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Le_Sanguinea, April 2, 2016 in shippers' paradise
@Le_Sanguinea thank u for da amazing post! It's good to be able to watch those older couples on wgm. leeteuk sora so romantic. Thanks for sharing your analytical opinions and so much information. So good u can't imagine. Same like some others, it is my first wgm and only couple. I did watched others during first episode in August but quickly binge watch fast forward to ddongi only and completed 16-17 eps. There is this chemistry about them that attracts me and u put it into words perfectly. Looking forward to ur next article
@loconeko91_stv 'it's not easy to read yongsun face expression' her bestfriend said but we can easily know her feeling from her song, even ddongie don't have couple song but this song wrap their wgm moment nicely...i'm curious now will eric write song about ddongie too
@Le_Sanguinea looking forward for next part
@gureentea our detective really great... clap clap clap
@Ira Ajja I think it would be almost impossible for none of the songs on Eric's comeback album to have a connection to Solar. Both he and her write their own lyrics from their experiences, but for Solar, since she's in a multi-member group where they all contribute to the lyrics, it can be hard to tell which parts are hers. Eric, on the other hand, is a solo artist, who's said before that he writes his lyrics from his heart.
Even if he's not in a relationship with her, his experiences with Solar are the most recent thing he's had to one in a while - remember he even said in an interview that it felt more like they were dating than they were married. I'm a writer, so I know that, despite your best intentions, personal details end up slipping into your creative work (especially when writing songs/poems/love stories) because you already associate those things with a certain emotion. For instance, stars are a particularly romantic thing for me just because of moments I've had relating to them, so, when I'm writing something romantic, stars tend to pop up. It's mostly subconscious, but it happens anyway.
Also, some of my favorite parts about Eric's slower songs are the details he puts into them. For instance, look at this lyric from Good For You: "Imagining your tired face / Getting caught at the red light / Makes me so impatient." It's not a lyric most would associate with a love song, but it's a detail that means something to him, and now means something to the audience. The feeling of wanting to rush to do something nice for someone you love is something a lot of people can relate to. Eric's focus on not wanting them to be tired after and caught at a red light, though, is something personal for him. That's one of the reasons I enjoy Eric's music more than his American counterpart good-guy heartthrobs' - instead of just applying to any generic person on the street, he uses detail to convey his emotions, which give his songs really well-developed imagery.
TLDR: Something he did with Solar is probably going to make an appearance in his future music at some point, because that's just the way songwriting works.
@Le_Sanguinea Thank you for your article. I think you captured the feelings that we all have watching Ddongi so well. They really are #relationshipgoals for so many reasons. I can't wait for your next part (the title already hooked me)
Thank you for part 2 of the article. It was a great read for me. As before, I want to share my own thoughts on this, but I might have to go a lot deeper than usual on this part. It’s just that to me, this stage is probably the most crucial one to be analyzed, because it represents a drastic shift/shifts in their relationship, and a foundation for the stages to follow after.
Stage 2: The Concept of Friendship (Jeju Island - Chuseok)
I like the fact that you used Ddongie’s KCON NY interactions as an introduction to this stage. I felt like every tiny bit of things they showed there solidified to all of us the fact that there is more to their relationship than what is shown on TV, and it was somewhat a hint of a friendship that they had begun building up back then that will last them through their virtual marriage.
Also, it affirmed to me that they truly want to show their fans even on the music stage that they do have a genuine relationship in real life, but only when they are in the States can they do something like this without fear (especially for Eric, as you can see how enthusiastic he became talking about Solar/WGM and interacting with her and Mamamoo there).
Like Ailee, on that day I began to see the potential in their relationship as a pair instead of just two great personalities on a show
I am on board with you about the “hijack” idea. Looking back now, the term “Ddongie Road” to me truly carry a deeper symbolic meaning than just a fun name for a mukbang show they came up with. It is akin to what you said in the previous part, that at the moment they were in the Jeju pool, they were at a crossroads that diverged into two different paths – the flowery “WGM” road and the treacherous “Ddongie” road. On that day, Eric let Solar know that he wants to walk with her along the latter path.
This was the beginning of their vlog idea, one of the main pillars for their “pre-planning for the end” strategy
It is like you said, that they felt there wasn't a need to do the typical WGM things anymore, since they already derailed themselves from that track. Even though they were still under the influence of the PDs and the writers, you could sense somewhat of a rebellion brewing up.
