After the meeting which took almost forty minutes, we had an hour of vocal rehearsals in one of the studio rooms in preparation for our performance. Afterwards we found ourselves in different rehearsal dressing rooms. In the girl's dressing room, we were changing into our outfits and getting our makeup and hair done by the makeup artists and hairstylists. There was so much giggling and chatting amongst us. It was like we had all gone out to a beauty parlor to make ourselves look pretty. It felt really nice and apparently, Zoey read my mind about us girls going there someday.
"You know what, girls," Zoey said, who sat opposite me. "We should all go out someday to a beauty parlor or something."
"I agree," said Lisa who was sitting next to me, facing the dressing mirror, just like each one of us. There was a hairstylist doing her hair.
"Or we can have a girl's sleep over," I suggested.
"That sounds awesome," said Christine who was seated on my other side.
"The boys had theirs last time," said Jennie. "It will be so much fun if we have ours."
"Will it be okay if we can invite another k-pop girl group in the mix?" I asked.
"Who are you suggesting?" Jisoo asked.
"Oooh, that will be great!" Zoey said excitedly.
"The more we are, the merrier," said Rosé.
"True," said Lisa.
Seconds later, I looked up at the mirror as my hair was being done and I saw Lee and Ji Yeon come into the dressing room.
"Okay, ladies, we will be live on stage within thirty minutes."
I looked at the time on my phone which was laying on the table in front of me close to the mirror. It was only 10:50, so that meant we were supposed to be done before 11:30. We had to perform before the music video was released at 12.
"Don't worry," said Zoey. "We will be done by then and we will all be looking gorgeous."
"Hopefully, you won't be annoying on stage too," said Ji Yeon.
"You just read my mind," said Lee.
"Am I?" Zoey asked as I saw her through my mirror, face the two women.
"We all know you are," said Christine.
"Hey!" Zoey now turned to look at Christine.
Most of us in the room laughed, including those doing our makeup and hair.
"If I had come here earlier, I would have told the makeup artist to make you look like a clown, Zoey," said Ji Yeon, with a smirk on her face.
"Coming from you, I wouldn't be surprised," said Zoey.
I smiled at the two and I realised I was going to miss having Ji Yeon around. Including Ji Nun, though we, The Toxins, had Ji Yeon as our choreographer. I got used to them because they reminded me of Jimmy, our choreographer back home. Zoey might not admit it, but she was going to miss Ji Yeon too.
Just seconds later, Mike was at the door, already dressed up in white. The five of us Toxins were going to be in all white today. Lee and Ji Yeon made way for him with puzzled looks on their faces.
"Mike, what are you doing here?" Lee asked.
"I'm sorry to intrude, but did Seungri pass through here?" Mike asked.
"Why would he?" Rosé asked.
"Umm, it's nothing," he said. "You wouldn't want to know."
I raised an eyebrow at him through the mirror. Something was definitely up with these guys. Well, there always is.
"Okay, don't tell us then," said Lisa. "You guys are so secretive."
"So are you," said Mike. "If you will excuse me, I have to continue looking for Seungri."
Mike turned around to leave. When he was finally gone, Christine laughed. Lee and Ji Yeon had left after him.
"Whatever Seungri is up to, it's probably something hilarious," she said.
"Obviously," said Jisoo. "He's always up to stuff like that."
"I wish we asked Mike a little more about what Seungri's up to," said Zoey.
"Sometimes it's best you don't know," said Jennie.
"I agree," I said.
After getting ourselves ready thirty minutes later, we all walked out of the dressing room and went to the rehearsal building right next to it. Just when we went in through the back, we found the others backstage waiting for us.
"Oh, look here," said Seunghoon. "The ladies have finally arrived and they look stunning as ever."
"Thank you," said Jennie as she gave him a big smile.
"Hey, is Seungri with you guys?" I asked.
"No, beautiful," said Seunghoon with a corky smile on his face as he looked at me.
"Weird," said Zoey. "Mike came looking for him in our dressing room."
"Ya, he left way before we did," said Jinwoo. "Who knows what's he's up to."
"We also can't help but wonder," said Rosé.
"Ah, you girls are finally here," said Lee as she appeared. "We will go through some last minute details before time. But we have a problem."
"We can't start without Seungri," said Christine.
"Sadly, yes. BigBang goes up first and we have a few minutes till we actually get the show on air and we still don't know where he is."
"Do the managers know?" I asked.
"Luckily, no," said Mino. "But they will, obviously."
"Where are BTS and the others?"
