To the surprise of absolutely nobody, SM Entertainment has now almost finally confirmed Sulli‘s departure from f(x).
After reports emerged earlier today that Sullovely was leaving K-pop’s most overstylized quintet in order to focus on her other careers as a print model and occasional actress, SM quickly responded with a bullshit “maybe she will, maybe she won’t” official statement.
“There is nothing that has been decided. We will make a decision on Sulli’s future group activities after careful consideration.”
“We are flustered that such articles have come out when nothing has been concretely decided on regarding Sulli. We are also currently picturing a comeback in the later half of the year for f(x), but no details have been decided yet on that either.”
Considering that SM is the kind of company that has about thirty member withdrawals per week on average, I’ll be more surprised if Sulli stays than if she goes.
People are probably going to try and make a big deal about this for whatever reason, but what’s the point? f(x) losing a member is like Super Junior or EXO losing a member–it means nothing and doesn’t change a thing.
f(x) is not SHINee. There’s no magical x factor to the lineup that elevates the group beyond their spectacular art direction and genre-bending music. They promoted “Mr. Boogie” without Amber, the group’s most distinctive member, back in 2011, and it didn’t make a difference. They continued promoting “Red Light” without Sulli after Choiza-gate last year and it felt the same as when they performed it as five.
f(x)’s music is so great, their concepts so unbelievably perfect that’s it’s nice to believe that they’re a special group that can only work as five and that it’s the members that make the magic happen, but it’s just not true. Red Velvet already proved how easy it is to clone f(x).
Plus, Sulli was just a visual. An incredible visual, but a visual. f(x) still has two of those left, plus a rapper, plus an amazing vocalist. Most groups are lucky to even have one top visual, so f(x) will be perfectly fine with two.
Sulli will also be fine on her own. Her beauty is so striking and flawless that the post-Choiza netizen backlash against her has been surprisingly soft. People think badly of her now, but she’s so pretty that they kind of don’t care. Time will heal the wounds, and Sulli will eventually become a real actress or a celebrity that lives off her good looks. Either way, everything will work out in the end. (That is, unless she gets pregnant.)
Now bring on the new f(x) album! And please make it more cohesive than Red Light was. Red Light was filled with great songs, but ultimately it came off as the less cohesive, more abrasive version of the near perfect Pink Tape. They need to meet the hype.