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Reality Shows Give Inside Look to the Personal Lives of EXO, Rain, and CNBLUE

By Staff Reporter | December 27, 2013 05:15 AM EST

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Reality shows featuring idol stars is enjoying a popularity that is second to none. They offer a behind-the-scenes look at the music industry's inner working as well as a glimpse into the personal lives of stars. It brings the stars down from the pedestal of international fame and exposes them for the human that they are.

Every Thursday nights are a treat for fans of FNC Entertainment stars, including FT Island, CNBLUE, Lee Dong Gun, Juniel, and AOA. Cable channel tvN's "Cheongdamdong 111" is a reality show about FNC Entertainment stars and the management company. It reveals mechanism of the company as well as the issues and challenges that both the stars and the entertainment companies face. Many fans also enjoy an insider look at the various training that the stars endure in order to maintain and improve their skills. The appearance of company staffs also add to the entertainment value.

In fact, "Cheongdamdong 111" is unique in the fact that it is largely in a mock-umentary format. Sometimes the viewers have a hard time distinguishing just how much of the show is real and how much is dramatized. Fans are still confused whether the story about Lee Hong Ki's girlfriend is real or not. This kind of behind-the-scenes look draws the viewers in and often converts them into the fans of the stars that they are interested in.

Despite its late evening airtime at 11PM, "Cheongdamdong 111" is enjoying a very high rating for a late night cable entertainment show. Nielsen Korea stated that it is constantly hitting 1% rating.

MBC Everyone is another cable TV channel that is enjoying success through their idol group reality show. "EXO's Showtime" airs every Thursday at 6:00PM. It's largely a Q and A show between the fans and EXO. The fans may ask a question or give a suggestion, and EXO answers with activities.

For example, one fan asked "Who is the strongest member of EXO?" and EXO decided to find out by having an arm-wrestling contest. A fan asked how they all distinguish one another, and each member of EXO explained their method. By having this kind of format, EXO was able to create a closer bond to their fans.

Since the personal lives and thoughts of EXO are revealed through the show, it has many fans excited for each upcoming episode.

"Rain Effect" is another wildly popular episode, with international superstar Rain being the focus of the show. Mnet airs "Rain Effect" on Thursday nights at 11PM. It reveals the human side of Rain, that is, the fans are able to see Jung Ji Hoon (Rain's given name) the Korean man who is striving to be the best, much like everyone else in every facet of life.

Rain reveals many of his personal life through "Rain Effect", including his house, his gym, his company, and his relations with other people, including other stars. Small clips that show Rain's morning face or his surprise at the cameras installed in his rooms is a welcome surprise to people who expected elite status snobbery from Rain.

One thing that many fans expressed surprise about was the fact that Rain does not like to work out. Even though he has one of the best bodies even among Hollywood superstars, Rain confessed that it is a drag for him to do such workouts. The only reason he keeps it up is so that he can be ready for any role that may come his way. In this way and many others, Rain is able to reach out to his fans as a person and not a world-class superstar.

Reality shows are bringing stars closer than ever to their fans, and it looks to be a trend that will continue to be explored by the cable networks.

Tagged :  ft island, CNBLUE, Lee Dong Gun, Juniel, AOA, Cheongdamdong 111, EXOs Showtime, EXO, Rain Effect, Rain

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