I believe, many ELFs have seen different versions of ONLY13, some of you agree, some of you don’t.
Many versions done by Chinese and Korean ELFs, started circulating between 2008 to 2009. I do not disagree, that many things have changed over the years. However, the concept of ONLY13, still stands. In fact, I strongly stand by the notion that, we should uphold it even more.
Please do not discredit me first. Hear me out.
Emotional versions, you have heard many. Since I am an older ELF (in terms of age), I would like to address this from a different aspect, no cries & plead, I want to point out the reality to all.
Why ONLY 13?
“ONLY 13” Does not mean we ANTI the other two. On the contrary, if you have been to any Super Show 3, you will notice, that we gave them as warm a welcome, as much support. However, to us, they will always be SJM, not SJ.
Everybody knows, when Super Junior was first formed, it was a pilot project, a 12 person boyband, to test the market’s acceptance level. Every year, there were supposed to have new members replacing old ones. Super Junior05 was debuted, with the anticipation of members being replaced anytime.
TWINS success in 2005, paved the road for Super Junior, a massive boyband, each has his own quality. ELF was formed. The success of Super Junior, was unexpected by the company, and ELF’s loyalty and power, also frightened them. The launch of U in 2006, promoted Super Junior from newbies to a much higher tier, but also created the first clash between ELF and the company. When the company decided to add one more member, ELF objected violently, because they were worried that with the incoming of this new member, it means someone existing, will need to leave. Fortunately, with the company’s words, and the new member’s efforts, ELF finally accepted a 13 member Super Junior, and Super Junior 05 officially dropped it’s 05, and became Super Junior. We, ELFs, now have our beloved maknae, Cho Kyuhyun.
I believe everyone must have heard that Kyuhyun really had a hard time when he first came. One day, he got drunk and complained to Ryeowook tearfully “Teuk hyeong doesn’t like me. He makes me suffer..” Now you can see this magnae is being spoiled by his pampered hyeongs, actually he beared hardship for 6 months before being accepted by his hyeongs. That’s why Eunhyuk said “The others please don’t come here, Teuk hyeong doesn’t like it.”
2007 is the most heart wrenching year for Super Junior and ELFs, a serious (almost fatal) accident, forced SJ to cease all work and projects. I believe ELFs are very clear about this, I do not need to elaborate.
2008, 2th album (2jib) celebrated Kyuhyun’s comeback, but it also ignited the 2nd clash. In Don’t Don’s mv, a new face was seen, a young man playing violin, and given a long solo. The attentive ELFs, suspected the company is up to some tricks again, started the movement: ONLY13. So, K ELFs did a silent protest, raised some cash to buy 1 share of the company, symbolizing ELFs, now becoming a shareholder, can vote in the AGM on any topics that will affect the company. And C ELFs also had a signature event with 10 thousand people. This seemingly ridiculous act, had successfully forced the company to declare: no new member will be added, no change of current member lineup. This “new face”, will only be included in SJM, a sub group that is targeting on China market. As a result, a first in history of kpop, additional members that do not belong to the core group, are now added in the sub group.
Don’t look down at us ELF!
Now, everyone will be asking, why do we insist on 13? Why don’t we just let the other two join?
ELFs then may not be able to predict what will the outcome be, for protesting. But, ELFs do know, what the outcome can be, if ELFs do not protest. These few years, I can feel even stronger, if not for the protest then, what will be the ending for SJ.
Lets fast forward to the present time:
2009, the highly acclaimed house of red, split into 2 due to contractual dispute, it’s fans were also divided. 2010, the leader from another promising boyband, due to the surfacing of his past extreme remarks posted in his blogs prior to debuting, left the group and the company (forced?/volunteered?). 2011, a young boyband had 2 of its 7 members shockingly replaced.
