Following last year’s success, the highly anticipated event by Singaporean Runners – “Race Start!Season 2” was held on November 29th 2014 at The Star Performing Arts Centre, proudly organized by ONE. The quintet of the exceptionally popular action variety show, consisting of Ji Suk Jin, Kim Jong Kook, HaHa (Ha Dong Hoon), Song JiHyo&Lee KwangSoo were in town last Saturday for a fan meeting which drew a massive crowd of 2,600 of all ages.
The 120-minute event had all the aspects of an enjoyable and interactive concert – a relay race, speed gesture quiz with lucky fans, solo and collaborative song performances, video clips of unforgettable moments from the various episodes of the show, topped with witty remarks and entertaining silly antics. Although two of the 7-member cast – YooJaesuk&Gary were unable to attend the fan meet due to conflicting schedules, the evening was definitely a remarkable one with highlights such as the parody dance performance of the sultry “Trouble Maker” by the “Easy Brothers” – Ji Suk Jin and Lee KwangSoo where the latter was dressed in a leopard printed sequin dress.
Another highlight was clearly the “SeokJin’sPenalty” where one random fan was selected to share a pepero stick with him. The “Pepero Kiss” game’s objective is to make the shortest possible leftover in the middle however; the goal would probably take a change when it’s a lucky (or unlucky?) 14-year-old boy who is selected for the task. As the adolescent makes his way towards the stage, the other 4 of the Running Man cast were “consoling” the boy with encouraging hugs as they shake their heads in disbelief. Jong Kook also playfully teased as he exclaimed that it was the boy’s penalty instead of Suk Jin’s. Both highlights undoubtedly drew excited screams, roar of cheers and laughter from the crowd.
Although the games played with the lucky fans was simple, the segment was still filled with humor and gags thanks to the seasoned entertainers who gave their fans a real-life taste of their signature top-notch entertainment as seen on-screen from the variety show, episode after episode without fail. With HaHa and Kwangsoo cheeky cheating antics during the relay game, Kwangsoo never-ending rivalry spirit with Jong Kook who made the muscular one lost in the finale with JiHyo. We would also like to give props to JiHyo who didn’t only did almost all of the 50 sit-ups during both rounds of the relay race but also independently carried a lucky female fan a piggy back ride and eventually winning the relay race; undeniably proving that she is indeed the team’s ace.
Humorous antics aside, the cast also showed their emotional sides with ballad performance such as “My Destiny” from the OST of the popular hit drama “You Who Came from the Stars“. During solo stages, Suk Jin performed a classic hit; “Just the Way You Are” showing off his smoothing vocals and the “Asia Prince” Kwangsoo impressed the audience with his vocals and piano skills while performing Kim Bum Soo’s “I Miss You“. Despite Kim Jong Kook muscular appearance which is often feared by the other Running Man cast, he owns a trademark high-pitched yet smoothing voice which the attendees of the fan meet got to experience as he sang “One Man” and “Sunday Morning“. Although he apologized and mentioned that he was down with flu that day, Jong Kook who debuted under a dance-pop group Turbo in 1995 still lives up his status as a veteran singer and sang beautifully without noticeable mistakes. The ace of the group, actress JiHyo also sang a ballad from the sound track of the popular drama “Emergency Couple” which she starred in, namely “Scent of a Flower” originally by Lim JeongHee.
Even without Gary attendance at the fan meet, fans of the famous “Monday Couple” were not left out as the other half – JiHyo performed Leessang’s “Turn off the TV” together with Jong Kook and HaHa who appeared wearing masks with Gary’s face. The two “Garys” were singing, rapping and dancing along to the song with Jong Kook’s signature greasy dance move while HaHa finished off the performance by shouting Gary’s trademark phrase “Stress!” Rapper HaHa was the last to perform for the solo-lineup and he surely got the party started as he gamely got the audience up on their feet jumping and dancing as he gave them a dose of his own upbeat medley; with hits such as “Rosa“. Throughout the solo stages, red roses were given out to the fans personally by the cast themselves –Sweet HaHaeven went a step further by inviting a fan on stage, serenaded her and gave her a warm hug!
As Singapore was the last leg of “Race Start! Season 2 – Running Man Fan Meeting Tour”, the local fans had not one but two surprises for the hard working cast of Running Man. Towards the end of the fan meet, a popular English lullaby “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” was sang in harmony as the theatre was turned into a night sky of sparkling “stars” with fans’ hand phone lights. With “GomawoSaranghae” (Thank You, I Love You) displayed on the screen, the cast was also treated with a three-tiered fondant cake featuring adorable Running Man characters dressed in their respective animal costumes together with icons of Singapore! The surprise event definitely touched the cast’s hearts as they continuously expressed their gratitude and sincere thanks to the fans present – JiHyo even had tears in her eyes as she gave her ending speech.
The two hour fan meet extravaganza came to a final end as the Running Man cast came together and sang bright and lively songs such as Turbo’s “Twist King“, Kim Jong Kook’s “Lovely“, Skull &HaHa’s “Busan Vacance” and 2PM’s “Hands Up“. As we thought the night was over, the cast returned once again for another surprise encore, slowing down and ended off with Turbo’s “December“. During the encore, gave many fan service as they kneeled down and came close to the stage, randomly taking numerous fan’s mobile phone to take selfies and shake their hands, showing their utmost gratitude. Before finally leaving the stage, HaHa encouraged the crowd to do heart shapes and successfully filled the theater with a sea of hearts.
Even though theundeniably memorable Running Man fan meet has come to an end, the race with Running Man still continue on ONE with new episodes premiering on every Friday at 11.45pm. New episodes of Running Man premiere on Fridays at 11.45pm first and exclusively on ONE. Repeats air on the following Friday at 7.40pm, as well as on Saturdays and Sundays at 11.15pm
Korean Updates would like to extend our sincere thanks to ONE for the media invitation to “Race Start! Season 2 in Singapore – 2014 Running Man Fan Meet Tour“. Do check out our Twitter and Facebook page for more K-pop updates!
By Singapore Representative Cheng Zenna