On that same episode, the fact that Solar was being less attentive than usual when she’s around Eric showed us how her guard against Eric had been lowered. She had a sense that Eric is capable of looking after her and everything related to her, including her belongings, and it made her feel more relaxed.
The phone-stealing game, the first of many playful/trolling maneuvers that show how much fun they have being together (and also how used they are to the idea of exchanging & using each other’s phone)
Another thing I want to point out is that the entire episode of “The Wife’s Help” also really displayed how much effort Solar put into taking care of Eric. She prepared the car, the coffees and the megaphone to promote Eric in public (which was incredible to me, considering that before, this was the kind of thing she only does around Mamamoo and Moomoos). To top that off, she even took Eric to a beautiful river landscape and told him to eat up before he had to perform later
I wish you health and more than wealth…
I wish you would touch up more on the conversations during the panelist visit episode, because it really revealed how misalign they were with WGM mentality, just to reinforce the meaning of “Ddongie Road”.
For example, when Jaesung gave Eric an analogy comparing his wish to asking a girl for a spring coat, Eric’s answer really told us his priority. Any man, when granted a wish by a girl, would have a kiss as a thought across his mind, not just for his own satisfaction, but also as a surefire way to boost viewership ratings.
However, just like the decision he made during the candid camera sequence later on, his choice to forfeit a kiss not only made Solar feel secure about the fact that he wants to become closer to Yongsun, but also the fact that he knows how to protect their career and reputation in real life (imagine the storm among their fanbase that would have happened had they kissed on that day). That is the meaning of Ddongie Road - a path that ultimately would give them a possibility for further developing their relationship post-show rather than facing a dead end.
Little things like this, asking Solar if she’s okay with it, goes a long way in proving that Eric cares about her as a girl
Run Away With Me: Developing a Relationship Outside the Show
It was definitely interesting to me that during this period, we began to get hints that Eric knows and pay attention to things about Solar that might seem trivial. Even Solar was so surprisingly happy about it that she listed it as one of his two greatest strengths (the other being that he takes care of her). To me, that is the greatest sign of how much a guy is interested in a girl.
Your friendship will only be strengthened by showing you care about your friend’s friends in real life.
I would like to add two more things you didn’t cover that are relevant to this topic:
1) Discussion of events outside WGM (or lack thereof)
Talk about contacting each other, I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but the discussions regarding their respective careers became lesser and lesser as the episodes went by. Up until Eric’s last promotion cycle, we still had moments of them talking/reacting to the other person’s work, but since then, they have yet to bring up any of those talks on-screen. All the talk about Eric’s “Law of the Jungle” + Solar’s “Moosical”, and now even her latest comeback “Decalcomanie” wasn’t/won’t be shown.
In the early days, they would even discuss future events with each other.
I find it hard to believe that with how much they pay attention to each other’s career that they would suddenly stop caring or forget to talk about them. This had me thinking that perhaps they have transitioned those discussions/thoughts into their private, off-camera talk with each other, like what Eric would do with his other friends and their own music-related work.
2) No parent meet-up
Meeting up with each other’s family is a staple of WGM, even if the relationship between couples are just virtual. Now that we know for sure Eric and Solar won’t have one, it really makes things even more interesting for me.
Every time I watch a parent meet-up between a WGM couple, the question I always ask myself is: “Why?”. To me, bringing a guy/girl home to introduce to your family means that you are very serious about your relationship with them, but WGM kind of make this tradition less valuable by setting up these kinds of meetings to make couples more “authentic”. Some couples keep it light, others truly go all-out (CaoCao couple was something else). I just can’t bring myself to believe the authenticity in the approval parents give out to a couple when they only get together for a TV show, and had Eric-Solar done it, I would have questioned them the same way.
However, their approach to family-related matters is what solidify my belief in their honesty in relationship. While they still show us things they do for each other’s family (Eric sending hallabong to Solar’s parents, Eric and Solar packing kimchi to send over to Yonghee in England), they would only do it just enough to show us that they care, not to an extent to make us believe that they have that kind of relationship. It wasn’t until now when they already left the show did we learn that Solar actually secretly met Eric’s brothers before. A private, off-screen approach to a serious matter like family is much more genuine to me, as much as I would love to see it shown in public
They thought about it at one point, but realized it's not something they should really do
Long story short: You don’t bring a friend home with you to ask for your parents’ blessing.
