Our Top 8 MAMA 2020 Moments
Alarms set at the crack of dawn. Officially taking your place as a member of team no sleep. Screaming at your computer. No, it’s not finals week my friends, it’s award season! This past weekend the yearly Mnet Asian Music Awards (also known as the MAMAs) took place virtually for the first time ever. The ceremony was a whopping 6 hours long and we know that some people simply could not find the strength to power through. Lucky for you, Not Your Average Fangirls took one for the team and sacrificed our beauty sleep so we could give you the rundown and share our top 10 moments because, in the words of WayV’s WinWin, “We love MAMAS (and papas).”
1. Our Number One BoA
The Queen of KPOP, BoA, continued celebrating her 20th debut anniversary at the MAMAs by receiving the Inspired Achievement Award. She performed a medley of 'No. 1' and 'Only One,'(with a surprise appearance from the Supreme himself, Taemin) and ended her stage with her newest single 'Better.' To say BoA is an icon is not enough at this point. She is truly the OG KPOP idol and rightfully so!
2. Princes GOT7
GOT7 gave us true prince realness with their performances of 'Not By The Moon' and 'Last Piece.' Decked out in red and gold velour suits, the septet looked like they were ready to perform at the king's ball and we were here for it. From the looks, to the incredible choreography and dance breaks, there's a reason why GOT7 are known as class A performers. Leader JB also surprised us with a solo that showed off his dancing skills and emphasized the fact that he indeed is an all rounder. All in all, GOT7's stage was mesmerizing and they deserve all of the hype.
3. BTS Being Iconic
The 7 global superstars ended the night by claiming 9 awards, including every grand prize award (daesang), yet again. Although this is a great feat in itself, the reason they were the biggest winners of the night wasn’t because of the hardware they took home. Yes, their bags were hella thick but, the real mic drop was just that - their mics. BTS took their covid precautions one step further than the rest by bringing their own microphones on stage when accepting their awards. The sextet (Yoongi was unfortunately at home live-streaming like the rest of us commoners) took the opportunity to showcase their signature glitter mics that fans know and love while also keeping safety in mind. BTS also frequently changed their masks. The outfits may have stayed the same but it’s all about the mask look nowadays, baby! But, never fear space alien disinfectant girls, you still rocked it and kept everyone safe as well.
Other favorite BTS moments included hologram Yoongi and when the boys called their injured brother and made him give an acceptance speech that left ARMYs everywhere balling their eyes out.
4. Parking Lot Shenanigans
The wildest thing about the MAMAs this year wasn’t the spectacular performances or the shocking award results. This year, the craziest thing that happened, happened in the parking lot. Twitter blew up once fans caught word that the biggest music award show in Korea decided not to supply the artists attending with waiting rooms but instead had them waiting outside in the parking lot. As always, fans took to Twitter to express their outrage and ultimately turned the crappy situation into a joke.
The best jokes included those that speculated what the artists were doing while sitting through the 6 hour event. These jokes included but were not limited to:
The ultimate game of rock, paper, scissors played by the largest groups in KPOP - NCT, Seventeen, and The Boyz.
A rap battle that took place next to a prayer circle which apparently NCT’s Chenle won.
GOT7 and NCT leaving to grab food and running back just in time to accept their awards.
Treasure starting an impromptu dance party in the middle of the parking lot after winning Best New Male Artist (there is actually photographic evidence of this).
And last but not least, a gif of a man sprinting from one end of a venue to another who represented the staff who had to fetch the winning artists.
All in all, though the situation was unacceptable and fans were rightfully upset, the artists themselves seemed to keep a positive look on things by interacting with their fandoms on various social media platforms.
5. NCT 2020
23 members, 4 different units, one grand stage. If this sounds epic to you then let me tell you, the NCT stage is one you cannot miss! NCT came out of the gate swinging with their heavenly vocals in the rearranged version of ‘From Home.’ As soon as we heard Haechan open his mouth and start singing those runs, we knew that NCT was out to prove that their mics were ON and they came to SANG! Taeil and Doyoung’s power vocals in combination with the sweet voices of Haechan, Yuta, Chenle, Kun and Renjun sent chills up and down our spines. As if they didn’t make us emotional enough, the rest of the foreign members stepped out on stage and continued to sing about how they found a home away from home within each other.
