Shinhwa: No Breakup No Matter What
Shinhwa declared that the group would stay intact even if one or two members start military service next year. The group got together for the first time in nearly five months on November 4 at Seoul's Olympic Park to judge a special event organized by MNET called "Let's CokePlay Battle Shinhwa." After the event they held a brief fan meeting in front of the 1,000 fans present. This was their first official appearance since a concert in June.
With GOD announcing their breakup last month due to members going to military service, rumors started surfacing around Shinhwa as all six members are still required to serve. "It looks like one or two members will start military service next year," said Kim Dong Wan. "Even if that happens, the name Shinhwa will never cease. We'll always stay together," he said to thunderous applause and hundreds of orange balloon waving fans. Kim Dong Wan also pleaded to fans to support the group even if they aren't able to release albums.
Shinhwa's Eric and Andy both gave up their U.S. residence status and will serve in the Korean army. All male Korean citizens are required by law to complete a two year military service. Eric, Lee Minwoo and Kim Dong Wan as the oldest members are expected to go first as early as late next year or in early 2007. The Shinhwa members who are currently doing separate activities are scheduled to release their 8th album early next year.
"Let's CokePlay Battle Shinhwa" was a special program sponsored by Good Entertainment, MNET and Coca-Cola to pick the "next Shinhwa." The finals of the contest were held on November 4 where the Shinhwa members themselves selected six young men out of a group of 12 finalists to be the next Shinhwa. The celebrity judges chose the six on their singing and dancing skills. The six winners Park Ji Woon (18), Jung Hyung Rok (16), Won Seung Jae (18), Kim Jang Hyun (20), Jin Tae Hwa (17), Shin Ki Hyun (18) will immediately undergo training and debut as a new group next year through Good Enterainmnet. The 8 month long audition which started in March had whittled down to twelve finalists out of an initial pool of 1,800 applicants. Two of the finalists who didn't make it also were selected to contracts with Good Entertainment.
Follow up news: 1TYM released their 5th album on November 2 with two title tracks the ballad "How Many Times" and the Hip-Hop song "Do You Know Me?"