Camaraderie keeps fan meet Running
ONCE the resident couple of the well-loved South Korean variety show Running Man took to the stage, their Singapore audience knew exactly what to do.
Echoing through the Singapore Expo Hall were relentless chants of "bbo bbo", the Korean word for kiss.
Gary Kang, one half of the "Monday Couple", a label that has stuck through constant teasing on the show, gladly obliged by pretending to give a peck on the hand of his bashful co-host Song Ji Hyo, 32.
Such was the spontaneity of the five Running Man stars at the two-hour Singapore Running Man Fan Meeting, which drew about 3,000 fans on Saturday night.
Some 4,000 fans had earlier thronged an autograph session at Jurong Point to catch a glimpse of the hosts, who were in Singapore together for the first time.
The full-house crowd at the fan meet was clearly familiar with the signature cheers and inside jokes of the hosts, who included the cheeky HaHa, the sinewy Kim Jong Kook and the bumbling Jee Seok Jin.
Lucky fans teamed up with the hosts to play quirky games as seen on the show, such as shaking sticky pads off their bodies and kicking slippers into the cubby holes of a shelf.
Student Muhammad Basha, 21, said: "It felt as if we were part of the show. I've been a fan since the first episode...I lined up on the first day that tickets went on sale."
For the true-blue fan, who had forked out $248 for a top-tier ticket, the guy who stole the show was HaHa (real name Ha Dong Hoon), 33.
True to his on-screen persona, the livewire had no qualms about making exaggerated facial expressions and spouting random English words. The Energizer bunny of a performer belted out a couple of his catchy reggae tunes, such as Busan Vacance.
Other members, too, had their time to shine.
The charismatic Kang, 35, broke out some fast-paced rapping, while the Monday Couple dueted sweetly.
The muscular Kim, 37, sang high-pitched ballads uncharacteristic of his burly size, while the "uncle" of the group, 47-year-old Jee, charmed with his rendition of All-4-One hit I Swear.
Individually, each member proved to be a consummate showman. But the palpable chemistry that was displayed when they came together was what truly enraptured the crowd. Their camaraderie - from being on the show for three years - was evident in their animated banter.
If the stars are in alignment, fans here might just get to be part of more Running Man action. To rapturous cheers, Kang teased: "Next time we are here, maybe we'll be filming Running Man."
Catch Running Man every Friday at 11.45pm on ONE (SingTel mioTV Ch 513 and 604, and StarHub Ch 820 and 823).