EPISODE 379. Broadcast on March 25, 2012.

javabeans: The guys make it up the mountain to the flag, going past their deadline to secure two outdoor sleeping spots tonight. That means five guys get to sleep “indoors,” except that still means outside — just in a tent. They reminisce a bit around the time-capsule tree from My Sassy Girl, then walk down the hill toward their basecamp, shivering from the cold. Man, tonight’s going to be brutal.

girlfriday: They rest a while in the tent and suddenly Su-geun gets it in his head to start calling female idol stars, why, I don’t know. Mostly it’s just him and Jong-min goofing off, but then when he gets Sistar’s Bora on the line, suddenly the other guys are up too.

javabeans: I love that Tae-hyun shoots up in his sleeping bag at the mention. The phone gets handed off to him so he can say a word to Bora, and he starts memorizing her phone number. Lol.

girlfriday: Haha. Dude, you’re married!

javabeans: Su-geun totally fans the flames by asking Bora, if she were to hypothetically go on a trip for 1N2D, which of the boys would she want to partner with? Oh, you shit-stirrer. Tae-hyun starts doing dance moves in the background, and I want to tell him, “Dude, she can’t SEE you,” but to his great joy, she picks him anyway.

girlfriday: He does a dance of joy, all flopping around. So cute. And then Suzy calls back (Su-geun had tried her first), and even more of the boys all sit up this time.

javabeans: I love how even Tae-woong (who did a movie with her) and Shi-kyung perk up, all eager to say something. So Su-geun asks the same question and starts listing the names, but before he even finishes one, she interrupts, “Cha Tae-hyun sunbae!” Hahaha, it’s his day.

girlfriday: Su-geun adds another question this time: the one member she’d LEAST like to be paired with. Oh no. This is way worse than the other question. Now they’re all sitting up worried. She picks Jong-min ‘cause she guesses they’d have a hard time understanding each other. He collapses in disappointment.

javabeans: Omg, then Seung-woo joins in the game and whips out his phone, not telling anybody who it is in case the call doesn’t get picked up. But a perky voice answers, “Hello?” and he goes, “Ah, So-yeon-ah!” Everyone gapes — Kim So-yeon?! I do love that her real-life voice is so much bubblier than her screen personas; she really is most like her Prosecutor Princess character.

girlfriday: She sounds so cute! All, “Oppa~!”

javabeans: Seung-woo asks who she’d pick among the 7 boys, and she answers right away, “Of course it’s….” and they all lean forward, “…Joo-won sshi!” This is such a childish game and I love it. So when they ask the “Who’d you NOT want to be with?” question, Jong-min and Su-geun hold each other, and also their breaths. She answers Shi-kyung, and Jong-min crows, like he’s won the whole enchilada.

girlfriday: Jong-min is SO HAPPY he’s not last-place again, ha.

javabeans: Her reasoning is that for variety purposes, it seems like Shi-kyung would react in a “chic” way. As in, he wouldn’t have big reactions. So then Tae-hyun whips HIS cell phone out and calls someone, saying, “It’s Dad!” But he means movie dad, since he played Park Bo-young’s father in Speedy Scandal.

girlfriday: That’s so cute. I love the Korean showbiz tradition of calling drama parents Mom and Dad, even after the drama.

javabeans: As Bo-young is about to answer, Jong-min shouts, “Wait a sec! Wait!” so he can prepare himself, and he assumes a praying position. LOL. But I guess it works, because she picks him, and he has convulsions of rejoicing. For her least desirable pick, she chooses Tae-woong, who bursts out, “WHY?!??!” She says she feels like they wouldn’t have much to say to each other, and he blurts, “That could mean she likes me!”

girlfriday: Hahaha. Uh-huh. You just tell yourself that.

javabeans: So then he calls somebody… HIS NOONA.

girlfriday: Omg, you just lost like ten million cool points. You couldn’t call Han Ga-in? Or Jung Ryeo-won?

javabeans: Or Su Ae? I love that the boys rib him for being the most awkward. Uhm Jung-hwa picks “Joo-wonnie” because he’s prettiest, and then when he prompts her for her least favorite, she tosses out, “Uhm Tae-woong!” HAHAHA. What did you expect, kid bro? He gripes that he shouldn’t have called, ‘cause now he just gave himself the second no vote.

girlfriday: I love that he called her specifically to gain a vote, not understanding that a noona wouldn’t choose her own kid brother in that scenario. It’s like he doesn’t know anything.

