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[Official] SPARTACE COUPLE KimJongkook-SongJiHyo

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(I don't know if anyone has the patience to read this, but if you do, trust me, you won't be disappointed :P )

Welcome back everyone who hasn't posted in a while! Some of us haven't been up to date with all the episodes, hence you may see us less around here these days. It's better to be aware of everything going on before sharing detailed opinions. In my case, it began with the holidays, I kinda lost my pace in watching RM and this has continued to this day due to real life & work. I am trying to catch up again (I watched the latest episode the other night, but still missing episodes 486, 487 etc. for example) and I know others are in my shoes too.

Regarding the two recurring topics these days, A. YJS's stance and B. Spartace on screen distance, I'd like to say the following:

A. YJS's stance


I am with the (apparently) minority that will never refer to any of the rest cast members as "SA president" or "ultimate SA worshipper" etc. I know these are titles given in a light-hearted manner, however their repetition further strengthens the notion that these people will primarily support one ship and their words will always have a deeper meaning. And such a notion in a variety show is erroneous by default. In reality, YJS has always made comments that seem contradictory. He would call HJY as KJK's woman then turn around and say they shouldn't date. Likewise now, he says how shocked he'll be if KJK-JSM get married while there's a loveline with YSC, whereas in a previous episode he had flatly said KJK is just an oppa to JSM while YSC is love. Even during the MC era, people kept emphasizing how he wasn't supportive of KG and SJH, but in fact he was playing along the PDs' concept which wanted KG in a loop of unrequited love. SA fans seem to think YJS was giving them some insider's scoop (lol), but that loveline had a different dynamic from the beginning. SJH would often reject KG's advances and then surprise the audience with her own initiatives, with the rest of the cast often doubting MC's chances in love. And even then there were many times YJS teased them romantically (i.e. telling SJH to sit next to her Monday boyfriend etc.). The truth is that YJS is the first and most dependable member when it comes to supporting & expanding the scripted concepts for the show's needs. If the pillar of the RM doesn't do it, then who will? These days that RM is promoting the KJK-YSC-JSM dynamic, you will see more scenes built around them and, consequently, YJS teasing them more. Do I really need to analyse how staged the whole introductory segment in episode 483 was? PDs having KJK's comments already set for showing, SJH faking typical variety-style surprise, YJS isn't even active on IG lol But regardless of this, the point is, if fans keep deifying YJS (the man who insisted for 10 years straight that KJK was in love with YEH for crying out loud) and considering his jokes always bear a special meaning, then sooner or later, this will backfire on them. Because it is a variety show. If YJS's joking remarks and several team-ups are enough for some people to distinguish some "vibe" between KJK and JSM, then what about all the rest times YJS noticed something between KJK and another female? This is such a biased perspective, completely ignoring the bulk of evidence for 10 years straight, just to romanticise crumbs lol For SA alone, these moments are multiplied by a dozen. You are all falling in the same trap. Similarly, HH has teased KJK with every other female guest that came to RM.

