MAMA, which stands for Mnet Asian Music Awards, is a diverse award show which fans of Asian music from all over the world anticipate throughout the year because of the astonishing performances, memorable interactions between various idols and so much more.
This time around the theme was ‘Gate to new-topia’ and the hype for the year-end production was no less than any other time, but the Corona Virus had called for changes in the usual procedure that nobody had imagined. Unlike the other times, the 2020 MAMA awards had no live audience- idols or fans- and everybody had to take protective measures such as wearing a mask (both on and off stage) and maintaining social distancing. Of course, no award show is complete without there being an audience to cheer on the idols that are performing and collecting their awards so the show took a pleasant global turn by randomly selecting those that voted daily on their website to participate in the live online audience that the idols could see.
The show started off with a powerful medley performance by the K-Pop legend Taemin from SHINee followed by the host Song Joong Ki speaking about MAMA this year and asking the viewers- “Where is your new-topia?”.
It further proceeded into the rest of the program with various awards and stages. As usual, there were phenomenal surprise crossover and collaboration stages between different artists such as Oh My Girl and (G)I-DLE covering Bad Girl Good Girl by MissA, TXT covering Dynamite by BTS, Monsta X with Cravity, Hwasa with Jessi and Winter from AESPA + (G)I-DLE + YooA from Oh My Girl + IZ*ONE paying tribute to BoA.
The sets and camera work of the entire production were commendable, it was clear that nobody had held back when it came to putting up the best overall audio-visual experience for the viewers. The top-tier graphics and props made the idols stand out as well as kept the viewer’s eyes glued to the screen in anticipation and enjoyment. Sometimes they even made it look like the stage was floating in space with the online audience members around it!
Arguably though, the most surreal stage was Stray Kids X Ateez X The Boyz! Much to the viewers’ shock, after the first stage there was a Kingdom (upcoming Mnet survival show set to air in February 2021) teaser shown, implying that Ateez and Stray Kids would definitely be joining the formerly unknown line-up with The Boyz (who were sure to participate as they won the show’s predecessor Road To Kingdom).
Apart from special stages, there were also solo performances of groups and artists. Other artists that performed were Enhypen, Japanese group JO1, IZ*ONE, Treasure, GOT7, Mamamoo, Seventeen, NCT, TWICE, BoA herself and BTS. Each group displayed multiple songs of theirs with unique and creative concepts exclusively for MAMA that were never seen before.
Here’s our take on some of the highlights!
Mamamoo‘s over the top confidence and concepts were definitely one of the highlights of the show. They showcased their songs Aya and Dingga with a strong intro of individual scenes of each member in different places and then making their way onto the stage together on lavish thrones. While surrounded by warm colours and a fierce beat, they perfectly carried out both Aya and a special Aladdin inspired Agrabah version of Dingga.
GOT7‘s phenomenal stage presence and crystal clear live vocals never fail to impress everybody watching- and the 7 boys made sure they did just that last evening. They performed their hit song Not By The Moon and the latest release last piece flawlessly and with unwavering power.
Through MAMA, NCT unfolded the concept behind the group- starting off with the vocal unit ‘Story of NCT’ and then moving on to performing the popular songs of their individual set units like WayV, NCT 127, NCT Dream, etc. The group also spoke about how they have versatility packed into their growing number of 23 members they have, making them constantly push the boundaries and limitless possibilities of their growth infinite. They ended off on a powerful note with all 23 members on stage performing their mashup song from their latest album Resonance.
TWICE went out of the box by astounding their fans with an unreleased track called ‘Cry For Me’ that had a darker theme than their usual concepts. That, along with their catchy title tracks ‘More & More’ and ‘I Can’t Stop Me’ created a well-deserved buzz because the girls unveiled a new side of themselves on the beautiful stage setup and white outfits with formations such as their gorgeous human blooming flower at the very beginning.
BoA, the queen of K-Pop herself, got her very own special tribute stage by members of various girl-groups. Following that she herself slayed the stage with her songs No. 1, Only One and Better. Taemin made a special appearance in Only One, blending in with BoA beautifully and giving the audience an amazing interaction of legends and a dance to watch that will surely be remembered for a long time.
