AE K-Pop Awards 2020

Who said awards season can’t go on until April? We present to you the only K-Pop awards that are not rigged or 90% a BTS concert. 

Best Pants

Who covered their legs the most stylishly? 

Honorable Mentions:

Hui, wearing . . . who is that on his pants?, “Sha La La”

hui pentagon sha la la
Image credit

Seulgi’s bermuda biker shorts with a fringe belt, “Zimzalabim”

seulgi outfit zimzalabim

Yeji, “Icy”

yeji itzy icy outfit
Image credit

Mingi, “Say My Name” 

mingi ateez say my name

Taeyang (no, the other one), “Now or Never” —Hey, it’s Chani!

chani taeyang sf9 enough
Image credit

B.I., “No One”  —We miss you!

b.i. no one pants

And the winner is . . .

JYP and Hwasa, MAMA performance (mostly for Jackson’s priceless reaction)

jyp hwasa jackson reaction
Image credit

Best English Lyrics

The best English lyrics ever. Or at least in 2019. From K-Pop musicians. 

Honorable Mentions:

“I go boo hoo.” ( Blackpink, “Kill this Love”)

“Love is nothing stronger.” (BTS, “Boy With Luv”)

“Shut up and go away,” which is what Chen actually wants to say to people hating on his life choices. (EXO, “Obsession)

“I like your taste; it takes me to space.” (Woosung, “Face”)

“Excuse me, who’s this lady, why she sittin’ on me? Hmm, wait, let her do what she want.” (1Team, “Ice In The Cup”)

“I don’t no like it, nobody like it.” (Hwasa, “Twit”)

And the winner is . . .

“I’ve had a gun for a while.” (Dreamcatcher, “Piri Piri”) Don’t mess with Dami.

Worst English Lyrics

Some things should never be said by anyone, ever. 

Honorable Mentions:

“You are a part of me. You and me, we are one.” ( Got7, “Calling My Name”)

“Hello, I’m an Allie alligator.” (Monsta X, “Alligator”)

“We’re fish fish like.” (Ateez, “Wave”)

“007, I’m your James Bond (James Bond) / Scarlett Johansson, yeah, I like ’em blonde /  Harry Potter, girl I got the magic, uh” (Lay, “Honey”)

“My body’s callin’, callin.’ Can you pick up?” (NCT 127, “Highway to Heaven, English Version”)

“Sky, sky skyyyyy!” (or whatever it is that Hwasa randomly belts out in “Twit”)

And the winner is . . .

“‘Cause when we jumping and popping, we jopping.” (SuperM, “Jopping”)

Lyrical Genius

Poetic metaphors, deep wisdom . . . . That is not what any of our nominees have to offer, but these lyrics are still genius in their own special way. 

Honorable Mentions:

“Like an idle grasshopper, I’ll live like a cow. . . Let’s be happy mom and sis” from “Sha La La” by Pentagon

“I’m pulling you into my swamp / You’re pulling me into your swamp … Feels like I’ve fallen for you with no way to escape” from “Alligator” by Monsta X

The entirety of “Can’t We Just Leave the Monster Alive?” by TXT 

And the winner is . . .

“I feel like I play every day, I’m like a Taoist hermit” from “What a Life” by EXO-SC

exo sc what a life
Typical Taoist hermit behavior. (Image credit)

The I’m a Damn Singer Girl Award

Because the best lyrics are the ones we think we hear. 

Honorable Mentions:

“Sure, we got a chicken.” – “Long Flight” by Taeyong (Real lyric: “Shall we gonna check it” —which might be more nonsensical)

“Told the boy to shoot and die.” – “Gogobebe” by Mamamoo (Real lyric: “Deonjyeo beoryeo suit and tie”)

“Choke on cum, Jin. Yeah!” – “Humph!” by Pentagon (Real lyric: Jeobgeungeumjiya) 

“I’m not your tampon.” – “Valkyrie” by Oneus (Real lyric: “Neon naye deungbul”)

“Anyone need a dollar, dollar, dollar?” – “Dalla Dalla” by Itzy (Real lyric: “Aedeulgwa nan dalla dalla dalla”)

And the winner is . . .

“My nipple’s so sad, but I love it!” – “Crown” by TXT ( Real lyric: “Meorie ppuri sosa / But I love it”) Carrying on their sunbae’s legacy.

jungkook approval gif
The Jungkook seal of approval (Image credit). 

