Dedicated to SS501 4D Leader Kim Hyun Joong

[Pexers Write-Ups] Sitting In the Front Row

Author:  AprilStarr

Photos Credit As Tagged

Do you know who sits in the front row of any significant gathering? Celebrities and distinctive guests of course. It’s unimaginable to think of Kim Hyun Joong seated elsewhere. Unless he wants to be incognito or nobody knew he was coming.

Seats in the Front Rows have been reserved since time immemorial for the royalties of fashion, entertainment,arts, other known branch of Culture,political figures and other personages such as sponsors and potential investors that need to be impressed or lent their importance to the event.

Even as a newcomer in the Kpop scene KHJ in variety shows sat in front where the cameras and the mc’s prioritised his presence. You can actually see other guests strained their necks to be seen or had to shout out their contributions to be heard.

Celebrity Marketing

Was it a case of celebrity marketing for KHJ to seat him in front? If it was, it was successful.No he didn’t have to look outrageous. He was at his natural best- handsome, funny, witty and speaking whatever comes to his mind earning him being called a 4D. It cannot be denied he was the program’s favourite if he happens to grace one.

While the show did contribute to his increasing popularity, KHJ’ s presence pulled up the show ratings as well. Directors knew that the moment Hyun Joong’s face is flashed on the screen numbers go up. Exactly, this is why cameras stayed glued on him. One of the other perennial  guests complained “why his shots were cut and not HJ”, to which he responded,”you tried too hard”. HJ was just himself enjoying his stay.

Even when he wasn’t doing anything and not on stage as performer or on the runway as a model he was seated in the front row. This was how he lent his recognizability to fashion shows or other event where he was the invited guest.He wasn’t declared a three time winner of being Style Icon for Kpop for nothing. Several years being winner of “most searched in Yahoo”strengthened his position as Hallyu star with an international fanbase in many countries.

Other Ways to Stay Front Row

Practically he is also at the front row of many advertisements endorsing products and services that no less than CNN noted “no product worth buying without KHJ saying so”. Of course the casual shirts,the athletic getup, the formal attire looked like they were precisely cut and sewn on him alone. But his sartorial good looks and the ways he carried them can rub on any wearer,or so the manufacturers think. Or pray they will.

Did he not stay front row in numerous interviews for magazines as he made it in their cover photos? The same way happened in interviews over for television entertainment portals answering truthfully ( or so it seemed) questions fielded at him or evading those intruding into his love life every time he has a music album out or a new drama.

As if having a wax figure in a museum isn’t enough, his airport fashion does not escape scrutiny, the soccer field, rare public sightings and every episode of Barefoot Friends his fans documented even the moments he isn’t playing as if he is in the front row all the time.

Yet left on his own he wishes to avoid over exposure. He does not tweet, nor do Instagram, most of all did not open a Facebook account. He chose his projects carefully seeing to it his drama appearances is not sacrificed to his concert performances and vice versa.

When he joined the military as a conscript in May of last year, camera shots gave him importance, and why not, he is the KHJ and was the only one escorted by the big boss of Key East and several bodyguards( not family members). Looking at past photos you’d think he was in the front row already a trademark anyway, as everybody is already accustomed to seeing.

Now that the inner core of his private life being played out in public by tabloid media and through exchanges between legal representatives he remains “seated in the front row” although other characters have inserted themselves to share, though pathetically, that reflected glory.

Thanks, no thanks to the unscrupulous media who jumped at all opportunities to write about him and all the salacious details to sell their products and services, KHJ can be said to maintain his position as most searched. Hence, still sitting in front though in a hot seat. There are those who commented wryly, the media coverage made his personal life like a never ending small screen Korean drama.

How Long Will He be “Sitting in Front”?

International observers of celebrities who rise and fall noted that celebrities must change through life milestones such as getting married,having a family, scandal optional to stay in the radar of their publics. It goes without saying they are able to withstand the effects of changeover in their career. Even if it means shedding more blood,sweat and tears than before.

It also translate into a fact that celebrities should not be boring, doing the same thing like a broken record. If they have setbacks from scandals ( from personal issues or public abrasions) they should eventually able to put them behind. Recovery may take short or long period of time depending on  how resilient the celebrity is and how forgiving the public to accept them again.

Kim Hyun Joong is no stranger to scandals. He has had them such as when he attended a birthday celebration of a despised ex-national leader, when he figured in a motor accident and when he changed management company. The interest in these so called scandals depended on the public perceptions fueling intense fan debates. His most recent one (still going on scandal),according to some observers, is the longest period of time a celebrity has gone through to date (2 years).

Although unbelievers in his ability to bounce back has proclaimed he is finished in his career,it is said they have largely forgotten Kim Hyun Joong has the habit of surprising his public of his discipline, new talent and skills honed behind the scenes, to present his unlimited self through his work.