Last but surely not least- BTS, who won the most awards that night, showcased 3 tracks of theirs in the most extravagant manner possible. Member Suga was not present due to personal reasons but the other 6 members started out by performing ON at the Seoul World Cup Stadium backed up by a huge dance troop, went on to a colorful rendition of Dynamite on stage and then finally ended it with Life Goes On where Suga made a holographic appearance to rap his part with all his members by his side.
Tying everything together were the presenters that were all public figures of various sorts as well, ranging from K-Drama stars to entertainers. Each award winner was announced by a different set of MCs who included Song Joong Ki, Lee Da Hee, Lim Soo Hyang, Choi Soo Young, Lee Sun Bin and more. Even James Corden, host of The Late Late Show With James Corden, made a video appearance to announce that BTS had won Album Of The Year.
And finally, here is the list of winners from today’s MAMA 2020 show-
Best New Male Artist- Treasure
Best New Female Artist- Weeekly
Best Dance Performance Male Group- Dynamite by BTS
Best Dance Performance Solo- Maria by Hwasa
Discovery Of The Year- Ateez
Best Band Performance- Zombie by DAY6
Favourite Dance Performance (Female Solo)- Nunu Nana by Jessi
Best Of Next- Cravity
Best Vocal Performance (Group)- Hip by Mamamoo
Best OST- Start by Gaho (from Itaewon Class)
Best Vocal Performance (Solo)- Blueming by IU
Best Collaboration- Eight by IU feat. Suga from BTS
Best Stage- Monsta X
Favourite Dance Performance (Group)- TXT
Notable Achievement Artist- Seventeen
Best Music Video- Dynamite by BTS
Favourite Female Group- IZ*ONE
Favourite Male Group- NCT
Worldwide Icon Of The Year- BTS
Best Hip-Hop/R&B- Any Song by Zico
Best Dance Performance Female Group- How You Like That by Blackpink
Favourite Dance Performance Male Solo- Criminal by Taemin
Global Favourite Performaner- Seventeen
Inspired Achievement- BoA
Most Popular Artist- Twice
Album Of The Year- Map Of The Soul : 7 by BTS
Best Female Artist- IU
Best Male Artist- Baekhyun
Best Female Group- Blackpink
Best Male Group- BTS
Song Of The Year- Dynamite by BTS
Artist Of The Year- BTS
Worldwide Fans’ Choice Top 10-
Best Executive Producer of the Year- Bang Si Hyuk for BTS
Best Producer Of The Year- Pdogg for On by BTS
Best Composer Of The Year- Yovie Widianto for Maafkan Aku #TerlanjurMencinta by Tiara Andini
Best Engineer Of The Year- Gu jong Pil & Kwon Nam Woo for Any Song by Zico
Best Video Director Of The Year- Lumpens for Dynamite by BTS
Best Choreographer Of The Year- Quang Dang for Love Note by Binz
Best Art Director Of The Year- MU:E for Dynamite by BTS
To widen the range of MAMA from just K-Pop to the rest of Asian music, they had a special segment with categories called Best Asian Artist and Best New Asian Artist where an idol from different Asian countries were presented with an award as well as Best New Asian Group Aristst for a promising new troop from the continent.
The winners were as follows:-
Best New Asian Artist Japan- Fujii Kaze
Best New Asian Artist Thailand- Milli
Best New Asian Artist Indonesia- Tiara Andini
Best New Asian Artist Mandarin- Chih Siou
Best New Asian Arist Vietnam- Amee
Best Asian Artist Japan- Official Hige Dandism
Best Asian Artist Thailand- Waruntorn Paonil
Best Asian Artist Indonesia- Rizky Febian
Best Asian Artist Mandarin- G.E.M
Best Asian Artist Vietnam- Binz
Best New Asian Group Artist- JO1 (Japan)
Favourite Asian Artist- WayV
So, did you watch MAMA 2020 live today? What was your favourite part of the whole show? Did your favourite group(s) win anything? Tell us below in the comments!