Yesterday, a Korean newspaper promised to reveal details of a new K-pop couple that they had been closely following (a.k.a. stalking) for two months. Netizens speculated that the mystery couple might be labelmates from SM Entertainment, which wouldn't have been too salacious or even particularly interesting if true. At this point, would a member of Girls' Generation hooking up with one of the Super Junior fellas really be that shocking for anybody other than their die-hard fans? Probably not.
Thankfully, for those of us who love some juicy gossip, the secret K-pop couple turned out to be far more scandalous (not to mention totally random). Girl's Day's cute, 19-year-old maknae, Hyeri, is dating 35-year-old Tony An of the legendary Korean boy band, H.O.T..
Tony was photographed picking up the young songstress several times over the past two months, and the pair were reportedly spotted on a romantic date at a cafe that overlooked the Han River.
Idol couples are generally a big no-no in K-pop, and if the relationship itself is deemed to be one of a particularly scandalous nature, it can seriously damage their careers. On the other hand, there's also been many idol couples that have worked out fine, so it can go either way.
So far, both Hyeri and Tony's respective agencies have been upfront and honest about the news, releasing this casual joint-statement: “It’s true that they’re meeting with fond feelings… They’re still at a stage where they’re getting to know each other. Please look over them fondly.” It's basically the same thing that DSP Media said when Goo Hara and Junhyung were caught dating, and those two managed to remain a couple without really hurting their reputations at all.
Girl's Day's agency later followed up with a bigger statement, explaining the situation, claiming that they were unaware of Hyeri's actions, and saying that the singer is "shocked" and under a lot of stress due to the attention she's currently receiving from the media due to the burgeoning relationship.
Helping the new couple's situation is that Girl's Day recently made a drastic image change, switching from sugary sweet to outrageously grown 'n' sexy. It always helps to not have a pure and virginal public image when getting caught with an older man -- just ask IU.
Of course, there is the possibility that this whole thing is just a publicity stunt to dispel longstanding rumors of Tony An's sexuality and to further publicize Girl's Day, who are currently experiencing a major chart comeback with their latest single, "Expectation." The girls have been all over the media lately for their new look and racy choreography, and they attracted loads of attention recently when they held a "free hug event" in front of a small army of paparazzi. Some high-profile dating drama may be just that the group needs to gain more exposure and propel their careers to the next level.
We'll just have to wait and see how this one plays out for now.