Race start! This time it’s in Singapore!
After months of anticipation, the cast of the immensely popular South Korea variety show ‘Running Man’ are finally in town for their Running Man Fan Meeting Asia Tour 2013 on Oct 19, at the Singapore Expo.
The third stop to the Asia Tour following Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur, is Singapore welcoming five of the seven beloved resident hosts – Kim Jong Kook, Song Ji Hyo, Ji Suk Jin, HaHa (Ha Dong Hoon) and Gary (Kang Hee Gun).
Dubbed ‘Watsons Race Start! In Singapore’, the much-awaited Running Man fan meet is a sell-out event and expects a crowd of over 3,000. While members Yoo Jae Suk and Lee Kwang Soo could not join the Singapore leg of the tour, fans can anticipate a refreshing performance with Ji Hyo on board the fan meeting for the very first time.
But before meeting the fans, the media managed to catch up with the cast at the press conference on Oct 18 at the W Singapore, Sentosa Cove. Monday Couple’s kiss? Running Man to film at the Singapore Flyer? Sparta’s love for trees? Members shared it all!
With wide grins and a polite bow, members kick-started the session with their impressions of Singapore. Most familiar with Singapore is none other than Jong Kook, who answered most questions in English throughout the session! Here for the third time, three things caught Sparta’s attention – “Trees are very big. Streets are very clean. People are very nice.” Interesting how trees were quoted, the emcee jokingly said that Jong Kook could consider being an ambassador and mascot for trees – big and strong. Laughing, Jong Kook reaffirmed his love, “Yes. The last time I was here, I talked about the trees a lot!”
HaHa, on the other hand, is the advocate for Chili Crab since his first visit with Skull in July this year. Nodding in agreement was Gary. Having arrived the previous night ahead of the rest, Gary revealed, “I actually had chilli crab last night. It was really delicious!” The peaceful boy said he also had the opportunity to check out some clubs.
Since it is Ji Hyo’s maiden promotion tour with the rest of the ‘running men’, there was a fierce wave of cheering from the media to welcome Ace Miss Mong!
So how is like being the only female cast in Running Man? Ji Hyo said, “There is definitely a little bit of difference being the only girl, but I don’t think the rest of the members treat me too differently. So it doesn’t really matter whether it is female or male, what really matters is about being part of Running Man…”
Jong Kook chipped in before she could finish, “She is not woman,” eliciting laughter all around, “sometimes she is stronger than us!” Stronger than Sparta? “Well, sometimes!”
When asked to give a glimpse of what everyone can look forward to at the fan meeting, HaHa said the performance will be very engaging and intimate, and he urged the crowd to have loads of fun and to ‘GO CRAZY’. Impala Hyung Suk Jin added to also look out for the brand new performance by the Monday Couple!
Well, Monday Couple is definitely one of viewers’ favourites. Who can forget Episode 163 (not only because BIGBANG was there!) when Gary kissed Ji Hyo? One would wonder how did Ji Hyo felt about the kiss, and why is Gary so courageous these days.
Gary admitted that, “To be honest, I was really feeling a little crazy at that moment!” Everyone’s attention then turned to Ji Hyo, who was laughing shyly as Gary mumbled something by the side. HaHa was quick to ‘betray’ and exposed that Gary has just whispered to Ji Hyo “Say it was HOT.”
Giggling non-stop, Ji Hyo finally stuttered, “It was good for me.” This got everyone in room very excited! Other members even stood up and chanted ‘KISS KISS’. While regretfully, there was no kiss in the end, Monday Couple definitely heightened the atmosphere once again!
Steering back to the show – when asked what kind of power would members like to take away from each other, the Running Man family expressed their complicated love for one another’s ‘assets’. HaHa said he wants the invincible strength of Jong Kook and the sweetness of the Monday Couple. In turn, Jong Kook wants HaHa’s son. Suk Jin wants HaHa’s betrayal style, and Haha joked that he wants to take away some age from Suk Jin!
While Jong Kook showed off his English, one local journalist showed off her Korean when she asked about the reduced focus on nametag tearing games in the recent episodes. Surprised, Jong Kook asked, “You are really from Singapore?” while Suk Jin exclaimed, “You speak better Korean than Kwang Soo.” He must have missed his Easy Brother!
Gary explained, “There are some episodes with the nametags tearing that are filmed but not yet broadcasted” and meanwhile, we are exploring a lot of new segments and hope to develop the show further, to be even more engaging and fun. Hope to receive everyone’s support!”
So was there a time where it was too tough that everyone wish they could stop running in the show? In unison, Jong Kook, HaHa and Suk Jin exclaimed “Every episode!”
They were asked, “Finally, Running Man is now part of the Hallyu (Korean Wave) and members’ fashion has been inspiring many fans from around the world, so how does it feel to be a trendsetter?”
“It is definitely a great honour for all of us. Thank you (fans) for following us!” said Gary, “We have uniforms (and sportswear) in the show and we try to make them as fashionable as possible. But I guess the most popular would be the nametags? Last night at the club, I heard someone had a nametag at the back of his shirt!”
HaHa quipped, “There are also a lot of people following the caps that Ji Hyo wears!”
Rounding off, members thanked everyone for all the relentless love and support given to Running Man. And to Singapore fans, Jong Kook said that he has good impression of the sunny island and that “I am very happy to be here with my fellow co-stars, and I am always happy to be in Singapore.”
Suk Jin added, “There is a Singapore Flyer? I hope that Running Man will be able to film in Singapore one day, with an overlooking view of the Singapore Flyer.”
So stay tuned fans, Singapore might just be the next stop for Running Man episodes after Vietnam, Hong Kong and Macau!
Special thanks to Sony Pictures Television (SPT) Networks, Asia for the invite.
New episodes of Running Man premiere on Fridays at 11.45pm, exclusively on channel ONE.
Repeat air on the following Friday at 7.40pm, as well as on Saturdays and Sundays at 11.15pm
ONE is available on SingTel mio TV channels 513, 604 and StarHub TV channels 124, 820, 823 and 876.
Article by: Kathryn Zhang
Photos by: Hidayah Hamdan
Edited by: Mana
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