Variety shows from South Korea also invite many visitors who don’t seem to hesitate about accepting the concept given. In this article, we are going to provide you with information about the types of variety shows that were popular in the 2010s and had the highest ratings.

Invincible Youth

Invincible Youth (Hangul: 청춘 불패) is a variety show whose first season was broadcast on KBS2 starting on October 23rd, 2009 to December 24th, 2010. In the first season, Invincible Youth presented cast members with 7 members from girl groups who were quite popular in the era.

In this variety show, girl groups are very dominant to appear and play games with the hosts and they just show funny and hilarious things. In the first season, 7 girl group members, such as Brown Eyed Girls’ Narsha, T-ARA’s Hyomin, SECRET’s Sunhwa, KARA’s Hara, SNSD’s Sunny and Yuri, 4 Minute’s Hyuna were the first guest stars to appear to enliven this variety show. Then on May 14th, 2010, SNSD’s Sunny, Yuri and 4Minute’s Hyuna were announced to leave this event because their promotional schedule with each girl group had a clash with the broadcast schedule of Invincible Youth. On May 30th, 2010, solo artist Kim So-ri, After School’s Jooyeon and f(x)’s Victoria replaced the third position of G7 members who had previously left. The hosts participating in this variety show are Nam Hee-suk, Noh Joo-hyun, Kim Tae-woo, Kim Shin-young. Song Eun-i was a substitute host for Kim Tae-woo starting from August 27th, 2010, because the previous host had to take a temporary leave to operate on his throat. The concept of Invincible Youth is survival of how idol groups live on the edge of villages in South Korea and have outdoor activities. The cast members and hosts of Invincible Youth are scheduled to film once a week and work in the village of Yuchi-ri Hongcheon-gun, Gangwon Province in South Korea. While in the village, they learn to farm, interact with seniors and parents in the village and compete in the challenges in the village.

Because the first season of Invincible Youth had a fairly high rating, the cast and crew of this variety show took the initiative to turn their village into an agro-tourism site, promote environmentally conscious agriculture, and put products from this village into food competitions that would later be sold in the local community, the general public or distributed as gifts. The slogan in Invincible Youth is: “청춘 은 지지 않는다 ~ 청춘 ~ 불패” which means: “Youth Don’t Lose! Invincible Youth!” As time went by, Invincible Youth Season 1, which reached episode 18 on October 10th, 2010, production director of the variety show, Kim Sang-ho, announced in an interview with Star News that the shooting process of Invincible Youth Season 1 will stop temporarily. “We’re not discontinuing the show because of the low viewer ratings. There has been a lot of conflicting schedules due to girl groups like KARA expanding their activities overseas. It was difficult to take out some of the fixed members, so we decided to end season one for now. There is a lot of trust being placed on the worth of Invincible Youth. After discussions with other producers, everyone agreed to end season one and go ahead with season two next year. “ – Kim Sang-ho PD After 1 year passed, Invincible Youth Season 2 began airing on November 12th, 2011, by presenting 8 women from different idol groups. The members of G8, such as SNSD’s Hyoyeon and Sunny, f(x)’s Amber, Miss A’s Suzy, SISTAR’s Bora, Jewelry’s Yewon, Rainbow’s Woori and KARA’s Jinyoung were presented as cast members of Invincible Youth Season 2. In this second season, there are also new MCs, namely Lee Soo-geun, Ji Hyun-woo, and Boom. While the hosts from the first season remain the same, the concept of Invincible Youth Season 2 is in a village whose livelihoods are fishermen on Daebu Island, Ansan, Gyeonggi Province.

As time went by, cast members and MCs one by one resigned from their positions in Invincible Youth Season 2 as announced on April 7th, 2011, that f(x)’s Amber, Rainbow’s Woori, Lee Soo-geun and Ji Hyun-woo would leave the event. Then on July 7th, 2011, SNSD’s Sunny also resigned from Invincible Youth Season 2 because the program was considered unstable. Invincible Youth Season 2 experienced a downgrade and stopped airing in mid-November 2011 due to schedule conflicts with cast members. Invincible Youth Season 2 was last being filmed on November 7th, 2011, and aired on November 17th, 2011, for a total of 46 episodes.