If emotional power vocals aren't your thing, never fear. The best part about NCT is that they can give you different flavors all within one group. WayV hit the stage next with ‘Turn Back Time’ and it was amazing. The Favorite Asian Artist winners set the stage on fire and then put it out themselves with their dance break that featured them executing their moves in, you guessed it, water. WayV definitely knows their audience and the wet hair and smoldering looks proved that.
Then came NCT DREAM who had us all wishing we were riding and rolling with them. The baby of the NCT clan, Jisung, might have been hurt but the team found a nice way to include him by letting him hangout on an actual motorcycle and flawlessly recite his verse. In this house we love DREAM and it felt good seeing them get their shine on the MAMA stage.
One seamless transition later, NCT 127 came out and performed the song with the dance move that took over every social media outlet, variety show, and idol dance cover, ‘Kick It.’ This rendition of ‘Kick It’ hit just as hard as we expected it to with the addition of a flying Taeyong in a cape (cue the SpongeBob meme), a high kick, a Mark dance solo (you better dance boy) and of course Johnny’s abs. Lots and lots of abs.
Just when you thought they were done blowing our minds, all 23 members thundered on stage and performed ‘Resonance.’ The mash up consisted of 4 songs: ‘Make a Wish’, ‘90s Love’, ‘Work It’, and ‘Raise the Roof.’ Each unit was able to showcase their talent and prove that this type of stage truly is something that only NCT could do.
6. Hyping Enhypen
To say that our excitement was through the roof about Enhypen’s performance is an understatement. We got everything you could ask for starting with Park Sunghoon in the rink quite literally. The figure skater turned KPOP idol dazzled as he showed off his ice skating skills while a magical light show projected around him and a soft and beautiful instrumental of the I-LAND theme song played. The group stunned with their performance of their haunting debut track ‘Given-Taken’ and left many speechless with their dance break led by the groups main dancer and maknae 15-year old Ni-ki. Showing off skill, power, vocals, and just a natural star quality the performance instantly became the talk of the town. Their album jumped up 58 spots on the Melon chats after it ended, solidifying Enhypen as a promising new rookie group and the ones to look out for!
7. Kingdom Collaboration
With a collaboration stage that announced the first artists confirmed for the KINGDOM line up, The Boyz, Stray Kids and ATEEZ delivered one of the most impactful sets of performances for the night. Questions about the concept of the stages swirled around but one thing was certain, we were witnessing KPOP royalty and the birth of what is sure to be an amazing season of the reality show.
The Boyz opened the collaboration stage with a mashup of ‘Reveal’ and ‘Checkmate,’ which we can only describe as a masterpiece. From the stage set up, the props, and the looks, to the live vocals combined with the powerful stage presence and choreography, The Boyz proved that they will be the ones to beat. Not to be biased but the battle scene from this performance is one of our favorite moments in KPOP this year, and The Boyz outdid themselves again with this one. 10/10 would recommend you stan The Boyz!
Next was ATEEZ, delivering the dark concept they are so exceptional at. Performing both ‘Inception’ and ‘Answer,’ ATEEZ did what they do best and gave us a magnificent performance. They destroyed the stage in what we imagine will become one of their most legendary moments in their two year career, setting the bar for what to expect from them on Kingdom. If you’re like us, you were probably on the edge of your seat with your jaw dropped as Hongjoong sat on the throne.
Stray Kids appeared in what has to be one of our favorite things they have done. What we weren’t expecting was this version of ‘Victory Song’ that sent chills up our spine! Declaring they are ready for battle in Stray Kids fashion, the intensity and power of this stage was actually mind altering. Between rap line absolutely killing it, the choreography, and the visuals of Mr. Lee Felix, this stage can only be described in one word…. WOW!
To finish the live stage, a member of each group took to the stage in a dance collaboration. Juyeon of The Boyz dazzled in all white, San of ATEEZ proved that once again he is an absolute beast on stage, and Hyunjin of Stray Kids looked like he just walked out of Final Fantasy and straight into our hearts. The three main dancers did not only show us what is to be expected this season but proved that the talent in 4th generation boy groups is truly nothing to be messed with.
8. Disco Time with TXT
The MAMA’s got a little more magical as our whimsical kings TXT distinguished themselves as cover kings with a Disco medley that included songs from J.Y. Park, Cho Yongpil, and their very own senior group BTS. From the stage to the outfits, you couldn't help but feel entranced by TXT! They ended their performance with ‘Blue Hour,’ showing how legendary they have become in the two years since their debut. TXT provided stable live vocals and jaw dropping choreography that more than proves them to be one of the top 4th generation idol groups.