Sunday, October 25, 2009

News on Lee Min Hos' Etude House Event in Singapore

No Show? But we won't go
Report: Charlene Chua

They had queued for hours to get a glimpse of Korean superstar Lee Min Ho. But in the end, he was a no-show.

The 800fans, who had gathered at Plaza Singapura since morning, were stunned into disbelief. Said student Cassandra Chiam, 16: "This is ridiculous. I don't believe the security staff. Min Ho will not disappoint us like that."

She and 2 of her friends had been waiting near Korean cosmetics shop Etude House since 3pm. Min Ho, the ambassador for the brand, was due to make an appearance at the shop at 4pm. But the event was cancelled because of safety concerns.

The massive crowd, which snaked along the mall's walkways, was too much to handle and the Boys Over Flowers star could not enter the building. Security officers had told the surging crowd to back down or the event will be cancelled. But the fans ignored the warning as they thought it was a joke.

The escalators between two floors of the nine-storey shopping centre even had to be stopped for five minutes so that the 30 security officers could safely disperse the crowd. Etude House is located in Basement 1. Still, many of the fans refused to budge. They insisted that it was a ruse. Staff of Etude House then gave out boxes of cotton wool to the fans who insisted on waiting.

Cotton Wool
Disgruntled fan Cherice Goh, an 18-year-old student, said that she appreciated the gesture, but cotton wool was simply no substitute for Min Ho. She added: "I think giving us samples of its top products would have been better."

A security officer told The New Paper on Sunday that this was the first time he had seen a celebrity event cancelled. Previous events that he had handled involving celebrities such as Korean singer Rain, Taiwanese singer A-mei and Hong Kong singer-actress Charlene Choi ran smoothly.

A spokesperson for Plaza Singapura said that Etude House had organised the event but did not expect the massive turnout. She said the event had not been advertised and was not even on Etude House's website and Facebook page, which only mentioned Min Ho's date of arrival in Singapore. The actor flew in at 12.30pm.

Cassandra said she found out about the event from Min Ho's fansite forum. She added that she and two friends had 'studied in advance' for their English 'O' Level exam tomorrow so that they could take time off to meet the 22 year old actor.

International Appeal

The three girls were not the only disappointed fans. Eight of Min Ho's Thai fans had flown in the day before - they spent $4000 on air tickets and accomodation-only to be told to 'stand back'. Said a Singaporean fan, Ms Mary Koh, 23, an accountant: "What made this so bad was that this was his only public appearance, apart from his arrival at the airport just now. The other event is private."

She was referring to the Pretty In Pink party at Movida at St. James Power Station, where Min Ho signed autographs and answered questions from his fans. The event was at 5pm. To gain entry, fans had to spend $200 at Etude House to get a scratch and win card(yon: this is not true.. it's $15 to get a scratch and win card). Only some cards allowed admission to the party.

When The New Paper on Sunday arrived at Movida yesterday evening, we saw more glum faces. Fans without admission cards were waiting in the sweltering heat, hoping to catch a glimpse of Min Ho. Sisters Shannon Wong, 7 and Shermin Wong, 5, who had been waiting since 4pm, wanted to meet their 'cute' idol.

Though they had no admission cards, the girls claimed that their mother had a friend who could get them into the party. Alas, they were too young-fans had to be at least 12years old to get in.

Madam Wong Siew Chin, a 56years old housewife who had flown in from Malaysia, was also hoping to gatecrash the party as only her teenage daughter managed to get an admission card. But Madam Wong, who had been waiting since 3pm, was not allowed in. Still it wasn't a letdown for all of Min Ho's fans yesterday. There were 180 lucky ones in Movida who had a great time with their idol.

The Korean star was apologetic. "I'm truly sorry about the cancelled event this afternoon. We didn't want anyone to get hurt," he said

credits: na_wan/

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