Running Man is back with “Race Start Season 2” – the second edition of their fan meeting tour where passionate fans have the special opportunity to interact and get up-close and personal with the cast of their favourite variety show.
The show, known for its comedic and entertaining factor, has taken the international stage, especially Asia, by storm with its high and still-rising popularity across the globe.
Five of the cast members, Kim Jong-kook, HAHA (Ha Dong-hoon), Song Ji-hyo, Ji Suk-jin and Lee Kwang-soo arrived in Singapore for their final stop of the tour. In a press conference held on the 28th of November, the 5 members shared some of their experiences on the show.
Of course, with the show having aired over 200 episodes spanning almost 5 years, the members echoed each other’s sentiments that it was difficult to pick one particular episode as their favourite.
Ji-hyo, the sole female member of the team said: “Every episode is special to us; we sweat it out and put in a lot of effort to bring the show together. The times that we have cried and laughed together, I think those were memorable,
“If I must say that there is one thing that was memorable it would be the episodes where only the Running Man members were involved, those would be the special times where we can really come together and bond together as a team.”
The members were unafraid to display their great chemistry as seen on the show, and it would be safe to say that what you see is what you get.
HAHA and Kwang-soo lightened up the mood in the room when they made eye contact and tilted their heads together – almost sending the media into a frenzy as they pretended to share a kiss. That did not happen, of course, however it certainly give the media a glimpse of the chemistry that the duo usually share on screen.
Midway through the press conference, Ji Suk-jin also stood up to join HAHA and Kwang-soo to pose for the cameras as their infamous “traitor-cross” trio, sending the media and fellow cast members into fits of laughter.
Kwang-soo who said that if he had to choose, the episode filmed in Vietnam would be one that is most memorable to him. “Jong Kook gave me the title “Asian Prince” because the Vietnamese fans were very enthusiastic, I remember them very vividly,” he said.
True to the title, Kwang-soo has been rising in popularity across Asia. With his latest drama, It’s Okay, That’s Love, Kwang-soo has been very active in the industry as a rising actor. Recently, he even bagged an Excellence award for himself at the Korea Drama Awards. What are the other members’ thoughts on this?
Jong-kook was the first to speak up and said, “He’s very cocky right now, he knows he’s a superstar.” HAHA joined in and said, “His shoulders do look higher than usual, we can’t really have meals on the same table now. Previously he used to bow 90 degrees but now its like, maybe not so much.”
The other cast members teased Kwang-soo and said that he now has five people for his hair, five people for his make-up, five people for his wardrobe and so on.
The strong bond of the cast could also be seen when Ji-hyo, HAHA and Jong-kook pretended to be of service to Kwang-soo as his assistants. Of course, the cast were quick to say that they were just joking and that Lee is one of the most humble guys that you would ever meet.
“He’s not going to change, I’ll hit him if he changes,” says Kim Jong Kook.
Jong-kook, who is also known as a tiger for his strength, often sends shivers down the spine of the remaining cast members in the show with his fearsome reputation as the ‘Commander’.
When asked about their terrifying experience on the roller-coaster in Taiwan, which they had to ride and complete a mission as a punishment before being let-off, Kwang-soo said: “The Taiwan roller coaster was really scary but I must say that the scariest thing in every episode is having Jong-kook around!”
HAHA chimed in and said: “The tension and nervousness you get when you’re just left with Jong-kook to compete – that’s probably the scariest experience you will have in your life.”
The cast promised that with Singapore as their last stop, the fans here can expect nothing less than fun, games and laughter.
“Singapore is the last stop in our fan meet tour. We’ve been trying to show a lot of things on stage and everyone gives their all. We’re ready to have fun and hope the fans have a memorable time tomorrow,” said Ji-hyo.
All in all, the cast was excited to be back in sunny Singapore and shared their envy of our clean and green city. Suk-jin was also eager to express his desires to eat the famous local delicacy – chilli crab, once again. Later into the night, Jong-kook uploaded a video on to his Instagram, which showed the cast and crew indulging in the local delight.
Running Man has continued to claim the number one spot across all pay TV channels in Singapore during its time belt. New episodes of Running Man premiere on Fridays 11.45pm, first and exclusively on ONE. Repeat episodes air on the following Friday at 7.40pm, as well as on Saturdays and Sundays at 11.15pm. Don’t forget to spend your Friday evenings and weekends with ONETVASIA!
ONE is the official organizer for the Singapore leg of “Race Start Season 2”. The Seoul Story would like to thank ONE for their their amazing preparations as well as the opportunity to cover this event.
Written by: Celine Chong