A contestant on 'Mask King' paid a tribute to a dear friend and label mate.
On the September 29th installment of 'Mask King,' contestant 'Genie' sang his last solo piece as a defending champion of five tournaments in a row. The male singer sang "Y Si Fuera Ella," originally released in 2008 as part of SHINee's album and sung by the late member Jonghyun.
Although the contestant lost against the new champion 'Manjjitnam', this final stage proved to be his best and most sincere one, as he moved the audiences and panelist to tears.
When the identity was revealed, the man behind the mask turned out to be Super Junior's Kyuhyun a close friend and label mate of the departed. Over the years, the two had looked out for each other in SM Entertainment, even promoting together as vocal units.
After his stage, Kyuhyun expressed that his own singing abilities could not live up to this winning streak, an honor that had eventually become "a burden."
But when he was asked why he specifically chose the song "Y Si Fuera Ella," he said: "This was the first solo song that Jonghyun had ever released. I was only a trainee for 2 months, so I didn't have many friends. But, Jonghyun and I grew close when promoting together as a unit, developing an exceptionally amiable bond."
"I cried a lot when the tragedy occurred when I was in the military. I was in remorse, because I could not approach him and express myself first as a hyung," continued Kyuhyun. "I wished there come a day when I could tell Jonghyun, 'Hyung sang your song heartily. Jonghyun, can you hear me?' I am certain that Jonghyun was delighted to hear this song today, because I sang it with the most relieved feeling in my heart."
Remembering Jonghyun, Kyuhyun shed bittersweet tears as he spoke his last words on the program.
Jonghyun passed away back in December of 2017, leaving many of his close friends, colleagues, and music-lovers in deep mourning. Once again, we pay our respects to Jonghyun, thanks to Kyuhyun's tribute.