If, due to the departure of one member (take our case, Hangeng), the company is allowed to replace him, this will also means that the company can replace any member at its own whim and fancy. We can’t fight back: “you can only replace Hangeng, but not the rest”, as we have lost the first right (legally, if a precedent is set, all subsequent cases will usually follow what was done before). If departure is the “lawful” way, then the company can always force a departure, willingly, or not.
ELFs, think about it, If not for the fact that ELFs have been very forceful and stubborn about ONLY13 belief, l can literately count the possible results:
1) The first to be replaced will be our Angel Teuk and Flower Heechul.
a. Their age, is way over the average age of a idol boyband
b. Teukie and Heenim’s popularity, ensures their solo career, taking them out, can allow new members to ride on the famous brand name SJ, while building their foundation
c. the Fanbase of both 83liners are very big, separating them, will divide the power of ELFs
2) Kangin’s return will be unpredictable.
a. Kangin is strong headed, stubborn, brave, resulting in him having several brushes with law recently. From the company’s aspect, he is a problem child (if he is still considered a child). If not for fear of ELF’s power, for another protest, I am afraid, Kangin’s current fate, will not just be sent to army, it will be a total strike off. Even till now, ELFs have been closely watching Kangin while he is in the army, other than simply missing him, we are also ensuring the company do not assume that, they can wipe off Kangin from ELF’s memory, in the span of two years. Whether a return after he is dismissed from army, is secured, will depend largely on who will emerge as the winner, from this tug of war between ELF and the company.
3) Shindong’s future unknown.
a. Lets face it, Shindong, having been surviving in a idol group for as long as 5 years, is a rare sight. He can be a great comedian, a compare, even a broadcaster, but if the company had absolute power to decide, what do you think, is the possibility of him staying in the group?
4) KRY will be singled out immediately.
a. This is straight forward, KRY has the best vocal in the group, splitting them out first, will enable the company to redirect their resources, allowing them to focus on Japan and China market, markets that value ballards
5) Kibum’s return will be impossible.
a. Kibum had always wanted to focus on his acting career, but, he has never object to participate SJ activities in –between. If the company can bring in new members easily, Kibum will have no worries.
After all these, our Super Junior, will be changed beyond recognition. Over the years, how many of the original members will still be intact? Is this the result we wanted? Fans will leave with their bias, separated & divided. Super Junior, will no longer be the Super Band, ELFs, will no longer be the strong backing.
From then on, Super Junior will no longer raise any emotional memories, ELF, the supposedly Patron Saint, will disappear, with the departure of the original members.
This, may be the reason why, our men, despite: not having to sing more than 10 seconds in each song, not being able to speak in most interviews, having to squeeze into overcrowding stages (to the extent that some have to face the wall & stop dancing), forgoing more financial gains, still decide to stick together, extended the contract. Even if we can’t gather all 13 now, even though those who are enlisted, went on solo temporarily, in hiatus, have yet to return, but, as long as they are still here, Super Junior, is still our Super Junior. However, a Super Junior without the original members, will no longer be Super Junior…
Chinggu, you can doubt my analysis, maybe things will not go the direction I thought, but, heart to heart, can we afford the possibility of such an outcome?
Let me stress again, ONLY13, does not exclude the other two, we never will. We will love them, protect them as well. However, should there be any conflict, if we need to choose, our only choice, is very clear, is the original 13 men from Super Junior core group. Super Junior, from Leeteuk to Kyuhyun, not a single missing.
If fans are not strong enough, they won’t be able to secure their idols.
You have the right to love many people, but I protect the original SJ only.
Author: Jeslyn Ho
My two cents:
This is what I am saying and I am immensely thankful to the great author for coming up with this. :)
To me, there are two kinds of ONLY13 ELFs in this world, those who know what they are doing and those who have no idea what they are there for.
First and foremost, I was never a part of the ONLY13 group and I have to admit that I had my fair share of hating them but when I knew of their reason for doing so, I knew I was wrong.
ELFs, I tell you. We did a great choice of sticking in this fandom.
ONLY13 people who continuously bash Henry and Zhoumi, stop it. You are doing it wrong.