of Immortal Songs 2 recently (this means we’ll have the English subtitles in about a week from this post). In the meanwhile, you can watch their 2 latest music videos below, and the KBSKpop recording of their Immortal Songs 2 performance here. Lee Hae-ri and Kang Min-kyung have performed both separately and together multiple times on the show, and this performance together is their first for 2016. Lee Hae-ri performed twice in 2016 prior to this, winning the “Harmony with Lee Seung-chul Special” that aired on July 2 on KBS World. Whenever they perform it’s always a treat, because their voices are just heavenly.
Ah yes, 2BiC. While each of the pairs in this listing deserve more recognition, I’m particularly impressed by 2BiC. Not only do they have a duet(?) performance with Davichi (what do you call a duet of 2 pairs of duo singers?), they also managed to get Ailee (remember her?) to rap. They don’t have an official Wikipedia page, so there isn’t much to reference.
So far they’ve performed once this year on Immortal Songs 2, and that performance in particular doesn’t have a KBS World video, so I’ll cheat and put an older performance here. The link to their only performance so far in 2016 is here.
Incidentally they also just released a new extended play 2 weeks ago.
The third pair on the list is unique in that they’ve performed only once on Immortal Songs 2, and I normally use that as justification to exclude them from my list. However, they have a lot of potential and I would like to see more of them on the show. 15& is made up of Baek Ye-rin (백예린) and Park Ji-min (박지민). Unlike 2BiC, there’s a ton of information available about both members, and it’s very impressive.
Baek Ye-rin was hailed as a “contemporary R&B genius” at the age of 10, then spent 5 years honing that talent before debuting with Park Ji-min at the age of 15. She speaks fluent English, sings well, and plays the piano.
Park Ji-min is the winner of the first season of SBS’s “K-pop Star”, making her Sam Kim’s (remember him?) senior and basically telling us quite a bit about her talents. She also speaks fluent English as well as basic Thai (because she lived in Thailand for 7 years).
I’m seriously loving that after they performed on Immortal Songs 2 in 2015 (which you’ll see below), they both released songs in 2016. Park Ji-min upped it a notch and released her first extended play, entitled “19 to 20”. Again, for your convenience, I’m providing the iTunes link. Unfortunately because Park Ji-min isn’t as popular as she should be, her extended play isn’t on Spotify.
Fourth on our list is Homme, which started out as a project group, before becoming pretty much an official thing. 2AM’s Lee Chang-min (이창민) and 8Eight’s Lee Hyun (이현) formed the project group in 2010, due to a collaboration between 2AM’s parent company JYP Entertainment and 8Eight’s parent company Big Hit Entertainment, while both their respective groups were still active. This was possible because Big Hit Entertainment‘s CEO used to be a composer for JYP Entertainment. In 2014, 2AM moved their contracts back to JYP Entertainment, while Lee Chang-min decided to stay with Big Hit Entertainment to further his career, both solo and as part of Homme. The same year, 8Eight disbanded after the other 2 members of the group decided to not renew their contracts.
From what I’ve seen, Homme generally sing ballad songs. I consider them a male version of Davichi, in that they’re male vocalists who sing ballads (2BiC has an R&B style). They performed four times in 2016, winning at least 1 round in 2 episodes, but unfortunately losing out to the final performers each time. They scored very high marks of 422 and 439 respectively, and the winning score was within 10 points of theirs, at 429 and 443. Their most recent performance was on the “Drama OST Special”, so you might recognize it.
They also released a song recently, around a month ago.
Yurisangja (which means “Glass Box”) is fifth on our list. Similar to Homme, Yurisangja is technically a project duo (instead of debuting together), but this time of two singers/guitarists rather than members of other groups. Park Seung-hwa (박승화) made his debut as a solo singer in 1993. While Park was singing the 2nd album songs, Lee Se-joon (이세준), also a solo singer back then, participated in the chorus for Park Seung-hwa’s performance. Their first album together was in 1997 (yep, that’s 20 years ago), so these guys have some tenure. They’ve been participating together on and off from Immortal Songs 2 for the last 3-4 years, and their most recent performance is this week’s English broadcast.
From a quick search on YouTube, it turns out they pulled a similar thing to what 15& did for 2016 – both members released solo songs in the past 2 weeks, and then performed together in Immortal Songs 2. They ended up winning this week’s episode, by the way, with a respectable score of 424.
Bonus: if you want to listen to a really emotionally charged performance by Lee Se-joon on Immortal Songs 2, click here. But be warned, there is a good chance you will cry. Unfortunately there’s no KBS World version of this performance, so I can’t embed it here, but it’s one of my favorite performances.
Now we’re getting to the married couples! Kim So-hyun (김소현) and Son Jun-ho (손준호) are crowd favorites because of how good their performances are and how much they show their love to each other. They’re both musical actors, and through revelations on Immortal Songs 2, apparently they met each other on the Korean adaptation of “Phantom of the Opera”, when they were cast together. Incidentally, they performed a “Phantom of the Opera” medley in January.
Together, they’ve performed a total of 5 times so far in 2016, winning 2 weeks of those 5 (No, the POTO medley didn’t win, surprisingly). I’ve embedded the most recent winning performance for your convenience below.
Bonus: to tie in with the other married couple that performs frequently on Immortal Songs 2, here’s a rare fusion performance (they normally sing pieces from operas and musicals).
Last, but definitely not least, is married couple, traditional meets contemporary, Poppin’ Hyun-joon (팝핀현준) and Park Ae-ri. Hands down, there is no celebrity couple I know of that can match these two – he’s known as one of the best popping dancers in worldwide breakdancing leagues, and she’s a pansori singer. Let me repeat that – she sings traditional Korean music, and he dances in a hip-hop style. Going back to the POTO medley by Kim So-hyun and Son Jun-ho, this is the couple that beat them, with this performance. That landed them the winning score for the week, and it’s their only winning performance in 2016 so far. Unfortunately, this also doesn’t have a KBS World video version, so I can’t embed into this post.
One thing I can say about them, however, is that every performance can only be described as art. Between his choreography and her ability to tell a story while singing, each performance is mesmerizing. But, enough of me yapping – take a look for yourself. KBSKpop video of “If I Leave”, again, no KBS World video, unfortunately. Here’s another, with Madd Chadd, from the Step Up movies (the robot dancer).