Forget Metaphors Award (English Language Songs That Are Straight-Forwardly About Sex)

Because we English speakers don’t want to beat around the bush. 

Honorable Mentions:

“Highway to Heaven” by NCT 127 (Getting right to the point: “Love how your body feels on me / When you get back, let me get that”) But Johnny wants you to know it’s up for interpretation. Sure . . . .

“Love Talk” by WayV (Getting right to the point: “Touch me tease me feel me up / Ooh tell me babe / Tell me how you like it babe / I don’t even know your name”)

“Middle of the Night” by Monsta X (Getting right to the point: “I hate sleeping alone / I’m picking up the phone / And I’ll be on the way in the middle of the night”)

And the winner is . . .

“LOVE U” by Monsta X (Getting right to the point: “I really, really wanna love you / But I can’t say the word I want to / ‘Cause they won’t play it on the radio / But I know you know / What I mean, what I mean”)

Best Comeback (Like, Legit Comeback)

K-Pop likes to call every new release a comeback, but last year saw some artists triumphantly return after scandals and/or long breaks. 

Honorable Mentions:

Brown Eyed Girls


HyunA and Dawn

MC Mong

And the winner is . . .

Park Bom

They’re Dead, Right?

A whole bunch of idols got all morbid on us last year… at least we think. It wasn’t always clear. Except for the times when it was really obvious. 

Honorable Mentions:

IU, “Above the Time”

Stray Kids, “Side Effects”

Brown Eyed Girls, “Abandoned”

EXO, “Obsession” (mostly Sehun)

And the winner is . . .

TXT, “Run Away”

In Loving Memory of Hongjoong’s Mullet

The mullet was rocked so hard in 2018, but nobody rocked it harder than Hongjoong at the beginning of 2019. We miss all the glorious mulletted manes, but none as much as this one. 


Jimin for having major BYE (Baby Yoda Energy)

SugaKookie Award

Sadly, K-Pop idols didn’t give us songs that we wanted to sing to our animals because they were trying too hard to be animals. 

Honorable Mentions:

TXT, “Cat & Dog”

txt cat and dog music video

Lee Hi ft. B.I., “No One”

lee hi cat no one

Binu, “NABI”

binu nabi

Monsta X, “Alligator”

alligator monsta x

And the winner is . . .

Lucas from SuperM, Korean Air Safety Video

lucas cgi bear korean air

Best Airplane Concept (aka, The J-Hope Award)

A lot of idols caught J-Hope fever and became preoccupied with air travel. 

Honorable Mentions:

“Lalalay” by Sunmi

“Long Flight” by Taeyong

“I’m Home” by Minho

And the winner is . . .

Korean Air safety video by SuperM–The airplane concept to end all airplane concepts. We’re sorry J-Hope.

jhope fake crying gif
Image credit

Try Texting Award

Some male idols were anxiously awaiting to get a phone call from their lovers…did they check their text messages?

Honorable Mentions:

“All Night” by Astro

“Telephone” by Benji

“Call Anytime” by Jinu ft. Mino

And the winner is . . .

“What Are You Up To” by Kang Daniel

The Missing Persons Award

I mean, with all the scandals last year, I’d run away too. 

Honorable Mentions:

“Run Away” by TXT

“Run Away” by Teen Top

“Run Away” by IN2IT

And the winner is . . .

“Runaway” by Eric Nam For mixing it up by making it a noun. So innovative!

Most Aptly Titled Song

Some idols possessed the prophetic ability to know how their songs would be perceived . . .  or of what would happen to their career. 

Honorable Mentions:

“SOSO” by Winner, because the song was just so-so for us. 

“I Like That” by Lee Jin Hyuk, because we like that song.

“Dumb Litty” by K.A.R.D., because this song is super dumb. 

“I’m OK” by iKon, the song was okay, but iKon soon would not be . . . . 

“Hip” by Mamamoo, because the song had a hipper vibe then some of their previous, old-school jazz offerings. 

And the winner is . . .

“Flash” by X1, because X1 was gone in a flash. Too soon?

Most Pause-Worthy Moment (Alternatively, Best or Weirdest Screenshot)

Honorable Mentions:

Astro, “Blue Flame” – Shirtless Moonbin and his wolf.

moonbin astro blue flame

BTS, “Boy with Luv” – RM breaks out his white fedora.

rm boy with luv fedora

Rich Brian and Chungha, “These Nights” – Wait, where did that tiny alligator come from?