Am I suggesting that we should then collectively disregard what YJS says for the ships and, especially, SA? No, not at all. We don't have the luxury to do this anyway, since we rely on limited knowledge to begin with. But instead of blindly accepting everything as suspicious, try to think of each separate instance in context: Is there a variety-related reason for YJS (or anyone) to act like this? When did it happen, during the scripted introductions or sneakily at a random point in the episode? What does this same member say in shows/places unrelated to SBS? Last year, during the SA loveline in winter, YJS showed his support in a number of times. Openly, without inhibitions, without indirectly trying to accomodate another loveline. And yet, IMO, none of them can even be compared to what YJS spontaneously suggested back in episode 332, aka his certainty that SA should get married. A certainty that jumped out of nowhere, that couldn't be justified by variety show reasons since it had no follow-up in the episodes that came after. But, most importantly, a certainty stated when the show itself had no future. It was about to complete its cycle in early 2017, there was no obvious reason for him to tease a fake loveline just before the end. Also, the deals with sponsors and advertisers aren't made from one episode to another. In the West, the shows have sweeps to determine ratings that decide the ad prices. There's a short period where shows are pitched to the advertisers in order to attract revenue, then they have sweeps where they try to maximize ratings so they can charge more. Low ratings in sweeps are bad for a show. Even if this isn't the exact method followed in Korea, still commercials aren't arranged weekly. So not even the ratings of these last episodes mattered as much, in other words YJS, and by extension RM, had nothing to gain by teasing Spartace. Other examples of YJS's behaviour that should not be taken lightly are when he pushed SJH on KJK's back, all the time knowingly grinning at her, which was such a sneaky move that we had to play it in slow motion, as well as when he purposefully mixed up SA brothers' names long before their loveline, as if an experienced MC like himself would ever do this accidentally and not as an inside joke. Similarly again, in HH's case, forget for a minute all the times he teased SA or other ships on the show, forget even his remarks on MUD because this is again an SBS programme, they will all cross-promote the same dynamics. Instead, consider what he has been blurting out on Big Picture from time to time, a show unrelated to big channels. Consider what he posted on his personal account back when he wanted to promote his wife's new single, whose photo and with what hashtags. And yes, even with all these hints, we still should acknowledge that we can't know the true nature of a ship's bond. Imagine being sure about it with way less lol.

B. SA alleged distance



Let's clarify something from the beginning; everything happening on the show is, ultimately, an editorial decision. From the members' seats and groups to the concepts and, occasionally, game winners, everything comes down to the PDs and their team. So if you think SA appear distant on screen, then be sure it isn't something they deliberately decided on their own, and it's either a change they discussed and put in effect along with the PDs, or they simply follow directions. That alone should be enough for people to stop thinking that any recent negative shift in their relationship would immediately reflect on their work as if both of them are completely unprofessional, but since fans take SA for their next-door teenagers that can't contain their emotions, let's crack this down.

It's true that in the latest episodes their on screen interaction has been minimal. Most notably, the conditions that would generate interaction seem to be missing; PDs keep assigning them to different teams, they are set to stand apart during the opening segments, their scenes are getting edited out etc. There can be various explanations for this situation:
a. The PD (back in May, when the first drought started) and the show's main loveline changed and between KJK playing the third wheel to ChanMin and being available for a match-up with the guests, there was little room for SA. There has never been a period on RM with two strong lovelines evolving at the same time.

b. The SA loveline was met with mixed reactions and whereas a fake loveline would be re-structured and get another shot, there was no profitable reason for the PDs to keep testing a real relationship.
c. SA would rather to tone down their loveline as they enter the final months before their official dating/marriage announcement, which makes total sense as marketing their relationship more than necessary would only create issues, so we still get glimpses of romantic SA (i.e. this year's fortune telling) but not like before.
d. SA are friends and either of them is getting married to someone else. At some point this was going to be clarified, even if indirectly. 
e. SJH's new romantic TV drama as well as KJK's album preparations require for them to keep it low for a while etc.

Still, these and other reasons will never be satisfying for us because we are lacking all the important details and, even when we base our assumptions strictly on facts, we will still be driven by our hope for more SA.

However, none of the aforementioned possible explanations involves a recent change in their actual, behind the cameras, relationship, whether it is romance or friendship. All of them are linked to their public image and their show(s) needs. Let's ignore all these facts and arguments, and assume that indeed something recently "broke" in SA which resulted in real emotional & physical distance.  Some of the episodes that are used as "proof" for this claim due to SA's limited interaction (namely 483, 484 and 487) were shot in mid December, only two weeks after the fanmeet in Vietnam. Ask yourselves, what could have possibly changed in such a short time so drastically that SA went from being inseparable and at total ease with each other to being so distant that fans caught it? Keep in mind that we're talking about a friendship that has been through a lot for a decade and which both cherish deeply, as described on Pajama Friends and other occasions. Keep also in mind that on the one hand we have multiple angles of unedited footage onstage and backstage (Vietnam), and on the other hand we have thoroughly edited, single POV 1 1/5 hours footage when the actual filming lasts a day (RM episode). And somehow there are SA fans who overlook the real events in Vietnam, yet easily believe in the scenes of RM episodes, and actually not even in the scenes themselves, but in their own interpretations of them.