javabeans: Around the campfire, the producers prompt a return to their “Voice of 1N2D” competition, aka an excuse to make them think up variations on the 1N2D chant. I love how as the boys give their versions of loud, shouty chants, the camera periodically returns to Shi-kyung, looking worried. Aside from being naturally mild-mannered, his previous attempt was laughably weak — it sounded like something you’d say on your deathbed. He’s last, which makes it worse.

girlfriday: And this time, Su-geun called him out as specifically wanting to retry the chant, so now the pressure’s on.

javabeans: In this case, if he doesn’t humiliate himself in the name of variety, he’s done for. Especially since the other guys are being so off-the-wall and funny: Tae-hyun shouts with a superhero glare off to the side, Jong-min flops around with his legs in the air, Joo-won does a grunt-roar, Su-geun goes for a gag using the fire, Seung-woo is so random and into it that everyone stares, not sure if he’s being funny or just strange.

girlfriday: Tae-hyun reacts by sticking his head in the tent out of embarassment, which is the perfect reaction to a gag gone bad.

javabeans: I’m not sure if Shi-kyung’s going to cry or just die on the spot, that’s how much he hates this task. And then… he does a weird flippy thing, jumps in the air, rolls with his legs sticking up, and sends everyone to the tent in secondhand embarrassment. It’s like he cannibalized parts of everyone’s chants.

girlfriday: It was… a horrible failure, but it succeeded in getting me to laugh? Mostly out of embarrassment…

javabeans: But was it a laugh, or a choked gasp of horror?

girlfriday: Okay, mostly that. And THEN, as if that weren’t bad enough, they make him do it again! This time, Tae-hyun’s like, no cheating–we all have to endure it without any tent-hiding. Ha.

javabeans: They sit there in silence as he redoes it, then head to the tent again anyway, and Shi-kyung follows them inside. They won’t let him off the hook, and then ask how he feels about trying one of the other chants instead — how about the easy one with the fire?

girlfriday: The terrible thing is, they keep having Tae-hyun demonstrate stuff that Shi-kyung has to then follow, which is the worst idea ever. Cha Tae-hyun can make anything funny.

javabeans: He elevates Su-geun’s gag, and looks like some kind of imp cackling in glee. Seung-woo laughs that he feels personally grateful to Shi-kyung, because he’s not the worst with him around.

girlfriday: Is that the theme for today? The fierce competition not to be last place?

javabeans: Mercifully we then turn to dinner bokbulbok, where the central menu is samgyupsal, grilled over coals. The producers bring out a large board with menu items, and pulling off one square reveals a clue/prompt/quiz item behind it.

girlfriday: Su-geun asks them to speak up if they see a category they’re confident in. Silence… silence… more silence. Guess they’ll have to go with luck then.

javabeans: The first clue is H2O and NaCl, aka water and salt. So the producers bring out two bottles of water. You choose one and drink it to win ramyun. Easy!… unless you pick salt water.

girlfriday: Tae-hyun picks one and takes a whiff, frowning because he thinks he can smell the salt, but it turns out to be water in the end. At least they have ramyun now so they won’t starve.

javabeans: For the second dish, the guys decide to go for the big prize first: The pork belly. To win, they have to each kick a leg up, and without jumping, touch a string that’s hung above their heads. Uh-oh. Su-geun is short but he argues that he’s a black belt in Taekwondo and touches the string. Shi-kyung’s got the super long legs but they don’t necessarily fly that high, and the captions tell us: “Taller than necessary.” Tae-woong and Tae-hyun’s captions: “Eh, not gonna work anyway.” Tae-woong is labeled “flexibility zero” and Tae-hyun is labeled “father figure” (as in, literally possessing the figure of your father).

girlfriday: Pffft. You know it’s bad when Seung-woo is labeled as more fit than you. To prove he’s not out of the ajusshi group though, Seung-woo takes his turn and struggles to SEE the rope that he has to kick. Oh dear. But Mr. Ex-Cheerleader can do a high kick without breaking a sweat, so they’re good for now.

javabeans: The less flexible members start last-minute stretching, and Tae-woong actually manages pretty easily, as do Joo-won and Shi-kyung. The problem is Tae-hyun, whose legs just don’t seem to separate past a right angle. Soon he’s the last one to go, and OMG everybody descends on him to “help” him with stretching. Literally grabbing an arm here, a foot there. HAHA. They’re like, “Dammit, we’re gonna win this meat, NO MATTER WHAT.” And that means pulling off Tae-hyun’s pants, so he can kick free of the restrictions of denim. Well, I’ll argue that everything’s easier pantsless.

