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★★ SMAP & Kouhaku Uta Gassen ★ ★
SMAPNY
yutakuya

SMAP history in Kouhaku has always been among several things I'm very proud of as a SMAP fan. smile.gif
 Simple reason.  It's so well known that it's such an honor for any artists/singers in Japan to get invited to participate in this prestigious year-end music show.

Kouhaku has rooted in the hearts of Japanese audiences for years. Even if its rating nowadays has quite significantly dropped compared to several years ago, I still believe that Japanese people still hold this program in high regard.  Though I'm not a Japanese, I feel it'd be a bit lacking if Japanese people spend New Year's eve without watching Kouhaku together with their family. 

Just getting invited only once is already a reward in itself.  But, I'm very proud to say that my beloved idol group "SMAP", who didn't do quite well when they debuted  ^^", has already appeared on Kouhaku for 18 times so far over their 20 years in the business.  xyxthumbs.gif  The only times they didn't join the show are in 2001 and 2004.  And it's not because they didn't get an invitation.  It's simply because they rejected the invitation as they didn't want to perform as "4 members" SMAP in 2001 and they didn't have a new single in 2004.



I'm really grateful for Johnny-san to give SMAP a chance to participate on Kouhaku since their debut year.  Otherwise, they wouldn't have been able to create such a record in j-pop scene.  I don't know the reason behind Johnny-san's decision to choose this not-yet successful group to join the show in the first place.  And I'm not quite sure about the quota system NHK puts on each agency/artist genre either.  But considering that in later years, the chance for other J&A kouhais to appear on this event was rather close to zero, I really have to say I want to give Johnny-san a big thank.

After my long ramblings about how kakkoi and cute SMAP is in the previous entries, I feel like writing sth. more informative today....haha  tongue.gif  So, this entry will be about SMAP history in Kouhaku.  But it won't be like an encyclopedia of SMAP & Kouhaku history.  ^^"  I'm not knowledgeable enough and I'm not a kind of person who's so fond of digging in-depth info about anything...hehe

I'll just briefly list the song SMAP performed each year, the order of their performance, their rating together with the ranking (if applicable), the artist who got the highest rating and the winning team.

I'll also put screenshots from SMAP's performances each year (missing the ones in 1991, 1997 and 2002 though).  So for anyone who hasn't watched SMAP's performances on Kouhaku during their teens yet, you can get a glimpse of how interestingly their performances have evolved over the past 20 years.  Especially their costume and performance arrangement during younger days, sukoku omoshirokatta.  laugh.gif 

If you find anything missing/incorrect, please feel free to add/correct me....DOUZO
   
SMAP History in Kouhaku (1991-2010)

1.  Can't Stop Loving on 42nd NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen (31.12.1991)


Order of performance :  3 (out of 56 performances)
Rating :  n/a
Ranking of rating :  n/a
Highest rating :  n/a
Winning team :  Akagumi

(I can't find a video clip of this performance.  If anyone knows where I can d/l, plz. kindly let me know...please please  >_<)

ETA (after getting the youtube video from noonew smilie)



Ahhh....Chibi SMAP is sooooo cute  ^_^  I think they did great as the first time performer...no sign of being nervous and all.  Quite a genki performance, and they pretty much danced in sync.  laugh.gif  And most importantly, got to see Johnny's trademark, blackflips from Kimura and Tsuyoshi...hoho  ^0^

2.  Yuki ga Futtekita on 43rd NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen (31.12.1992)

Order of performance :  2 (out of 56 performances)
Rating :  n/a
Ranking of rating :  n/a
Highest rating :  n/a
Winning team :  Shirogumi




I'm not quite sure if this is the right performance or not.  When I downloaded the clip, the uploader didn't mention anything about Kouhaku.  But based on the stage setting and the song they performed, I think this should be the one.

