Just Bananas About: Week of 5/16/16

When I first heard the news that Ahn Jae Hyun would be on New Journey to the West 2 to fill in for Lee Seung Gi who is in the army, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it.  However, the episode that aired this past week had me laughing so hard that I couldn’t breathe that it’s totally worth sharing.  (Also, later the new season of Show Me the Money.)

Similar to last year, Na PD tells the group that he’s going to give each of the members a mission.  If any one of them fails, the crew will immediately wrap up the shoot and end the show.  Kang Ho Dong is known for being technologically challenged and he ended last year’s show because he was unable to link a Bluetooth speaker to his cell phone in under a minute.  This year, Na PD also challenges to him an IT challenge as well and immediately, Ho Dong knows he’s doomed.  His task?  Putting on a screen protector in under a minute.

Now, I have to admit that this is super challenging.  I don’t think I’d be able to complete the task under a minute.  And sure enough, Kang Ho Dong puts on the screen protector complete with bubbles and fingerprints all over sticky part of the screen protector.  So I guess end of show?

Not quite.  This is all Na PD’s plan to keep the boys on their toes.  The final mission is a game called Silent Scream.  It’s basically a game of telephone except with the use of headphones.  You yell out of phrase and the next person needs to figure out what you’re saying by how you mouth out the syllables.  It’s also not against the rules to use simple gestures.

The group fails to answer any of the questions under the one minute time limit and Kang Ho Dong gives up by sitting on the couch.  However, the other 3 members fail to realize that the game is over.  Lee Su Geun eventually realizes and then provides ridiculous phrases for the remaining two members to guess.

Phrases such as, ‘It’s over, you assholes.’  It is hilarious when Ahn Jae Hyun turns to Eun Ji Won and says, ‘Get lost, you asshole.’  Ji Won just gives this look like I’m sure I didn’t read his lips correctly.  What’s even more hilarious is that the crew joins in on the fun and gets all excited making it seem like they’re getting the correct answers.  Alas, that’s the end of their trip.

A few weeks later, the group gathers for a happy hour at Jae Hyun’s place.  During the hiatus, it had dawned on the group why Jae Hyun had been asking so many questions about marriage.  And of course, the group isn’t going to make it easy on their maknae.

However, they find Jae Hyun’s place to be incredibly clean and he’s gone to lengths to prepare food and drinks for the group.  Gu Hye Sun apparently made some cabbage bean paste soup that pairs well with drinking and grilling meat.  Ho Dong comments how did a good job and she probably went to her mom for help in making it as all new brides probably do.

Jae Hyun also doesn’t eat that much because he’s too concerned with grilling the meat and hosting his guests.  He’s not only bought small wine bottles for guests who want to drink wine but also taken the time to make ice cubes into spheres for drinking.  What’s even more is that the women all ooh and ahh when they see all his efforts at dinner and during stories about how Jae Hyun first became a couple with Hye Sun, that it brings the ire out of the men, including Na PD.

Of course, happy hour with Na PD wouldn’t be happy hour without the group trying to complete a mission.  Na PD challenges them to text someone to see who would get an ‘I Love You’ response back first in order to figure out who would be the monk for their next trip.  Jae Hyun leaps to his phone to text his-bride-to-be and sure enough, he’s the first to get a response back.  As a Gyeongsangdo man, it’s hard for Ho Dong to even get out the words.  Ji Won’s problem is he doesn’t even have a phone so he uses a staff phone to text someone.  Su Geun is the next person to get a response back from his wife.  Ji Won gets a text back from one of the male writers on the show who is flustered by the sudden confession.

As for Ho Dong, he writes the message and it’s finally Na PD who has to be the one to push the send button.  Ho Dong waits and waits.

It looks like everyone is ready to leave when he finally gets a response back.  And I love the look on everyone’s face.  He doesn’t really get an ‘I Love You’ back but the message says, ‘I wish you would say that more.’  Ha, aww.

Sidenote: Ahn Jae Hyun does have a really adorable cat which he’s named Ahn Joo (aka Bar Food).  Best name ever!  He thinks his cat resembles Kang Ho Dong.  Haha.  What do you think?

When the group gets together in April for another trip to China, this time Jae Hyun is ready.  He’s packed all over his essential in his backpack.  No more does he have to worry about his luggage being sent back to Korea.  Haha, this guy is taking no chances.

When the group lands in Lijiang, their first mission is to try and get to their hotel.  They can either team up with another member or go on their own.  However, each of them has a piece of the information about where they are staying painted on their back, Prison Break style.  Ho Dong gets a map of the whole town but without the location marked.  Su Geun basically gets a dot on his back indicating where the location is.  The point is for Ho Dong and Su Geun to pair up to figure out the location together.  Ji Won has a zoomed in map of just the street and Jae Hyun has to solve a math problem in order to figure out the hotel’s phone number.

