Before there was Idol Room and Weekly Idol, there were numerous other K-Pop-centric shows that were absolute hits. They were able to show off the idol’s personalities in unique settings. From taking care of children to making them willfully reveal their own secrets, they were memorable in their own ways.
Check them out below!
1. Hello Baby
Girls’ Generation, SHINee, T-ARA, SISTAR and Leeteuk, MBLAQ, B1A4, and Boyfriend were actual mothers and fathers in KBS‘s Hello Baby! The artists were in charge of taking care of one or more children under the age of 5. Fans got to see the maternal and paternal instincts of their favorites come out in this show.
Unsurprisingly, it gave fans serious baby fever from its first episode in 2009 to its last in 2013!
2. Strong Heart
SBS‘s Strong Heart invited celebrities to tell their emotional or hilarious stories on national television. Some of the funniest interactions and stories happened here, such as Dara‘s “secret weapon” tale. It aired from 2009-2013, and it was also popular for its MC’s Kang Ho-Dong, Lee Seung-Gi, Lee Dong-Wook, and Shin Dong-Yup.
3. Star Dance Battle
Want to see your bias group impress your other bias group with their dance prowess? Star Dance Battle is the one for you! Groups were split into two teams with only one emerging victorious based on votes. While many took it seriously and gave jaw-dropping performances…
…some like 2AM joined just for the fun of it!
4. Let’s Go! Dream Team
What made KBS’s Let’s Go! Dream Team stand out from other variety programs was its focus on athleticism. Celebrities had to cross challenging obstacle courses like in the popular American show Wipeout. Idols who became known for being sporty such as SHINee’s Minho, BTOB‘s Minhyuk, and ZE:A‘s Dongjun were found on this show.
5. Invincible Youth
Invincible Youth featured an all-female idol cast who experienced how to live in the rural outdoors of South Korea. Two seasons were aired from 2010-2011 and close friendships like that of Girls’ Generation’s Sunny and T-ARA’s Hyomin were formed. Viewers enjoyed the show as they were able to witness the cast’s bond grow within months of shooting.
6. Idol Army
Idol Army aired five seasons from July 2008 to December 2009 with each season having their own focus group. Super Junior, FT Island, 2PM, KARA, and MBLAQ enjoyed games with and without guests. Some iconic moments such as Girls’ Generation’s relationship with 2PM were given to fans all because of Idol Army!
7. Yaman TV
Finally, while Yaman TV only aired in 2015, it was able to solidify itself in fan’s memories as the show idol’s could comfortably be themselves in. HaHa and Seo Janghoon were hosts, and they helped put on an atmosphere of no judgment that idols like BTS, MONSTA X, Red Velvet, and more appreciated.
If only these variety shows aired again!