JenKai which is the ship name of Jennie from Black Pink and Kai of EXO really blew up when Dispatch revealed that they were the New Year couple of 2019 (Dispatch reveals a couple every year on New Years Day, and the couple is usually made up of the top celebrities). Fans everywhere were surprised by the sudden revelation. While some fans didn’t know whether to believe the relationship was real or not, many people started coming up with theories as to what was actually the case between Jennie and Kai. Before I begin this article, I would like to put a disclaimer here that all this is speculation and theories from fans and my own personal opinion/speculation. I am a big fan of both Jennie and Kai and do not wish to disrespect them in any way. Please note that this article is just for fun, I’m trash for both Jennie and Kai and this is just me being nosy and guessing what is going on. So let’s begin.
Starting with the biggest theory revolving Jenkai, it would be that this was all just media play. This is a big possibility as it has happened before numerous times in the media industry. There have been many past cases of celebrities ‘dating’ each other to gain attention and publicity for both parties. Some people might think that Jenkai is just for publicity since it makes sense for two popular members of two famous groups to be dating one another to gain attention. By right, this could just spark more attention to be placed on each idol, gaining them and their groups more recognition. This proved to be true as both of them trended on Twitter after the news broke that they were dating on New Year’s Day. While I do think that it is possible that their relationship could be just media play, there is some evidence that I feel prove otherwise.
Firstly, the information was apparently ‘leaked’ by Dispatch who have been following them in secret as they gained intel and took pictures of them together over the course of a few months. However, since this could be staged, I will be bringing up other points as well.
While media play is not something uncommon, it is not as common in the K-pop industry as in the Hollywood industry. And there are reasons to this; a dating scandal could ruin or really harm an idol’s career. (Note that I am using the term ‘scandal’ loosely and I am just referring to the news about them dating) In this case, Kai and Jennie were lucky to be a couple that was well accepted by Knets and by fans from all around. However, there have been cases where fans even take to bash their favorite Idol when news about them dating have been revealed. One example of this would be Baekhyun from EXO and Taeyeon from Girls' Generation. When they were revealed to be dating, both Idols received immense backlash and both lost many fans and fansites because of their dating scandal.
This brings me to my second point, another example of a dating scandal hurting an idol’s career would be Kai himself in his previous relationship. When it was revealed that Kai from EXO and Krystal from f(x) were dating, Kai’s popularity also took a hit. Dating news is rarely taken well in Korea and it makes little sense for an agency to want a dating scandal to arise, unless there is a reason for there to be, as a distraction from something else. I personally don’t think that SM would use Kai once again for media play, knowing that there were consequences to his dating scandal in the past. I don’t think they would do this because they wouldn’t know that whether Jenkai would definitely be a well-received couple and this would place the reputation of both Kai and Jennie on their line. As for Black Pink, they are still seen as a rookie group and Jennie had just gone solo, so it would have been a risky move for YG to actually make her have a dating scandal for publicity.
The last point I will bring up about how I think their relationship is not just media play would be the fact that there seemed to hint at their relationship even before their relationship was revealed. Examples include how fans noticed that EXO’s manager, who goes by @groovechaja on Instagram started following Jennie and @suerte._.sh531, another one of EXO’s managers also started following the Black Pink members on Instagram awhile before the news broke. (But it could just be a coincidence) Another piece of ‘evidence’ would be the pictures that Kai and Jennie posted on their personal Instagram accounts. Both Kai and Jennie posted a photo of the Eiffel Tower on the same day with Jennie captioning her photo as “Had the most romantic dinner admiring the Eiffel Tower.” From this, it can be hinted that they met up while in Paris and had dinner together, but of course, it is just speculation by fans. However, although it is despicable and unlikely, I am also not ruling out the fact that SM and YG could have forced them to upload those pictures on their personal SNS accounts to ‘stage’ this relationship.
While there is quite a lot of evidence showing that it is possible this is not media play, I will also talk about other possible theories that fans have come up with.
Moving onto to reasons why this could be media play. The entertainment industry is full of snakes and not everything is exactly the way as it seems to be. (Things that we all already know) Also, many fans actually did welcome this couple with open arms and this did gain even more recognition for both groups meaning that if this was media play to get attention for both groups, it worked. (despite neither of them requiring more publicity since they are both from big groups)
Also, it could be media play because of the timing of everything. EXO had just had two comebacks with "Tempo" and "Love Shot" and Jennie had also just made her solo debut with "Solo." It would make sense for them to use this as a way to gain more recognition for their songs to do better on the charts. (Again, although they both don’t need it)
Lastly, it could be media play to be a distraction from something else that is happening or about to happen. But since there is nothing in particular that is happening right now in either group that we need to be distracted by, some fans think it is something happening under wraps or potentially something that will be revealed in the upcoming weeks.
While many were still talking about their relationship, most people were rather confused when their relationship ended so quickly, barely 25 days after they were confirmed to be dating. So now I will present the theories about this.
Firstly, it could be that this was just for media play and thus since it achieved the result it wanted, getting people talking about both of them and getting attention for both their groups, it could now be over. However, this seems unlikely since they were just getting hype and attention for being a visually powerful K-pop couple.
The second theory would be that it could be that Jennie and Kai are still actually together and are still dating in secret. This would make some sense as they would want their privacy after their relationship was revealed by Dispatch against their own will.
Thirdly, it could be that they were going to break up before Dispatch (rudely) outed their relationship, making them awkwardly have to continue dating for a bit before breaking up. In this video of Blackpink at their concert, Lisa asks the crowd to make some noise if they are single. While Jisoo screams at the side, Jennie smiles awkwardly and asks for the topic to be changed. There are many ways to interpret this video and her reaction.
Fourthly, many fans speculate that it is their labels that have stopped them from dating one another. While SM is known for having a rather lax dating policy for a K-pop entertainment company, YG is known for having one of the strictest policies. Members of iKON have mentioned that they have never even got a chance to interact with the Black Pink members so this very likely could be the reason.
Lastly, it could be that Kai and Jennie are not and were never ever dating. To be honest, we will never know. For all we know, Kai could really be dating Kyungsoo from EXO and Jennie could really be with Lisa of Black Pink. And to be honest, I would ship that because I just hope that whoever they are really with, they are happy with the way things are and that the person they are with makes them happy.
At the end of the day, what JenKai does really is none of our businesses as fans. (though we all really want to know) But as an EXO-L and Blink, I am just here being thirsty for the tea and this article is just to sum up what the theories behind JenKai are all about. However, while there are all these theories and ‘evidence’, I also understand that we will never know what is really going on behind the scenes or in their personal lives unless they choose to tell us what is going on and share it with the public. While this article is full of speculation about what the status of their relationship is, I want to state again that this is all just for fun and I do hope that they are happy whatever their relationship status is. Whether they are still together, were never together or are just friends now, I do hope that as fans we will also continue to respect them as individuals and continue to respect both groups since this is what they both deserve.