WINNER’s Kang Seung Yoon sat down with TVReport to talk about his reign as six-time champion on “The King of Mask Singer”! He recently finished up his time on the show, pulling off six consecutive wins and just barely losing his champion title to Shield by one vote.
About what he did after winning on the show, Kang Seung Yoon said, “The first thing I did was tell my members. They were really proud of me, saying ‘YG’s first champion!’ When I went back to the apartment, the members greeted me saying things like, ‘The champion came,’ and ‘If you’re going to be champion, stay up there! If you come down quickly we’re not going to let you in the house.’ They gave me a lot of support.”
He also mentioned hearing from fellow members Kim Jin Woo and Lee Seung Hoon, who are currently in the military. “They would keep calling me to check if I won again,” he recalled. “The members were really that happy.”
When asked about how he felt about losing a seventh win by one vote, Kang Seung Yoon replied, “Honestly, it’s a shame since I lost by exactly one vote. Also, since my memories of being the champion are so special it’s hard for me to tear myself away from it.” He went on to admit, “Actually, I felt threatened the first time I heard Shield sing since I knew they had an appeal that I just didn’t have. I thought I might lose, but at the end of the show Kim Gura said he thought I would win. Because of that I had a bit of hope, but losing by just one vote made me so sad. However, I’m so thankful that I was able to leave the show with so many precious memories.”
Kang Seung Yoon also talked about his win against singer So Chan Whee. “Since I knew who she was, I thought that there was no chance that I could win. When the results came up, I was so shocked and thought that there was something wrong.” He continued to thank his fellow contestant, saying, “After taking off his mask, So Chan Whee complimented me saying that my singing was energetic and powerful, so I want to say thank you to her.”
After his impressive six wins on the show Kang Seung Yoon was given many nicknames such as “The Youngest Champion” and “The First 6-Time Idol Champion.” He responded to these titles, saying, “I’m simply grateful. I’m really glad that I could shatter the prejudice against idol singers.”
Kang Seung Yoon also reflected on his solo activities, admitting that he was lacking in confidence when he first started. “I’m also planning on releasing a solo album this year, but I kept wondering if people would actually listen to it. But then I went on ‘The King of Mask Singer’ and was happy to receive so many opportunities to show my own unique vocal color. After I became champion, the company hasn’t tried to interfere with my singing style or my producing at all. Usually they give a lot of feedback on my self-produced tracks, but now they’re not giving as much. Also, staff at the company call me ‘Mr. Champion’ whenever they see me and that made me proud.”
The singer was also asked how he liked his “Chow Yun Fat” mask. “I was worried about how I would pull off the character, but the moment I saw the mask I loved it,” he replied. “It was so cute but also cool, and the sparkly hairstyle and the matchstick in the mouth were the best! I definitely want to say thank you to the team of designers who created it.”
Kang Seung Yoon spoke about how hard it was to keep his identity on the show a secret, commenting, “It seemed like everyone already knew, so it was hard to keep it a secret. My friends from my hometown would contact me after the show saying, ‘Hey, your singing is great,’ and I would feign ignorance and reply, ‘What are you talking about?’ Also, whenever I would appear on a radio program there would be comments about the show. I nearly let the secret slip once and almost got scolded by the production team. I’m proud that I kept my secret until the end.”
He finished up the interview with words of thanks to the viewers. “I wanted to give strength to a lot of people through my appearance as Chow Yun Fat on ‘The King of Mask Singer.’ I wanted to become someone who could give you even just one smile, one moment of happiness, and comfort you with my singing. I’m not sure if I actually became that person, but thank you so much for all your support.”
Kang Seung Yoon is also currently gearing up to appear in MBC’s upcoming drama “Kairos,” which premieres in September.