I love how this mission brings out each of their personalities.  Ji Won has no problem asking someone to take a picture of his back on the street while Jae Hyun tries to secretly take the photo in the privacy of a bathroom.  Ho Dong is actually smart to take a video of his back and then taking a screen capture of a good shot of his back.  I’m not sure about Su Geun but from the previews it looks like he has a Chinese person literally drawing a map of the town on his back.  Lol.

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Last Friday also brought the new season of Show Me the Money.  Already, we’ve been hearing a lot of drama happening off-screen and who knows what’s in store as the competition is just getting underway.

These opening auditions are entertaining because you get to see a lot of “interesting” personalities come out.  Some trying to force the judges to give them the necklace or others trying to argue for it.  Some try to dance their way into the judges heart, while others have trouble looking the judge in the eye because they are so good looking.  I mean, Gray’s pretty hot so can you blame her?  Lol.

I’ve been looking forward to the Gil and Mad Clown match up.  I’m amused at how awkward their relationship is.  They clearly have different ideas about what they’re looking for in a rapper.  Gil wasn’t aware that he looked scary to potential contestants while Mad Clown is willing to give a second chance to contestants who forget lyrics or flub a delivery.

I was also surprised by Simon D who is willing to give feedback to each contestant who doesn’t make his cut.  Unlike The Quiett who only took 3 minutes to go down a whole row of contestants, none of which made the cut.

I was also glad to see SeoChulGu (aka West Exit) try out again as he was awesome at freestyling last year.  He was the guy who gave the mic to a young high school rapper during the cypher mission with Snoop Dogg (Snoop Lion??) last year and therefore didn’t get an opportunity to do his own rap and got eliminated.  To be honest, I thought that cypher mission was an utter disaster and didn’t really reflect the contestants ability to rap well.  The high schooler also showed up again to the auditions and passed the first round.

Ashby is a female contestant that showed up on Unpretty Rapstar 2 and she was criticized for her delivery by Mad Clown.  Her judge happened to be Mad Clown again and he gave her the pass commenting on how much she’s improved since then.  I happen to agree.  However, the other female contestant I’m looking forward to is Zion.T Pink.  Why is her name Zion.T Pink?  I don’t get it either but she has a great deep voice, good diction and delivery.  I would really like a female rapper to do well on the show but so far, I agree that in the past we haven’t really seen great contestants.

Won, whose label is YG, is also back this year to try out again.  He flubbed a little bit and I was surprised that Dok2 gave him a pass because he’s so strict but I’m glad he got the necklace.  He’s a pretty decent rapper and hopefully he’ll make it farther along this year. Of course, that brought out the ire from another contestant who was angry that he didn’t get a necklace.   To be fair, even Won was a little embarrassed to get it after he messed up but in all honesty, I don’t care about the cursing, which Dok2 used as the reason why he didn’t give the other guy a pass, but in my opinion, the guy just didn’t have a smooth flow.

I was also surprised to see Phantom’s Sanchez competing as well.  It made me think about when the SMTM4 crew came to NY to perform and Sanchez was there providing the singing.  At one point, he asked the audience if they liked him on this season and someone in the audience said, ‘Yes.’  To which he replied, ‘Liar!  I wasn’t even on this season.’  Lol.  The thing that really surprised me about his appearance on this season is that his brother is Microdot, one of the contestants from last year.  Who knew?

G2 is another rapper I saw in NY but I was very, very surprised to see him make the cut. He’s actually an excellent rapper but he also flubbed his audition.  I think he flubbed it to the point where it would be hard to recover but apparently, Gray didn’t think so.  So let’s see if he shows us what he’s really made of during the rest of the competition.  Since a season rapper like him flubbed during Round 1, he’s gotta an uphill battle to prove himself in my opinion.

Finally, the moment that I had been waiting for was Jung Joon Ha.  He was very much aware that he needed to go on the show in order to fulfill his punishment for Infinite Challenge.  He also knew that out of respect for other contestants who poured their hearts into their audition so that he couldn’t take this lightly.

I really do think he tried his best and I think he did do a decent job.  Seeing Simon D earlier judging other contestants, I’m glad that he was the one that oversaw his as he really did give Joon Ha an opportunity to complete his rap.  I am a bit frustrated that we didn’t get to see whether he passed or not.  I do think that he didn’t get the necklace but I’m just impatient to get the answer.  Still, the highlight of his audition was him hugging it out with former Infinite Challenge member, Gil.  Even though I previously saw the same scene on Infinite Challenge, I couldn’t help but get teary-eyed all over again.

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