MAMA 2013: One To Remember or Forget?

MAMA 2013 has now passed and people are already talking about MAMA 2014. Before we go there, let’s look at what happened this year. It was a tough cahllenge, but I managed to stay up all night to see it. I stayed up from 10:30pm the day before and did not sleep until 3:30pm the next day. That’s because I had to go to school after the show ended, then a doctor’s appointment. This is the dedication of a K-pop fan and a MAMA fan. Anyway, I used the MNET America stream from the MAMA site and the red carpet came first.

MAMA 2013 had a 2 hour coverage of the red carpet, which occasionally went out to show a foggy scene for the venue and some commercials. The fog seems to be common for that area and maybe the time of year, since I recall seeing it at last year’s MAMA. 

[Photo Credit:] Link:

Two hours of red carpet coverage! I could not believe it, but maybe it was the same from last year. I had to run soon after the show this year, so I might not have noticed it last year. I felt like the red carpet coverage was not as exciting as last year. I recall last year had a few more performances than this year, but it was still a good amount of coverage. The coverage started with a group called “Voice of the Stars” and their performance was called “Honey”. I don’t know much about them, but the music was am energetic start to the red carpet coverage. The first stars that showed up (per MNet footage) were Jong Hyung and Soo Hyuk. Some people might remember Soo Hyuk as the man who walked with CL down the MNet 20’s Choice Awards “blue carpet”. The next guests were Ylvis, who are gaining popularity for their song “The Fox”. The next person to appear on the red carpet was Park Jae Jung, who is well known for being the youngest winner of Superstar K5. The footage occasionally went to a segment called “K-Style”, which often had the same guest later heading to the main red carpet. The first group of “idols” to show up were the contestants of “Dancing 9”, who later won an award for “Best Dance Performance”. Next on the red carpet for the idol side was Crayon Pop. They not only wore their helmets, but they had capes as well. I guess it makes sense for them to keep the helmets, since that is a symbol of recognition for them. The capes were probably added for flare because it was MAMA, but they just looked like a cross between magical girls and power rangers. Actually, they looked like the power rangers from “Power Rangers: Mystic Force”. Wow. I just realized that one. Anyway, UWHO also performed on the red carpet. This group was mentioned to be a KCON’13, which is a convention in the U.S. for K-pop and aims to spread the Hallyu Wave. I can’t find much on them, but they received a “warm” applause. Lee Jung Hyun was next on the red carpet and she received a special award on the spot. It was likely for her contributions to Kpop, since those words were mentioned around the time she was handed the award. A few more notable guests came down the red carpet, such as actress Go Eun Hee, Paris Hilton, SNSD (Hyoyeon and Seohyun), Kim Jong Kook and Song Ji Hyo (Sparta and Ace from Running Man! and EXO (in full attendance). A-Pink showed up in black dresses with ornate gold-colored designs. Sistar showed up without Bora and 2NE1 came with all their members. Most of the guests had black as a color on their outfits, while a few had different colors like Seohyun with a beige dress and Paris Hilton with a red dress. I remember hearing that red was once banned on the red carpet, but that rule no longer applies. Big Bang arrived on the red carpet in a modest fashion, which means from a helicopter and Taeyang hopped on Danny of 1TYM’s back. It was cute and it’s nice when guests make the red carpet fun.

See what I mean about the “Mystic Force Power Rangers” relation? It’s fun and the helmets worked because Crayon Pop is still new and this is how they are mainly recognized. 

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Sistar went for a sexy approach. The strapless/bustier-style dresses give off a sexy vibe in a different sexy vibe from the dresses that emphasize curves, but it still works for Sistar. 

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Hyoyeon and Seohyun from South Korean K-pop group Girls' Generation pose on the red carpet during Asian Music Awards in Hong Kong

Hyoyeon’s dress is one Dancing 9 stars will remember her wearing before and Seohyun is shown here in the beige/cream-colored dress mentioned above. A little side note is that one of the hosts apparently believes he stepped on her dress. ><

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Members from 2NE1 pose on the red carpet during Asian Music Awards in Hong Kong

2NE1 showed up looking fantastic, but I noticed some of them looked a bit tired. A LINE update from Dara’ confirms this, but they still gave an amazing performance and looked great all night.

