How To Destroy K-Pop Fans: EBS Style

by: Ellie posted: 1 year ago


In the realms of K-Pop, there are three truths that always stay the same: EXO-Ls are crazy; ARMYs are crazy; CARATs are crazy. Lovingly so, of their respective idols, of course.

EBS is popular short-hand for Exo, BTS and Seventeen – the three current top-placing boybands, when you exclude Wanna One for being a ‘temporary’ group. And, considering their combined popularity and the accumulated level of loco presented by fans, you would think that any programme that presents EBS together would be an absolute hit. So why hasn’t it happened yet?

Well, let me start off with the idea that any programme presenting EBS together would be a hit. You’re right. They would. There’s not much to say about that. You put Suho, Xiumin, Jimin, Suga, Jeonghan and Mingyu in a room together and you have a recipe for perfect K-Pop disaster.

By disaster, by the way, I mean good disaster. Having Exo, BTS and Seventeen in the same place is an immediate recipe for boy-band shenanigans and cheesy dance-offs, ratings that soar through the roof, mobs of fans foaming at the mouth outside the studio and one hell of a lot of money coming through the doors. The very idea of having these three incredibly popular boy-bands convened in once place to interact with each other will send any ardent K-Pop fan through the roof with excitement. I, for one, am a Carat who is best friends with an EXO-L and an ARMY, so my groupchat would probably explode like there’s no tomorrow.

So, with the potential to make a small fortune and gain ridiculous ratings, why hasn’t any programme picked up on this amazing, brilliant, genius, masterful idea?

The first obstacle that one must overcome in order for this K-Pop Testosterone Fiesta to become a heavenly reality is the fact that each group represents a different company. Exo is signed with SM Entertainment, BTS with BigHit and Seventeen with Pledis Entertainment. Sometimes, getting SM Entertainment to work together with their own artists is hard enough, never mind with other companies (yes, I’m looking at you, Super Junior).

BigHit and Pledis aren’t part of the Big Three the way SME is, so SME may have some reservations about collaboration. Exo is a big three group; BTS holds most popularity overseas; Seventeen are relatively new to the industry. The differences between the groups and companies may be the number one problem holding all of them back.

Let’s say, though – that some Magical K-Pop Unicorn has come by and hypnotized the companies into working together. Great! Next question… where are we going to put them?

BTS isn’t bad – they’re a fairly normal-sized group of 7 members. Exo pushes the boundary with nine, and Seventeen’s the real clincher with 13 members. It comes down to 29 idols – and not just them! Think of their managers, their coordi noonas, their makeup artists, camera and lighting crew, PD-nim and more. What kind of studio, exactly, is needed for all these people to fit?

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I know it’s my idea. And Seoul’s a big city. But one of the first facts you learn about Seoul is that space is in high demand and therefore most spaces are on the itty-bitty side.

I’ll be relying on our Magical K-Pop Unicorn to fix us a large space to keep these idols and their crew in.

If everything could be arranged, down to a T, there is only one question remaining: what kind of programme will they have?

It’s not particularly a secret that the various members have their friendships between groups, and we’re all quite happy for them to be buddies, but even for EBS, just to have them lounging around for an hour being friends would be a little boring. This is K-Pop! There must be action, riveting challenges, cute shout-outs to fans and cheesy editing!

The most popular shows in the Hallyu world are probably K-Dramas – don’t lie, we all have one type we like, and we all kind of wish our favourites would show up and star in the perfect drama. Don’t look at me like that. You know you want it. But while the idea of a K-Drama being entirely comprised of male characters may seem like a fangirl’s dream, it’s a little unrealistic with 29 members.

Considering almost anything is unrealistic with 29 members, let’s refine our ideas a little.

Weekly Idol is a classic staple that both domestic and international fans love, because it has everything. There’s an interview segment, it’s filled with funny challenges, there’s some dancing and music involved, charismatic MCs and usually the idols get fed with some kind of food. Not bad, but it’s the kind of format that must be comprised into an hour, maybe two at most – and the brevity of a programme might scare away investors and fans alike.

Something like a concert, then – covering each other’s songs, a 29-membered rendition of TVXQ’s Mirotic followed quickly by a 29-membered rendition of Catallena is sure to get everyone’s attention. It’s filled with all the stuff we love about K-Pop, there’s plenty of time for on-stage skinship, the companies can make individual revenue from the selling of fangoods, and it’s not like the Magic Three Boybands can’t sell out a theatre in five minutes flat.

A combination concert is definitely a fun idea, but for two pitfalls – the first being that it’s almost akin to an end-of-year awards concert, and the second that it may seem unnatural to fans to have three different groups come together on stage like that.

I like the idea of the concert, and I’d go if I had the chance, of course – but I feel like the idea is missing something. The idea of allowing the members of each group to mingle and become close to one another…

…is vaguely reminiscent of those ‘get to know these newly debuted idols’ reality shows, isn’t it? The ones where the idols or trainees all live in the one dormitory for a while and the cameras follow their training just before debut?

One must wonder whether it would, at all, be viable to combine all three ideas: to have twenty-odd men live in a house together, undergo several challenges as a group, and come together at the culmination of 5-10 episodes to perform for a concert… The broadcaster of the reality show would make amazing ratings, the companies could still make insane revenue, and the members could have a good time together. And after all – if trainees and long-debuted idols can come together to create a single super-group like Wanna One… why can’t EBS?


What do you think? What would be the coolest way to see EBS come together? Would you be in for an EBS reality show? Let us know in the comment section down below!

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