Been doing a bit of research among some of our students in the 15-17 year age group to find out who their pop idols are ~ part of my English conversation classes, so bringing you up to speed, here goes!
Top of the list by far for everyone are the boy bands from S. Korea – all brought together on TV talent shows and promoted by the mega-entertainment industry that is so big in S. Korea. And currently top of the list of all of them is BTS. Super Junior is long over, now it is BTS. Our girls say the BTS group of 7 are all SO handsome, and their singing and dancing are all SO amazing. To excel at all those 3 things is what qualifies them as No. 1. And they are the reason for half of all Taiwan girls aspiring to learn Korean language. Forget English, Korean language is the way to go! They told me to check out the BTS You Tube video ‘DNA’, so here it is – I particularly like their use of colour – how’s this eh?!
For the boys, the equivalent is the Korean girl band, Sistar, all so ‘sexy’, and their singing and dancing are all so good. They recommend you check out ‘Shake it’, and you’ll see why they’re so popular.
The other popular Korean male is Lee Jong Suk, actor and model who comes in the category of ‘very handsome’ as well as for his acting ability.
So is it all Koreans? Not completely, but largely, well, yes!
Chinese idols are Jing Boran – apparently a ‘cute’ and ‘handsome’ singer and actor; Kris Wu – ‘handsome’ actor, singer and model, and Andy Lau from Hong Kong, famous for singing and acting and for being ‘handsome before’ (when he was younger, that is!).
Then there’s American and Canadian idols, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Avril Lavigne, Taylor Swift, Linkin Park, Bon Jovi, The Chainsmokers.
There’s a Malaysian singer Shila Amzah who has an amazing voice, I’ve checked out her videos – she sings in Chinese, and yes, she’s good.
So what about Japanese idols? Japan is famous for anime (computer animation) videos, and the most famous idol of that genre seems to be Hatsune Miku, a fictional anime character of a 16-year-old girl with ‘long turquoise twin-tails’ and an amazing singing style – ‘a humanoid persona voiced by a singing synthesizer application’ – her official video is here… check it out!
And so what about homegrown Taiwan idols? Are there any? Our students have a really hard time thinking of anyone famous in Taiwan who they regard as an idol! So finally, dragging it out of them, I have finally found four: J J Lin 林俊傑 (based in Taiwan, but actually comes from Singapore!) whose singing is great but he is apparently neither cute nor handsome, Show Luo 羅志祥 whose singing and acting are good, but also apparently not very handsome, the group S.H.E whose 3 girls all sing and dance – and apparently beautiful too, and finally, Julia Wu 吳卓源 who has an amazing singing voice, and sings in Chinese, but turns out to be from Australia, and lives in the USA – anyway, here she is!
So what makes a pop idol? Looks is the big one, followed by skills in acting / dancing / singing – the more skills the better. And if you write your own songs, well that’s an extra idol bonus! But idols all come to an end, either fading with age or misdemeanor, or for Korean boy bands because they have to go off to military service, and while they’re gone, along comes another boy band to take their place. But for the time being, it is BTS. When I ask if these BTS boys have girlfriends, I am assured that they wouldn’t dare, because all the fans would be so upset – they can get girlfriends later, after they stop being so popular!
Anyway, hope I’ve brought you to speed a little with what’s going on in the world of pop idols, Taiwan-style!