Explorers of The Human Body

Explorers of the Human Body (Hangul: 인체 탐험대) is a variety show that has comedy and infotainment genres and was broadcast on SBS from November 11th, 2007 to February 3rd, 2008. The variety show, which is also considered as one of the educational ones in science, also featured famous boy bands from that era, such as Super Junior and MC Shin Dong-yup. This variety show was created in order to answer questions about the human body and the members of Super Junior would conduct experiments and demonstrate scientific matters to answer these questions. The event was successful in attracting the attention of any audience because besides educating, this event also had a very good sense of humor. The total number of episodes of Explorers of the Human Body was 13 episodes according to the number of members of Super Junior. Their way of experimenting and exploring parts of the human body was mostly using the tongue and blindness. The members of Super Junior also tried hot peppers and drank very bitter drinks to test the mystery of the sense of taste.

In the next episode, that is no less interesting, the members of Super Junior also tried to do a unique experiment by chewing and swallowing food with the body position that is hung upside down and drinking beer and water to learn about one’s stomach capacity. In addition, the event that invited the most laughter from the audience and also the cast members was when each Super Junior members tried to laugh and how they stop the laughter that can’t stop. In that episode, they use pure salt to stop laughing, pinch someone’s neck and press on one part of their body. Each episode of Explorers of the Human Body had a different theme and concept in exploring the human body and how to stop the workings of the human body when reacting. Explorers of the Human Body ended with a total of 13 episodes due to Super Junior’s increasingly busy schedule and representatives of the program announced that if there were more opportunities, they would start the second season of Explorers of the Human Body.

Immortal Songs

Immortal Songs (Hangul: 불후의 명곡) is a music show that invites many older, professional and rookie singers who have vocal abilities with gold voices. This variety show is one of the television programs that is still airing until now. The program began being broadcast by KBS on April 22nd, 2011, and is divided into 2 seasons. In the beginning, Immortal Songs was hosted by Tak Jae-hoon, Shin Jung-hwan, and Kim Sung-eun. Immortal Songs Season 1 which aired from April 22nd, 2007 to September 14th, 2008, invited famous vocal trainers, Korean singers, and some of them also invited record producers and composers as special guests. In Immortal Songs Season 1, netizens were welcome to cast their votes for the guests who appear at the event and they must sing in karaoke style. At the end of the event, the winners will be chosen by special guests and will get special prizes. In season 1, there were many guests who are considered to be legendary singers, such as Lee Seung-chul and Kim Heung-gook. Several famous idol groups and singers of the era, such as S.E.S and Sung Si-kyung, were invited to attend as special guests. In Immortal Songs Season 2, the program began airing on November 30th, 2008 and presented Patti Kim as a special guest and he was also one of the legendary singers from South Korea who had appeared in one of the national broadcasting organizations in Japan, NHK. Immortal Songs Season 2 lasted only 4 months and the production team decided to stop airing the program with the final episode being aired on March 22nd, 2009. Still with the same theme and concept, Immortal Songs was reborn with the name Immortal Songs 2, but due to restructuring in 2012, the event changed its title to Immortal Song: Singing the Legend (불후 의 명곡: 전설 을 노래 하다) which started being broadcast on KBS on June 4th, 2011. The event became a singing competition in which each episode presented 7 singers or groups competing against other legendary singers and K-Pop idol members. Immortal Song 2: Singing the Legend airs again with Shin Dong-yup selected to host the program and the singers present in the program sing songs with their respective versions and will be sung again by the legendary singer of the episode with the record as a special episode. Rundown of this program is that the guests will sit in the waiting room with 3 MCs and invite them to introduce themselves as a short interview, then MC Shin Dong-yup will draw a ball containing the participant’s name and choose randomly to decide who will sing in the episode. 500 viewers will be given the opportunity to vote for the best singer and those who get the most votes, they will be the winner of the episode. In Immortal Song: Singing the Legend, this program also has other hosts, such as MC Ding Dong, Eun Ji-won, Yoon Min-soo, and Hwang Chi-yeul the former waiting room MC and Moon Hee-jun, Jung Jae-hyung, and Kim Tae-woo who was the MC of the previous substitute in the waiting room. In 2011, Immortal Song: Singing the Legend had a total of 31 episodes with several singers as special guests, such as Davichi, 4Men’s Shin Young-jae, K-Will, FT. Island’s Lee Hong-ki, Huh Gak, Super Junior’s Yesung, and many more.

