”Soulmate Returns” is a remake of 2002 MBC program “Match Made in Heaven/Soulmate”, hosted by Kang Ho Dong. The format of the show is akin to certain episodes back when All The K-Pop was airing in 2013. Celebrities from both genders are given a cellphone with a private number. Through interactions such as games, they can exchange numbers and text each other. In the final decision, they can call their desired partner to pair up as a final couple.
In the last episode, we had the couples Ellin with Kyunghwan, Nicole with Julian, Hani with Jaeyeong, Narsha with L.Joe, Hyejeong with Dongjun and Kyungri with Kangjun formed.
With a new generation of stars, it’s nice to see this dating format again as we see a different side to these celebrities.
Episode 5. Aired on 19 April 2015.
We resume from last week’s episode when Kangjun and Jaeyeong were trying to outlast the other person while hanging on metal bars. Like the previous battles last week, the use of smelly feet were used to disable their opponents. After an extended match of brute force, Jaeyeong managed to emerge victorious.
Next up was Dongjun with Hyejeong cheering him on with Rain’s “La Song”, which Dongjun used in the previous week to get everyone dancing. Not to be outdone, Narsha does the same thing for L.Joe with a more mature twist. Through a clever use of strategy, Dongjun snags a win by shifting all his body weight on to poor L.Joe.
Kyunghwan burns with a competitive spirit but was informed by the MCs to keep his drunk ravings to a minimum (LOL). He soon had his chance against Julian, and what else can he request but a kiss to cheer him on? To which, Ellin responded with the viral phrase from Infinite Challenge, “Cheer Up, Super Power“. In contrast, Nicole cheered on Julian with an upbeat tune. Unsurprisingly, Julian won, to which the captions for Ellin said, “Maybe I should have kissed him?”
From then on, any opponent of Julian gets a “Destroy him” whisper from Kyunghwan. Unfortunately for Jaeyeong, he lost when Julian kicked him in a particular sensitive region (ouch!) in the final match-up, resulting in Julian obtaining the win.
The matches between the girls were skipped with Ellin winning against Narsha and Hani to battle against Nicole in the final match, who had earned a reputation of ending a match in 3 seconds! They were asked to have a verbal match (one thing they needed changing). Nicole started off with a diss of Ellin’s evidently dancing skills from the previous episode, while Ellin returned with a diss of how Nicole’s makeup could be better. This fired up Nicole, resulting in an utter destruction of Ellin in 1 second.
We then move on to the next segment of passing heart leaflets with their mouths down a line. Kyunghwan was congratulated before the game began as he was sandwiched between Hani and Ellin. Team A was made up of Jaeyeong and Hani, Kyunghwan and Ellin, Kangjun and Kyungri. As the eldest, Kyunghwan picked normal paper hearts.
Before the match began, they had a practice round without the leaflets. However, Hani was immediately embarrassed to Kyunghwan’s dismay. Ellin quickly pointed out that his anticipation to practice with Hani was too much. Kyunghwan wittily responded saying she could have all the skinship she wanted (with him) later. Looks like it wasn’t just Kyunghwan?
The game began well with Kyunghwan seemingly appearing in heaven with every chance he got to pass the paper heart. A kissing accident between Kangjun and Kyungri inevitably happened when the paper fell off. Team A ended with 3 hearts passed.
Ellin was asked why she kept holding Kangjun’s neck, to which Kyungri commented that it must be a habit of hers (Kyungri was also on All the K-Pop with Ellin back in 2013. Ellin also held her partner’s neck while passing the hearts back then). Ellin frantically explained that his position was awkward, so she propped it up. Nice excuses, Ellin.
Next, it was Team B’s turn. Again, they had a practice without the heart leaflets, and Narsha held Dongjun’s face with both hands, causing a timeout by the MCs. She explained it away as to ensure proper targetting. Indeed noona. Hyejeong picked 0.3mm paper hearts, which caused an uproar since the celebrities would be practically kissing one another with that thickness. After a few near-incidents, the 0.3mm paper hearts proved advantageous to them as Team B cinched the win with 7 hearts.
