SO HERE’S THE SITCH, SHEEPLE: K-pop supergroup BTS performed at the American Music Awards last night. The band has spent the past week or so in a veritable media frenzy, taping appearances, performances, and interviews on the Late Late Show with James Cordon, Late Night with Jimmy Kimmel, Entertainment Tonight, and Ellen. And while Bangtan has an enormous international fanbase that’s been hyping the band’s AMAs slot to the moon, the majority of naive Americans tuning into the broadcast probably had little-to-zero idea of who BTS was. So they–along with said enormous international fanbase, the contingent of passionate ARMYs that attended the award show, and the audience of Western A-listers–were all certifiably #shook when the boys came on stage and slayed a live performance of their most recent title track, “DNA.”
And the Internet promptly exploded.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) November 20, 2017
— Jeff D Lowe (@JeffDLowe) November 20, 2017
Just woke up and had this crazy dream that BTS, a group of 7 guys who came from absolutely nothing, made history and performed at the AMAs while simultaneously being the best performance of the night.
— CAMERON PHILIP (@CAM3R0NPH1L1P) November 20, 2017
Unprepared new ARMYs began frantically Googling, desperate for more info on the band.
WHO ARE THESE BEAUTIFUL DANCING WIZARDS? They wondered. AND HOW CAN I GIVE THEM MY MONEY/SOUL??
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) November 20, 2017
Even celebs got in on the fangirling:
— JARED LETO (@JaredLeto) November 20, 2017
ansel elgort: YOURE DOING AMAZING SWEETIE pic.twitter.com/b4EtYk2YfK
— gab (@internetpistoI) November 20, 2017
Of course, as in all things, there were also haters. Along with some requisite racism I don’t want to give a platform for, the critiques were largely people crying lipsyncing. Which–to be completely honest–I may be a fangirl, but I’m not laboring under the delusion that the vocals we heard were entirely live–they had backing tracks supporting them, because HAVE YOU SEEN THEIR CHOREOGRAPHY? And those backing tracks were a bit too loud. But they were definitely actually singing, not lipsyncing. At several points during the performance, you can hear their mics cut out, and we lose audio; there were adlibs that wouldn’t have been heard if their mics had been turned off. This is *not* a case of the Ashlee Simpsons.
And that’s all I’ll say about that.
Literally every big Western media outlet has covered the performance and the ensuing Internet-breaking tumult. Other huge k-pop acts have tried and failed to make it big in America–but based on the response so far, BTS seems primed to succeed.
You can watch the televised performance here, but I highly recommend looking up some fancams on Youtube so you can hear the stans go truly wild with the fanchant.
CONGRATULATIONS, YOU IRRESISTIBLE KOREAN MAN-SIRENS. We’re ready for you to take over the world now.