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10 Awesome Times K-Pop Was Featured On American TV

By Rachelle D. | November 29, 2014 05:03 PM EST


The history of K-Pop on Korean television could fill volumes. As much as Hallyu has helped K-Pop cross continents, though, its presence on American TV isn't quite as rich. But the genre has had a few notable guest spots on everything from news shows to sitcoms to reality shows. We can only imagine that this collection of K-Pop spotlights in the U.S. will continue to grow, but for now, we leave you with some of these great moments:

2NE1's "I Am The Best" on The Bachelor

In this episode, Juan Pablo and his potential brides traveled to South Korea and got a taste of two things - first, how difficult it is to be a K-Pop star, and second, how huge 2NE1 is in its native country. Most of the girls totally embraced the K-Pop vibe, and we love how they go all out with their bright outfits and dance style.

Crayon Pop's "Bar Bar Bar" on Selfie

This was one of the smartest ways we've seen K-Pop portrayed in mainstream American TV. In it, one of the young characters is playing DJ and turns on a K-Pop song as a Korean-American character (BONUS: he's shown as a fun, attractive love interest rather than a stereotyped caricature) enters the club. The Korean-American character gives the little DJ a hard time. "Oh, I get it," he says. "Just because I'm Korean, you think I like K-Pop?" After an awkward silence, though, his body can't stop itself from rocking to Crayon Pop's hit and the whole crowd gets moving.

It's an honest portrayal of what non-Korean people assume about the Koreans in their lives. It also makes it clear that K-Pop is a genre that any human can get behind.

2NE1's "I Am The Best" on Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 Commercial

This one is especially fun because of it's secretive jab. Korean speakers and K-Pop fans got to hear this commercial (where 2NE1's "I Am The Best" plays as a Surface Pro 3 and iPad sit side by side) and chuckle because they were in on a joke that many viewers of this commercial probably didn't get. Even if you didn't pick up on the "I Am The Best" message, though, the commercial made any viewer want to get up and dance. That makes it an all-around winner in our book.

K-Pop Boot Camp Special on ABC News

After Gangnam Style took the world by storm, people worldwide wanted to know more about what this K-Pop thing was all about. ABC News took viewers into what they called "K-Pop Boot Camp," one of the agencies that auditions and trains the thousands of hopeful young K-Pop wannabes. It's a world with an ugly side that deserves a bigger look than the 3 minutes ABC devoted to it, but it's a good glimpse at all it takes to make it as a K-Pop star.

 Girls Generation "The Boys" on the Late Show with David Letterman

This is quite the get for a group's first late night on American TV. Girls Generation gave a spirited live performance for an excited audience (that even included Bill Murray and Regis Philbin.)

Zony and Yony performing Crayon Pop's "Bar Bar Bar" on The Ellen DeGeneres Show

After itty-bitty Taiwanese twins Zony and Yony charmed the world with their choreographed performance of Crayon Pop's "Bar Bar Bar" on YouTube, Ellen invited them on their show for an interview, a performance, and a chance to train with DJ Twitch. The interview contains crucial information about how to tell them apart: obviously one is "beautiful" and the other "cute."

BTOB's "Beep Beep" and lines from "Emergency Couple" on America's Next Top Model

This was a great and totally practical challenge for the people competing to be models on Tyra Banks' show: travel to Seoul and flawlessly perform dance moves and/or deliver lines, all while looking fantastic. It was a tough challenge for the competitors, but just a day in the life of a K-Pop or K-drama star.

Big Bang's "Fantastic Baby" on "Glee"

Frankly, we're surprised "Glee" didn't jump on K-Pop sooner than it did. It's the perfect genre for a show about young performers looking for the latest and greatest in dance, fashion, and pop music to wow audiences and beat their provincial competition. "Gangnam Style" also got a cover in this episode, after one of the show's characters proclaimed that Korean groups were "tearing up the scene."

Tiffany Singing the National Anthem at an LA Dodgers Game

The LA Dodgers have a history of K-Pop stars singing the Korean National Anthem at some of their games when they honor people of Korean descent. This day was notable though, in that Taeyeon performed the Korean anthem and Tiffany belted the Star Spangled Banner.

The Wonder Girls Special on TeenNick

A few years ago TeenNick aired a one-hour special that follows the Wonder Girls on their (fictionalized) first world tour, when they wind up entering a competition at the legendary Apollo Theater against the wishes of their manager. This movie, like so many aimed at teenagers that have aired on TeenNick, has its cringe-worthy moments. It falls less into the "stellar TV" category and more into the "watch ironically with friends but then end up unironically loving a little bit" category. So, all in all, worth a watch.

Tagged :  hallyu, tv, television, 2NE1, I Am The Best, the bachelor, Crayon Pop, Bar Bar Bar, selfie, abc selfie, Microsoft, Surface Pro 3, ABC News, Boot Camp, david letterman, late show with david letterman, Girls Generation, The Boys, Zony and Yony, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Ellen Show, BTOB, Emergency Couple, America's Next Top Model, Big Bang, Fantastic Baby, Glee, Tiffany, LA Dodgers, national anthem, korean national anthem, Taeyeon, Wonder Girls, TeenNick


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