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Celebrity Paris Hilton walks on the red carpet during the Mnet Asian Music Awards in Hong Kong

Paris Hilton was apparently invited because she is well-known in Asia and received well by Asian fans. She did mention liking Kpop artists, but she did not specific any specific group or artist. 

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Members from South Korean K-pop group Exo meet reporters at backstage after winning the Album of the Year award at the Mnet Asian Music Awards in Hong Kong

EXO showed up in full attendance and the ceremony itself opened up with a dance performance from EXO member Kai, which was titled “Enter the MAMA”. A few celebrities mentioned looking forward to EXO’s performance during the ceremony. 

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Kim Jong Kook “Sparta” and Song Ji Hyo “Ace” are famous for their skill in the variety show “Running Man!”, but they appeared calm and looking their best as award presenters at MAMA 2013.

[Photo Credit:] Link:

The actual show started with a musical performance by someone named Jourim with “Enter the Dragon” and a rap sequence by Jay Park and Hanuel. Something In noticed were VIP fan glow-sticks all throughout the audience. I know it makes sense because Big Bang came back to MAMA, but the amount of VIPs present were massive. Anyway, Lee Seung Gi was announced as the host this year and the awards quickly moved forward. CL of 2NE1 won for “Best Dance Performance” with “Baddest Female”, Sistar won for “Best Dance Performance-Female Group” with “Give it to Me” and GD of Big Bang won ” Nissan Juke-Best Music Video” with “Coup D’etat”. A few performances happened afterwards, such as a joint performance by Trouble Maker and Infinite titled “Gangs of Hong Kong”. Hyuna walks out with her back up dancers and they’re armed, which leads to a surrounding of Hyunseung. Trouble Maker starts with “Now”, which ends with Hyunseung being sniped by Infinite’s Hoya. This leads into Infinite’s performance, which was composed of “BTD” and “Destiny”. It ended with Hyuna coming back for revenge on Hoya, which apparently ended in an interesting way because it cuts to the audience and catches a hilarious reaction from Big Bang’s Seungri.

More awards followed, such as “Discovery of the Year” for BaeChiGi, “Best New Female Artist” for Crayon Pop, “Best Asian Artist-Singapore” for Derrick Hoh, “Best Asian Artist Vietnam” for Thu Minh, “Best Asian Artist-Thailand” for Tor Saksit, “Best Asian Artist-Indonesia” for SM + SH, “Best Asian Artist-China” for Aron Kwok and “Best Asian Artist-Japan” for Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (KPP). After the various “Best Asian Artist” awards segment finished, the ceremony continued in person. GD won “Best Male Artist”, which made his award count go up to two and 2NE1 did a collab/joint performance with Icona Pop. The title of the performance was “4 Love” and it started with Icona Pop singing their songs “All Night” and “I Love It”, which had CL coming in during “I Love it” for a special collaboration. The stage then became the comeback stage for 2NE1 as they sang “Lonely”, then moved on to their new single “Missing You”. I’ll admit that 2NE1’s stage performance was very simple, but the stage was mainly being used as the comeback stage for “Missing You”. That song is an emotional ballad, which means there are no flashing lights and blasting music. The performance was meant to show off each member’s vocal talents, which I felt it did excellently. Something most people point out is the faulty sound system MAMA has had lately and I have to agree with those people. MAMA needs to do something to fix this or the performances will be held back somewhat each time. Even with this potential handicap, each performance seemed to please the audience and meet the expectations of each group’s fans.