I agree. From the very start, Eric already made it a bit obvious that he’s somewhat, dare I say, enamored with Solar. Even Solar first impression seeing Eric was that he seemed to really like her (the translation said “happy”, but she actually said “좋아하시는…”), but that was her Solar persona, the one he saw on ASC and other shows.
When Solar saw Eric’s MV and his poster, she probably felt a bit conflicted. She knew the guy on that was Eric Nam the professional singer, but a part of her also felt that was also Yoondo - her male partner who were out there trying to make her jealous.
And while Eric was trying to get Solar the singer out of his mind, she probably didn’t help him much either with her solo performances. It wasn’t only “Sexyback” that probably gave him menboong, but her “I Will Always Love You” cover must have reminded a certain guy about that moment on ASC with this girl.
Can you really blame Eric for having this flashback?
But that was just that, a crush on a girl with insane talent in a field you’re passionate about. I guess it’s kind of like how a guy is attracted to a beautiful girl at first, but it’s not really liking or loving her. They were desperately trying to see each other as Yongsun and Yoondo more day-by-day, so they could grow to appreciate their “everyday life” sides better, and perhaps by chance, falling in love with those sides as well.
Even before sending him off to Mongolia, Solar once again lured Eric toward her singing persona with her “Angel” solo cover exclusively for Eric. However, Eric did comment afterward that it showed he’s important enough for Solar to share her music with him, like how he would do it with people he’s close to, not just to a person who’s his business peer. It’s a hint that they were slowly becoming a bigger part of the other person’s life, and that they were moving away from the idea of two idols who thrive on wooing their WGM partner with their stage charms.
The face of a man who witnessed an angel’s voice
I felt that you focused a lot on their “My Eye’s Candy” performance, when everything leading up to that climax shared an equal importance, if not more. Solar wouldn’t have kissed Eric for the first time if not for the events that occurred earlier in the day, and even if she did, it wouldn’t have carried the same meaning. That performance alone didn’t fully capture the “shift” they both felt.
However, I absolutely love the way you described how the difference between their idols and real side dissolved and merged into one after the performance. It is a perfect imagery of their “ideal type”. We all have a different ideal, fictional X person that we want to have, but once we find the actual person that we are into, then those ideals just get tossed out the window. In a sense, after that night, Eric and Solar found out that their ideal/image really didn’t matter to them anymore.
But anyway, let’s get back to the topic…
We all know from their pool confession scene that they both agreed on Chuseok being the turning point in their relationship, but what on Earth happened that day that impacted them to that extent?
That was because, on that day, they both came to a realization how much they really are meant for each other.
1) Talent & Teamwork
The games played at Chuseok were set up very well for both Solar and Eric to demonstrate how much they complement each other. Whatever weakness one had, the other person would pick up the slack.
“Show Me The WGM” was a showcase of Solar’s freestyle ability, something that I’m quite sure isn’t Eric’s forte, given his good but not quite proficient Korean skill.
“Heartmon-GO” was a demonstration of their brain power and teamwork used to make up for their deficit in raw, physical strength. They used different strategies to catch the Heartmons, like the pincer tactic, or bargaining with the Heartmon for a promotion chance.
Maybe if everyone else did this in the first place, they wouldn’t have to waste as much stamina as they did
The cooking competition should have been Ddongie’s doom. Even Solar admitted that they were basically ruined because of how terrible she is at cooking. Yet, Eric recognized her fear and understood how much more effort he had to put in to make up for her. Luckily, as we now can confirm, Eric is very calm and clutch in challenging situations. So, while the panicking Yongsun felt clueless about what to do, Eric proceeded in a calm fashion, showing that he’s not known for his cooking ability for no reason.
Even in the singing competition, which swung heavily in Ddongie’s favor, the powerful singer Solar took over. Eric showed his flaws by not being able to memorize the lyrics perfectly, and even got caught by the judges for having lyrics written on his hand. However, the moment the music started, all attentions were diverted over to Solar instead, and Eric gladly made way for her to take the spotlight.
And thus, from this competition, Eric and Solar both finally understood that they fit each other to a tee.
