It’s always such a treat to read the entertaining fan accounts from Zed24. And it seems like she’ll be spoiling us a few more times this year. 😛 [Again, the pictures are borrowed from elsewhere. And this post is open for comments.]
I was a closet fan and was just happy watching LSG from afar, appreciating this amazing human being who had won the hearts of many fans across all age groups and more importantly, across borders despite the language barrier. So, there I was, after attending 2 concerts and 3 fanmeets, I was finally going to meet LSG in person for a handshake session. More about this later…
The fanmeet in Thailand was very well-organised. At the entrance, everyone received an LSG poster. How exciting! The venue was ideal: the air conditioning was blasting cold to make up for the humid outside temperature, but more importantly, the seats were comfortable for all ticket categories. On the seats were specially printed A4-sized card with the words “I ♥ U” on one side and “Yes I do” on the reverse side. While the FM starting time was supposed to be at 6pm, it started at 6.30pm sharp with Thailand’s national anthem. Everyone just automatically stood up straight once the music was played. At the end of the anthem, some of the Thai fans in front of me bowed slightly and curtsied before sitting down. Interesting!
By then, the MC had walked onto the stage to work out the crowd. It was refreshing to have an entertaining MC and an equally proficient translator who not only translated Thai, Korean and English with ease, but was also a good sparring partner for the MC. She could certainly hold her own stage up there. However, the fans want to see LSG, and there, he appeared in his white jacket and black lapels over his much-beloved comfortable v-neck white t-shirt which I have seen him worn many times. The song: Losing my mind… how apt. Yes, after patiently waiting for 30 minutes, I was losing my mind watching the replayed videos of ‘Return’ and ‘Forest’. Fast forward…
It was time for fans to choose their favourite character played by LSG among the following dramas: Brilliant Legacy, My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, The King 2 Hearts, and Gu Family Book (GFB). The poll was conducted earlier outside the FM venue. I had chosen Choi Kang Chi because of how I saw LSG put his heart and soul into the character based on the skills that he had learnt from his previous dramas. So, I was thrilled when LSG also picked Choi Kang Chi. He shared about the drama being his most challenging not only in terms of the role but also the shooting conditions he had to endure. The FM definitely gave a lot of airtime for the promotion of GFB. Next up, the game segment…
You can see how LSG was paying attention to the VVIP section. This was the time for LSG to pick fans to go on stage by throwing a soft toy to the audience. He playfully looked to the right and threw to the left side of the VVIP section. He also tried to throw as far back of the room as possible. When he was preparing to throw the last soft toy to the crowd, he walked to the front most part of the T-shaped stage. Oh wow, LSG was less than ten steps away from where I was sitting. Who cares about the soft toy? That was the rare moment of seeing him really close, and then, the soft toy landed two rows behind where I was seated. That was no loss to me as I turned to look at a few ladies trying to get hold of the soft toy.
The first game segment saw ten fans pitting their skills to be picked to play Yeowool’s character. One of the tasks was to burst an inflated balloon on a chair in one go without holding on to it. The first person tried so hard to burst the balloon that she fell off the chair. While the audience had a good laugh, LSG was quick to ask her (in Korean), “Are you alright?” How concerned!
In the second game segment, the audience was asked to look under their seats and those who found a picture of LSG got a chance to participate. Of all the FMs I’ve been to, this was the first time a male fan got to go on stage. Even LSG looked surprise as he held hands with this fan during the game segment. Here, the contestants had to pass the hula hoop to the next person before the music stopped to avoid being eliminated. It was hilarious when the hoop landed on LSG but not without a tussle between LSG and this Thai Airen. She was trying hard to push the hoop to LSG’s side and LSG was determined to let her have the hoop. There, I saw how competitive LSG was. When the hoop landed on his arm, the first thing he asked the Thai Airen (in Korean), “Are you my fan?” Ah, an emotional blackmail! Then, he imitated her gesture, pointing to her and uttering, “You, You, You”. You see, the Thai Airen wanted the hoop to land on LSG’s side and gestured as such.
According to the rule of the game, the person holding on to the hoop when the music stopped playing should have been eliminated. Since this happened to LSG, the Thai Airen suggested playing “rock, scissors, paper” to determine who should be eliminated. In the first round, LSG won and you could see how dejected the Thai Airen was. LSG salvaged the situation by comforting her that the first round was just a practice session. How considerate! The next round, LSG lost when he showed scissors and the Thai Airen showed a rock. She was ecstatic. LSG’s punishment: Gwiyomi song, much to the delight of the fans. There were times during the game where the heodang nature of LSG surfaced. Since he is tall, there were times when his legs got tangled in the hoop. There was another instance when the hoop hit his forehead and I saw him rubbing his forehead in a comical way. Eventually, when there were fewer contestants left in the game, LSG only needed to raise his hand to let the hoop slid back to the contestant’s hand. When the music stopped playing, LSG innocently said to the audience (in Korean), “I didn’t do anything.” Yeah, right!
I’m not sure if it was a case of too much smiling or too much laughing for LSG when I saw him massaging his cheeks while he faced the screen to view a fanmade video by Thai Airens. Again, I’ve never seen LSG having so much fun on stage with his fans. The video was a simple animation clip that was well-produced and tugged the heartstrings. It was about how the Thai Airens waited so long for LSG to come to Thailand. At the end of the clip, the audience raised the card with the words, “I ♥ U”. I could see that LSG was visibly touched.
Now, it was time to showcase LSG, the singer. The usual crowd-pleasing songs were sung by LSG. My favourite was ‘Return’ with the special effects of the silver crystal ball radiating across the walls of the room and giving it a nostalgic feel. I also saw a calmer LSG when things did not go right. You see, he had just finished singing ‘Alone in Love’ and wanted to grab a quick sip but the music for the next song, “Will You Marry Me?” started playing. He signaled to stop the music. Guess what he said in Korean? “I just started dating and now I have to get married.” So funny! When he was ready, he took his position, facing the back of the stage. The minus-one music started playing from where it stopped and LSG sighed and waited before the people in the control room realized their mistake. This time the music was played correctly and LSG sang. At the end of the song, he asked in English, “Will you marry me?” and the audience raised the card with the words, “Yes, I do.” Guess what LSG replied in Korean, “There are so many people to marry.” Cheeky! LSG was not short of teasing his fans. “This is my last song, Slave” he said, and then went on to sing another song, “Because You’re My Woman” as an encore.
It was time for the handshake session, starting with the VVIPs who also received an autographed poster. The session was not a rush and instead fans were given time to talk briefly to LSG. I noticed LSG clasped with both his hands during the handshake with the VVIPs. And soon, it was the VIP section for the handshake. Okay, what am I supposed to say without sounding like a stalker? I was not feeling nervous but there was a situation where one fan tried to hug LSG and the security guard had to quickly move her away. As such, by the time it was close to my turn, the guards were literally on their guard and I was not sure if I had enough time to say something to LSG.
I walked slowly up the steps, waited patiently for the person in front of me to walk away. Even before that person fully walked away, LSG was already looking in my direction. I walked towards him and said, “See you in Singapore,” I paused to let the information sink in to him, “Tokyo”, (at this point, I grabbed his hand towards me), “and Seoul”. What was LSG’s reply? “Oh, thank you.”
So here I am, counting days for the FM in Singapore and looking forward to another handshake session with LSG…