Everything about KBS 2TV’s ‘Our Neighborhood’s Master of Variety and Sports’ according to Max Changmin
Having kicked off on the 9th of April, KBS 2TV’s ‘Our Neighborhood’s Master of Variety and Sports’ has made its mark on Tuesday night variety shows. The battle between celebrities and athletic folk was quite a new concept for viewers and the tension from the tight matches is the charm of the show.
The team’s youngest member Max Changmin (25) is quickly rising as the mascot of ‘Our Neighborhood’s Master of Variety and Sports’. Though he’s the charismatic Max Changmin of TVXQ under the spotlight of the stage, he became the ‘handsome black hole of the team’ with not a lot of athleticism to back him up. But he has already secured 2 victories in badminton, with his latest coming from the team’s match against the Joongsan-dong team in Ilsan. The 25-year-old’s sweat and tears have finally began reaping in the benefits.
We met with Max Changmin while he was practicing hard for his next match, regardless of his busy schedule. The Max Changmin this reporter met was a person with much affection and ambition for the program. We now begin our interview with Max Changmin, his first variety show interview since his debut~
Congratulations pour in for his two victories, The show is amazing
When the reporter said, “Congratulations on your 2nd victory!” Max Changmin gave an embarrassed but happy smile. Till badminton, Max Changmin had not scored a single victory unlike the other members such as Kang Ho Dong and Lee Soo Geun. He himself must have felt frustrated by it, and the comments of concern thrown his way didn’t help much either. But since his victories in his badminton matches, he has been flooded with congratulations.
“On TV, our matches may look easier and more loose than they actually are. Wherever I went, I got a lot of ‘Why can’t you win?’ and ‘Why are you so bad?’ I was always the weakest member of the team. So I received a lot of congratulatory remarks from people. It must have felt like watching your own child getting good marks on an exam. My parents and I don’t usually stay in contact with my parents over the phone, but I even received a text message from them that read, “Our son, congratulations! Haha”
As the badminton matches are done in pairs, what’s most important is the teamwork between the two partners. Max Changmin has become a tem with Lee Jong Soo, who he connected with through ‘flower-pattern’ clothes. We wondered how he felt about being in a team with Lee Jong Soo, who had expressed his limitless passion for the show.
“Lee Jong Soo probably won’t like it if I talk about age but oh well (laughter). He really likes to have fun and enjoy himself. We meet up often and practice a lot. There are times when we suddenly feel a little down while practicing together. That usually happens when our bodies don’t follow along with our minds, even after we’ve been coached for one to three weeks. When that happens, we get some fresh air and pull ourselves together.”
Since appearing on the show, Max Changmin has played table tennis and gone bowling. Though he wants to be of help to the others as the youngest member of the team, things didn’t go his way. During his last match, Max Changmin ended up bursting into tears at his loss, which earned him the nickname of ‘Crybaby’. Though it’s just a variety show, his sincerity could be felt by the viewers.
“This is something I always say when we’re filming for the show, but ‘Our Neighborhood’s Master’ is quite an amazing show. There were many times when I was deeply moved during my time in the entertainment industry, but the number of times I’ve cried can be counted on one hand. When I practice, I put myself into the mindset that hard work will be rewarded by wins. I would practice six times a week, except for the day we were filming for the show, and I really wanted to win, but that never happened and I felt really disappointed with myself.”
From elementary school students who call him, “The guy who’s lost a lot of times,” to women working in restaurants who say, “Head up high and keep going!” many have given Max Changmin their support. Though there were times when he thought, ‘I must have lost so many times for them to say that,’ it felt good that people were taking an interest in him. During the episode that aired on the 25th of June, the Noeun-dong team featured a bowler who played with both hands. Which person was most memorable to Max Changmin?
“When I was playing against the ‘two-handed bowler’, I couldn’t even laugh though I was losing. He was so good that I didn’t even feel a sense of despondency. When he auditioned, he was chosen because the staff thought he’d be at around my level, but he was at his best on the day of the match. And I still remember the guy to proposed to his girlfriend on the show. Although it’s a show about sports, it’s nice to hear the people’s stories and have them participate.”
If Kim Min Jong or Super Junior’s Kyu Hyun were to appear on the show?
