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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

KOREAN MUSIC: Lee Hayi Updates (1)

이하이 (Lee Hayi, or Lee Ha Yi) on SBS's "The Strong Heart"

Tonight’s “The Strong Heart” (Gangsimjang강심장)  featuring Lee Hayi, Park Jimin, and Baek Ayeon was loud and raucous all along the way as its guests brought each other to their feet with boisterous laughter and applause, but where was the beef?  Hope it gets better next week. Unlike her fellow friends, Jimin and Ayeon, who seemed effervescent and far from being nervous, Hayi was quite shy and looked like she felt out of place on the show.  Yet, she looked so cute and adorable.  BTW, the show also featured my favorite actor and rapper, Yang Donggeun, and while watching it, I found myself vividly picturing a scene in my head, Hayi and Donggeun dueting on stage.




When Jimin was asked if she had ever felt stressed standing next to Baek Ayeon who's very lean, she nodded her head yes.  Then Comedian Jeong Juri added that when Hayi and Jimin saw Ayeon wearing a tube top dress, they said, “We could wear such dresses if we were as thin as her” while eating Gimbap (김밥, “Korean style dried seaweed rice rolls”) to their hearts' content.   

When asked how things had changed for her after “K-pop Star,” Hayi answered she was more recognized and asked for pictures and autographs.  When they noticed she was too nervous, Leeteuk and Eunhyuk of Super Junior advised her to sing a little, so she briefly sang “Mercy” to relieve her tension.

When Comedian Yang Sehyung asked her if she had ever felt sorry when defeated in the final, Hayi said it’d be a lie if she answered no.  “While watching Jimin singing ‘Mercy’,” she added, “I kinda knew she was gonna win ‘cause she was too good.”

Jimin described the characteristics of each agency: YGE as being cool and family-like, JYPE as being passionate and involved in everything, and SME as being gentle and perfectly supportive. She said she was still debating on choosing where to go.  Ayeon said, on the other hand, she and Hayi were still waiting for any agency to contact them.




Jimin said she had never expected to win because Hayi was too popular; she was overwhelmed by the live studio atmosphere as the audience chanted, “Hayi!  Hayi!” and when she heard Hayi singing “Rolling in the Deep,” she felt frustrated as it was way better than her own performance before.  She added she'd chosen to just have fun while performing on stage.

Comedian Park Kyunglim asked whether any of them was looking for the win as Jimin was winning over Hayi by just a margin of one single point (in terms of judges' score) before the viewers’ voting was closed.  Hayi said, “Jimin rearranged “Mercy” in her own exciting style and while she was singing the song, I enjoyed it so much that I also clapped along.  And when I saw JYP’s unique facial expressions that he always wears when excited, I just knew that she was going to win.”

When asked if there’s any error in her profile she wanted to correct, Hayi said it was the misconception that she couldn't sing in a high register.  (Here, Korea’s veteran singer Roh Sayeon jokingly asked, “How can “Hayi” not hit the “high” notes?”) Shin Dongyeop, one of the show’s hosts, said most singers who can reach into deeper, low pitches cannot usually sing in very high, soprano pitches.  Hayi said, “I can hit a high F and am now talking at a higher pitch than usual.  Even my elementary school teachers used to tell me my voice didn't fit children’s songs.”

Hayi said, “I'm taciturn by nature.  I rarely laugh or rarely cry. I’m not a funny person. I’m very quiet and reserved.  At the K-Pop Star training camp, my fellow contestants at first thought I was very unapproachable because of my personality. While I was fixing my makeup before my “Mama Do” performance, however, Jimin came to me and said, “(Please fix) mine, too.”  I was really thankful to her for approaching me first.  She is really cute and at the training camp, she always made me laugh.  She even bit me – it’s her own way to express her affection.” Shin hoped their friendship would last forever come what may.

43 comments:

  1. thanks for the update...i just checked the strong heart website and i saw that next to hayi's name is the figure of over 44 thousand...could be the phito views...i dunno...pls clarify i cant read Korean...thanks sooo much...i thought i found a treasure trove when i opened your blog...soo nice of you to post an update on hayi:)

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  2. haha I liked how you called this post "Hayi Updates" just as I had requested. Thanks!
    Also, Hayi is still "waiting" for an agency to contact her? I think that is an untruth. I refuse to believe that agencies are not doing whatever they can to convince this talented young soul to sign with their companies. Especially YG and JYP...it doesn't sound like them to let this money maker (namely, Lee Hai) go to waste. and I really hate to be a party pooper, but something tells me that these contestants were told what to say and what not to say prior to the filming of the show. Gotta love showbiz! So much to speculate. And again, thanks a bunch for all your hard work. I don't know if Hayi has an official fan cafe...but this site might as well be it.