The “UnionPay-Song of the Year” went to Cho Yong-Pil for “Bounce”. The awards “Song of the Year”, “Artist of the Year” and “Album of the Year” are the big awards, so earning one is a big deal. Cho Yong-Pil was not physically present to accept the award, so a video message of acceptance was played instead. It is likely that the artist is told of this a day before or so, then records a message. I believe this because some of the artists who gave video messages had the actual award with them. These included Cho Yong-Pil and almost all of the winner for the “Best Asian Artist” awards in their respective nation. As mentioned earlier, Dancing 9 won the award for “Best Dance Performance”. GD won “Best Dance Performance-Male” with “Crooked”, which made his total award count go up to three and Ailee won for “Best Vocal Performance-Female” with “U&I”. I’m very happy Ailee won because it’s a good “pick-me-up” from her recent troubles and it shows how much support she still has on her side. She definitely earned it because “U&I” shows off her amazing vocal skills and there are a lot of powerful notes she sings in that song. The next performance started after that and it was the collaboraton of Ylvis and Crayon Pop. It was titled “Fox Says “Bar Bar Bar” ” and started with Ylvis performing “The Fox”, which moved into Crayon Pop taking over with some of their song “Bar Bar Bar”. I loved this stage performance because Ylvis and Crayon Pop were both happy and playful on stage. Ylvis even put on helmets to match Crayon Pop when they joined together on stage. They even put a helmet on their giant fox in the background and their performance was well received by the audience, which is shown to have some enthusiastic idols in it. ^^

The next award was the “Style in Music” award and it went to Sistar. I’ve read that some people beleive other grups were more deserving, but I believe Sistar did earn the award. I’ll guess that they looked at the more recent performances, so I’ll use “Give It To Me” as an example. The “moulin-rouge” style in the video and performances is a good one and shows off plenty of style from each member. I guess some people don’t know how to lose graciously, but at least it isn’t wide spread. The following award was the “Next Generation Global Star” award. which went to A Pink. This basically means A Pink is expected to “pull a PSY” with their career, which also means we should be watching their performances closely. Before anyone goes crazy about the PSY reference, one cannot deny he is a classic example of what that award means. I was outside the Infinite concert venue in NYC and explaining to curious pedestrians that it was a K-pop concert. The first thing an older couple said was “Is it PSY?”, which was followed by “Let’s go see him!” It doesn’t matter if you like PSY or not, but his status as a “Global Star” is a real one. Moving on to the following awards, Infinite won the “Sony MDR Worldwide Performer Award” and Ylvis won for “International Favorite Artist”. EXO’s performance followed with a quick intro of each member eventually freeing themselves from chains to a desk. The performance was titled “Beauty and the Beast”, which was composed of “Growl” and “Wolf”. An interesting note about this performance is that EXO member D.O. suffered an ankle injury during the performance, which is why he was not present to accept the award they received later in the ceremony. He is reported to be okay and will go through physical therapy to heal.

The next award given ot was one of the “Big Three” and it was “BC Union Pay Artist of the Year”. which went to GD. This made his award count go up once again and hit four, but this is where it stops. Even if that is where GD’s winning streak ends, he was still considered to have “swept” the awards show in terms of winning awards. It was an amazing thing to see, but not something that was unexpected. Online voting may have only been 10 or 20%, but the amount of votes made it clear GD was going to win more than one award, “Best Dance Performance” went to SHINee and I feel it was well deserved. “Everybody” is the only SHINee song I have heard and dance I have seen, but I like it. If you have any you think I should see, then tell me. That song’s dance is fun and made me feel like SHINee had earned the award, but they had to use a video message to accept the award because they were not physically at the ceremony.  I’ll move quickly into a big part of MAMA 2013, which was Big Bang’s performance. Viewer ratings company TNmS shows MAMA 2013 views shooting up to 6.917% during Big Bang’s performance ( T.O.P once again opened for his group with his new song “Doom Dada”, which ended pretty quickly at the end and had a hilarious scene of CL just getting into the groove of the music (><). Taeyang came out next and performed “Ringa Linga”, which led into Seungri’s “Let’s Talk About Love”. Seungri’s performance led into GD’s “Crooked” and finally Big Bang performed “Fantastic Baby”. Big Bang got everyone moving to their music and once again “stole the show”. MAMA was their playground once again and nobody argued with it. >_<