girlfriday: Also, everything is funnier pantsless. Tae-woong is doing something inappropriate when they’re “helping” him stretch, ‘cause Tae-hyun screams for dear life. He can’t help but feel exposed wearing nothing but his long underwear, and suddenly Tae-woong tosses out the suggestion that he wear Shi-kyung’s earmuffs… to cover his crotch? Okay, I’M DYING. Isn’t that like painting a bullseye on the area you want people to ignore?

javabeans: Tae-hyun (covering up for modesty) kicks and reaches the string, and everyone rejoices like they’ve won a major tournament. They fail to win kimchi, though, with a world capitals quiz, and move on to rice. Situps are the name of the game, and they have to relay them to do 60 situps in a minute (ten per person, with one person holding feet). Seung-woo takes position as feet-holder, and everyone lines up. I like how he tosses them aside when they’re done to make way for the next person, literally shoving them off the mat. “Outta my way!”

girlfriday: Seung-woo gets more of a workout than the guys doing the situps, and at times it looks like they’re seesawing situps together. They manage to win the rice in the end. They play a few more rounds, and end with the perfect pitch game for sausages. So they do a practice round, emphasizing the different syllables, and they get to Seung-woo, who’s like, “What’s the difference?” HA. Omg, is he tone-deaf?

javabeans: Then they get their game word… which is ridiculously hard to say, even once in real conversation (jat-chap-ssal-jun-byung).

girlfriday: I dunno why, but Jong-min’s reversal of the last two syllables (turning it into a soldier) with the caption cartoon has me rolling on the floor.

javabeans: That little soldier is hilarious (soldier is what they say when they mistake the pronunciation).

girlfriday: Is it the smile? I can’t figure out why it’s cracking me up.

javabeans: Is it because the soldier is made out of jat-chap-ssal? So it’s a literal rice cake soldier (instead of a rice flour pancake)?

girlfriday: And the fact that it pops up every time someone conjures it, which is often.

javabeans: They complain that it’s too hard, but give it a go anyway… and Seung-woo is indeed a black hole, using up almost all the time on himself alone. The guys call time out, and Su-geun makes a proposal: If Jong-min can do this one all on his own, they get a new word for the relay version. Jong-min barely succeeds (it gets harrowing once he starts messing up, which starts a whole avalanche of errors), and they get their new word, which the PD stumbles over just in the instructions. Ha. It’s Shawshank Redemption, or the Korean version of the title, sho-saeng-keu-tal-chul.

girlfriday: OH is that what that is?

javabeans: Ha, you’d hardly know from the way it sounds, would you?

girlfriday: Yeah I was like, escape from where?

javabeans: At first I thought it was some Russian name, haha.

girlfriday: Somehow, they actually manage to say that one in under a minute, so they finally win some sausages. Tae-hyun sighs that while de-pantsing was okay, he might get in trouble (with whom–his wife?) over the earmuff bit.

javabeans: Maybe the public, for defiling someone else’s clothing?

girlfriday: Tae-woong chimes in, “Those are no longer earmuffs.” Uh… you might wanna tell that to Shi-kyung, who is WEARING THEM ON HIS HEAD.

javabeans: They get to eating, having scored a pretty decent spread. They’re missing a few condiments and kimchi, though, so while they’re enjoying the meat smorgasbord, they wonder if there’s a way to score some bean paste and hot paste. So the PD pulls out the math problem that went unused in dinner bokbulbok… and it’s a complicated patter with lots of limits and square roots. Shi-kyung takes it aside and tries to brush off his old math skills, while Jong-min figures a question like this is bound to end in either 1, -1, or 0. He ventures a guess anyway, just for kicks. The others are like, Dude, wait for Shi-kyung to figure it out… but he gets it right! It’s -1. HAHAHA. That’s hilarious.

girlfriday: It’s just Jong-min’s day. So after dinner it’s time to decide the two members who will sleep out-outdoors in the snow. The PD says it’ll be put to a vote among the staff members, so they have thirty minutes to start campaigning.

javabeans: Different methods start emerging right away. Tae-hyun goes for shameless flattery, which is always fun, while Joo-won offers aegyo and shoulder rubs. Shi-kyung is hilariously awkward at this, because he can’t seem to do anything that’s insincere, even for laughs. Aw. I wonder if the show will beat that out of him, or if he’ll be awkward through the end. I like how Seung-woo politics like a real, uh, politician — he’s charming, friendly, all, “Are you from the south? You seem like you’re from the south. These games are silly, aren’t they? I can tell, because you seem like a nice, classy man.”

girlfriday: Meanwhile Su-geun, Jong-min, and Tae-woong have banded together, either out of laziness or brotherhood; it’s hard to tell. They start chanting that even if one of them gets voted out of the tent, they’ll all go, and start their protest.