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  3. Anonymous snatched the words out of my mouth, right as they were being formed!...LOL This media game that is being played is really funny to me. When it's all said and done, and the reports come out, they'll tell everyone that, (KPOPSTAR - " ")has been contacted by 7 - 10 of the top agencies, just to put pressure on the others, and build up their fan base/interest. Good coaching!......LOL...and yes i suggested that awhile ago..Hayi needs her own fansite...

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  4. I'm also a fan of Onsemiro!!!...lol you deserve all praise you receive from your bloggers! I hope it doesn't get on your nerves....but thank you again!!!...LOL(but sincerely)

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  5. diane, yes, the number indicates the pageviews of Hayi's pictures and it's now over 45 thousand. And thanks for your compliment!

    Anonym at 7:01PM, Yup! It's named "Hayi Updates"! ;) I think's it's either Hayi and Ayeon are just being cautious until everything is set in place or Ayeon doesn't know what's going on with Hayi (and vice versa) or as you and kpopantz speculated, it was all staged. Nobody knows the truth but one thing I know for sure is our Hayi is not just sitting there waiting. Plus, when one of these agency casts her, I'm sure they'll definitely opens the official English website for her, considering her quite broad and deep (already!) international fan base.

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  6. kpopantz, I've just received my first fan letter! Well, more precisely, my first fan comment! Thanks! ;)

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  7. Wow, thanks for the update! The articles at akp are all of Ji Min.

    I heard Strong Heart is always scripted anyway, just like any interview, though maybe not in the details of their jokes. And since they are quite young they most probably have some advice from their parents on what to say / not say. Not surprised and I'm not going to bother being disappointed at this point.

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  8. Wahyimo, as we all know already, everything is staged on TV. Even reality shows, which are believed to be unscripted, are in fact scripted. It's a must to prevent any possible accidents during the live broadcast or to avoid any possible delays during recording. So it's no wonder "The Strong Heart" is scripted, but I'm still curious to know how much of their (Hayi et al.) parts were coached or scripted.

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  9. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nktswYl5thw
    i just saw their singing. Obviously they give more parts to Ji Min than Hayi, even on Mercy.
    :(

    In the other video, it seems she sang a children's song?

    I don't think they can script the guests's words exactly, they would look really unnatural especially for such inexperienced guests.

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  10. This is the most comprehensive Lee Hayi blog! Heart it to bits. Really a big thank you for translating. The little tidbits of info on Hayi really make my day. I know its a big decision for the Kpopstar contestants, but I wish they would release which agencies they are heading too already...the suspense is killing me! Argh!

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  11. Wahyimo, frankly, I just skipped to the next in the middle the part only because it was too noisy - even though it included Hayi's singing too.

    And yes, it was a Korean children's song Hayi sang to show how her voice could change its nuance.

    And yup, such kind of shows (as "The Strong Heart") cannot be scripted word by word.

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  12. Passerby, welcome and thanks for not just passing without saying a word! :)

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  13. I think it's kind of weird how when I watch a Hayi youtube video and there is some rude comment about her, I feel the need to defend her...like an older brother would do for his sister. ...I used to laugh at delusional kpop fans...but now I think I am starting to become one. I've caught the Hai-fever -__-

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  14. I had a chance to watch Strong Heart yesterday.( not much understand during watching the show ) This show annoyed me that it did not show Hayi's talent as much as I expected. I believe a lot of fan must be disappointed. At least I can see her on this TV Show and made me how I missed her (especially her singing). Thank you so much for your hard work of all Hayi Updates

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  15. I read some rude comments about Jimin on Youtube or Daum, too. There are always over-zealous fans, but it's really bugging me considering their age. Both Hayi and Jimin are still too young and they are good friends. They should realize whoever loves Jimin (or Hayi) can never do such things that will eventually hurt her (either of them).

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  16. TA TA, the show can be characterized as "Much ado about little," and that's why its rating keeps falling, especially against its rival show Seungseungjangu, "On a Roll," which is more like an up close and personal, in-depth interview.