In 2012, Immortal Song: Singing the Legend had a total of 50 episodes with several singers as special guests, such as Lyn, SHINee’s Taemin, Brown Eyed Girls’ JeA, Norazo, Miss A, Son Ho-young, Ailee, and many more. In 2013 there were a total of 52 episodes, in 2014 there were a total of 46 episodes, in 2015 there were a total of 52 episodes, in 2016 there were a total of 53 episodes, in 2017 there were 49 episodes, in 2019 there were 50 episodes with the last episode of the year being aired on December 14th, 2019. Immortal Song: Singing the Legend is rumored to be still airing and continuing its episodes of drama by presenting legendary singers and also inviting idols with a golden voice.

Idol Star Olympic Championships

Idol Star Athletics Championships (Hangul: 아이돌 스타 육상 선수권 대회) is a variety show from South Korea that has a Sports concept and includes K-Pop groups to participate and compete in the sports that have been provided. Not only celebrities, but idols who have the talent and love sports will also be present at the annual program broadcast by MBC and begin airing the first time on September 25th, 2010. The filming of Idol Star Athletic Championship is a special K-Pop idol routine that is scheduled to air twice a year. First, during the Chinese New Year celebrations (Lunar New Year) which falls in February. The next one, on the holiday celebration of the harvest season (Chuseok), usually, around autumn in South Korea. The program, which started airing in 2010, has been attended by dozens to hundreds of South Korean idols. Although coming from different companies, every shooting of Idol Star Athletic Championship, both senior and rookie groups will gather together in the venue. They will compete for medals from various sports. For example, futsal, archery, athletics, basketball, rhythmic gymnastics, to traditional Korean wrestling.

The shooting process of the Idol Star Athletic Championship does not only involve idols, but also fans. Just like their idols, fans will also have a photoshoot session from morning to early evening. Like a concert, usually, the fans will support their idols by carrying their own unique fandom attributes, such as lightsticks and mini banners. With content that can show the other side of idols, it is actually not surprising that this program is watched a lot. Even so, there are reasons why fans dislike and reject the holding of this event. Yes, they are worried that idols will get hurt. Some idols who have been injured during the Idol Star Athletics Championship are VIX’s Leo, INFINITE’s Sungyeol, A-Pink’s Hayoung, GOT7’s Jackson, AOA’s Seolhyun, MAMAMOO’s Moonbyul, and many more. Sports competitions such as the Idol Star Athletic Championship require high physical endurance from each participant. Not only do they have to use energy when competing, but idols must also endure shooting that can take a whole day. In fact, it could be on the previous day, the idols had just undergone a concert, overseas tour, or other activities that drained a lot of energy.

In addition, this event is also often a scourge because it is called a dating location for idols. This was expressed by Girls Day’s Minah through Radio Star in 2015. In this program, many fans also participated in the interactions between groups that they liked or there were even many surprising interactions among K-Pop idol groups. He said that it was easy to find idols who were dating during the shooting of the Idol Star Athletics Championship. This was agreed by BTOB’s Minhyuk and Super Junior’s Kyuhyun. They claimed to have seen the closeness of an idol with other idols. This fact is certainly interesting. Even though fans have begun to open their eyes to the special relationships of idols with other idols over the past few years, their love topics are still considered taboo by K-Pop fans. South Korean idols also tend to keep their love relationships a secret. Even so, this event proved to be enjoyed by many people because its rating was quite high. Reported by Sports Seoul, the program received a rating of more than 10 percent, making it one of the highest-rated variety shows in South Korea.

Some of the best-known idols for their defending positions as winners and longest-time recorders when participating in the Idol Star Athletics Championship are SISTAR’s Bora, 2 AM’s Jo-kwon, ZE: A’s Dong-jun, SHINee’s Minho, f(x)’s Luna, BTOB’s Minhyuk, Dalshabet’s Kaeun, Gugudan’s Se-jeong, Hana, Mina, and many more.

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