javabeans: This seems like a precarious approach to me. Please, like YOU’RE not gonna be the first one to ditch a losing teammate. And while you’re rubbing each other’s shoulders and making chants, the others are busily currying favor with serenades, head rubs, and slavish adoration!

girlfriday: Shi-kyung finally figures out how to woo some of the crew, and sings an impromptu concert.

javabeans: I love how shameless Tae-hyun is, he’s hilarious. He offers a hand to his VJ, which gives us the comic image of seeing him from his cameraman’s POV, and urges everyone, “Please! Vote for me! I really don’t wanna sleep outside! You saw me last week, I almost died!”

girlfriday: He also has this interesting way of speaking banmal and being more casual than is normal, but not sounding offensive in the least. He’s just good at that casual informal way of talking, kind of like he’s a kid and everyone’s his buddy.

javabeans: Um, things take a turn in the tent of protest and Su-geun and Jong-min wind up shirtless. They gather a crowd as they continue playing the demonstrator angle, insisting all for one and one for all. I love that Tae-hyun asks with some curiosity and concern what they’re going to do if one of them gets picked for outdoor sleeping duty, and when they answer that they’ll all go together, he relaxes right away: “Ah, whatever then. Forget them.” Haha, like let them dig their own graves.

girlfriday: They certainly are, and the other members are happy to help them dig. Seung-woo comes by to check out the demonstration, shouting, “You know what would be great, is if you shaved your heads!” Jong-min is quick to answer that Su-geun will, in their honor. Ha.

javabeans: It’s time to count votes, and they make each member pull out the balls in his vote box to count. It’s actually pretty nerve-wracking, as they start to count. Aw, Tae-woong is surprised to find that his hand causes a number of balls to rattle inside, and before he starts counting he bows, “I didn’t know you liked me this much! Thank you!” Jong-min has 9, Su-geun 13, Tae-woong 13, Ta-hyun 17. Then Seung-woo reaches in, and makes no sound. Ha! He pulls out a grand total of 4 votes.

girlfriday: Haha, poor Seung-woo.

javabeans: They make Shi-kyung and Joo-won go head to head in their count, pulling out votes simultaneously, and as their numbers creep upward, Jong-min looks nervous. As well he should, because both boys bypass him, securing Jong-min and Seung-woo for outdoor sleeping rights. Er, punishments.

girlfriday: As soon as Jong-min is declared one of the losers, he gets ditched by his union. Of course.

javabeans: Psh, like that alliance wasn’t built to crumble. It’s cute, though, as he and Seung-woo lay in their sleeping bags — as it snows on top of them — and he starts asking things like a kid learning from a teacher. “Why did you come to variety?” “I didn’t plan it, but it just turned out that way.” “Is that what life is like, hyung?” “I think so.”

girlfriday: It’s so cute how earnest he is.

javabeans: Seung-woo has trouble sleeping but makes it through the night — barely? In the morning he starts removing all the hot packs he had stuck to himself in preparation, and busts out a whopping eleven of them. Haha. The guys climb in the bus and head down the mountain, and Seung-woo does the grandpa thing of instructing the youngest one to sing him a song. That’s just one of those things old men always demand, and I don’t know why. What if you suck?

girlfriday: Doesn’t matter. Have to do it.

javabeans: He wants a snow-themed song because it’s snowing outside, and Jong-min whips out his handy-dandy cell phone for “Snowflake,” the Park Hyo-shin ballad from I’m Sorry, I Love You. So maknae Joo-won sings, and is surprisingly good. How much you wanna bet he gets CF and single offers from these ten seconds onscreen?

girlfriday: Oh I’m sure. He sang for like ten seconds on Ojakkyo and people went nuts. They reach their destination, and are instructed to close their eyes and walk in holding hands. Su-geun leads them out onto a glass balcony of some sort. I love when they stop and Tae-hyun clutches Tae-woong, “Why’d you let go of my haaaand~?”

javabeans: When they’re instructed to open their eyes, the look out at the awesome view of the river off in the distance — and then look down at their feet and flip out at the glass showing them how high up they are above the forest below. Shudder. That would freak me out too.

girlfriday: They literally alternate every few seconds, “Ooooooh” at the view, and “Aaaaaack!” at the glass floor. Vertigo aside, that is one spectacular view.

javabeans: I’d probably enjoy it more if I weren’t wondering how much weight would make it crack like a sheet of, well, glass. But I suppose that takes the romance out of the moment. I’ll enjoy the view from the ground, thanks.