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  17. The show is structured in such a way that does not disrespect Park Jimin and her Winner title. If Hayi got more singing parts and if the other people reacted too enthusiastically about Hayi's singing...it would be kind of rude to Park Jimin. As much as I love Hayi, PJM is the winner of Kpopstar and I understand why the show put a great emphasis on her. If I won, i expect to be the centre of attention too. Hayi got a considerable amount of screen time...compared to say, Baek Ahyeon. I'm just glad that I get to see Hayi on a show...hopeful next time we see her, it'll be on stage... a place where we know she feels comfortable and not strategically overshadowed by other people. This is another reason why I think Hayi should be a solo singer. It kills me to watch her "take the back seat" sort to say.

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  18. Anonym 12:11PM, you're right. Hayi was given enough screen time, but I'm sorry for its quality - the show was so poorly built and sloppily scripted on the whole, actually as usual. They just featured the top three only to boost their falling ratings.

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  19. 2 more reasons why (Strong Heart) the show's ratings continue to drop.....Kang Ho Dong and Lee Seung Gi, are gone. With those to guys, the ratings they produced, helped to keep the show competitive. But with Dong's tax issue's, and Seung Gi chasing his dream to be a famous singer(epic fail), it's only gonna get worse. The only type of group i believe may work, for Hayi, is a 2 girl member group, with Hayi being the vocal leader. The other girl can just ad-lib, and sing the high notes, and fill in, because Hayi's gonna dominate the stage anyway.....like she did when her & Cathy(Cassie) Young sang "Mama Do"......Cassie only got casted because Hayi's voice, and mannerisms caused the judges to have a cuteness explosion(overlaod)!...LOL

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  20. Thanks for the update! I thought Hayi and Jang Dong Min's mini competition was hilarious. Did she mention somewhere in the episode that she was a fan? There was one part where she mentioned him and everyone looked shocked lol

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  21. Jen, yes, when Eunhyuk of SuJu asked Hayi if she was nervous because someone on the show was making her nervous, she answered it was Jang Dongmin. She's been a huge fan of him all along.

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  22. just read, JYP trying to debut Wondergirls in Japan with Nobody. LoL How lazy is that

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  23. No kidding, Wahyimo! As if we haven't had enough of the song! Move on already, JYP! Actually, quite a while ago, I read this post written by a one-time SM fanatic that said, "YGE beats the bush, SME catches the birds, and JYPE is always one step behind."

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  24. Hi, Onsemiro! I'm glad to have more Hayi stuff to read and comment about! Thanks!

    I was a big fan of Strong Heart when it first aired. I thought the combination of Kang Ho Dong and Lee Seung Gi worked really well. Clearly the program is over-produced, but I thought it used to at least be entertaining...now, not so much. Not that it's related, but I miss Family Outing and call me crazy, but, I think that a Family Outing episode with some of the k-pop star finalists would be fun to watch. I came to like Lee Hyo-ri and Dae-sung, and Jong-kook alot more after following that season.

    That performance clip for Ji Min and Hayi was a little hard to watch. I'll just go back and re-watch my collection of Hayi k-pop star clips, I think.

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  25. Allan, that was exactly what I did for Hayi & Jimin's "Was-It-Really-a-Duet?" performance. I stopped watching the part and skipped to the next, then went to Hayi's previous performances.

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  26. these updates are great and Hayi is awesome, but YDG is garbage. I hate his mumbly garbled rap style. He should just stick to acting.

    I'd like to see her do a duet with someone who actually has musical talent.

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  27. Onsemiro...i looked on the Daum website and would like to get your input on what seems to be a developing story. I saw a picture of MC Yoon Do Hyun, it seems as though he's either giving the facts on how the winner was chosen, or he's expressing shock about her winning the final. If it's irrevalant, im not gonna ask you to translate. I just wanna know, what you know about it, before i ask anything further.

    I also saw that 이미쉘(Lee Michelle) 백아연(Baek Ahyeon) 이하이 (Lee Hayi), and 박지민(Park Ji Min) all appeared on 박소현(Park So Hyun) Good Sunday's TV show or radio broadcast for 5/11/2012. For Lee Hayi & Lee Michelle, it would be there second time with 박소현.

