Tuesday Tunes

Tuesday Tunes #19: Tight Race for Best Song in the 2017 Melon Awards

Only in its eighth year, the Melon Music Awards is an annual major music awards show held in South Korea.  Judging criteria for the awards involves judge scores as well as digital sales, but a good chunk of the determining vote goes to online voting.

The polls for the 2017 Melon Awards have barely been open for a day and already millions of votes have been cast, producing what is already proving to be a tight race for not only the title of Best Artist and Best Album, but–most importantly, considering it’s Tuesday Tunes over here, yo–Best Song.

Tight Race for Best Song in the 2017 Melon Awards

It’s always fun to watch fandoms fight it out, most especially when you’ve picked a side!  There are currently three contenders for the Best Song category, but it’s the top two candidates that are running the real race, considering that (as I write this) they have a less than 5% difference in votes.

I’m of course talking about BTS and EXO.  These two bands are like the modern, Asian equivalent of such fanbase rivalries as N*Sync v. Backstreet Boys.  Yep, it’s heated–and oh-so-fun to take part in.

This past summer, PopCrush held their annual Summer Fan Showdown, wherein fans fight to prove who’s base is most dedicated.  BTS and EXO faced off in round two with EXO winning by less than 1%.  Seems like history may be repeating itself with the current lineup of voting on this year’s 2017 Melon Award for Best Song!

Voting numbers are accurate as of 2:10 PM on November 14, 2017.

#1 – “Ko Ko Bop” by EXO (343,888 votes)

Reggae-inspired, “Ko Ko Bop” builds its title after the nonsense phrase songwriter Shaylen Carroll found herself singing as she wrote it, and thought it so catchy she built off it and, thus, “Ko Ko Bop” came to life.


The song is so popular it not only crashed multiple servers due to too many fans streaming it at once, it also spawned its own viral Internet video trend, #KoKoBopChallenge, wherein challengers dance the hip thrust dance move from the choreography during the lyrics, “Down down baby.”  Basically, to call this song a big deal is putting it tamely.


#2 – “Spring Day” by BTS (329,887 votes)

BTS is a seven-member boy band that is well-known for their expansive social media presence.  Forbes listed them as the most retweeted artist on Twitter back in March of 2016, spawning Twitter’s launch of their first ever K-Pop emoji, featuring BTS themselves.  BTS made further waves by winning a Billboard Music Award for Top Social Artist early this year.  Then, in June of this year, Time magazine named them one of the 25 most influential people on the interest.  And now they’re going to be the first K-Pop group to ever perform for the American Music Awards on November 19.  How’s that for achievements?


“Spring Day” was the title track for their 2017 album release, and it did not disappoint.  It also crashed servers due to traffic overload, charting #1 across all eight of the major South Korean music charts.

#3 – “Really Really” by WINNER (70,454 votes)

Although WINNER is drastically behind the lead two candidates for this award, they’re still worth mentioning.  Originally a five-member band, the group was actually formed through the 2013 reality show WIN: Who is Next, competing as “Team A” for the chance to debut as the first boy group in eight years for YG Entertainment.  Thanks to winning all three rounds of public voting at the end of the program, the band gained the name WINNER.


After a hiatus in 2015 for band members to pursue solo endeavors, WINNER is now a four-member band and making a comeback.  “Really, Really” is one of the first tracks they unveiled, debuting at No. 3 on Billboard World Digital Song Sales.  Again, WINNER may not quite be in the running for Best Song, but being the third favorite song in South Korea, is that really something to be bummed about?

What do you think of the top three contenders?  Do you have a piece of the BTS v. EXO battle?


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