2) Competitive drive
I am pretty sure we already know how much Solar loves to be a winner, even to the point where she will resort to cheats/gimmicks…sometimes. It’s the passion she possesses deep inside her. Once she sets her mind on something, she won’t give up until she makes it happen (basically the story of her career).
But Eric is no different than Solar. He might be a gentle person, but his competitive drive is as fierce as her. He wouldn’t have made it here with Solar in the first place if he didn’t have a passion for success that carried him halfway across the globe. So, in a competition where people expected them to come in handicapped due to their weaknesses (Solar’s cooking, Eric’s lack of athleticism), their combined determination and hunger brought them the grand prize of Dubai.
When Eric and Solar looked at each other on that Duet Song stage, they realized how similar they are. They both prefer to be left alone peacefully in a quiet corner to just do whatever they like, but when push comes to shove, together they will take on any challenge against anyone without fear.
The woman filled with passion for music, she’s in front of me now
You could argue that the entire performance and the kiss was a reflection of Solar’s competitiveness. Everything were pretty much Solar lighting up the stage with fire, sure, but I personally believe there was another factor being played into it.
The competition served as platform for them to further demonstrate the caring gestures that they have shown toward each other, and toward other people as well.
It takes a lot of care and attention toward your partner to still be mindful of their presence and condition on that large playing field surrounded with tons of people. I myself am guilty of getting lost in games of this grand scale more often than not, completely forgetting about everyone else but myself. So to see that Eric and Solar still looked out for each other in moment like these, I could really tell how sincere and caring they are about each other.
Amidst a competition full of chaos and exhaustion, Solar paid careful attention to Eric every step of the way
Eric did not make Solar felt like she was a dead weight. Instead, he entrusted her with different tasks and praised her to make her believe that she’s important even in moments like these.
Even when facing with a chance for a decisive victory, Eric still remembered that Yongsun’s comfort matter the most, despite the Solar sitting in front of him was telling him otherwise
Not to mention, they really proved to us that they deserved all the praises given to them by the WGM PD. The food preparation they made to share with other couples, the good manners they showed to people entering the bus, the time they made for the Heartmons to promote their group that decreased their chance of winning etc. were examples of the selfless character they both share. By doing work for other people, both Eric and Solar could see the kindness in each other’s heart, and it certainly helped build their bond even further.
The most important thing that hit them on that day, was how much they need each other. When they were together by themselves, this wasn’t so easy to notice, like Solar herself said. They laughed together, singed and danced together, had fun with each other, it’s to a point where they began to take the other person for granted. They were in a comfort zone with each other the whole time and they didn’t even realize it.
The moment Solar stepped on that bus however, something finally hit her. She’s not the same way with Eric around people she’s unfamiliar with. She became nervous and shy, like the way she was when she met Eric in Hongdae for the first time. It was then that Solar realized how emotionally connected she’s become with him. Because of that, by natural instinct, she always turned and held on to him to make her feel safer and more at ease (and also to share her amusement/embarrassment). I would also argue that his charisma and presence among that crowd made her feel more secure too.
I realized how much you meant to me
For Eric, having Solar to do things with him against other male-female partners gave him a sense that he’s no longer alone. It’s the kind of feeling that he often feels living as a single man in Korea, with all his family and friends residing far away from him. It always makes Eric happy to have a person who can share his joy, who would hang out and do things with him, and who can help make his life experience in Korea easier for him in general. Solar’s presence among those people reminded him that it’s not every day when he has a girl by his side, and it made him appreciate her even more (like his words in the letter next episode, where he said he’s grateful to have Solar, a girl gift-wrapped for him as an early Christmas present)
I have a girl with me too
And to me, this was the true meaning behind the forehead kiss from Solar at the climax point of this stage (both the Chuseok stage and their stage of relationship). It was a gesture of appreciation, of recognition for everything he has done for her and with her. This wasn’t limited to the events that happened on Chuseok day, but to everything else they had done previously starting from the first step they made on Ddongie Road which had led them to this moment in time.
I’m glad you are here with me, and I’m glad… you’ve chosen to do this with me
The Chuseok event was a culmination of everything that had been building up to this point. Every moment they spent together on that day was a demonstration of how their effort to establish rapport with each other had begun to bear fruits. For me, watching them go through this painful stage made me feel a bit uneasy, because they really could have landed on the wrong side of things in the process if they did not have that compatibility with each other, or if they lacked the commitment and the honesty to see it through. But like the gut feeling Eric had in the beginning that they would mesh well, they both took the risk believing that their personalities would eventually gave them a solid foundation of friendship, and everything for sure worked out in their favor.
