It's hard to remember a time when BTS wasn't the biggest thing happening in the music world. For many fans like me, we were first introduced to the K-pop sensation well into their über successful, international reign. I've only known them as the incredibly synchronized, unbelievably charming, wildly talented, grown-up group they are today, so seeing the video of BTS reacting to their M Countdown debut performance from all the way back in 2013 is a real treat.
If you aren't sure what M Countdown is, don't stress. I didn't either. The important thing to know is that it's a major deal for blooming K-pop artists who are given the chance to perform on its stage.
M Countdown is like the TRL of South Korea (if TRL was about live performances instead of music videos and actually still a thing). I guess what I'm trying to get at is once you are featured on the show, people know about you, babe. M Countdown is broadcast by Mnet and boasts the latest and most popular artists. It's broadcast live from the CJ E&M Center Studio in Seoul (the same city where the upcoming BTS' Love Yourself concert film was shot) to China, Hong Kong, Japan, Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, the U.S. and more. In short, it's pretty major for budding idols, and it just celebrated its 600th episode on Jan. 3, 2019.
In honor of this milestone, Jimin, JungKook, RM, V, Suga, Jin, and J-Hope sat down to relive their M Countdown debut performance of "No More Dream" from June 2013 and reflect on what it meant to them. For reference, here is the truly nostalgia-inducing original video.
I know. It brings up a lot of feelings for me, too. And questions, actually (why did it take me this long to discover these brilliant boys, for example?) But, this isn't about me, it's about baby boy BTS members!
Here is BTS' official reaction video (click play for the views ARMYs)!
You can also watch the whole thing with English subtitles if you need them here (scrub to the 2:16 mark to skip right to BTS reacting):
In the video, Jimin sets the scene by describing what being on the M Countdown meant to him. "It was like a drama. I was reborn," he said. According to him, that stage is what made BTS what is it now.
RM echoed this sentiment explaining, "Debuting, winning the first place at M Countdown seems like the goal, the place of admiration, for K-pop stars."
For J-Hope, he always dreamed about being on the show. "I had these fantasies about M Countdown since I used to watch videos (of performances) a lot," he said, adding, "I think that I always had this mentality that I really want to stand on that stage. I must show my song and dance."
The boys also reflected on what it felt like to receive their first cheers from a live TV audience and pull off complicated dance moves they rehearsed for so long. At one point, JungKook sheepishly admits, "I thought I was so cool."
Babe, from me to you: you are so cool.
It's hard to believe this iconic moment was only five-ish years ago considering how far BTS has come. From where I'm standing, they show no signs of slowing down, either.
You guys are always number one in my heart, BTS!