The following awards were “Best Male Vocal Performance” for Lee Seung Gi,  “Best Rap Performance”  for Dynamic Duo (I was hoping for MFBTY), “Best Band Performance” for  Busker Busker, “Best Female Group” for Girls’ Generation (SNSD), “Best Male Group” for Infinite, “Best Concert Performer” for Lee Seung Chul and “Best Female artist” for Lee Hyori (The Queen!). Now let me talk a bit about “Best Female Group” and why I saw it coming. People who pay attention know I’m a Blackjack and wanted 2NE1 to win. I voted, promoted and bought their songs. Along with contributing views to MVs, I did all that I could do and I hoped for my girls to win. The part I felt would have SNSD win was in the category of sales, which was made of up digital and physical sales. 2NE1 is also called the “Queens of Digital Singles”, but that is not enough. I don’t believe 2NE1 has released a physical album or single with their recent comeback, so there is 0% in that category. This means SNSD gets physical and digital points, which make up for 2NE1 likely dwarfing their score in digital sales. I hoped for the best, but I had a feeling it would turn out that way. However, I can lose graciously and there is always next year. Just because your favorite did not win does not mean they are not the best in your heart. It’s what you think that matters and it’s just one award at the end of the day. Life goes on and 2NE1 finished their pre-recorded performance on Inkigayo not long ago. They don’t have time to sit and mope, so fans should not either. Just use this as a lesson for next year and hope for the best. Something I loved was the performance by Stevie Wonder, which was a smashing hit with the audience and especially certain idols the camera caught. 2NE1 got up and danced to his last song, which also included other idols. It was composed of “Lately”, “Isn’t She Lovely” and “Superstition”. “Isn’t She Lovely” is apparently a popular song for K-pop artists to do covers of, so that was an excellent choice for him to sing. The next performance was the collaboration of Stevie Wonder with Sistar’s Hyorin, which was called “I Just Called To Say I Love You”. Aaron Kwok joined in as well, which went over well with the audience. I loved this collaboration and I believe it was an excellent choice to invite Stevie Wonder to MAMA 2013. He is a legend and everyone knows his name.

Stevie Wonder was then presented with the award for “Music Makes One Global Ambassador”, which recognizes his contribution to the effort of uniting all people in the world through music. Let’s not forget Rain’s return to the music scene after his service in the military, which was met with a lot of excitement from viewers and the crowd. Hyoyeon was even caught on camera mouthing the words to his opening song, before it moved back to Rain.

The last big award of the night was “Album of the Year, which went to EXO for their album “XOXO”. EXO has a lot of hype around them and has a strategic advantage by being split into EXO-K and EXO-M, so one side’s fans will rally to vote for the other side in any awards show. This does not mean they did not earn it, but it does mean SM Entertainment was thinking ahead somewhat. We’ll soon see how well EXO does in the harsh world of K-pop.That was essentially MAMA 2013 in a nutshell, even if it is a rather large nutshell. I enjoyed MAMA 2013 very much and look forward to MAMA 2014. I feel like the red carpet for MAMA 2012 was a bit more exciting than this year, but the show was even better this year. The sound system needs to be revamped and improved to make the performances even better, but it doesn’t ruin the performances for me. Something some people noticed and I noticed as well was that the camera did not zoom in on a wide variety of audience members this year. It was mostly GD or EXO, which made me a little disappointed. They did get some other idols, but not many more. I’m glad they caught Seungri’s reaction to the stage performance event with Hyuna and Hoya, but there should have been a wider variety of audience shots.  I walk away very pleased with MAMA this year and I hope everyone else enjoyed it too. I also hope everyone enjoyed this entry on MAMA 2013. I do believe it is one to remember. Until next time everyone.

Mnet America seems to have made the full covarage video “Private” now, so clips are above. MAMA 2013 will be up in full coverage on the MAMA site eventually at

So, what did you think of MAMA 2013?

You can also leave comments below. ^_^


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