I didn’t know how or when to write this. The entire night brought up a lot of questions on my part but due to my ever-rampant mouth and opinions I thought it’d be safer to wait for a while before posting anything about the award show. So here I am, two days later and still struggling how to word this post.
Before I head into this I want to make something abundantly clear – I am very opinionated, very multi-fandom and try to be as unbiased as I can be. I’ll try and be as objective as I can without pouring my personal opinions into every point I make.
I won’t bother too much about diving in to the backstory around MAMA or when they first came to exist. To be honest, the amount of years they’ve been around you’d think they’d be able to have a grasp on how to run a show and how not to piss off a multitude of fandoms in the process. They’ve been around since 2009 and have managed to annoy more people this year than ever before.
This year the awards were spread out over three different nights and in three different locations – Vietnam, Japan and finally in Hong Kong. I didn’t watch the Vietnam or Japan shows as I assumed the bigger awards would be at the Hong Kong location.
Initially, I thought the idea of three different locations was a good idea. Not only did it give more fans a chance to see their favourite singers and groups but it also allowed the producers to shine a light on other groups rather than the bigger and more popular ones. But 10 minutes into the show in Hong Kong I realised how much my opinions would come back to slap me in the face.
I’m not too sure if it was the same in the previous two shows, but during the Hong Kong stages I couldn’t help but think the show was a joke. To me, it seemed like the winners of the awards were based on who was in attendance rather than who had actually been voted and earned it. The first act that comes to mind is the winner of Best Band Performance which was Hyukoh. For those of you who regularly follow my blog you’d know that I love me some Oh Hyuk and I have such a love for their most recent album 23. In saying that, I don’t know why DAY6 didn’t take the award. They’ve consistently been releasing songs every month, they’ve had a North American tour and they were winning in the voting. To me, that should entitle them to get more than just a nomination.
This brings me to the judging criteria for the awards. I’m taking all this information off www.mnet.me website:
- Songs or albums released between October 26 2016 and October 18 2017
- User voting (internet, mobile) and MAMA expert judges’ evaluation , digital chart data and album/song sales, will be considered for final winners selection
- Expert Judges Panel : Composed of members of music industry related associations, critics, journalists, music producers, composers, lyricists, music directors, and choreographers and etc who are active in Asian countries or regions
- Artists working in 6 regions of Asia
- The final winners to be selected based on international expert judges panel’s evaluation
For the K-Pop categories they provided a different judging criteria which showed percentages of different statistics.
As you can see from the above table, online voting is given quite a lot of weight when it comes to the Artist of the Year Award and Song of the Year Award – as it should. My only problem with this is the inconsistencies within this parameter. I mentioned above about Hyukoh and DAY6 but it also applies to every award that EXO was nominated for and didn’t win.
I’ll be honest – I didn’t vote at all for EXO. To me BTS ruled and should’ve won every single award they were nominated for in regards to how epic 2017 was for them but as you can see in the graph above – online voting isn’t everything.
EXO was millions and millions of votes ahead of the rest of the acts yet they only walked out with Album of the Year – the one award that didn’t have online voting as an option. Regardless of who I thought should have won an award, surely being so far ahead would carry some kind of weight in those awards that it applies to. Why advertise and push online voting as an option if they’re not going to affect the outcome of these awards? Why let it be open internationally? Either don’t advertise so hard, withdraw the option of international voting or change the percentages of the online voting. It became such a waste of time and effort from every fan who decided to vote this year. All those fans who keep you in business were completely disregarded and thrown to the side without a second glance.
I now wanted to briefly talk about the performances from the evening. Although I am happy MNET finally got GOT7s name right while they were performing I don’t like how they played DAY6. There were a lot of collaboration performances throughout the night but DAY6xGOT7 was the only performance where only one of the groups songs were performed. Where was I Wait or How Can I Say? Surely you could’ve given DAY6 a chance to perform one of their own songs after they’d released at least 12 official songs in 2017.
This takes me to the camera work. In such a massive award show I don’t want to see the camera panning from one side of the stadium to the other side while a group or artist is performing. I want to see two things – close ups of the singers/choreos or close ups of idols watching and singing along to the song. I don’t care how massive the stadium is – when Ko Ko Bop comes on, you have to zoom in on Kai and Sehun during the breakdown. When Mic Drop comes on, you FOCUS ON YOONGI DROPPING THE DAMN MIC! Whoever films for MCountdown or Inkigayo need to do the award shows a favour and help em out with capturing the killing killing.
Now that I’ve got a few of my unbiased opinions out of the way – time to move onto my very biased opinions…
After the show had wrapped up I saw a lot of stuff on Twitter about how SM shouldn’t send EXO to MAMA again because they keep getting cheated. To be honest, I’m a little confused about the Album of the Year award – was BTS nominated with YNWA or Her? If it was for YNWA, EXO should’ve won. But if it was for Her… I’m sorry to burst your bubble but if you base the results on statistics and sales – BTS should’ve won Best Album. In saying this, I’m sure theres a lot of people who hate the fact I’ve said this. But I have one thing to say to those people – saying BTS should’ve won an award doesn’t negate the brilliance of EXO or the perfection of The War.
The thing that makes me so upset about this response from so many K-Pop fans and EXO-Ls from all over the world is – this anger that you’re feeling about this should’ve been felt and voiced a long time ago.
Remember when all those votes were deleted and MAMA gave no explanation as to why? Expect the same thing from them regarding the “injustice” of EXO – be prepare to not be listened to or heard. I understand you’re angry about it but why weren’t you angry about MAMA when it first happened when the votes were first deleted? Why did it take “injustice” to EXO for you to get angry? Why didn’t you show your anger at the fact that there was something suspicious happening to a K-Pop group in general? Was it because it was BTS that made you look the other way? Why aren’t we all getting angry together in the defence of the entire genre rather than on behalf of our favourite groups?
All I want is for this genre to be exactly as it is – superior, perfect, entertaining, synchronised, addictive, happy. Negative attitudes and arguments that spread from fandom to fandom are what keep this from happening and it tears me apart all the time. If you see any kind of hatred from someone, please look the other way by not acknowledging their immaturity. Be the bigger person. Stick together and support the genre as a whole.
Do you agree or disagree with anything I’ve said above? Either one – leave me a comment. I love talking out these kinds of things with people so if you want to talk about anything from the night let me know.