Who runs the world? Well, in the K-pop world, girl groups definitely have world domination in their sights for 2022. As we edge closer to the end of the year, we enter the season of K-pop award shows. From nominees’ cinematic performances to special guest appearances and stages, you never know what to expect as you prepare to support your fave groups and artists. Girl groups, in particular, have dominated the sound wave this year in K-pop, releasing some of the trendiest and most addicting songs. They’ve even prompted speculation about whether a girl group will finally win Song of the Year at the annual MAMA awards, which have been won by boy groups since 2019. While we have to wait until day two of the ceremony on Nov. 30 to find out, day one showed us how powerful rookie girl groups are this year!
MAMA, also known as the Mnet Asian Music Awards, held a press conference on Nov. 16 to release details about the two-day event ceremony. The representatives revealed an unexpected collaboration stage in the works, with 32 members of K-pop’s biggest fourth-gen rookie girl groups performing on the first night for a joint live stage. Fourth-generation groups are those that debuted anywhere from 2018 to now, with the majority of these groups debuting late last year and early this year. On Nov. 29, IVE, Kep1er, NMIXX, LE SSERAFIM, and NewJeans were all on stage performing their most popular hits, but with a twist: They switched members!
Yes, you read that correctly — songs “ELEVEN,” “WADADA,” “O.O,” “FEARLESS,” and “Hype Boy” were not performed solely by the original group members, but rather by different members from each of the rookie girl groups. Not only that, but after the crossover performances, all 32 girls performed “Cheer Up” by TWICE, the group dubbed by the South Korean public as “the nation’s girl group.”
As expected, Twitter went into a frenzy over the star-studded performances, flooding the #MAMA2022 hashtag with praise for all the girls as well as video snippets of both the “Cheer Up” cover and the main stage performances. The live stages were also dubbed “Girls Take Over” on Twitter, with the hashtag #MonsterRookiesAtMAMA.