"They are on the other side. A few went out looking for Seungri," said Lee. "I really hope he gets here soon. My neck is on the line."
Lee went back to where she came from while we continued to stand where we were.
"Are any of you ladies going to look for him?" Seungyoon asked.
"Nah," said Zoey as she flipped her hair to the side. "I have to look fresh for when we appear on stage. I don't want to mess myself up, you know. So, I'm better off here."
"I'll go check up on the others," I said.
"I'll come with you," said Christine.
Christine came along with me while the other BlackPink members and Zoey stayed behind with WINNER.
"Hey, guys," I said to the seven BTS members, Daniel and TOP whom Christine and I found chatting.
"Well, you two look gorgeous," said TOP.
"Thanks," Christine and I said at the same time.
"You should see BlackPink, though," I said. "They also look just as gorgeous in black and pink."
"But not as beautiful as you are," said J-Hope.
"Ohh," I couldn't help but blush. "Thank you."
"I see the others aren't here," said Christine.
"Seungri is still M.I.A," said Daniel. "I feel bad that Mike had to go out and look for him."
"But aren't G-Dragon, Taeyang and Daesung helping him out?" I asked.
"They are," he said. "But I should have gone with him."
"Why did Seungri leave anyway?" I asked as I looked at each and every one in front of me.
TOP and Daniel gave each a nervous look. Jimin scratched the back of his head while Jungkook went on to stare at the ceiling. J-Hope and RM both gave out a cough. Suga and Jin also gave each other a look. V just smiled at me.
I folded my arms. "You guys are unbelievable," I said. "What's the harm in letting me and Christine know what's going on?"
"Nothing," said Jungkook, quickly. I noticed him blush, but I couldn't really tell if he was lying.
"Ya, Sam," said Daniel. "It's nothing, believe me."
"I have to admit, you're being a pretty good liar like your sister here," said Christine. I raised an eyebrow at her.
"No, it's the truth," said Suga. "Look, here come the others with Seungri now."
Christine and I turned to look in the direction in which the other four BigBang members and Mike came from. They paused upon seeing us.
"Hi Sam, hi Christine," said Daesung with a smile on his face. "You girls look stunning."
"Yes," said G-Dragon as he quickly nodded his head. "Very stunning."
I still had my arms folded as I stared at them. My gaze was fixed upon Seungri the most. I guess he noticed because he went on to look at his feet.
"Thank you," Christine replied instead. "Where were you, Seungri?"
"Me?" Seungri looked up, completely caught off guard. "No where. I was just playing around with the guys. You know, like hide and seek. No big deal."
I raised an eyebrow when Daniel said, "you see. I told you it was nothing."
"Okay," I said as I put up a smile on my face, which I didn't mean wholeheartedly. "Christine and I better get back."
"Ok," said Taeyang. "Are you ready for the speech coming up first?"
Before we had to perform, G-Dragon and I were to appear on stage first to present to the audience what was to take place today. There was going to be a small audience of fans watching us live on stage. We were also going to air live on national television and YouTube. Afterwards came the performances, then a live stream of the music video on YouTube on the big screen.
"Ya, I'm ready," I said.
Soon enough, two of the crew members working backstage came up to us with earpiece microphones and helped most of us put them on.
"We will be on in a few minutes and Lee wants to see you all before we start," one of the crew man said.
"Okay, then," I said and I turned to look at the others, "shall we go?"
"Yes, we shall," said Seungri with a smile.
While the others started to leave, I held Seungri back for a while by putting my hand on his shoulder.
"I really hope you're not up to something, Seungri," I said.
Seungri gave me a corky smile. "What makes you think that, my dear panda?" he asked.
"When it comes to you, you're pretty unpredictable."
Seungri raised an eyebrow. "I thought Jiyong was the unpredictable one."
I leaned in towards him and whispered in his ear, "and so are you."
"I like that you think so mysteriously of me, my panda," he said as I leaned further back. "Makes you more attractive, if you ask me."
I could feel my cheeks heating up, but I was careful enough not to show that I was blushing.
"Let's go," I said as I started to go ahead of him and he followed behind.
"Thank goodness," said Lee as we joined the others and Lee looked towards Seungri. "I would have called security on you."
"Not to worry, Lee," Seungri said with a smile. "I'm fine."
"Well, I wasn't. Okay, back to why we're all here," Lee turned to look at each one of us. I noticed she also had a earpiece microphone and a clipboard with her. "We'll be on in a minute and we all know what comes next after the other. So, we all have to shine out there, okay? For the fans watching here and also those watching online and on TV. Sam, GD, are you two ready for the big introduction?"
