After snatching our wigs earlier this week with the release of their epic new single “Day by Day” and it’s accompanying sci-fi extravaganza music video, T-ara made their live comeback with a double performance on tonight’s episode of Music Core.
It’s not only the first time we’ve seen the girls perform their new material, but also their very first performance with new member Areum, who we’ve all been waiting to analyze and judge after her shock addition to Korea’s messiest girl group.
In typical outlandish T-ara fashion, the girls opened their first comeback stage with a 70-person orchestra and CGI snowflakes for their ballad “Don’t Leave”. As with a typical K-Pop comeback stage, parts were mimed, parts were live, and parts were drowned out by the backing track. From the bits I could hear, T-ara sounded pretty good, and showed how far they’ve improved since their debut days. Jiyeon was missing, but that was a plus because it gave us more of a chance to check out new member Areum without Jiyeon hogging the camera like usual. Areum looked pretty damn beautiful, and CCM were actually smart enough to let her both rap and sing during the performance to establish right off the bat that she isn’t going to be another Qri/Dara/Hara.
Next was “Day by Day”, and that was the real wig snatcher of the night for me — if only for how pretty they all looked. Hwayoung opened by rapping her verse completely live, before Jiyeon finally appeared to mime her lines and flaunt her stunning new black hair. The choreography could’ve been executed with more power and confidence, but the routine itself is gorgeous and really matches the song. Areum received quite a lot of screen time again, singing and rapping like the previous performance, and she looked pretty stunning, but then again, all the members did. All these years of constant surgeries and repeated makeovers (*looks at Boram*) have finally paid off, because judging by this performance, it’s pretty safe to say that T-ara’s now matching SNSD in the beauty stakes.
Here’s a few other important bits and pieces I noticed about both performances.
- Hwayoung – After being shoved aside for years, Hwayoung finally got her chance to shine. She got a tonne of camera time, was one of the only members during “Day by Day” who performed completely live, and she looked incredible. It’s about damn time.
- Jiyeon – There was a lot less Jiyeon than usual, as she missed the first performance and received less camera time than usual during “Day by Day”. She’s the face of the group, so naturally she’s going to receive the most attention, but I was glad to see her lay low this time so the other members could get some much needed screen time, especially Hwayoung and Areum.
- Eunjung – Eunjung, Eunjung, where the fuck is Eunjung? She’s probably T-ara’s most talented member overall, second most popular member after Jiyeon, and one of the most well-rounded idols in K-Pop, yet it seems like she’s utilized less and less with each subsequent T-ara comeback. She barely did a thing during “Don’t Leave”, and they avoided zooming in on her when she sung her small part on the hook during “Day by Day”. What the hell is going on, CCM? I know her flawless legs are like tree trunks, but that’s no excuse.
- Areum – T-ara’s new girl seems talented and pretty enough to warrant her addition, but her dancing during “Day by Day” was a little sloppy, and at times she looked as if she didn’t know what she was doing. I look forward to seeing her improve over the coming weeks, and a Maxim cover shoot would also be nice.
- Qri & Boram – The two members of T-ara that nobody cares about utterly slayed my life.
Overall, a pretty solid comeback. Soyeon so pretty <3!