2020 started off strong for BTS visual Kim Taehyung, also known as “V.” While his group kept on breaking a number of records and making new ones with their fourth Korean-language studio album “Map of the Soul: 7” and the release of their singles “Black Swan” and “ON,” V is also achieving milestones for himself as a solo artist.
Last March 13, V released the song “Sweet Night” for the soundtrack of the JTBC drama “Itaewon Class” starring his close friend Park Seo-Joon. Produced, written and sung by V himself, the English ballad garnered generally favorable reviews from critics and overwhelming response from fans around the world as it debuted at number 2 on Billboard’s US Digital Song Sales chart, becoming the highest debut for a Korean solo artist in the chart’s history. It also debuted at no. 1 on iTunes US sales chart (all genre) and stayed there for 6 days. Needless to say, “Sweet Night” also ruled the top position in various iTunes charts around the globe. Taehyung also surpassed 2 million listeners on Spotify in March making him the BTS member with the highest monthly listeners on the platform.
This month, even though the world is in quarantine because of the coronavirus, V keeps on adding a feather in his cap as he was voted by netizens around the world as the “Ultimate Asian Heartthrob” for the third year in a row. Winning this title was not easy for V as he faced strong opponents during the poll’s battle round.
In level one, he faced Ken Suson of SB19, a very popular Idol group in the Philippines which is currently at no. 7 of Billboard Social 50. He won by 75.37% of the votes.
In level two, V faced his strongest opponent yet: Xiao Zhan of China. It’s a week of epic voting battle between V’s ARMYs and Xiao Zhan’s Peter Pans which accumulated a total of 3,796,941 entries. V got 1,906,257 votes while the Chinese heartthrob garnered a very close 1,890,684 votes. The BTS visual won by only 0.21%
In level three, V faced GOT7‘s BamBam from Thailand. It became an easy win for the BTS idol as he garnered 91,371 votes against BamBam’s 18,951 votes which secured him a slot in the finals.
In the final battle for the title, Taehyung faced NCT 127’s Jaehyun, Trinity’s Porsche, Filipino heartthrob Alden Richards, and three of his bandmates namely Jimin, Jin, and Jungkook. All seven of them vied for people’s votes not only in the online poll but also on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well.
After 18,730,855 total votes received, Kim Taehyung topped the final battle with a combined score of 7,180,481. Jungkook settled for second place with a total of 6,492,222 votes. He also ranked second in last year’s edition.
From no. 5 in 2019, Kim Seokjin climbed to no. 3 this year for getting 2,945,148 votes in the finals. Jin also had an epic battle with Xiao Zhan during level 3 of the battle round. In the first 4 days of the poll, the Chinese heartthrob was leading but then Jin‘s ARMYs rallied during the last 3 days delivering 1,406,584 votes for their idol against 1,363,763 votes received by Xiao Zhan, thus earned him a slot in the finals.
From no. 33 in 2018 and no. 28 in 2019, Jimin climbed 24 notches up to no. 4 this year for garnering 1,693,282 votes.
In fifth place is newcomer Porsche (aka Sivakorn Adulsuttikul) of Thailand who got 195,438 votes. The Trinity rapper is the highest new entry for 2020.
In sixth place is Alden Richards of the Philippines who got 137,680 votes. He placed 23rd in 2018 and 30th in 2019. This is his peak in our annual ranking so far.
In seventh place is NCT 127’s Jaehyun who got 86,604 votes. He is also the second-highest new entry this year.
Here is the complete tally of votes from the Final Battle poll (as of 12:00noon of April 6, 2020):
|1st||Kim Taehyung, SOUTH KOREA||4,303,051||1,711,950||428,636||736,844||7,180,481|
|2nd||Jeon Jungkook, SOUTH KOREA||4,040,582||1,558,970||348,246||544,424||6,492,222|
|3rd||Kim Seokjin, SOUTH KOREA||1,287,393||1,137,420||162,019||358,316||2,945,148|
|4th||Park Jimin, SOUTH KOREA||256,661||1,196,050||88,093||152,478||1,693,282|
|6th||Alden Richards, PHILIPPINES||64,012||37,290||7,361||29,017||137,680|
|7th||Jaehyun, SOUTH KOREA||26,471||46,060||10,448||3,625||86,604|
Because of his third consecutive win as “Ultimate Asian Heartthrob,” Kim Taehyung is now being inducted in our Hall of fame.
For online discussions, don’t forget to use the hashtag #VUltimateAsianHeartthrob2020. This hashtag, by the way, trended in the Philippines, USA, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, and worldwide.
Images courtesy of Dispatch, FILA, SM Entertainment and Big Hit Entertainment.