"Ready," G-Dragon and I answered at the same time.
Lee gave us a thumbs up. One of the backstage crew members came to inform us that we had forty seconds to get to our positions.
"You heard the man, let's go," said Lee.
Everyone else scrammed to their positions except G-Dragon and I who were entering the stage through the middle through the red curtain. We took a few steps towards it. Lee also left with the backstage crew members obviously checking for any last minute details.
"Are you ready for this?" G-Dragon asked as he looked at me with a cool smile on his face.
"Kind of," I said as I shrugged my shoulders when I was actually trying to relax myself. "I've realised that you can't really be ready for big events."
G-Dragon chuckled. I heard the person on the other end through my ear earpiece say that we had twenty seconds till the show began.
"I can hold your hand if you want," he said as he looked down at his feet.
I ended up looking at him with an eyebrow raised. Fifteen seconds remained. "No thanks," I said. "I'm kind of used to this already. I'm not a rookie, you know."
G-Dragon looked back at me. "I know."
Ten seconds remained. This was it. The person on the other started the countdown. I took a deep breath and everything around slowly started to go quiet, except from the voice I was hearing in my ear. Five seconds remained and G-Dragon gave me a wink before turning to look straight at the curtain in front of him. I also did the same and immediately the person in my ear said "one" we heard a loud voice on stage.
"Introducing your hosts for this special event, please welcome, G-Dragon and Samantha Glasson!"
I took a step forward alongside G-Dragon as the red curtains gave way. A huge spotlight shone on us as we walked up on stage. There was a huge round of applause from the small group of fans that had been invited to witness the event. The sound of their clapping felt like there were more people in the hall than usual. I noticed that they all had random flashlights with them. For BigBang, BTS, BlackPink and WINNER. I couldn't help but smile at their amazing support. I waved at them as they called out my name.
G-Dragon and I stopped at the centre of the stage taking in the love we were receiving from the fans.
"안녕하세요 여러분, (Hello everyone)," said G-Dragon as he gave them a dashing smile and the fans responded loudly.
"We are so happy to have you here today, on a very special occasion," I said. G-Dragon later translated what I said in Korean. "As you all know, today is the release of BigBang and The Toxins' single." G-Dragon translated that too. There was a loud cheer from the fans. "I know you've all been excited and so are we. But this isn't why we are celebrating. So stick around and see what surprise we have in store for you."
There was loud clapping and cheering from the fans as I started to leave the stage, leaving G-Dragon where he stood. The stage lights started to dim out and the red curtain behind was raised up revealing an LED backdrop behind it. I could hear the fans scream as blue laser lights showed on the partially dark stage around G-Dragon and music started to play in the background. Through the corner of my eye, I saw the other BigBang members join G-Dragon on stage. The fans went all hysterical.
As I joined the others backstage, Zoey put her arm around me and mouthed out "nice work." Christine, Daniel and Jisoo gave me a thumbs up. I smiled back at them as we all got hurdled up backstage to watch BigBang's performance.
BigBang looked like rockstars on stage with their black and white bad boy outfits as they performed one of their hit songs, "Sober" which I had to admit, was one of their crazy songs that I loved the most. The fans were also singing along and I couldn't help but also quietly sing along with them.
Just when their performance was done, it was now WINNER's turn. As BigBang left the stage, WINNER came on stage, the tune "REALLY REALLY" playing. The fans couldn't help themselves as they let out an enormous uproar. Just like me, they also loved the song. It was one of my favourites too. I could see the others around move to the rhythm of the beat.
Just as WINNER were concluding on their performing, BTS were ready to come up next. I simply couldn't wait for their performance. It sucked watching their performance backstage. You really couldn't see everything and I really envied being where the fans were right now.
Just when WINNER were done on stage, the stage lights went dark and that was their cue to quickly leave the stage. The song of "Blood, Sweat and Tears" started to play on stage, and there was a loud uproar coming from the fans. I could feel their excitement.
A few lights went on on stage and BTS were there singing and dancing to their song. I could see Zoey and Christine who were beside me look excited.
Just as BTS were done, BlackPink were next and we, The Toxins wished them luck when they got ready to perform on stage. Unlike the rest of us, BlackPink were going to start their performance by marching up on stage. They were performing to their song "As If It's Your Last." The five of us Toxins were enjoying the song backstage so we couldn't help but move along to the beat.
I soon heard the person on the other end in my ear tell us to get ready since we were next. The other four beside me soon composed themselves.
