Let’s talk about what happened in Burn the Stage, episode 3. Forget about ships and think about people. I know, it’s hard because you like what you like and ships are all about what you like. Try, okay? Let’s do this.
Why Did Jimin Stay?
Remember, this isn’t about ships, it’s about people. The only thing that matters about that moment is what Jungkook wanted. Not what you wanted for him, what he wanted for himself. Although he was not feeling well, he was in control and dictated exactly what he wanted.
RM asked Jungkook if he wanted them to leave? Jungkook said, “Yeah”. They left. Jimin had no reaction to the question at all. There was no drama, no one had hurt feelings, no one was offended. Jimin stayed. Why did Jimin stay? Because everyone in that room recognized the fact that Jungkook would want Jimin to stay because of the bond they share. Especially Taehyung, because he was one of the first to leave the room.
They knew what to do. It’s not like they haven’t been through this before with Jimin. The protocols are already established. This wasn’t a script, this was real life with legal consequences. There are protocols for this. If, God forbid, something happens to one of them and they cannot speak for themselves, who do they call? What do they do? Who speaks for them? It is very clear from the video that the answers were known because everyone did exactly what they were supposed to like a well-oiled machine. Their reactions were spontaneous. They didn’t have to think about it.
“But Jimin would have stayed for any of the members!”
Yes, that is probably true but let’s be very clear here. Jimin wanting to stay for another member and another member wanting Jimin to be the one to stay are two completely different things. For example, I could see Suga wanting the room cleared entirely of members. The fact that RM asked whether they should stay in the first place makes it clear he knows Jungkook well enough to know what he wants. What would make him the most comfortable at that moment.
I looked at fancams from that day. Jungkook and Jimin looked out for each other the entire concert. You could see the others shooting glances at Jungkook but Jimin kept looking at Jungkook. The fact that Jungkook, who was not feeling well, kept his eye on Jimin says a lot about their relationship. That type of loyalty is inspiring to me.
But Taehyung Did Something Jimin Couldn’t!
Yes, Jungkook has said multiple times that Taehyung helped him stop being shy and introverted. You can see it in the screenshot. What you also see, is Jungkook saying who he used to be, and who he is now. The shy and introverted kid is a grown man now. Who you see today, in 2017, is a man who is strong enough to carry on while sick, giving a wonderful performance and putting others first. For a while, ARMY came first and he gave it his all. When the concert was over, and it was time to get attention for himself, focus on himself, Jimin is the one he wanted by his side.
What is Taehyung’s role? The video showed us. He’s the friend, the gaming buddy. That doesn’t mean Jungkook doesn’t care about Taehyung or vice versa. That’s not true. Taehyung is a stepping stone for Jungkook. Let me explain, using myself as an example.
If you’ve followed me long enough you’ll know who I’m talking about so I’ll just call him B since our relationship was public. I met B when neither one of us wanted to be in a relationship. We ended up getting engaged and after several years, we broke up. We are still friends. The important part is that our relationship changed us and made us who we are today. If it wasn’t for our relationship, he would not become the man he needs to be for his current wife. Without our relationship I would not be passionate about the things I am passionate about. We were each other’s stepping stones. Without our relationship, we wouldn’t be the “us” we are today. Our relationship was not meant to be forever romantically but it was necessary so we could find our forever person.
I see Taehyung and Jungkook like that, without the romantic connection as well as Jimin. When Jungkook arrived, Taehyung helped him adapt. Jungkook started to change. Honestly, the fact that Jungkook was able to be more secure but didn’t get flustered removing clothes around Taehyung implies their relationship was platonic because Jungkook gets very flustered around Jimin. The truth is that Jimin is the only one we’ve seen where Jungkook reacts that way.
Jimin being recruited was the catalyst for more change. Jimin wasn’t around when Jungkook started to change due to Taehyung’s influence. Taehyung is Jungkook and Jimin’s stepping stone. I’m pretty sure they have the same effect on Taehyung but it hasn’t been revealed publicly yet and there might be other instances of this within the group. Jungkook said he feels he is manifestation of all of them and I bet Jimin will always be grateful to Taehyung for suggesting his recruitment.
Again, this isn’t about ships. This isn’t about who “you” want any of them to be with. It’s about real life and their real choices. Taehyung and Jungkook have a very cool friendship that has stood the test of time. They’ve had awkward, painful, and happy situations. They endured them. They all made a conscious choice to still live together when, as men, it would be understandable if they opted not to. That shows how much of a bond they all share.
That doesn’t change the fact that Jungkook has, in real life, made the choice that one member is different than the others. His real life actions prove that. He’s been screaming it. He didn’t have an easy time. While the fake story (fan service) was that Jungkook rejected Jimin, the flip side is that Jungkook had to convince Jimin he was serious. Jimin kept saying Jungkook treats him differently than the others but he still realized he wasn’t seeing “all” of Jungkook (go to 9:45 in the Vlive). “I’ll be there for you but you have to be there for me to…”: I’ll do the scary thing of opening myself up and letting my walls down but you’ve got to accept me when I do, and do the same. Those are real life decisions they chose to share with us. We’re quite blessed but the truth is the average person or couple shares almost as much on social media, when they don’t have something to hide. Their problem is that they can’t because they are both men who reside in a homophobic country. Things are slowly changing over there but it will take time for them to catch up to the US or Europe.
If Jungkook got sick in 2014, it may have played out differently. This video shows how the group dynamic changed as it would have to as they are all grown men now. The past can be a fun place to visit and it may be enjoyable to watch old clips of them but that is no excuse to ignore the reality of who they are, as people, today. This is about respecting their choices, as men, in real life. This isn’t about ships. In real life, Jimin and Jungkook have been saying all along that they treat each other differently, that they see each other differently, than the rest of the group. They all have been talking and sharing things. The group dynamic between all of them has changed since they debuted.
Let’s say it shall we? The video helps prove Jungkook and Jimin’s different relationship status in the group as it is expected that a significant other would stay. If you’ve never experienced that situation you’ve seen the medical dramas, you have basic common sense. You know how Koreans value hierarchy in their relationships. The only time a significant other leaves is when a medical professional or the patient requests it. This proves the group dynamic changed and that everyone, EVERYONE, has accepted Jimin’s higher status, especially Taehyung. He’s been respecting it for a long time. Jungkook had no problem asking Jimin for an apartment in front of him. Jungkook had no problem implying he would be Jimin’s future boyfriend in front of Taehyung. Jungkook had no problem pointing to Jimin, on TV, as him being someone he desired (starts at around 15:03). I could go on and on but these are real life decisions Jungkook made on the fly, to the surprise of people surrounding him.
At the end of the day, their target audience, the ones they push themselves for…are the ones that listen and respect their right to make their choices and act accordingly. Note, I didn’t say agree with their choices. I said respect their right to make their choices. Those are the ones they want to connect with. Those are the ones they love. Those are the ones they are grateful for.
You are the one that decides where you fall.