On December 6th, the 2020 MAMA treated us to six and a half hours of exhilarating performances, heart-warming speeches, and very shiny trophies. Staring at a screen for 380 minutes is no easy feat, but for the love of K-pop and all Asian music, we all gladly sat through the entire show (hello, eye strain we won’t even regret).
For the first time in 22 years, the awards ceremony was held without a live audience. But despite this setback, the 2020 MAMA and their star-studded attendance list put on a show that was nothing short of epic. Held live in South Korea, the ceremony stayed true to this year’s theme and successfully took us to a world of “NEW-topia”.
Here are 10 of the biggest highlights of the 2020 MAMA
The 2020 MAMA kicked things off with a mini-concert from Shinee’s Taemin. With his signature dance moves in his performance of the songs ‘Criminal’, ‘Heaven,’ and ‘Idea’, Taemin proved exactly why he’s called the ‘Idol’s Idol’. Later that night, he took home the award for Favorite Dance Performance - Male Solo.
2. Jessi x Hwasa
Don’t be shy. We won’t judge you if you were ‘Nunu-nana’-ing in front of your TV last night, because we were too.The transition of Jessi’s ‘Nunu-nana’ to Hwasa’s ‘Maria’ was flawless. What happens though when you combine vocals that are as powerful as Jessi’s and Hwasa’s? You get an unforgettable performance of ‘Gang’ on the 2020 MAMA of course.
3. The Boyz x ATEEZ x Stray Kids’ Triangular Fight
It’s not everyday you get to see members of 3 different K-pop groups fight in a super intense dance battle over one very sparkly crown. The Boyz’s Juyeon, ATEEZ’s San, and Stray Kids’ Hyunjin showed off dance skills that prove they are a new generation idols to be reckoned with.
4. MAMAMOO’s Agrabah set for AYA + Dinga
When we think of female power vocals in K-pop, MAMAMOO automatically comes to mind, which is clearly why they won this year’s award for Best Vocal Performance - Group. They’re fiercely feminine -- a style that’s all their own. Solar, Hwasa, Wheein, and Moonbyul turned the stage into a whole new world of Agrabah with their songs "AYA" and ‘Dingga’. We may or may not have tried to sing-along to Solar’s high notes in ‘Aya’.
5. The Stray Kids’ Victory Song Performance
The 2020 MAMA theme may have been NEW-topia but Stray Kids took us back to the gladiator era in an epic performance of ‘Victory Song’. It was intense. It was historic (pun intended). And it was one of the most exhilarating stages of the entire awards ceremony. Their dance with the spears was so extreme, it deserves a standing ovation.
6. TXT’s cover of Dynamite
The boys of TXT took the stage with the songs "Short Hair", "She Was Pretty", "Dynamite" and "Blue Hour". High five us if you also thought that BTS was going to pop up any moment during TXT’s Dynamite stage. Their cover of “Dynamite” showed off their smooth retro vocals and proved just how much love they have for their Bangtan hyungs.
7. The High-Fashion Disinfectant Spray
Disinfectant spray, but make it high-fashion. To keep up with the government’s COVID-19 prevention guidelines, the microphones and trophies on stage were kept COVID-free by super stylish disinfectant ladies clad in a futuristic silver suit, yellow boots, and a high ponytail. Disinfectant Lady is our newest style icon.
8. The Star-Studded List of Presenters
It may have been a night to celebrate Asian music, but our K-drama hearts thrived just as much last night at the 2020 MAMAs. The 22nd MAMAs were hosted by actor and one of the most iconic Hallyu stars, Song Joong-Ki. We can’t imagine anyone better to brighten up an awards show with no live audience than one of the “Descendants of The Sun” (see what we did there?)
Park Seo Joon
We got a special appearance from Park Seo Joon who presented the Worldwide Icon of the Year Award to BTS. It was a socially distanced Dog-Bird x Hansung reunion, but it was more than enough to make us scream “Long live the Wooga Squad”. We can’t even imagine how proud Park Seo Joon must’ve been to award his Wooga Squad maknae.
Kang Han Na
“Start Up”’s Seo In Jae also graced the stage of the 2020 MAMAs. Kang Han Na presented the award for Favorite Dance Performance – Male Solo & Favorite Global Performance. December 6th was a busy day for K-pop and K-drama fans. After sitting through 6 and a half hours of the MAMAs, we had to flip the screen real quick to Netflix and watch the finale episode of “Start Up”. We repeat, “Hello, eye strain”.
He may not be a K-Pop Idol nor a K-drama star, but James Corden was a very necessary addition to the list of presenters. We couldn’t imagine this year’s awards ceremony being as brilliant as it was without him. After all, he’s one of the world’s most loved TV hosts and he is Papa Mochi. Baby Mochi must have been so proud backstage.
9. Hologram Suga + BTS ‘Life Goes On’ Set
BTS put us on the edge of our seats with their monumental performance of 'ON', 'Dynamite', and 'Life Goes On'. At the same time, they’re also professionals at making viewers cry buckets by tugging at every single heartstring with their meaningful lyrics and artistic symbolism. When digital Min Yoongi stepped through the magic door during his verse in ‘Life Goes On’, we’re pretty sure we heard every single ARMY across the globe bawling.
As if that wasn’t enough to make us cry, Jin utilized his magical powers during their performance and sent a pink beam of light into the sky that healed the world and brought everything back to normal -- a beautiful symbol of hope and healing. The pandemic has inflicted emotional wounds on everyone, and BTS’ performance of Life Goes On was like a little bandage for those wounds.The 2020 MAMA could not have ended more endearingly.
10. BTS’ Daesang Awards Sweep
The world knew that this was bound to happen and so we all tuned in to the 2020 MAMA to witness the historic moment that is the BTS Daesang Sweep. Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook took home all four Daesang Awards for Artist of The Year, Song of The Year, Album of The Year, and Worldwide Icon of The Year. The septet has changed the world’s music industry as we know it and there’s no doubt that BTS truly paved the way.
WATCH: [2020 MAMA] Jessi_NUNU NANA
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