I really rofl.gifon Nakai in this performance.  He looked so dark ^^" and I don't know why he had to open his eyes so widely every time the camera spot on him...haha  And you can feel they're strongly idol-like during that time (of course, they're idol  tongue.gif)  Their costumes also made me feel like I'm watching a performance by some high school Marching Band...hehe


3.  $10 on 44th NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen (31.12.1993)


Order of performance :  2 (out of 52 performances)
Rating :  n/a
Ranking of rating :  n/a
Highest rating :  n/a
Winning team :  Shirogumi




I really love how Shonentai introduced SMAP's performance by showing 10$ banknotes from different countries to the audiences...haha good idea  xyxthumbs.gif  But I have to say I felt quite dizzy looking at SMAP's stripe costumes moving around while they're dancing  ^0^  They also did some dance moves on a chair, so I guess it might be one of their trademarks as we can still see them do this sort of thing nowadays during their concert...hehe

4.  Ganbarimashou on 45th NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen (31.12.1994)

Order of performance :  12 (out of 50 performances)
Rating :  n/a
Ranking of rating :  n/a
Highest rating :  n/a
Winning team :  Akagumi




I chose to display the screencaps from this version of video clip because....ahem, it's the one broadcasted in my country...hoho  ^0^  I was very surprised when I found this vid on youtube.  On the upperright corner, that's the logo of Channel 9 in my country.

I told you, SMAP
's performances on Kouhaku during their early days are super omoshiroi.  ^_^   I really   rofl.gif on that look-like-Godzilla creature.  I don't know what it is and what it had to do with Ganbarimashou.  But it's extremely hillarious.  laugh.gif  Anyway, I quite like their costumes here.  Much better than 1992 & 1993   :)

5.  Special Medley (Ganbarimashou, Oretachi ni Asu wa Aru & Donna Ii Koto) on 46th NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen (31.12.1995)
(Side note:  There's a certain name for this show, but I can't read Kanji  ^^", so I'll just call this a special medley)

Order of performance :  16 (out of 50 performances)
Rating :  n/a
Ranking of rating :  n/a
Highest rating :  n/a
Winning team :  Shirogumi




With more experiences, their performance just got better and better, and I love all the songs they performed.  But the opening was a bit weird to me.  Don't quite understand what that fighting scene had to do with the songs they performed.  tongue.gif

This is also the last time Mori-kun got to perform as SMAP on Kouhaku 
crying.gif  Though I became a SMAP fan after he already left, after watching several of SMAP clips during old days, I have to say I LIKE him a lot.  He seemed a very nice guy and I think all 6 of them had really great chemistry when being together.  I've watched his autorace video clips on youtube and he's still very kakkoi nowadays.  I want to see his reunion with SMAP in public so badly.  Johnny-san, please please, let it happen  bawling.gif

6.  Shake on 47th NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen (31.12.1996)

Order of performance :  21 (out of 50 performances)
Rating :  n/a
Ranking of rating :  n/a
Highest rating :  n/a
Winning team :  Shirogumi



This is probably the most hilarious SMAP on Kouhaku.  ^_^  The first time I saw this video clip, my feeling was like "What the heck were they wearing?"...haha...It seemed like their costume designer didn't have enough time, so ended up sewing several pieces of rags together and told them "Here's your costume"  laugh.gif  But I like this performance very much.  They're in super genki mode, especially Kimura (as usual...haha).  I especially love the part where he told the audiences "Let's everybody do it Shake Shake"  Overall, this is one of the most fun and energetic performances from SMAP on Kouhaku to me.

7.  Dynamite & Celery on 48th NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen (31.12.1997)


Order of performance :  21 (out of 50 performances)
Rating :  n/a
Ranking of rating :  n/a
Highest rating :  n/a
Winning team :  Shirogumi

Again, I can't find a video clip of their performance.  I only have the special show in which SMAP performed together with the other performers.

ETA (after getting the video from sarachan81 smilie)




8.  Yozora no Mukou on 49th NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen (31.12.1998)

Order of performance :  45 (out of 50 performances)
Rating :  61.6%
Ranking of rating :  5
Highest rating :  Namie Amuro (64.9%)
Winning team :  Akagumi



Haha...even though I used Image Grabber to randomly select the shots for me, I don't know why Kimura's shots just appeared the most...LOL  Anyone who has the other members as your ichiban, please once again forgive me.  laugh.gif 

I just LOVE LOVE LOVE this performance very much.  The way they performed Yozora no Mukou was extremely kakkoi.  e19.gif  And Kimuraaaaaa, I don't think I need to explain much.  His appearance this year and in 2003 are my all-time favorites.  I was just dead starring at him in this performance...hehe  XD
  