There have been many people who have gone through the show. Rainbow’s Jaekyung, Jung Eun Pyo, Kim Young Chul, SISTAR’s Bora, Alex and Lee Byung Jin all came together from different careers and different agencies. Lee Byung Jin became an older brother figure to Max Changmin and gave him the nickname ‘Doing his best Changmin’.
“Playing badminton, I’ve gotten closer to 2PM’s Chansung through recent practice sessions, who I had seen often on music programs. It must be true that men get closer through sweat and effort. I don’t have many friends in the broadcasting industry, but I got closer to Lee Byung Jin and Alex through our bowling matches. On the last day of our bowling matches, I knew that I would be able to meet with them outside of the show, but it made me sad that it was our last time together on the show.”
Then which stars would Max Changmin like to invite or see on the show?
“I’d like for more actors to appear on the show. Wouldn’t it be great to see them sweating it out on a variety show? If I were to choose someone in our company, I would pick Kim Min Jong. It would be such a surprise to everyone. I’d also like to see my best friends Super Junior’s Kyu Hyun and SHINee’s Minho on the show. Kyu Hyun says, ‘Is that really all you’ve got?’ and Minho says, ‘You really need to win now.’ I’d like for them to come on the show and experience Hell with me. We’re welcome to anyone and everyone who sincerely likes to play sports.”
Max Changmin chose table tennis as the most difficult sports for him. In between the matches, he was busy performing for TVXQ’s Japanese tour. Max Changmin went back and forth between the two countries to participate in both the show and his tour. He said that with bowling, you can get a feel of what you need to do with enough coaching, but when he first started table tennis, all he could do was get a hold of his manager to practice hitting the ball with, or just practicing by himself. He said that he wanted to do what he could and gain a sense of competitiveness and priceless results from his time on the show.
“With my stamina wavering, it was really hard for me personally. I used to be really competitive when I was younger, but that disappeared when I made my debut. I think it was because I had to compete with so many people in the industry at a young age. But I’ve gotten my competitive streak back through the show. Not only because I want to compete and win, but because I wanted to show the viewers the transformation a kid like me could take on. I wanted all the sweat I lost to be worth it in the official matches.”
The show has changed me, and I thank Kang Ho Dong and Lee Soo Geun
‘Our Neighborhood’s Master of Variety and Sports’ has Kang Ho Dong and Lee Soo Geun as MCs. Kang Ho Dong, with the strength of a Siberian wild tiger, sits at the center of the show with his athletic background. Lee Soo Geun enhances the show with his athletic abilities and flexible personality. We asked Max Changmin what these two people are like. He revealed that he was learning a lot from the variety show experts.
“There’s so much that I can learn from Kang Ho Dong. No matter how busy and tired he was the day before, his voice and tone change as soon as filming starts. I can feel that he’s trying to transfer all of his energy and power to the viewers. This made me realize why he’s called the long-running ‘nation’s MC’. If Kang Ho Dong is the main course, Lee Soo Geun is like the special sauce that betters the taste of the food. They have a great partnership. Me? I think of myself as the fork and knife that helps the viewers enjoy their delicious food. I always do my best to help out where I can!”
In the past, he had never thought about participating in a sport because the choreography he had to perform on stage would drain his physical stamina. He says he has gained so much from the show because he is filling spare time that he could have spent drinking too much and lounging around with exercise and sports.
“PD Lee Yae Ji came up to me one day and said, ‘You’re more extroverted than you used to be in the beginning’. And I agree with her. I had quite a shy personality, but meeting people and getting to know them through sweat and stress release has made me a more active person. I’m thankful to the program for that. Thank you to Kang Ho Dong, Lee Soo Geun and all our PDs as well.”
He ended his interview with a final remark to his viewers, revealing that he would work even harder and show just how sincere the members of ‘Our Neighborhood’s Master of Variety and Sports’ are.
“We all participate in the matches with a seriousness that would fit in with the Olympics. Some may laugh at us for that, but that is how we sincerely feel about this show. We try to be sincere, even when we play games. As a part of the Yeoido ‘Our Neighborhood’s Master of Variety and Sports’ team member.”
Source: [star mt]
Translated & Shared by: dongbangdata.net