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  28. kpopantz, Yoon Dohyun said, in an interview, in every round he had a hunch who was heading home and it always turned out to have been right, 100%. Even in the final round, he kinda knew Jimin was going to win
    'cause her voice/vocal style is more familiar to the masses than Hayi's. He added if he had been a judge, he would have picked Park Jehyung.

    And you're right, Hayi, Jimin, Michelle, and Ayeon were on Park Sohyun's radio show, "Love Game" yesterday (Thu). According to the news article, when asked who each of them wanted to duet with, Hayi picked TOP, Jimin, Gary of LeeSang, Michelle, Taeyang, and Ayeon, LYN. On the show, Hayi danced a "Gaedari Chum" (Dog Leg Dance) to full her pledge she'd made before. She pledged she would do that if she made the top three. They also sang on the show live. Hayi sang "Love," Jimin, "I'll Be There," Michelle, "One Night Only," and Ayeon, Bogosipda ("I Miss You").

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  29. It's obvious that he'd pick Park Jehyung. Lead Guitarists share a close bond. He seemingly feels a father/son or oppa feeling towards Jehyung.

    The familiarity of voice styles, gives me reason for concern at times. I do remember Hayi talking about it, saying that Ji Min's style has more mass appeal, but yet they love Hayi's voice. Ill continue to watch what happens to her and Ali(Ailee), and hope for the best. I also for see Hayi needing to make preparations to test the American markets early, if her homeland still isn't ready for soulful singers.

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  30. I think her homeland is soooo ready for Hayi as she too has a huge fan base already. I'm really positive the showdown between Hayi and Jimin must've been even too close to call and Jimin's margin of victory must've been really narrow.

    BTW, do you think Hayi will be able to make it in the American music industry?

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  31. Yes, no doubt! And I don't question, at all, the love & loyalty of her fanbase. We're(especially me)fanatic about her, her voice & her potential. As JYP said, soul music originated here in the US. So "listening" to Y.D.H. talking about Ji Min's style being more familiar to the masses, had me thinking, he must be talking about at home, and not (US)internationally. So like Adele's Rolling In The Deep, even though she'll make an 10-12 song album, she's needs the one, 100 Million Views, song(video) that says "Anneysayo, and greetings to everyone, I'm Korea's new Princess Of Soul, Ms. Lee Hayi". Though successful in her own right, Gummy wasn't, IMO, completely accepted by her peers or fellow countrymen, to my expectations, (but who am i...lol). Insooni, Tasha, Gummy, Soulciety are the trailblazers, it's Hayi's turn to raise the standard even higher. Im supporting her all the way to the top!

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  32. I really hope Hayi has a chance to make it big in the American music industry - so far, it's Jimin who made her name known, even though veeeeery briefly, to the US TV viewers, thanks to Ashton Kutcher's tweet.

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  33. A siren seems to always blare in my brains when thinking about Hayi in international market.
    Language, language.

    She has good English singing pronunciation but not perfect. She has a long way to go. Americans are very harsh when it comes to pointing out people's accent. (no offense to all American friends in this blog). But almost every utube video of asians singing in English have comments picking out their accent.

    Of course, if you are internationally acclaimed like Pavarotti, Antonio Banderas or something, then your accent will be categorized "sexy" or whatever.

    Unfortunately Asians have the short stick on these matters, there's a certain stigma that asian English accent is 'inferior'. At least that's what I feel, living abroad.

    Lookup in utube of K Will and Hyorin singing Whenever you call. For me they don't sound perfect but there were comments about their accents. (though now they're thankfully buried over by fans)

    I have another concern but maybe later

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  34. I just can't help but imagine how next season could possibly top this season. How will they be able to find two singers who's singing styles are polar opposites yet both are extremely good at what they do... The suspense that Hayi and Jimin created this season was incredible. From the beginning, it was basically the Hayi and Jimin show. The fact that they're both so different is what kept the show interesting. It was like watching Beyonce and Amy Winehouse battle it out. Next year's contestants have big shoes to fill.
    Also, Hayi chose to sing Love?...is this a possible hint that she and Jyp have been making deals in his mobile studio van? Or maybe that's just the conspiracist side of me emerging again x)

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  35. Wahyimo, I know what you mean. When I was studying in Michigan, I also worked for my school's English Institute for the int'l students. And one day, I heard someone shouting, and it turned out, one of the professors there was talking to a Chinese int'l student. It was quite odd to see her doing such a rude thing 'cause she came across to me as quite reasonable and I'd never seen her doing that with the int'l students from countries other than Asia. In fact, when a Swiss student, for example, couldn't follow/understand her English, she slowed down; on the other hand, when an Asian student couldn't, she spoke up instead. So later, I talked to her, "Asian students are just as smart as any other int'l students in this school and they're not deaf," and thankfully, she completely understood what I meant.