Just as BlackPink's performance came to an end, the stage lights blacked out and that was our cue to get on stage. As soon as BlackPink had headed out for the backstage through the other side, we went on stage and positioned ourselves in the middle of the stage. The big stage light above us went on and the fans went wild as they saw us on stage and the music started to play. The five of us started to sing and perform to one of our hit songs and it was surprising that the fans knew the song as they were singing along on the chorus part. It felt good to have the fans singing along. The feeling was amazing.
Just when we were ending our performance, the five of us walked towards the front of the stage. I could tell the stage lights behind us on stage black out leaving the front lights on stage on. This was it. The final part of the show.
Immediately we were done, the fans gave out a thunderous round of applause. The five of us on stage took our little moment to pause on stage and take a breath but at the same time, we continued to smile at the fans who couldn't stop cheering.
Afterwards the five of us started to clap and cheer with them and we gathered together with our arms on each others' shoulders as we hugged. The fans continued to cheer even more.
After we broke up, we were told through our earpieces that it was time for the final performance. This was it. Zoey went on to address the fans:
"Are you ready for more!"
The fans shouted in response. I had to admit, it was almost deafening.
"I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"
The fans continued to cheer a bit louder this time. Zoey was the kind of person who knew how to keep a crowd going.
The five of us on stage turned around as though we were heading backstage, but we weren't. The stage lights that had blacked out at first slowly began to light up as we approached what happened to be the stage construction set that was had been worked on and completed before this day. The fans were excited to see it. We settled around the construction set in our positions.
The construction set on stage looked like a space full of candy. The LED backdrop behind us shown clouds of fluffy pink clouds which if I wasn't mistaken, was cotton candy and a town made of ginger bread buildings with lovely different sorts of candies every where. The stage was filled with large lollipops full of amazing bright colours, medium sized gummy bears of different colours, some of them holding the lollipops in their paws. There were green bushes that had candy instead of just green leaves. There were also pink and white fluffy cotton that surrounded the stage too. It really looked like we were in candy heaven.
The fans continued to cheer on as they also realised that the two groups, BlackPink and WINNER were also with us on stage.
At the centre of the stage, was a round pink and white platform. It looked like the hard candy of a lollipop with white and pink swirling colours all around it. Those of us on stage were seated around on the platform. I happened to be facing the fans. I couldn't help but smile at them.
The music started to play and the fans screamed in excitement. For those who were lucky enough to know what had happened some time ago, WINNER, BlackPink and The Toxins had danced to this song at the Times Square which had attracted huge attention and speculation about there being a group collaboration among the three groups. We were performing a cover to the same song like we did last time, "Sweet Like Sugar" by Flo Rida featuring Wynter Gordon.
As soon as the music started and we started to sing our parts in the song, we stood up from the platform, walked around the circle in one direction. Some of us got on the platform while the others stayed where they were. We paired up like we had before at Times Square, except for TOP who had been dancing with Rosé. Rosé stood in the middle of the circle platform alone. She had a dance number of her own while we continued to dance and twirl around on the platform like we had before. But this time, our dance choreo was more refined.
As we sang the last chorus of the song, we changed our positions quickly as those of us on the platform got down from it, except Rosé. We ran round the platform in one direction, then we all got on the platform and paused upon the ending of the song. We ended our performance in an extraordinary fashion as the girls sat round the platform in a classy style pause with our leg crossing the other except for Rosé who was still standing on the platform with the guys standing along each side of her.
Confetti of all colours filled the air and landed on stage. The fans continued to cheer on as those of us on stage continued to smile. G-Dragon soon came up on stage and came to stand within a few feet from the platform and with his arm outstretched presented us to the fans as "BTW."
The fans went wild with their cheers. I could see some of them were very surprised about the whole thing but they went on to cheer anyway. It was a huge surprise for them. I wondered how those watching this live else where were taking in the news.
Soon, those of us on stage started to clap with the fans as we started to give each other hugs. BTW was now official. It wasn't going to be for a long time, but it was going to be a fun experience for the three groups to work together. The other BigBang members and BTS came up on stage to congratulate us and give us hugs.
Afterwards, we all stared to wave to the fans, saying bye. The others started to walk out and head backstage leaving G-Dragon and I behind on stage. We walked to the front centre of the stage as we waved on at the fans.
"So that was our special surprise from us to you," I said as G-Dragon translated that later onwards. "Now, the moment everyone has been waiting for. The release of BigBang and The Toxins' new single!"