These Nights

TXT, “Run Away” – Taehyun flexin’ on everybody with his Airpods.

txt runaway airpods

Seventeen, “Fear” – Jeonghan, you have something on your face. Fabulousness. 


And the winner is . . .

TRCNG “Missing” – Man crying with pineapple.

Missing 2

Best Choreography

Honoring the best in kinetic manifestos. 

Honorable Mentions:

The Human Slide (TXT, “Cat and Dog”)

txt cat and dog choreography

The “Is This a Sex Act?” (Everglow, “Bon Bon Chocolat”)

bon bon chocolat everglow choreography

The Mommy Son Freak-Out (Mommy Son, “Star Song”)

mommy son dancing

The Dandy Walking a Dog (Ateez, “Say My Name”) The dance of the year, but even it couldn’t beat . . . .

say my name ateez choreography

And the winner is . . .

The Vernon Grinding Alone #socialdistancing (Seventeen, “Fear”)

vernon fear choreography

Best Comeback Look

Honorable Mentions:

Monsta X, “Alligator” (mostly for Wonho’s lace bodysuit)


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Twice, “Feel Special”


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A.C.E., “Under Cover”


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Sunmi, “Lalalay”


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Itzy, “Icy”


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Hwasa, “Twit” (technically a debut, but whatever)


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And the winner is . . .

EXO, “Obsession” SM thought they could just put Kai in another piece of cropped clothing and EXO would walk away with this award like they did for “Tempo” last year. They were correct. 

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Best Concept

Honorable Mentions:

Mamamoo, “Hip” (Hwasa for president!)

Stray Kids, “Side Effects” (It’s the road trip from hell.)

GOT7, “Eclipse” (Let’s make the audience sick!) 

Sunmi, “Noir” (Have you heard? Social media is fake.)

And the winner is . . .

The Boyz, “Bloom Bloom” (The only way to make baseball watchable is to add intergalactic travel.)

Best Music Video

Honorable Mentions:

EXO, “Obsession”

Brown Eyed Girls, “Wonder Woman”

IU, “Blueming”

Oneus, “Lit”

Sunmi, “Lalalay”


Ateez, “Say My Name”

Dawn, “Money” 

And the winner is . . .

Woosung, “Face” I mean, we liked all these videos, but Woosung slapped his way into our Jello-filled hearts.

Kang Daniel Award

louis vuitton sweater kpop

Nothing was more inexplicably popular in 2019—or in the past few years—than the sweater that won’t die. This Louis Vuitton number has graced the back of many a K-Pop idol, even though there are far greater tops out there (G-Dragon’s Fendi monster sweater, J-Hope’s Gucci rainbow tiger sweater, whatever Jo Kwon is wearing in “Animal” performances—the list goes on). 

But it’s still a cool sweater, and if it’s good enough for a whole bunch of K-Pop stars and stylists, then it must be worthy of some sort of acknowledgement, even if that acknowledgement is coated in irreverence.

zico artist louis vuitton sweater
The one who started it all. Zico, “Artist” (2017)
Sweater - BAP
Jongup of B.A.P., “Honeymoon” (2017)
im monsta x alligator sweater
I.M. of Monsta X, “Alligator” (2019)
Sweater - Seventeen
Hoshi of Seventeen (2019)
Sweater - Pentagon
Kino of Pentagon, “Sha La La” (2019)
Sweater - KARD
J.Seph of Kard, “Red Moon” (2020)

Jackson Wang Award

ravi vixx
Image credit

Plenty of idols hustled hard last year, scoring endorsements, starting companies, making a music video about eyewear, launching a shoe line immediately after finishing military service. The person for whom this award is named even went so far as to throw Hong Kong protesters under the bus just to continue getting those lucrative Chinese deals (or at least that’s our theory). As democracy-loving people who side with Hong Kong, we could not in good faith present the award for the second year running to Jackson Wang, despite his unbeatable hustle. Plus, it would just be kind of lame not to find someone else to give it to.

With Jackson out of the picture, the clear winner is Ravi. While VIXX was beginning their military service, Ravi took the opportunity to start his own label, Groovlin, and boy he promoted it hard, going on variety shows left and right. Earlier this year, when two students rode a scooter right into his Porsche, Ravi kindly didn’t ask for any payment; he simply asked them to tell their friends about Groovlin. That’s a hustler with a heart of gold.

But what really sealed the deal was his precious Pepsi musical ad with Eunha. Even the stoic Eunha couldn’t help but smile around this charming man. 

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