Now, they are ready to figure out if they have the potential to be something more than what they’ve achieved.
@enko20 You're very right! Thanks for talking so much about Chuseok! I feel like I was trying so hard to fit the "friendship" concept of that stage that I didn't pay enough attention to the two episodes in between the stages. I'll remember that for next time with Dubai. (Also, to be honest, I think rewatching their performance made me a little distracted since it's all very intense).
Speaking of suspicious lyrics... here's Mamamoo performing Memory for the first time (notice Solar's closed eyes):
There's a new article about ddongie posted on wgm dc gal. This time is the PD (?) who's interviewed. If it's not too much to ask, could you translate this, @Farfalle? Thank you as always
기사) 가슴 먹먹하지만 아름답게 이별
에릭남과 솔라가 19일 방송을 끝으로 MBC '우리 결혼했어요'에서 하차한다.에릭남과 솔라는 지난 9일 '우리 결혼했어요' 마지막 녹화를 진행했다. 4월 새로운 커플로 합류했던 두 사람은 '똥이커플'로 불리며 누구보다 솔직하고 사랑스러운 매력을 발산했다. 하지만 아쉽게도 가상 결혼생활 8개월 만에 마침표를 찍었다. 마지막 녹화 당시 현장 분위기를 묻자 허항 PD는 일간스포츠에 "에릭남과 솔라는 '우리 결혼했어요'의 보석 같은 커플이었다. 화면에 다 담기 어려울 만큼 순수하고 착했다. 서로에 대한 배려가 커서 제작진 역시 아꼈던 커플"이라고 운을 뗐다. 이어 "두 사람이 가장 아름다울 때 '우리 결혼했어요'에서 하차하지만 앞으로 연예계에서 더 빛날 것"이라면서 "에릭남과 솔라는 마지막 녹화 당시 어느 때보다도 아쉬워했다. 엔딩은 둘다 조금 가슴이 먹먹하지만 아름답게 끝났다. 예쁜 마무리를 지었다. 두 사람의 '우리 결혼했어요' 마지막 모습까지 관심을 가지고 지켜봐 달라"고 덧붙였다. 한편 에릭남과 솔라 커플의 마지막 이야기는 19일 방송될 '우리 결혼했어요'에서 확인할 수 있다. 에릭남과 솔라 커플의 후임으로는 이국주와 슬리피가 합류한다.
I just realized that you've all posted more articles in a 2 day period than what I've registered on the front page for the past month. Don't worry I'll put them all in on my next day off, among other things I should have finished doing awhile ago.
I have a lot of time on my hands this week... this was the result:
someone posted ddongi's cut from latest ep on twitter and it got so many RTs and likes (and keep increasing like crazy) so far it already has 4000+ retweets...
Eric's going to appear on MBC 'Good Friends'
@gureentea hahaha yeah, I saw that tweet on twitter and now every girl wants Eric as their boyfriend and tbh, that prank was perfectly executed by Solar and her friend. I can only imagine what is gonna happen to Solar's friend if it's other man who is pranked and gets mad at her...
MAMAMOO will attend MMA (Melon Music Awards).
@cinnaminskies so we will have song analysis again in the future
@NamSeoYeon18 today mamamoo will attend Asia Artist Award too right and i read there isn't show champion for today
MMMTV looks funny i hope mmmtrans will sub it asap and i'm still waiting the sub for cultwo show...thanks god ikshow sub immortal song and yhy sketchbook
another fantaken of the last ep filming!
9 hours ago, cinnaminskies said:
I have a lot of time on my hands this week... this was the result:
I have a lot of time on my hands this week... this was the result:
i cried when i watch this huhuhu 2days left
[P] 161116 MAMAMOO at 2016 Asia Artist Awards #2016AAA
MAMAMOO receiving BEST ENTERTAINER AWARD
You're the best @ AAA
Decalcomanie @ AAA
Read from some fan acc that AAA a little boring and the sound system not good...i check twice and blackpink performance too and i like bp outfit hehe
I watch bp clip in weekly idol with 2xfaster dance...i can't imagine mmm make this fast dance i'm worry with solar neck/back
Eric birthday...what time in korea now...well just see the cake from ig
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