From The Straits Times    |

Credits: Viu

He wanted the audience to fall in love with him in 10 minutes.

Judging from the rapturous reception at The Star Theatre, it took Cha Eun-woo less than 10 seconds to achieve that.

Every smile and giggle, and even a sneeze from the K-idol drew deafening screams.

Cha was in Singapore on April 13 for Just One 10 Minute (Mystery Elevator), his first solo fan concert, presented by Viu as part of Viu Scream Dates. For over two hours, he regaled the predominantly female crowd with songs from his album Entity, released on Feb 15.

The 27-year-old came across as a little tired and low on energy, but that did not bother the crowd, who cheered the debonair singer on with choruses of “saranghae” (I love you in Korean).

Cha – whose real name is Lee Dong-min – debuted with K-pop group Astro in 2016, and transitioned from singing to acting with his breakout role in the romantic comedy My ID Is Gangnam Beauty (2018).

His star continued to rise as he helmed hit K-drama True Beauty (2020) and popular South Korean variety series Master In The House (2020 to 2021). He went on to star in Island (2022) and A Good Day To Be A Dog (2023).

South Korean idol Cha Eun-woo is also the most-followed South Korean male actor on Instagram with more than 44 million devotees.
Credit: ST Photo/Kelvin Chng

Blessed with perfectly symmetrical features, Cha is known as a “face genius” and is one of the most visually attractive idols in South Korea.

Cha, whose current revenge thriller Wonderful World (2024) is streaming on Disney+, is also the most-followed South Korean male actor on Instagram with more than 44 million devotees.

His appeal also made him a sought-after spokesperson for luxury houses such as Christian Dior and Chaumet and mass consumer brands like Subway and Sketchers alike.

Cha’s gentle charm was on full display when he kicked off his fan concert with his rendition of South Korean singer Lee Hyo-ri’s 2003 smash hit, 10 Minutes.

The audience went into a tizzy when he launched into the next song, F***ing Great Time, yelling out the lyrics at the chorus.

“I’m so excited to be here, and you all are more welcoming than I expected,” Cha told the audience in English.

He explained that “Mystery Elevator”, the title of the fan concert, symbolised an invitation for his fans to go on a journey with him.

Cha interacted seamlessly in both English and Korean and, during the question-and-answer segment, he was taught how to speak Singlish, using words such as “aiyoh”, “shiok” and “wah lau eh”.

While bantering, Cha also mentioned his love of crabs and his wish to try chicken rice. In a press conference earlier on April 13, the idol revealed that he had enjoyed chilli crab upon his arrival in Singapore on April 12. He planned to have pepper crab after the concert, he said.

Cha, who interacted seamlessly in both English and Korean, was taught how to speak Singlish, using words such as “aiyoh”, “shiok” and “wah lau eh”.
Credit: Viu

Cha clearly knew how to captivate his Aroha, the official fandom name of Astro. All he had to do was to pair his boyish smile with cute poses.

The ultimate flirting came when he had to accomplish “missions” from the Aroha, which included Cha biting a rose between his teeth and producing his sexiest look for the camera.

Another task saw him donning a princely cloak. While brandishing a prop sword, he had to deliver the line, “Will you marry me?”, in the most romantic style.

Cha, who was in Singapore twice in 2023 – for the launch of Christian Dior’s La Collection Privee Dioriviera Fragrance in June and French jeweller Chaumet’s pop-up boutique and lounge in September – reflected on his visit to Singapore in 2017 with Astro.

“It was for our first concert… Seven years have passed,” Cha said.

“It hit me differently this time, as I’m here by myself. Thank you all for always welcoming me.”

After Singapore, Cha’s fan concert will be in Indonesia and Hong Kong.
Credit: Viu

The final act of the concert had Cha serenading his devoted supporters with ballads such as Love Sailing, Memories and You’re The Best.

The idol ended the night with Love So Fine, the soundtrack from True Beauty. He also promised the Aroha that he would return for a longer concert in 2025.

Cha’s Just One 10 Minute (Mystery Elevator) tour started in Seoul on Feb 17 before moving on to Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Japan. His next stops, after Singapore, will be Indonesia and Hong Kong.

This article was originally published in The Straits Times.