He showed the range of what he was able to do and what else he can do at the rate he produced and launched his music albums in the past. He put in the extravaganza in Lucky Guy, the bad boy vibe in Breakdown, the party feel in another,the angst of a lover next, playfulness and rock mood  completed the varieties then. Not really aiming for  commercial success but acting in characters that challenges his abilities in dramas no matter how hard it took him to be in their shoes. His works were all about him : confident without being abrasive about it, creative without being just fancy, doing the unexpected and surpassing his previous achievements.

If he can be called a workaholic, it is an understatement. His fans know this and have seen his various transformations since becoming solo artist. He burst out of his cocoon as if making up for lost time.His works are his best tool to show he is in charge.

His persona is another matter. He is transparent, brave yet vulnerable at times, happy like a child for simple pleasures yet manly to own his setbacks because he knows he can overcome them. Many times he showed he was able to.His comebacks ( a favourite expression used on Kpop stars)were nothing less than spectacular. His absence is always a prelude to something unusual and well thought out presentation of a master showman.

Even his mandatory hiatus couldn’t and HJ wouldn’t allow it to cool down his ardor for the
profession he embraced so passionately. It is not surprising if we learn that he has prepared himself psychologically and physically to bounce back, which is a very sound thing to do in order to move on. Somebody said setbacks are structured to prepare one for a comeback? Even with the legal cases raging on as long as his love for his work remains fierce and his focus steadfast, there is no way for him but to go up. If for him success is not an end in itself but the motor  leading to the next chapter of his career, he will remain sitting in the front row


12 responses

  1. Whoa! Very good article! 👍👍👍👍👍👍
    Fans should prepare for khj version 2.0… He will come back with a bang!
    That chair in the front row is reserved to kim hyun joong… He can sit there everytime he likes!

    Friday, August 26, 2016 at 5:48 pm

  2. Victoria Henecia

    Woow!! A perfect description of KHJ.

    Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 8:48 pm

  3. wevee

    Thank you so much for a heartfelt writing. What you wrote is so true in my heart. He is so special and unique I hope he realizes it.

    Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at 2:29 am

  4. jazu

    well written thanks

    Monday, August 15, 2016 at 1:05 pm

  5. Cagome

    He is beautiful.

    Monday, August 15, 2016 at 12:41 pm

  6. What a beautiful description of JH. Yes, he will be back and stronger than ever. He is unbreakable because God has him, so people need to stop trying to bring him down. Thank God for all who stood by him and prayed. Look out KE, for you did not protect him and he was your money marker. Will he forgive you? Yes, because that is who he is.

    Saturday, August 13, 2016 at 10:27 am

  7. clstock56

    Hi, I am still thinking every day about Kim Hyun Joong, and praying that he gets his day in court for the criminal case… and I still am angry at Korean trash news Media, Police, so called Justice system, the anti fans who love to hate, Evil Choi, Evil attny for Choi, KE, And all the Celebrity’s and People of Korea that knew him so well and yet,(accept for a few you could count on your hand) didn’t come to KHJ support. But your positive message is one I needed to hear. Watching the wonderful fans who post on facebook the Days left (it’s amazing how time has flown by) I’m reminded that it’s not that long and he will be coming back to us. I wonder what his plans are.. I hope you have some insight or knowledge about his state of mind.. because I pray that you’re assessment of it is correct. Using the “Front Row” to explain his Proper Placement, I Am always Praying that he Overcomes all the Haters and stands on the stage and sits in the front row again.

    Saturday, August 13, 2016 at 10:16 am

  8. Cagome

    Thank you Apilstarr!I missed your articles a lot.Please write more.You have always interesting points of view.

    Saturday, August 13, 2016 at 10:06 am

  9. Cagome

    He is Vip.Always will be.Is his destiny.He is very talented and beautiful artist.He always will do his best.Fighting.

    Saturday, August 13, 2016 at 10:03 am

  10. mightymom

    What a wonderful article! A perfect description of who KHJ is, as a celebrity and as a man. Thank you.

    Saturday, August 13, 2016 at 9:45 am

  11. Wow! This is the precise words to define who is the real Kim Hyun Joong. You said it all. He is amazingly unique that makes him different from other celebrities I’ve known. He always stand out from the crowd. He is one of the many wonderful creation of God. I thank God for the great opportunity to know and love this one of a kind man. You are the best Kim Hyun Joong!

    Saturday, August 13, 2016 at 5:46 am

  12. PattiP

    Wow that was incredibly, wonderfully written. Thank you for that. Can’t help but think of this line, “nobody puts baby (HJK) in the corner” (from Dirty Dancing). I know he will come back stronger & more popular than before. Thanks again for this great read.

    Saturday, August 13, 2016 at 2:33 am

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