In ep 483, filmed on 16/12, there's a brief background moment of SJH most likely taking a photo of KJK's gangster disguise. Obviously we won't find this photo on either KJK's or SJH's social media, because this is how they don't fuel the rumours surrounding their relationship,  KJK would have been caught long by now if he was interacting with his girlfriends online where everyone could see.  In ep 487, filmed only the following day, 17/12, we notice KJK glancing at the floor while SJH's smoking habit is mentioned. So ask yourselves again, if his looking down is a genuine reaction that indicates some sort of a rift between them, what exactly was SJH thinking capturing him on her mobile the previous day? Do you all take pics of the colleagues you are uncomfortable with? lol Now, I am not denying there's on screen stiffness/nervousness between them, which is more apparent in KJK's case as he always chimes in to say something about the rest cast members without favoritism or discrimination. Kjk&Sjh did a nice job summing these moments up in their post. Please notice something though, all 3 of them (eps 481, 487, 488) take place during planned segments. Discussion points in introductions are all agreed on beforehand. And once they gather up for the closing, they already know they'll talk about each episode's winner(s). In contrast, when the situation isn't planned, we still see them being expressive towards each other. Episode 485, filmed on 31/12, is a recent example, because they don't know who the deities of death are and their reaction to their win is not only genuine, but also warm and typical of the way they normally treat each other. Again, hardly a way you behave towards someone you're supposedly distant with, the group hug that follows would have sufficed.

That moment in episode 485 is important for two more reasons. 1) First of all, the intimacy. They interlock hands in the same way they have been doing for years. Their grip is tight and prolonged. KJK aims only at her hands, he literally pushes YSC's hand out of the way, when he could have celebrated with both of them. The scene is almost identical to their celebration in ep 461. Clips under spoiler for comparison.




Notice how SJH fakes the exact same punch towards him? Another indication that whatever their relationship is, it has remained unchanged, maintaining all its mannerisms. Also, such playful "punches" are often romantic gestures in couples where the one party is visibly stronger than the other. I used to tease like this an ex boyfriend of mine who, like KJK, was robust and good in martial arts. I am not suggesting that such gestures are exclusive to couples, but personally at least, I've never done anything similar to my close male friends.
2) Secondly, this moment reveals that SA scenes are indeed edited out. SJH is heard apologising to KJK, while he replies that it's fine. That's a clear indication she had confronted him with her suspicions during the game, yet we never got the chance to see that scene. This is why we are often left with the impression they don't interact, as if that's possible during shootings that last whole days. There's no need to speak hypothetically; ep 472, we get photos and fancams showing SA walking down the Anyang streets together, separately from the rest, but this is never shown in the actual episode. And, with the exception of their loveline days, this has always been the case. I watched relatively recently the legendary episodes in Australia, shot back in 2014. Anyone who watches ep 189 will notice nothing special in regards to SA. And yet they were tightly hugging in the middle of the street as shown in fan photos shared online. What's more eye-opening about this episode is that it's built in such a way that the viewer believes SJH never met any of them until the final game, and that they weren't really aware of her presence near them while she was supposedly hiding. We aren't talking about scenes that were edited out here, but about a clear manipulation of the games, a straight up lie. At this point it's also worth mentioning that in the past SA were often in different teams, they weren't necessarily standing close during the openings and there were many episodes with limited aired SA interaction. Yet, hardly anyone is suggesting that SA may have been at odds with each other back then. If anything, most Spartace shippers, who aren't naive to think that SA have kept romantic feelings bottled up for almost ten years, will tell you that there was probably something between them at the time.

