Saccharine-sweet KARA delight fans at S’pore showcase

Elizabeth Soh
Singapore Showbiz

KARA (Photo courtesy of VizPro)
KARA (Photo courtesy of VizPro)

Brandishing a stuffed dragon toy in one hand and a poster of five very attractive girls in the other, the Japanese man was a strange sight in the lines outside Resorts World Sentosa's Festive Grand Theater.

The 29-year-old tourist had flown into Singapore specially to catch Korean girl group KARA's one-night only showcase to launch their new K5J perfume.

"I followed them to Universal Studios, I saw that they bought the dragon, so I bought one too!" said the fan, who declined to be named.

Wearing a day-glo white shirt that screamed "I LOVE KARA", he was among a group of five others who had bought an air ticket from Tokyo to join over 1,000 other fans at Resorts World for KARA's K5J perfume launch in Singapore.

"In Japan, KARA's showcase would be sold out in minutes, no chance for the front row tickets. Worth it to fly here," said his fellow fan, who explained that the girls were an even bigger hit in Japan than their homeland.

Known for their sexy dancing and bubblegum pop tunes, the five-member group -- Kang Ji Young, Nicole Jung, Park Gyuri, Goo Hara and Han Seung Yeon -- command the attention of hordes of teenaged, hormonal male fans.

At over $100 apiece, the sold-out tickets was a heavy investment considering the girls performed just two ballads during their 90-minute appearance.

But it was clear from the (manly) shrieks in the crowd that just seeing the four girls (Han Seung Yeon was down with headaches) sashay onstage in feathery white dresses that showed off their perfect legs perfectly made the tickets well worth the price.

That, and the chance to buy a pink, jewel encrusted bottle of their new perfume, which, like most other idol merchandise, came with its own life story, complete with making-of videos of the girls in Paris cooing and giggling over sample sticks.

"KARA means sweet melody, so its like a sweet fragrance," said American-born Korean member Nicole Jung.

"We hope to bring the sweetness to you," she girlishly added, as male fans in the audience swooned.

Perched daintily on bar stools, speaking in Tinkerbell delicate tones and blushing prettily through their long, perfectly groomed locks, they were the picture of dolled-up loveliness.

Their Q-and-A session was a non-event, but it didn't matter to most of the male fans in the audience.

Favourite food in Singapore? "Black pepper crabs and chicken rice".

Favourite place in Singapore? "Universal Studios, where we took the Battlestar Galactica".

Anything to say to the fans? "We're so sad we have so little time here, we didn't know we had so many people who loved us until we got here".

Any plans to go solo? Would it be lonely? "No, not with the fans out there supporting us".

But vanilla answers aside, one had to give the girls credit for making at least five fans dreams come true when they were called onto stage for some up-close and personal interaction.

Hara grooves with a fan who can't believe his luck (Photo courtesy of VizPro)
Hara grooves with a fan who can't believe his luck (Photo courtesy of VizPro)

Vincent (above), for example, looked like he was about to pass out when KARA member, Goo Hara, started strutting her stuff to their hit single "Steps" next to him, wiggling her hips suggestively and throwing him a sparkling smile.

The Singapore fans who turned up decked out in KARA shirts and armed with rainbow lightsticks and banners were simply no match for the army of overseas fans, like the Japanese group and another Indonesian fan (below) who stole the show.

Kara's fans dance with them on stage (Photo courtesy of VizPro)
Kara's fans dance with them on stage (Photo courtesy of VizPro)

Tina (in the black shirt) gyrated perfectly to every one of KARA's hits, prompting the most candid response from the girls all night as Gyu Ri burst into surprised laughter, covering her face.

Tina later eschewed the formal handshake usually permitted by strict Korean management, hugging the girls enthusiastically and giving the rest of the star-struck fans on stage a chance to do so as well.

One ballad later, the girls sashayed their way back off stage and the curtains came down despite repeated calls from fans for an encore.

That disappointment was allayed somewhat by a parting door gift a bottle of  K5J perfume.

So what do the girls smell like?

Well, exactly like how they look:  saccharine sweet, floral and fruity. In short, very cute and easy on the senses.