Running Man Race Start in Singapore: Season 2 Tour

 

Running Man Race Start Season 2 Tour – The Press Conference

Tis the season to be jolly~ Yes, it’s that time of the year again where the cast of popular Korean variety show, Running Man, makes their way down to Singapore as part of the Race Start Season 2 Tour. The press conference session was held on the 28th of November at a ballroom in Pan Pacific Hotel where we met the five attending cast members; Ji Suk Jin (Suk Jin, 46), Kim Jong Kook (Jong Kook, 37), Ha Ha (Haha, 35), Song Ji Hyo (Ji Hyo, 33) and Lee Kwang Soo (Kwangsoo, 29) who shared exclusive stories that had taken place during the course of filming the show.

Although it wasn’t their first time here, the members were singing endless praises about Singapore. Suk Jin relieves the memory of having tried the famous Chilli Crab and Pepper Crab during his previous visit and hopes to be able to eat it again. Haha and Jongkook remark how beautiful and clean the city is while Kwangsoo praises the passionate fans and various staff members who attended to them when they arrived. Meanwhile, Jihyo, who had arrived a day earlier, had visited the SEA Aquarium and was looking forward to visiting the River Safari during her free time.

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Upon hearing that Running Man has and continues to be the No.1 show watched by viewers across all the television channels in Singapore this year, Jongkook, in fluent English, expressed that they were proud to be part of the show and very happy to know that so many people are watching and enjoying it. He shares that all the members have a great sense of responsibility towards the show and do their best every time to satisfy the audience.

On which episode was the most memorable, the members could hardly pick one as each of the many episodes filmed before hold a special meaning to them. Nevertheless, Haha chose their debut episode to be the most memorable. It was a big step for everyone to embark on a variety show of this kind. Further, they had to film for a non-stop 30 hours so it felt like it was unending, making it a truly memorable episode for everyone. Jihyo, on the other hand, felt that every episode was just as memorable as the next and especially so for the episodes which were filmed with just the seven Running Man members. More than anything else, she says that the time and effort spent with the members during the filming along with the laughter and tears shed during the show made it really memorable. It felt like the members truly bonded as a team.

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Sukjin, Haha and Kwangsoo were asked if the rollercoaster ride they took in Taiwan was the most terrifying thing they had ever done and if it wasn’t what was the most terrifying. Sukjin admitted that the bungee jump in Macau was more terrifying and he couldn’t bring himself to do it but agreed that the rollercoaster ride was still terrifying as he doubted himself many time while taking it. He also reveals that he watched the particular episode on television and was shocked to see his expression while he rode it. While Kwangsoo also agreed that the rollercoaster ride was very terrifying, he confessed that the most terrifying thing on Running Man is Jongkook. Haha immediately agrees, revealing that there is much tension and everyone is a bundle of nerves when they are left alone with him. He also jokingly adds that should Jongkook ride the rollercoaster, even the rollercoaster would be terrified of him!

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It seems like the fans can expect a lot from the upcoming fanmeeting. Jihyo shares that the members have prepared extensively for the fans. With Singapore being the last stop for Race Start Season 2 tour, the members are set to put in their utmost effort to give all the fans attending an enjoyable time such that they will be able to make unforgettable memories during the fanmeeting. Sukjin, Haha and Kwangsoo also randomly did the “betrayers” trademark action in the midst of Jihyo’s explanation, giving us a hint of the fun and laughter to expect of the members’ interactions during the fanmeeting. The final stop of the Running Man Race Start Season 2 takes place in Singapore on the 29th of November at The Star Theatre.

Running Man Race Start Season 2 Tour – The Fan Meeting

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It was a bustling evening on the 29th of November at The Star Theatre, the venue for the Singapore leg; and also the final stop of the Running Man Race Start Season 2 tour. Fans of all ages, and donning their Running Man themed apparels ranging from caps to varsity jackets and t-shirts with nametags while carrying light sticks and blinking LED boards came in throngs to fill up the venue. The theatre was buzzing with excitement as everyone waited in anticipation for the show to start.

The Singapore leg of the tour opened with all five members appearing on stage and singing to the theme song of Korean drama, ‘You Who Came from the Stars’, which was also broadcasted on SBS, the same broadcasting channel as Running Man is on and which had also received much love from fan all over the world. The fans in the theatre were more than thrilled to see and hear their favourite Korean stars performing right in front of them and this was only just the tip of the iceberg.

Following the opening performance was a round of introductions where the members also shared their thoughts about coming to Singapore for the tour. The members then headed offstage to change into comfortable outfits for the first half of the fanmeeting, while a VCR showing a collage of clips from various Running Man episodes was played on the big screen, to the delight of the fans.

The first half of the fanmeeting showcased various games and activities, some of which have been adapted from the program itself. These were played in teams comprising a Running Man member and a fan from the audience. The twist though, was that the fans had already been pre-selected personally by the members and the reveal of the selected fans was done via a neat VCR that had been filmed by the members earlier that day at the event’s venue itself!