But perhaps the distance has settled between them for a while. Some claims will trace it in earlier episodes during fall, or even last spring. Let's take the second option first. You all probably remember the fears that something is not "right" about SA, mostly deriving from the fact that the members stopped teasing them on a weekly basis. Fears that continued for long. Putting aside the return of JCM PD - which is a development that can cause all sorts of changes - , the fans' worries were quelled only when the restaurant owner of an RM setting reassured them that SA are indeed very comfortable around each other during the shootings. But let's say we had never come across such a valuable insight; what was it that we really watched during the RM episodes? Ep 455, filmed 27/5, SJH invades KJK's personal space while holding both of his forearms in a gesture that brims with couple vibes. Do a test, show the moment to any of your friends that isn't an RM fan (hence completely unbiased) and ask them if lovers behave this way. Note that this is a very brief scene, unrelated to lovelines and totally blurred, exactly cause it was never meant to be used for the show. Then, June 2019, SJH is seen swaying to "Loveable" in Pohang, while waiting for her turn to join KJK on stage under the pouring rain. Notice how I'm not focusing on their performance, even though I could, but on her behaviour backstage. Why would any woman who isn't close to him anymore enjoy the moment so fully instead of restricting herself to business? There are other examples as well, too many to mention.

Now, let's talk about fall. In ep 471, filmed 23/9, KJK is exhibiting a behaviour comparable to the one in Kjk&Sjh's video. He is somewhat humourless when SJH is reading the poem dedicated to him, he looks nervous and keeps drinking water. If we add to this all the rest times he appears serious around SJH - with most recent instance the fortune telling part - , the question comes up whether they have started treating their relationship seriously and with reservation when on camera or if this extends to their time behind the camera too, insinuating problems. Therefore, let's see what else we noticed during autumn; ep 470, filmed 9/9, KJK and SJH enter together the lobster fishing site. He is clearly holding her. The cameras lining up in front of them aren't pointed at them, perhaps this is the reason they are so casually walking in. Yet the place is still full of cameras (we catch a blurred sight of them from the ones on the other side of the pool) so they separate as soon as they see them. Why would a couple that recently broke up or two friends who are facing issues in their friendship sustain such proximity when not on camera? Ep 473, filmed 30/9, SJH naturally resting on KJK's thigh, in a way more intimate manner than when KJK is placing his arm on others' shoulders (which he has literally done to everyone). Ep 478, filmed 11/11, do I really need to explain this hug? How often do you see him treating other women with such affection just because he eliminated them in a game? Even more so, why two people who are genuinely distant behave like this? All these moments are unnecessary, remember they are not in an active loveline at this point, all they have to do to remain professional is joke, cooperate in some games and celebrate together if they win. That's it.


And then there's Tiny and his frequent SJH updates, which haven't ceased all these past months. No matter his good relations with SJH, why would he continue sharing her photos, making tik-tok videos about her, commenting his preference for this angry bird, if she and his best friend were going through a difficult phase? If people start using common sense and stop reading fan fiction theories, they'll see that some worries simply lack substantial info to back them up. Obviously, it's possible from time to time for a member's sour mood to reach the audience, despite the cast's professionalism and the PDs' editing skills. We witnessed such an occasion back in ep 368, with SA hitting/glaring on the sidelines. It was an argument with strong couple vibes, unless you all, when angry, usually kick the 40 yo friends you didn't grow up with but met in a working environment. Therefore, I wouldn't put it completely past SA to go through brief cooling off periods. Nevertheless, that's essentially different from the rift that some SA fans fear has been created.

