There have been countless collaborations between K-Pop artists, as well as between K-Pop and Western artists, that will go down in history as legendary. There are others, however, that ended up being more cringy or awkward to watch than what was probably expected, whether the chemistry was off between the artists, the concept was odd, or a multitude of other reasons. Recently on Reddit, K-Pop fans were asked to share what they believe to be the most awkward stage collaborations ever, and they delivered! Here are 12 of their top choices.
1. “Special Collaboration” by Chanyeol (EXO) & Nayeon (TWICE)
While Chanyeol and Nayeon are undoubtedly legends in the K-Pop industry, the way the two stiffly stood beside each other during this performance while barely looking at each other just screams awkward.
2. “Wednesday” by BTS & GFRIEND
This ad came out six years ago — when both groups were still much earlier into their careers — but we doubt that them attempting to cover this cheesy song and dance would have been any better if they’d done it today!
3. “Mirotic” (Originally by TVXQ) by Moonbin (ASTRO), Juyeon (THE BOYZ), Hyunjin (Stray Kids), Taeyang (SF9), & WOODZ
While each of the five performers for this collaboration stage are phenomenal performers on their own, many viewers felt like they all approached the dance with a different concept and vibe that made them feel awkward together.
4. “Dance Performance!” by HyunA & Jessi
Anything that K-Pop queens HyunA and Jessi perform should be absolute fire, but this odd mostly-walking “dance routine” just screams last-minute choreography that wasn’t properly prepared! Still, they did the best with what they were given.
5. “Marry You” (Originally by Bruno Mars) by Girls’ Generation & EXO
The blank expressions… The awkward forced smiles… The stiff choreography… While EXO’s members are nothing short of stage monsters now, this performance from nearly a decade ago really seemed to be uncomfortable for Suho, Chanyeol, and Sehun!
6. “BOSS” (Originally by NCT U) by SinB (VIVIZ), YooA (OH MY GIRL), Kwon Eunbi, & Ryujin (ITZY)
Once again, the line-up for this stage collab makes it seem like it would be a killer performance, but some viewers think that they all seem to be dancing to a different song and it lacks cohesiveness! Another complaint is that the high key change of “BOSS” to work with the girls’ lighter vocals doesn’t suit the song.
7. “Greedy Person” (Originally by Kim Dongryul ft. Lee Soeun) by DK (SEVENTEEN) & Kei (former Lovelyz)
Both DK and Kei are phenomenal vocalists on their own, and that’s still the case for this performance. However, DK looks so nervous on-stage that one person commented that he looks like he’s being held hostage!
8. “Who Do U Love?” by MONSTA X & French Montana at Jimmy Kimmel Live!
MONSTA X did nothing wrong during this performance, and if they’d done it on their own, it would have been a great stage! But French Montana — who some people think may have been drunk during this show — barely managed to stammer his way through his part of the song, leaving the MONSTA X members holding back laughter and second-hand embarrassment.
9. Collaboration Stage by BTS & Charlie Puth at MGA 2018
Again, this collaboration stage seems like it should have been iconic, and in a lot of ways it was! However, there were allegedly issues with some of the members’ in-ears, and sources also say that BTS actually practiced the songs with a different key than what was played for the performance, so it ended up being messier than it should have been.
10. “Blinding Lights” (Originally by The Weeknd) by THE BOYZ & LOONA
This disco-themed stage was so hard to take seriously that some of the members of THE BOYZ themselves seem to be having trouble holding back their laughter during the performance!
11. “Again & Again” by 2PM & J.Y. Park
J.Y. Park is notorious for making stages more awkward than they likely would have been otherwise — remember his performance with Hwasa at the 2019 MAMA? — and this heavily autotuned rendition of 2PM’s “Again & Again” is no exception.
12. “Letter To You” by Key (SHINee) & IU
Again, while Key and IU are incredible performers in their own right, there was something about this performance — particularly the unnecessary rose giving actions that Key had to do — that made it seem just a little uncomfortable and awkward to some.