Earlier this year, SM Entertainment started to push another member of So Nyeo Shi Dae (SNSD) — better known as Girls’ Generation — after Taeyeon. That member was Tiffany, and she officially made her solo debut back in May with an EP, or mini-album, titled I Just Wanna Dance. Tiffany’s debut did not have the same impact as her fellow group member Taeyeon, but it still did well, peaking at No. 3 on the Korean Gaon Chart, No. 1 on the Taiwanese G-Music East Asia Chart, and No. 3 on the Billboard U.S. World Albums.
Along with her solo music career, Tiffany was also starting a potential secondary career in Korean variety shows as a cast member of Unnies’ Slam Dunk. For those who are unfamiliar with the series, the K-variety show which also goes by the title Sisters’ Slam Dunk is a show on the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) in which the all-female cast — Ra Mi Ran, Kim Sook, Hong Jin Kyung, Min Hyo Rin, Jessi, and Tiffany — attempt to fulfill each others’ dream using a budget of 2,196,000 won which is about $2,000 USD.
It seemed as if Tiffany would be able to establish a career outside of Girls’ Generation, but it suddenly hit a bit of a snag when she posted social media images utilizing Japanese flag emoticons. What made it “scandalous” was the fact that the pictures were posted up a day before Korea’s National Liberation Day or the day Korea celebrates gaining their independence from Japan’s occupation during World War II.
Koreans were furious with Tiffany’s posts, and she took them down and posted two apologies afterwards. Still, Koreans wanted to crucify her, blasting her on news and calling for her removal from Unnies’ Slam Dunk. Eventually, SM Entertainment and KBS would come to terms in taking Tiffany off the show. Tiffany herself would eventually go into “reflection,” something similar to what Bom of 2NE1 did after her drug scandal.
With Tiffany no longer a part of Unnies’ Slam Dunk, it wasn’t the same. Ratings from around the 21st episode (Tiffany’s last appearance) onward were around a meager 3 percent, according to viewership ratings provided by AGB Nielsen Korea. Also, the Unnies were not the same either. Along with Jessi, Tiffany is the only other member who sings as part of their career. The other four members, though they may sound awesome in Karaoke bars and dives, are not professionally trained.
With that in mind, it was a surprise for K-pop fans of Tiffany, especially those who are Fanytastic (official fan club of Tiffany) or Sones (official fan club of Girls’ Generation), or of Unnies when Tiffany made her return to the K-pop girl group to form the OT6 during the 2016 KBS Entertainment Awards.
Prior to the 2016 KBS Entertainment Awards, it was reported that Unnies would be opening the show with their hit song “Shut Up,” as reported by AllKpop. It was assumed that only Ra Mi Ran, Kim Sook, Hong Jin Kyung, Min Hyo Rin, and Jessi would be performing given that Tiffany was forced off, but fans were surprised when they saw Tiffany rejoin her girls on stage.
Along with being a pleasant surprise for fans of Unnies, the bigger detail that shouldn’t be overlooked is the fact Koreans aren’t complaining about Tiffany’s appearance. For about three to four months after the Japanese flag scandal, it seemed as if Koreans kept an eye on Tiffany, 24/7, trying to catch her getting in trouble. The fact that as of the publication of this article, Koreans have not complained about Tiffany’s return to Unnies. It has not been revealed if this was only a one-shot performance or not.
To be fair, Koreans may have let water pass under the bridge on the Japanese flag scandal by now. Tiffany was prominently featured in the South Korea episode of Better Late Than Never, a U.S. remake of Grandpa Over Flowers, and was featured in a song and music video “Don’t Speak” by the Far East Movement. Koreans did not express their disdain for Tiffany being in any of them. Fans hope that Koreans are willing to allow Tiffany to do what she does best: entertain her fans through both her music and television careers.
Unnies’ performance at the 2016 KBS Entertainment Awards is attached above, but for those who want to view the entire show, it can be viewed in its entirety for free, with ads, on OnDemandKorea. As for Unnies’ Slam Dunk, it can also be viewed for free, with ads, at both OnDemandKorea and Viki.
[Featured Image by Korean Broadcasting System (KBS)/Mwave]