At the members’ cue for the audience to scream out ‘Race Start’, the games began. The games included a five-station relay race where fans had the chance to pop balloons with Kwangsoo and do 50 sit-ups in relay with Jihyo, several rounds of charades with themes ranging from animals to sports and even a piggyback race to see which fan could eat a snack hanging off a tall beam the quickest. As expected, Jihyo not only singlehandedly piggybacked a fan during the race but won against the four other men she was up against to win first place, proving to everyone her position as the ace of the team. Although only a selected few got to play the games on stage, the members’ fun interactions as well as distraction tactics during the different game segments had the entire audience cheering and laughing as they watched a miniature Running Man episode happening right before their eyes.

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To make it more exciting, several punishments were also included amidst the various games prepared. Naturally, Sukjin was one of the selected ones for the punishment; a ‘couple peppero eating challenge’ with a fan from the audience. An already embarrassing punishment was made more awkward when it was revealed that the fan was a young boy! This had the other members exclaiming that it was more a nightmare for the poor boy rather than a punishment for Sukjin! It was cringe-worthy yet amusing to watch them attempt to complete the punishment and it for sure gave huge laughs to the crowd in attendance that night.

The first half of the fanmeeting ended with a photo-taking session for the winners of the games before the members headed backstage to prepare for the exciting second half; the concert!

Sukjin was the first to appear back on stage, dressed in a chic outfit that made him look even younger than he actually was, and sang his heart out for the classic ballad, ‘Just the Way You Are’. Only the sea of lights from the lit up light sticks was seen swaying to the sweet melody of the song as the entire theatre watched in awe his handsome performance. The end of his performance was marked by the dimming of stage lights but was immediately followed by a soft tinkling of piano keys which opened the stage for the next act. Kwangsoo showed off his piano and singing skills when he performed ‘Bogoshipta’, the OST for the famous Korean drama, ‘Stairway to Heaven’. Despite it being a rather melancholy tune with sad lyrics, Kwangsoo still managed to get the crowd giggling at his funny antics during his performance.

She might the ace when it comes to winning the games but Jihyo definitely doesn’t rank well at singing. Nevertheless, she still appeared on stage to perform a medley of Leesang’s hit songs. Leesang’s member and also Jihyo’s other half in the famous Monday Couple, Kang Gary, unfortunately, was not present at the tour this year but this didn’t make the performance any less exciting than it had been when it was performed by the couple last year. While Jihyo sang and rapped solo to the first few verses, she was soon joined in by a couple of dancing and rapping ‘Gary’s who actually turned out to be Haha and Jongkook wearing a couple of ‘Gary’ masks!

A veteran singer, Jongkook, on the other hand, had the whole theatre enthralled by his performance of hit songs, such as ‘One Man’ and ‘Men are All Like That’. Although he apologized for not doing a good job due to the bad condition of his throat, it seemed like didn’t really matter to his diehard fans as they still cheered him on and sang along while waving their light sticks to the beat.

Lifting the mood up further was Sukjin and Kwangsoo’s hilarious parody of the sexy Troublemaker. With Sukjin as the male and lanky Kwangsoo in a mini-dress as the female counterpart dancing to the music, it was safe to say that it was by far trashier than it was sexy! Nonetheless, the fans were highly entertained throughout the performance and pretty much satisfied to see this crazy side of the members.

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Haha had the entire audience on their feet as he brought the house down with his energetic performance of his songs, including the famous ‘Rosa’ and ‘Busan Vacance’. Fans on the first floor were clamoring to be at the very front of the stage so as to get the best view of the performance. As if it couldn’t get any better, the other 4 members came back on stage to join Haha in his passionate performance. As the members sang and danced on stage, the fans were doing the same on the floor! The members also showed extensive fanservice by spraying water at the fans, taking selfies with the audience and even pulled up a young fanboy to join in the dance party on stage!

Despite being slated as a 2-hour show, the event stretched on for longer as the members kept appearing for an encore and double encore following the crowd’s cheers. It seemed like neither the cast members nor the audience wanted to say goodbye. However, all good things come to an end at some point and so did the fanmeeting. After the final double encore, the members came back onto stage to give their final words of thanks to the fans for coming, for enjoying themselves and for helping make the fanmeeting a success.

As a surprise, the local organizer as well as fans also prepared a special 2-tier 3D cake with the Running Man members’ figurines and Singapore’s local attractions a token of thanks to the members for making a stop at Singapore for the tour again this year. Although it was a small gesture by the Singapore side, I believe it was something that had really touched the hearts of the members. Despite trying hard not to, Jihyo was teary-eyed as she gave her sincerest thanks to everyone who had made the event possible. The five members also gave their deepest bow to the attending audience before saying their final goodbyes and leaving the stage, marking the end of the Race Start Season 2 tour.

It’s been over 4 years since Running Man’s debut but this fanmeeting has just proven that the members aren’t ready to take off their nametags any time soon. Riding on their fans’ passion and love for the show, they’ll be working even harder to create even more enjoyable moments and memories for the fans and viewers of the show.

MyKpopHuntress would like to thank ONE for the opportunity to cover this event. Photos from the fanmeeting are credited to ONE.

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