    So I'm totally with you on this language issue, and that's why I like the way Youtube is playing a role of the evangelist (if you will) for K-pop and then the Korean language.

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  36. Anonym at 9:44PM, exactly!!!!

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  37. I do agree that we can be quite harsh. Please forgive us. The same problem exist when Americans try to speak the native language of another country, and connect with the people, and are shunned, dismissed or disrespected because it's not up to their standards as well. (American friend)...For me, Hayi's accent has never been an issue. Her english is good enough, and will be even better, in the days to come. No worries there. I take issue with where the music industry is headed, and how soul/r&b singers are marketed. Also with the idea of how far will Hayi's future agency will go, in trying to make her "ready for the world", so to speak. She matured so much with the training she did get, but im waiting to see what other changes will be made, and whether or not they get any help from the western hemisphere. We are by no means perfect, but i believe that we have something great to offer, to positively increase her training, and marketability...(not referring to language there, just vocal(singing) coaching & stage performance) no harm no foul...

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  38. kekeke kpopantz, since you are here I'm very sure you are not one of those people who are that harsh to foreigners. I'm glad you aren't bothered by her accent. Yes she will get better since she got this far without any special tutoring. A lot of people pointed out Heejun (Amer. Idol) has an accent too. He sounds pretty good to me.

    I think what Hayi needs is someone famous enough to acknowledge and believe in her and introduce her around. Kind of like David Foster with Charice. I don't know how popular Charice really is in US Canada? with Glee and all, but I don't think she's quite there yet even?

    -------------------
    Ok, second issue. This is probably a very early conclusion and I may just be paranoid. Just from what I see around the internet, I've noticed that 'kpop' now seems to be a term for any song from korea. And those who listen are 'kpop fans'. There's a stereotyping going on with kpop songs associated with dancing plastic idols too. Regardless whether this association is true for most internationally marketed songs, I feel there is almost a scorn (not just in US) towards kpop. Perhaps because it is suddenly getting attention people feel as if it is a threat to their local identity or something.

    I'm worried that artists like Hayi is lumped or labeled as just another product 'manufactured' to take over the music world by Korea. I may think too far, but the articles that came out in other countries as far as I see it, lumped Korean artists together in one article as if they're a package instead of individual talents.

    Sorry for long post!

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  39. Wahyimo, I agree with you; kpopantz is obviously not one of them, and neither this professor I mentioned was. She didn't even realize she was doing it until I brought up the issue. I mean, hers was at least "unconscious discrimination." BTW, it was really funny (yet very meaningful) how US media reacted to Jimin when CNN featured her and her "Rolling" performance. She was also featured on my local TV and the anchors were all gushing over her English not actually singing. They were really amazed how a Korean girl could sing in perfect English 'cause they didn't know she grew up in Thailand.

    And thanks for sharing your concerns. I think they are all worth discussing.

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  40. I have watched strong heart last week and I forgot to watch it today.
    All the thing about JM in strong heart, I dont care. The thing I do care is about the performance of hayi and JM. In rolling in the deep, the fast beat is not completely Hayi style which made her difficult to catch up the right rhythm. And mercy really make me mad. I know that JM is winner but she completely ruined this song with her singing style, high note too bad and not deep and her expression was no idea. It seemed that Hayi did not want to sing and she left all part for JM while JM is so enjoyed and feel a little bit competitive.
    I dont care about JYP expression but Mercy of JM is disaster.

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  41. I do find that the strong heart episode was all jimin and ah yeon :( and what duet???!! Oh well!! Cheering for hayi! Hopefully with more experience she will gain more stage presence!:)
    Anyone have any idea how to join ha yi's fan club? Can't read her naver page!! Cheers!

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  42. anonym 7:40 AM, I'll find a way for you.

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  43. anonym 7:40 AM, go to http://mydearkorea.blogspot.com/2012/05/zilly-talkz-how-to-register-for-naver.html to learn how to create a NAVER account and join the Hayi fan club. But beware it's reeeeeeeeally complicated.

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