When asked who thought they could do better than 7 hearts, Kyunghwan’s eyes immediately lit up. This was not left unseen by Boom, resulting in Kyunghwan and Ellin stepping up. Right from the beginning, the paper heart fell off from Ellin’s mouth to her neck, to which Kyunghwan simply picked it up from her neck, shocking everyone. A comparison of the slow passing of hearts between Kyunghwan with Hani, versus the ultra-fast passing between Kyunghwan with Ellin was illustrated. Is Ellin that unattractive? This was anwered in the last 5 seconds, when Kyunghwan locked lips with Ellin. Omo~
Kyunghwan was asked why did he not stop when he saw the paper heart falling off, but he said Ellin too didn’t move away till after the kiss! He apologized to Ellin if she felt violated, but she coolly said it wasn’t a big deal. He also thanked Boom for choosing him and for being able to be on the show. *Bro fist*
For the final game segment, the guys had to raise the girls’ heartbeat-rates. The top 3 (cliched) methods to touch a girl according to dramas were pulling a girl back, a back hug, and the best method, pinning a girl to a wall before professing his love. This was tried out between the couples who all looked very satisfied with the experience except the El-Kyung couple.
Beginning the game was Ellin and Kyunghwan, but Ellin couldn’t resist laughing. At one point, Kyunghwan projected his exasperation of his inability by blaming the MC’s gibbering. After getting them to shut up so that he could focus on the task at hand, he eventually managed getting her heartbeat-rate to reach 111.
Next up was Hyejeong and Dongjun. Dongjun kept pinning a laughing Hyejeong who recorded the lowest heartbeat-rate at 31 (is that even possible!?). To that, Dongjun asked if he had caused her death, to much laughter.
Jaeyoung touched Hani with his romantic words but a short sniffle ended up turning Hani off. To his benefit, he still managed a respectable record of 116. Actor Kangjun proved he was no rookie at such scenes and managed to pull it off with Kyungri, pushing her heartbeat-rate to 120.
Finally, it was Narsha with L.Joe who practically won immediately with a base heartbeat rate at 142, and went even higher at 148 when L.Joe called Narsha by her real name, “Hyojin”. To up the antic, he declared that he was a virgin, shocking everyone with his out of the blue statement.
The group then moves on to Ganghwado as the new venue for further activities. As expected, a game was played with the guys seated in the bus, and the girls would approach a man of her choice for a seat beside him. It was then the man’s choice to reject or accept her. Successful couples could share dinner and coffee together, while those who didn’t succeed would sit through the bus trip alone in single seats.
Nicole came up first, and skipped her original partner Julian (poor guy), and successfully became a bus couple with L.Joe. Next, Hani joined up with Dongjun, abandoning her original partner Jaeyeong who was sitting one seat in front. Hyejeong then comes up and selects Kangjun, as a form of revenge against Dongjun. It was funny how L.Joe and Nicole couldn’t look at Narsha in the eye when she came up the bus. After commenting on how L.Joe looked familiar, she chose Jaeyeong, causing a Hani to show some forms of jealousy. This relationship web just gets more and more complicated…sorry about that.
Kyungri comes up next and chooses Kyunghwan. Exasperated Ellin said that he had promised her that he would hold out for her, but his seat was no longer available. When Ellin finally came up, Kyungri pointed out Kyunghwan’s expression angrily, claiming she was now hers, not Ellin. Ellin could only shake her head as she passed Kyunghwan by, and asked Kangjun if she could have a seat, to which he said “sorry”. Ellin was surprised and asked if it was a hidden camera. She later explained that she saw Kangjun giving her eye signals, so she approached him. However, he had meant Julian was available. Ah…typical Elgu.
As such, she and Julian had to sit alone at the front of the bus on the trip to Ganghwado, while the other couples enjoyed time with each other. There were the occasional jabs at their former partners such as Jaeyoung looking longingly at Hani enjoying herself with Dongjun. Kyungri also spotted Kyunghwan reading Ellin’s text saying, “You do know the process isn’t important, but the final result is all that matters” and “I want revenge”. Kyungri was amused with the childish antics between the El-Kyung couple, and stirred the pot by displaying aegyo, to which Kyunghwan said it was like a needle cushion. Hearing that, Ellin commented that she was really hungry previously but after the betrayal, she had lost her appetite. That sure says a lot for a Crayon Pop member. Julian consoled her, telling her not to look back, as she will only get hurt. Also, it’s only variety, why is she so hurt, muses Ellin.