Eventually, we're back on square one; if their relationship behind the camera, romantic or not, is stable, what exactly prompts the ostensible reservation during the episodes? It has been already mentioned this could largely be the outcome of editorial purposes. But let's also consider the scenario it has primarily been SA's decision. In case SA are dating, this is actually a very responsible way of handling a relationship that experienced the pros and cons of a loveline and is slowly heading to the altar. It may be temporary, but KJK is giving the impression of trying to moderate his "king of lovelines" image. It has been hinted in his Real Kook tour, in ep 486 and in spite of the teasing with KHN, in the recent and very scripted fortune telling etc. Meanwhile, SJH's prediction mentions a spouse, KJK is confirmed as a candidate for a 4th year in row (albeit in way more lowkey manner) and SJH is actually taking English lessons, something that may benefit her career, but at the same time, may also concern more travelling and KJK/bf, considering the timing. The last thing that both would need right now is weekly gossip on their loveline. The seed has already been planted the previous years so that hardly anyone will actually be surprised they are together whenever they announce. In case SA are friends, then sooner or later they would reach this "clarification" point on camera (which is very ambiguous to be honest, but anyway) and, well, this is also a prospect we should never ignore. It's not improbable that, whatever they had, ended long ago, hence they had all the time to come to terms with it and still maintain their bond. However, in this case, the question remains; when did their relationship shift exactly? Because the further back we go, the stronger evidence that nothing changed we discover. :lol:


All in all, our fandom must be prepared for a potential continuation of the SA drought, as well as KJK playing the chaperone for ChanMin around SBS, or getting paired with every other guest. This is how RM has always operated, the SA fandom has been through the MC era, the Chen Bolin era, blind dates, the HJY era, now this odd triangle era, as well as every resurgence of the YEH loveline and every love firework with the occasional guest. Sooner or later, SA scenes always sprout, it has been happening for 9 consecutive years. The Manila fanmeet would have been a good opportunity for more SA unedited moments, but of course everyone's health is and should be the priority. Let's hope the world deals with this new reality the best way possible.



Ep 483 Movie Theory




I'm going to finish this - tiring I know - essay with a slightly stretched theory of my own. Because I am entering heavy guesswork territory now, please solely consider the following as some food for thought.

~ When the members play the 1st movie game, the only time SJH is close to the correct answer is when she guesses the movie is Batman, but can't remember the exact title. All her other attempts are straight up wrong. She gets the clue to find the movie when KJK mentions that the ceiling in the movie looks very familiar. Talking to her team, she uses the ceiling clue to theorise why her guess about Batman may be right.
~ Haha who is in KJK's team, is better at movie games and is eventually the one that guesses the correct Batman title, doesn't get the hint at that point even though he too agrees it's familiar. So it isn't something characteristic that everyone would automatically make a connection to.

~ Meanwhile the Batman movie and the Matrix are the only two times during the game that KJK is doing very well. He figures out the Matrix, but he is also close to figuring out Batman, he first makes an attempt thinking it may be Oldboy and then mentions the ceiling. All his other attempts for the rest movies are also plain wrong. 

~ The Dark Knight was at theatres in 2008, I doubt that anyone would remember the freaking ceiling in the underground lair after having watched the movie a decade ago lol You either have to be a fanboy, or have watched it more recently, perhaps at the same time with those focusing on the same clues as you do.
~ KJK played Joker in the clip shown in his own concert, about "real Kook", and even though it was his re-enacting a scene from the latest movie with Phoenix, it could have been a chance to re-watch the Dark Knight too. A lot of people were comparing the new Joker to Ledger's iconic one.
~ It's the Batman we're talking about, I feel that most women already in a relationship would watch it with their boyfriends. Also SJH doesn't seem to be a fan, she remembered the place in the movie, but couldn't name one Batman title, even the wrong one. It's actually YJS who specifies the title, albeit he isn't correct.

I acknowledge this theory is a bit far-fetched. Another possible explanation is that the whole game was staged, so that YSC and LKS could be hitting each other in turns lol But I feel that most games are organic, they may give them certain directions or change the outcome if need be, but they generally let them play. Moreover, we can't be sure these were the only times KJK and SJH guessed something right, perhaps other correct attempts were edited out. But if they were, I find it lowkey interesting that the only time she was right about something was when both KJK and she focused on the same detail.  :)



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Nothing really to comment on about the episode itself as I have not watched it yet. But I have noticed that this thread has kind of taken a different direction after the petition and firing incident.