9.  Fly on 50th NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen (31.12.1999)

Order of performance :  31 (out of 54 performances)
Rating :  56.1%
Ranking of rating :  2
Highest rating :  Go Hiromi (56.6%)
Winning team :  Shirogumi



Every time I watch SMAP perform Fly, I always have a feeling like I'm watching a dark movie.  Don't know how to explain, but it really has adult feel, which I like very much.  Fly has always been one of my most favorite SMAP songs.  :)

After an extremely kakkoi performance in 1998, they started to wear weird costumes again this year.  ^_^  These guys are so dynamic.  They can pull off any kinds of feelings when they perform the songs just like when they act.  xyxthumbs.gif  And even though this is already the 8th year after their debut, Kimura still had a luxury of showing off his chest on national tv....haha...LOL again


10.  Lion Heart on 51st NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen (31.12.2000)

Order of performance :  52 (out of 56 performances)
Rating :  51.8%
Ranking of rating :  1
Highest rating :  SMAP, Koyanagi Yuki, Kobayashi Sachiko (51.8%)
Winning team :  Akagumi



This is probably one of the most bitter SMAP performances for Japanese female audiences for some reasons we all know...tongue.gif  But I really like every bit of this performance.  The stage setting was purely beautiful especially with all those penlights.  The song is beautiful and heart-warming and SMAP just looked very kakkoi as always.  Kuryu hair is also a big bonus for me...hehe

11.  Freebird on 53rd NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen (31.12.2002)

Order of performance :  43 (out of 54 performances)
Rating :  47.7%
Ranking of rating :  16
Highest rating :  Nakajima Miyuki (52.8%)
Winning team :  Akagumi

ETA (after getting the video from sarachan81 smilie)




12.  Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana on 54th NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen (31.12.2003)

Order of performance :  58 (out of 58 performances) - *** 1st time Ootori ***
Rating :  57.1%
Ranking of rating :  1
Highest rating :  SMAP (57.1%)
Winning team :  Shirogumi



I don't think I need to explain much here.  You can refer to this entry,  http://yutakuya.livejournal.com/856.html, if you want to know how I feel about this performance.   

13.  Triangle on 56th NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen (31.12.2005)

Order of performance :  58 (out of 58 performances) - *** 2nd time Ootori ***
Rating :  48.6%
Ranking of rating :  1
Highest rating :  SMAP (48.6%)
Winning team :  Shirogumi



Triangle has always been one of my most favorite SMAP ballads.  I love the heart-warming feeling of this song.  I also love their costumes in this performance very much, too kakkoi (again  XD...haha).  But I have a bit bitter feeling every time I watch this performance.  Probably because they didn't do that well in singing.  ^^"

If I'm not mistaken, I think Kimura also couldn't reach high notes on his part.  And even worse, he stumbled over that square box in the back a bit when he tried to move backward after finishing his part.  Sorry Kimura-kun, I just LOL every time I saw that part.  ^^"  You're still adorably cute by the way even when you're making mistakes....hehe
  
14.  Arigatou on 57th NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen (31.12.2006)

Order of performance :  52 (out of 54 performances)
Rating :  48.8%
Ranking of rating :  1
Highest rating :  SMAP (48.8%)
Winning team :  Shirogumi



I personally think Arigatou is a very special song to SMAP fans as it's kinda like SMAP is sending a "Thank you" message directly to us whenever they sing this song.  So I definitely love this song.  However, though I enjoy watching this performance to some extent, it's not among my most favorite SMAP performances on Kouhaku.  haha...it's actually not about the way they performed, it has more to do with Kimura's costume. tongue.gif  I don't know, I just don't quite like it.  As I told you in the previous entry, Kimura needs to be extremely cute and hot for me to LOVE the performance....hehe

15.  Special Medley (Dear Woman & Dangan Fighter) on 58th NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen (31.12.2007)

Order of performance :  52 (out of 56 performances)
Rating :  43.9%
Ranking of rating :  1
Highest rating :  SMAP (43.9%)
Winning team :  Shirogumi



This performance could possibly be among my least favorites.  rolleyes.gif  As said before, I don't quite like Dangan Fighter.  And with those super plastic-like costumes as well as Kimura's messy hair, I'm done with this performance...haha 

16.  Kono Toki, Kitto Yume Jya Nai  on 59th NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen (31.12.2008)

Order of performance :  48 (out of 52 performances)
Rating :  42.8%
Ranking of rating :  14
Highest rating :  shuchishin with Pabo (47.8%)
Winning team :  Shirogumi



After a bit of disappointment in 2007, SMAP won me back again in 2008 with this Kono Toki, Kitto Yume Jya Nai performance.  Who could resist them singing this touching song in pink costumes?  e19.gif  It's even better with Kimura's hair...haha  I also like theme of 019 written by BEP very much.  So, everything was just perfect in this performance.  But I must say I was very surprised when I saw the rating announcemet.  To me, this performance was much better and more enjoyable than the previous year. 

