The second episode of SBS MTV “Music Island” featured MBLAQ, FT Island, Dal Shabet, Rainbow Pixie, and Lim Jeong Hee as guests, with Girls’ Generation’s Sunny, of course, hosting the show. Despite taking place in Jeju Island, the entire convention hall was fully packed, creating an almost concert-like atmosphere and a complete “live talk music show” experience.

Soompi was given an exclusive backstage press pass, which allowed us to speak with most of the guest artists on the show. Here are some of the impressions I got from FT Island, MBLAQ, and Sunny:

FT Island: In case you haven’t seen Lee Hongki perform live, make sure you do so now. His stage presence is absolutely off the charts. If I had to pick one idol signer to run the show, Lee Hongki would be at the top of my list. Up until this show, I didn’t have much faith in idol singers being a top live performer. But Lee Hongki totally changed that perception. Don’t be deceived by his easy-going, half-joking personality. On the stage, he’s a complete beast and can single-handedly own the crowd with his vocals, actions, and engagement with the fans. He is so dynamic and “wild,” yet at the same time, so composed and vocally talented that you don’t want to miss a beat when he’s on the stage. Every great band has an outstanding vocalist. Queen had Freddy Mercury, U2 has BONO, Nirvana had Kurt Cobain—and FT Island has Lee Hong Ki.

Sunny: The recording of the first two episodes took place on the same day. So Sunny basically had a one hour interval between each episode. But she didn’t show any signs of fatigue or drop in quality, displaying the same level of professionalism throughout the second recording. In fact, I thought the second episode was even better, as she really settled in and got into a comfort zone, leading another star-packed cast at her own pace. Like I mentioned last time, she does a really good job of engaging the crowd with pretty good jokes and questions. She also never seems to panic, as she would aptly cover up any mistake made by the guest during the talk session with timely comments and jokes. Just watching Sunny lead a live music show on her own should be enough reason for you to watch SBS MTV’s “Music Island.”

MBLAQ: They’re experienced in front of the camera. They are very relaxed and know exactly how to work the camera, as was seen during Soompi’s exclusive interview. It’s pretty obvious but the more I talk to these idol bands, it’s becoming more and more evident that the longer you’ve been in the industry, the more relaxed and professional you become in front of the camera (They just know what they’re supposed to say). Even during the show, MBLAQ was the lead-talkers, constantly cracking jokes and making everyone on the set upbeat. Seung Ho impressed the crowd with his piano skills during an impromptu piano session, and proved MBLAQ’s not just a dance group with little musical talent. G.O was by far the funniest and the most playful guy from the group, but it was disappointing to see Lee Joon not much in action. It was in complete contrast to the Lee Joon we saw on MBC “Radio Star” a few weeks ago, where he pretty much took over the whole show. But all in all, MBLAQ made the second episode of “Music Island” a lot more entertaining and fun to watch.