The number of tweets that include “Nine Unni” surpassed 6,600 on Twitter as of 9 a.m. Monday morning, while the name “Nine” and her band’s name “Dear Cloud” shot to the first rank of Naver’s trending bar on Sunday night after the show.
The singer, who wore a mask called “Matrix” during the competition, unveiled her identity after getting defeated by another mask singer “Drum Man” on Sunday. She picked Korean pop singer Lee Juck’s “With You” as her final competition song.
When asked why she made her appearance on the show, Nine brought up a story about the late K-pop star Jonghyun.
“I lost a friend who I loved very much last year,” Nine said. “After (the incident,) I started to feel that life is meaningless. I haven’t returned to my life yet. But somehow, I felt alive when I sing on a stage. I was desperate for the stage.”
Nine also said she was happy when she sang behind the mask, as the audience can only focus on her voice without any prejudice.
After the performance, the vocalist talked more about her memories with Jonghyun.
“He used to ask me to sing his song anywhere anytime. I haven’t got the courage to do so yet. Someday, if the time comes when I can sing his song on the stage, I can let him go.”
The panels comforted her by saying, “Your friend would want you to cheer up and sing.”
“The lyrics of the song ‘With You’ sounded like a message that you want to be with the friend who passed away earlier,” said Kim Hyun-chul, a panelist on the show.
Nine had been the close friend with Jonghyun, as she took part in the late singer’s radio show as a guest. Jonghyun posted the lyrics of Nine’s song “Beside You” on his Instagram account before his imminent death, and Nine unveiled his final letter to the public on behalf of him after the tragic incident.
Nine’s interview video was retweeted over 5,600 times, mostly by Jonghyun’s fans who showed their appreciation for mentioning the late artist on the show.
“Thank you Nine for singing on the show. I will always support you,” a fan said on Twitter, posting a picture of Nine and Jonghyun in a radio recording studio.
나인언니 노래해주셔서 감사합니다 언제나 응원할게요 진심으로 pic.twitter.com/ZAsDoh0NZg— [좋아 쇼케이스 발송 완료]뼝아리?? (@ARI_900408) 2018년 3월 11일
“I sincerely want to appreciate Nine (for singing the song and mentioning Jonghyun on the show.) The world might forget Jonghyun, but she still remembers him like us,” another Twitter user said. The post was retweeted nearly 400 times, receiving over 280 likes in a day.
By Park Ju-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)