Upon reaching Ganghwado, we see snippets of the celebrities having a fun party (why was all of that cut!?), and their nighttime stay at the resort. There was a gathering as everyone let their hair down and chatted. Julian started off with asking what the heck was the bus situation. Julian declared that he didn’t have any numbers (Nicole was like What? What, what what!?), and asked for Ellin. He said that he formed a bond with Ellin who took care of him on the bus ride, and declared war on Kyunghwan, saying “I can’t do without Ellin”. The couples texted one another late into the night.
In the morning, we see the celebrities still sleeping as Dongjun shows us around with a handheld video camera. Interestingly, Kyunghwan was wearing a familiar mouth contraption to keep his mouth closed (I wonder where I’ve seen that before). After the celebrities were all made up and ready, they went on dates with a partner. This time, the girls were seated in vehicles and the guys chose to get on the vehicles. This time, the partners were Kyungri with Kangjun, Ellin with Kyunghwan, Narsha with Jaeyoung, Hyejeong with Dongjun, Nicole with L.Joe, pretty much the original couples (phew~). Hani had a prior schedule in the morning so he was unable to participate in it. Julian seemed to have tagged along with the El-Kyung couple for certain parts of the date…o_O
Finally, we reached the ultimate decision-making. One side was to call the partner they would like to become a couple with. Everyone shared some romantic (and unromantic thoughts) before we began the choosing process. The MCs also shared that the celebrities could choose not to accept anyone by rejecting the person, handing the phone to the MCs and walk out.
L.Joe was first up and he managed to pair up with Nicole who had claimed that she had already made up her mind while they were on their date. Julian was next up, and true to his word, he called Ellin. Ellin replied with a ‘sorry’, breaking his heart. It was then Ellin’s turn to call. Not surprisingly, she called Kyunghwan, to his relief. A confident Kyunghwan then began their conversation. Ellin asked him why he was “like that”. Immediately Kyunghwan’s confidence was shattered and apologized profusely. In return, Ellin apologized too, and asked him to lead a good life and walked out of the room. This shocked everyone and Hani’s expression of “you go girl!” summed up everything.
The MCs too were in shock, and MC Lee Hwi Jae had to run after Ellin for her to come back. Upon returning to the room, Ellin said that he should have cherished what he had. Julian was gleeful at the turn of events, causing Kyunghwan to rage at him. Ellin again explained her rationale that she liked responsible and reliable men, and that was the reason why she had dedicated herself for him but he had hurt her during the process. Kyunghwan was given his opportunity to make the call, and he embarrassingly called Ellin…
He began with a “YAH!”. He said seriously that he wanted to change fate and asked her to reconsider by going back to the time before boarding the bus. “If I ever had a mistake in my life, it was on that bus,” he said with determination. We see scenes of their date in the morning which looked really heartwarming (Again, those were cut out too…). To this, Ellin made her choice by saying “Come over”. Kyunghwan ran to Ellin and embraced her. Everyone can probably agree with Hani’s expression when this pairing was made.
Next up was Narsha who called Jaeyoung. Narsha was pushing and pulling in their conversation when Jaeyoung suddenly rejected her. He followed up by calling Hani, forming a couple. Following that, we have Kangjun who called Kyungri and successfully became a couple. Finally we have Dongjun who calls Hyejeong. He said that although he wasn’t like Gongyoo (who Hyejeong said she likes), he wanted to be with her despite having 3 numbers to choose from. Funnily, he did that all while looking away from Hyejeong. He immediately turned back and joined up with her when she said yes.
With that, 5 couples were formed and that wraps up this particular chapter of “Soulmate Returns”. Look forward to Soyul’s appearance on the show next chapter!
A likely reason why this chapter only has 2 episodes while the previous chapter had 3 was because this show has moved from cable TV to the main MBC channel. This shift probably resulted in 3 episodes worth of material being cut down to 2.