Kpop News

ISAC is making a Return: Will It Be Worth It?

2024 has brought a lot of interesting events in the world of K-Pop, but one of the most unexpected announcements has been the return of the “Idol Star Athletics Championship” (ISAC).

After MBC made the announcement, it received mixed reactions. If you’ve never heard of ISAC, it began as a special Chuseok holiday program where various idols participate in different athletic events, from track to rhythmic dancing to archery. Think of it as the Olympics, but with idols instead of professional athletes. The show became so popular that it continued for years, but over time, fans grew dissatisfied with the way it was filmed and the consequences for the idols participating.

[video_shortcode_youtube src=””]

What first caught the attention of fans was the injuries idols sustained during the events. For instance, former SISTAR member Bora took a great fall during a track event, visibly tripping and landing hard on the ground. Her fellow members rushed to her side to check if she was okay, highlighting the significant risks involved in these competitions. This incident, among others, sparked concerns about the safety measures in place and the physical demands placed on idols who are not professional athletes but entertainers. The frequency of such injuries raised questions about whether the show was prioritizing entertainment over the well-being of the participants.

Additionally, only a select few members from each group participate in the events, while the others are left to sit on the sidelines. This caused viewers to question the purpose of inviting entire groups when the majority of members are merely spectators. It seemed unfair and inefficient, as many idols were brought in only to watch their peers compete, raising concerns about the overall management and organization of the event. Fans began to wonder if there could be a more inclusive and engaging format that allows all invited idols to participate meaningfully, thereby enhancing the experience for both the idols and the audience.

[video_shortcode_youtube src=””]

Moreover, fans who attended the live filming shared their unpleasant experiences. They were not allowed to use restrooms freely, had to stay in the venue for up to twenty-four hours, and noticed many idols looking bored and tired. Idols also had to take time out of their busy schedules to practice for these events, adding to their already intense workload.

[video_shortcode_youtube src=””]

Even former SISTAR member Soyou mentioned on “Sad Brother Shin Dong Yeop” that the group didn’t want to attend ISAC and would avoid training to have an excuse not to participate. They preferred to use that time to rest and sleep instead.

[video_shortcode_youtube src=””]

MONSTA X faced endless filming schedules upon returning from overseas without time to rest. Fans also noticed that the same groups and members were often chosen as star athletes, like SHINee’s Minho, known for his athletic skills, consistently winning events. While his dedication is admirable, it raises questions about fairness and diversity in participation.

[video_shortcode_youtube src=”″]

Furthermore, rumors and gossip about idols’ interactions during filming became rampant, creating unnecessary drama. Stories about idols spending too much time together or seemingly favoring certain individuals over others fueled speculation and tension within fan communities. This type of drama detracted from the primary purpose of the event, which was to showcase idols’ athletic abilities in a fun and competitive environment. The persistent gossip and rumors only served to complicate the idols’ lives and created an atmosphere of scrutiny and pressure.

Given these issues, many fans wonder why MBC decided to bring ISAC back. Instead of strenuous athletic events, perhaps they could introduce fun activities like dodgeball or water balloon fights. These types of events would be less physically demanding and more enjoyable for both idols and fans, reducing the risk of injury and creating a more lighthearted and engaging experience. Alternatively, a show where idols cover and perform other groups’ songs could be interesting. This format would emphasize their talents as singers and performers rather than athletes, allowing them to shine in their primary roles and offering fans a unique and entertaining viewing experience. Such changes could reinvigorate the program, making it more appealing and safer for everyone involved.

[video_shortcode_youtube src=””]

It will be interesting to see which groups are invited and who will participate in this year’s ISAC. Fans are eagerly awaiting the lineup, hoping to see their favorite idols take part in the festivities. The anticipation builds as speculation about potential participants and the events they’ll compete in continues to grow. Let’s hope no one gets injured this time around, as the well-being of the idols should always be a top priority. A safe and enjoyable experience for all involved will ensure that the return of ISAC is a positive and memorable event for both the idols and their fans.