The fans cheered as the lights blacked out on stage and the LED screen was all that was on. A countdown had started on the screen and the fans couldn't help but say the countdown out loud themselves.
G-Dragon and I had already gone backstage and we soon joined the others in one of the dressing rooms. There was a large flat screen TV placed on the wall high above the floor for everyone to see. G-Dragon and I had come in just in time for the music video.
All of us were all quiet as we watched. So far, I was enjoying it and I couldn't help but smile. The video was all about fun and it was great that we filmed it at the water park.
After the music video was done, we could hear the echoing sound of the fans cheering back out there. That was what I wanted to hear. I was glad they liked it. Though I knew not everyone would.
All of us in the dressing room started to comment after seeing the music video.
"Wow, guys," said Seunghoon. "Your music video is awesome."
"Totally, I really love it," said Jisoo. "I think I'm going to my phone on YouTube to like it and put a comment."
"And don't forget to get the track on iTunes," said Mike.
"Amazing," said Suga. "I really liked the lyrics."
"You should be thanking my little panda, here," said Seungri as he came towards me and wrapped his arm around my shoulders. "She's the one who wrote them."
"But I had a little help, don't forget," I said with a smile.
"I absolutely loved myself in that video," said Zoey.
"We know," said Daniel and Christine at the same time.
"And all the choreography credits go to Taeyang and Mike," said TOP.
"Let's not forget our choreographer too," said Taeyang. "We just played a little part in it."
"But still, it's awesome," said Jimin. "It didn't look too complicated and it suited with the music really well."
"True," said Mino. "I can't wait to learn it."
"Well, I'm up for the complicated ones at the moment," said Mike. "BTS, we still have to go through with Blood, Sweat and Tears."
"Sure, no problem," said RM. "Just make sure you come around and we will gladly show you."
Lee soon came in the dressing room. "I didn't get to say this when you guys left the stage," she begun to say, turning all our attention on her, "but you were all awesome. And the music video is already trending on YouTube and so is the performance you all did. Great job today everyone."
We all muttered out our thanks to Lee. She had an amazing smile on her face.
"Listen," she said. Surprisingly, we all kept quiet. "The managers are also happy about the performance, so I want you all to go to the YG main building."
"Is there a surprise?" Daniel asked.
"Just following orders. I don't know what's up since I've been here with you guys the whole time."
Lee stepped out of the dressing room and we made sure that we left the earpiece microphone equipment in the room before following her out of the dressing room and using the shortcut back to the main building.
We had used the backdoor of the building and we were heading to the lobby, all of us wondering what was going on.
As soon as we got to the lobby, we were greeted by the sight of our managers and our two choreographers, Ji Yeon and Ji Nun. That wasn't the only part. There was a sweet buffet of lovely coloured cupcakes, cookies, brownies, a chocolate fountain, marshmallows on sticks and a huge vanilla and chocolate cake all set up in the lobby.
"Wow!" Daniel exclaimed. "Am I really in candy heaven?"
"Candy heaven would have a lot more sweets than this, Daniel," said Collins.
"You were all outstanding today," said Yang Hyung-suk. "And congrats to BTW and the single is becoming a hit each second."
"Wow, thank you very much," I said. "You shouldn't have done this for us, really."
"Well, we weren't the ones who had this idea in the first place," said Collins as he went on to look at Seungri.
The rest of us all turned to look at him. He was smiling like he had just achieved a gold medal.
"So, that's why you disappeared," said Lee as she rolled her eyes. "I should have known better."
"Just wanted to give you all a sweet surprise after working so hard," said Seungri. "I also happened to leave a similiar treat for the fans back there after the show."
The four BlackPink members, Christine and Zoey all gave an "Awww!" and they all surrounded him to give him a hug, thanking him in the process. I smiled at him. He noticed and smiled back. It was so sweet of him.
"It's nothing," said Seungri still held in the ladies' embrace.
"Sweet, sweet, Seungri," said G-Dragon. "I would give you a lovely kiss right now. But I'll save it for later."
Most of us in the room gave G-Dragon a weird look.
"I'm so up for cake right now," said Jungkook.
"You and me, both," said Daniel.
"Please, dig in," said Ji Yeon.
It didn't take us long to do so and we were having so much fun chatting amongst ourselves, even with our managers. I had to be a little cautious with Daniel though. He was one who liked sugar and mum would kill me if she found out that we were having a sweet course buffet.
But all in all, we had a wonderful day. And what more to end it with a lovely sweet treat. I don't mean the cake and all, but each other's company.ns 184.108.40.206da2