Random thoughts Remember JK said he will slowly reveal to the public that he is in a relationship( I don't remember that exact words he used or when he said that) because he don't want to be like

ALERT: LONG POST AHEAD! I just finished watching the latest episode, and here are my thoughts about it. My earlier comments were made before watching the episode, so I hope you'll overlook things

@Adora Dark I just read your point of view and I am convinced that it is what it is! Thank you for such a detailed analysis. I am always looking forward in your deep and meaningful scrutiny. Supposedly, today should be the Running Man live in Manila... But uncontrollable things happen and it was moved to June 21, 2020. I am hoping too that there will be spartace moments in flesh as I can't wait to go and watch them in the concert.


Once again, thank you for your analysis :) Cheers.

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@Adora Dark, Man your analysis definitely...


I actually also have a feelings that the reduce moment of SA in RM is deliberate, of coz it can go both side, which are either KJK and SJH just pure friendship and those moments made fans misunderstood so they tone it down, OR both of them are perhaps ready for next stage in life...



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Thank you @Adora Dark for those insightful reviews and observations. It's always a great pleasure reading your thoughts. :wub:


6 hours ago, mirai_707 said:

May I know which backlash and which Insta post are you referring to?


 @mirai_707 It's about what he said to SJH referring to Kang Gary along the lines "If she didn't push him away before, she could be with him in Return of Superman" on the latest episode.


I don't find this comment off-putting. It's just that some people tend to overreact on the jokes and comments between the RM Family but what can we do, that's their own opinion and we just have to support the members and not add to the fire. Other than that funny comment from YJS and KJK to SJH, one can not miss KJK's expression when he said it. It's interesting and that's something people should talk about. :lol:


Let's hope for the fast recovery of LKS (minor car accident, surgery done) and include all the safety of the members and staff in our prayers. :rolleyes:

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actually i wanted to post about this before but since it's kinda complicated to insert the clip here so i haven't posted it till now. then today, i just saw this post on ig and it reminds me of it again. well, i did take a screenshot back then that apparently SA fans on naver cafe suspected that it does sound like 'ji hyo' based on KJK's lips movement and voice.






cr. SF 쿠키쿠키 (these are some screenshots i took from the person's post and most of them agreeing. basically the person just said that it does sound and it seems like he says 'ji hyo')


(credit as indicated)


the 'ji hyo' part is after KJK says: "our girlfriends are doing this?" (iirc, it's about the 'fart' topic on 5 cranky bros). so basically it's like this.. KJK: "our girlfriends are doing this? ah... ji hyo..".


anyway.. just take this with a grain of salt, of course.

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My delu mind keep thinking how come we barely see JH in the last race unless she is with JK. N JK only appears alone at the end when there was the sparta scene.


Even the pairings when they r running around tearing nametags was weird. I understand pairing SM and JH with a male partner but JH dont need such a strong partner like JK. It makes more sense for her to go with HH n JK to hunt alone, rather than SA, SM/JS n HH alone. Furthermore, we also see JS, HH and SM together but without SA. Then again, it could be my delu mind working.


And to ppl who said JK complimented SM, he did too for JH, just that the editting again seemed to soften the sound of the compliment. 

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I would say apparently RM decided to die down the tone of SA without why...Plus no fan meeting around this time, so is kinda hard to find any new SA moment...


Hence the less new post in this forum...


Even @Tk Best 's video shows quite limited number of SA moments, so ya...


One thing though, let's say KJK and SJY had been dating all this while, don't they go out dating for even once? But why no news on that at all? I mean Korea news reporter is a force to reckon with (*cough* *Dispatch* *cough*)

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I'm back! (for now, I'm super busy with my last month of school). Have seen the last three eps! Super happy we're getting to see them casually interact again!


Also, I did see the "You would've been on Return of Superman" joke. I think its no big deal. If anything, it's acknowledging that MC was just for the show. I do think they should be cautious about mentioning KG, but mostly they've just made it clear MC was not  thing. At least that's how I see it. I also thought the comment was hilarious when you see it as SJH's boyfriend saying it and not just a coworker.

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