The K-pop end-of-year awards season is about to start, beginning with the Melon Music Awards on November 14, and the Mnet Asian Music Awards (also known as the MAMAs) on November 22. The majority of the Korean awards shows are usually rigged (allegedly!) and tend to favour whoever bothers to show up on the night, but they're still fun to check out if you don't take them too seriously.
The MAMAs unveiled their official 2013 nominees this week, and we've already got our favourites from the key categories picked out. Please note that these picks aren't who Popdust thinks WILL win, but for who we think SHOULD win. We also want to hear your picks, too, so leave us comment with who you want to see take home a MAMA this year.
Best New Male Artist
Yoo Seung Woo
Jung Joon Young
We almost picked none of the above because all these reality TV show contestants are starting to look and sound the same to us, while Bangtan Boys is just another hip-hop boy band in the same vein as B.A.P and Block B. Bumkey seems to rely too heavily on guest features and he doesn't bring anything new to the Korean R&B genre he's in, but he's definitely the best out of this bunch of nominees.
Best New Female Artist
Yoo Sung Eun
Ladies' Code is the most successful new girl group of the year (and with good reason) and the excellent Lim Kim had a huge hit with "All Right," but Crayon Pop is the only act that truly brought something new and different to the K-pop industry this year. They went from total nobodies to utter superstars after creating the biggest K-pop craze of 2013 with "Bar Bar Bar."
Best Male Artist
Lee Seung Gi
Lee Seung Chul
Cho Yong Pil
PSY has done so much for K-pop, but 2012 was his year. Cho Yong Pil is 63-years-old and was still able to beat out young rookie acts on music programs with his hit singles, "Bounce" and "Hello," not to mention that his new album is one of the year's biggest sellers.
Best Female Artist
Baek Ji Young
This category is full of strong contenders who all deserve to win, but none more so than Lee Hyori. After a scandal and a three year absence from the Korean music scene, Hyori topped the charts with TWO hit singles --"Miss Korea" and "Bad Girls"-- and snatched back her crown as K-pop's Queen Bee.
Best Male Group
Shinhwa showed that it's possible for idol groups to have a long career with the success of their single, "This Love," beating out their younger contemporaries on multiple music programs and performing to 25,000 fans at their Seoul concert.
Best Female Group
It's a tie between SISTAR and Girls' Generation for this one. Girls' Generation pushed musical boundaries with "I Got a Boy" and kept their title as the single biggest act in K-pop, but SISTAR's cemented their position in K-pop's big leagues with four triple crown wins and two No. 1 hits, "Gone Not Around Any Longer" and "Give It To Me."
Best Dance Performance – Male Solo
G-DRAGON – “Crooked”
Jay Park – “JOAH”
Seungri – “Gotta Talk to U”
PSY – “GENTLEMAN”
B2ST's Yoseob – “Caffeine”
PSY's "Gentleman" was a blast, but the choreography wasn't exactly original like "Gangnam Style." On the other hand, B2ST's Yoseob brought a unique and artistic style to the stage with his gorgeous "Caffeine" choreography.
Best Dance Performance – Female Solo
G.NA – “Oops!”
Seo In Young – “Please Love Me”
Sunmi / 24 Hours
CL / The Baddest Female
Lee Hyo Ri / Bad Girls
Could this go to anyone else but Sunmi? She went from a Wonder Girl to a Wonder Woman with the racy tango-inspired routine for the year's sexiest dance-pop single, "24 Hours."
Best Dance Performance – Male Group
B1A4 – “What’s Going On”
EXO – “Growl”
Beast – “Shadow”
SHINee – “Dream Girl”
INFINITE – “Man In Love”
Any group that can film a music video of non-stop choreography in one-take deserves our vote.
Best Dance Performance – Female Group
Girl’s Day – “Expectation”
Girls’ Generation – “I GOT A BOY”
SISTAR – “Give It to Me”
Crayon Pop – “Bar Bar Bar”
4Minute – “What’s Your Name?”
All worthy contenders, but Crayon Pop's "Bar Bar Bar" started a dance craze that's going to go down in history alongside Brown Eyed Girls' "Abracadabra," Wonder Girls' "Tell Me," and KARA's "Mister."
Check out the rest of the nominations over at Soompi!