17.  Sotto Kyutto & Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana on 60th NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen (31.12.2009)

Order of performance :  48 (out of 50 performances)
Rating :  48.7%  (44.6% for Michael Jackson Tribute) 
Ranking of rating :  2
Highest rating :  Dreams Come True (50.1%)
Winning team :  Shirogumi




2009 Kouhaku is my 2nd most favorite Kouhaku episode to date.  Overloads of SMAP's kakkoiness !!!!  XD

Watching SMAP's MJ Tribute, I really want to burst out laughing to anyone who always said that SMAP sucks in dancing.  Haha...they really have no idea about the great potential these 5 genius men have.  The fact that they usually didn't dance in sync doesn't mean they couldn't do it.  They just didn't bother to do it.  tongue.gif  I'm so happy for SMAP to get a chance to do a tribute for their all-time favorite idol.  Michael Jackson is really an idol of idol.  He deserves getting love from people around the world, especially from these fine Japanese men. 

Sotto Kyutto & Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana performance was also fantastic.  I think the way they appeared on stage this time is the most kakkoi opening so far.  I also love Sotto Kyutto and the cool choreography whenever they perform this song very much.

It's even more lovely when they performed "Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana" with a bunch of beautiful flowers in the background.  What a purely beautiful scene !  They're also very kawai when they did that flower picking.  XD


18.  This is Love '10 SP Medley (This is Love & Triangle) on 61st NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen (31.12.2010)

Order of performance :  44 (out of 44 performances) - *** 3rd time Ootori ***
Rating :  48.9%
Ranking of rating :  1
Highest rating :  SMAP (48.9%)

Winning team :  Shirogumi



This performance may not have wow factors some fans expected from SMAP after hearing that they're chosen for the Ootori position.  But for me, I love this performance simply because it's the most beautiful version of Triangle I've ever heard from them.  They really practiced well beforehand and also had high concentration while performing.

I also love when the orange light turned into white towards the end of the performance.  Somehow they are so shining and their star aura was really outstanding in this performance.  Over the years, SMAP performance has quite evolved from being crazy, playful and so energetic during the old days to being more mature, luxurious and grand in recent years.  e19.gif

Based on the info above, you can see how SMAP history in Kouhaku really corresponds to their rise in fame over the years.  Starting from 1991, SMAP appearance was simply to fill a time slot during the first half of the show.  However, they managed to move their position to the latter half of the show in the following years as they started to rise to stardom.

In 2003 when their popularity peaked as their national single "Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana" became a megahit in Japan, they were then chosen to serve the honorable "Ootori" position for the first time in their career.  After that, it's a point of no return for SMAP.  They became like a magnetic artist of the show.  SMAP always got to perform among the last 5 performers of the show.  And I personally believe that the fact that Shirogumi always won after 2003 whenever SMAP participated in the show must have sth. to do with them.  Last year (2010), which marked their 18th appearance, they got to serve the "Ootori" position for the 3rd time and still got the highest rating even after 20 years have passed since their debut.  xyxthumbs.gif 

As a SMAP fan, I have to say I really appreciate what SMAP has done to entertain us fans all these years.  Even if their popularity will start to decline or they will no longer be a spotlight in Kouhaku in the coming years, I won't have any regrets.  SMAP has done enough to create its own legendary history in Japan's music industry.  I'm confident that "This history SMAP made won't repeat itself with anyone in the years to come."   

Credits :
1)  http://www1.plala.or.jp/nakaatsu/
2)  http://mainichi.jp/select/wadai/graph/kouhaku-history/
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SMAP's first appearance on Kouhaku ^_^


oh !!! noonew, thanks sooooooooooooo much. ^^
Running off to download now :D

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