As part of the ongoing 'Member's Week' of SBS's long-running variety show 'Running Man,' singer Kim Jong-kook finally had a date -- a successful one in fact. It looks like the show's cast members were finally able to get one of the most eligible bachelors in the show hitched.
On January 15, in the episode of 'Running Man' titled "Our Ugly Tiger Cub: Marrying off the Tiger," the cast members banded together to help Kim Jong-kook have the perfect blind date with Jung So Young by undertaking a host of tasks and missions designed to increase his chances at getting hitched.
Koreaboo notes that if the 'Running Man' cast members were to fail in their tasks, a much tougher date course would have to be followed. Before Jong Kook went to greet his date, the other members had to determine the car he'd use to pick up his date, what food they'll have and how the date will be concluded and the like, as notes Soompi.
Unfortunately for Kim Jong-kook, the first mission was a failure and he had to go bring his date in a van with the other cast members inside. This must have been really annoying for Jong-kook and embarrassing for his non-celebrity date.
At 29, Jung So Young is eleven years younger than Kim Jong-kook and was revealed to be working as a Certified Public Accountant or CPA. It was amusing when Jong-kook found out that So Young was wearing the same colour combinations as he was. This was no doubt a set-up. The black and maroon dress was probably gifted by the 'Running Man' producers themselves.
Upon meeting his date, seated on a park bench, Jong-kook seemed a bit shy and asked whether she was feeling cold and had to wait long for him. He apologised to her for making her wait in the cold and throughout the episode was very gentle with her. In fact the 'Running Man' members, especially HaHa and Ji Suk-jin jokingly asked why he wasn't even half as nice to them.
Kim Jong Kook has a reputation of being the strongest and most athletic member among the 'Running Man' cast and has often defeated the others in competitions within the variety program. He is occasionally seen pushing the other members away when they annoy him, especially Lee Kwang-soo. However, he obviously does it in a light-hearted manner and not seriously.
The cast members proceeded to show them into a restaurant and food was served to please the couple, particularly the lovely lady. Kim Jong-kook's brother Kim Jong-myeong was also invited to witness the date and give his opinion. He was seated with the other cast members and seemed to be enjoying every moment.
The members made the couple participate in a series of small challenges like walking over plastic cups with their eyes covered and the like. Song Ji-hyo also got to chat with Jung So Young and talked about the Kim Jong-kook that she knew and about his relationships and friendship with women in the past. Song Ji-hyo herself had been linked with Jong-kook in the past. They are the famous 'Spartace' couple of the show.
On January 8, Kim Jong Kook sat through a lie detector test, saying he has no feelings for Yoon Eun Hye with whom he had an official love-line in SBS's 'X-Man' game show. The lie detector shocked his hand and the members teased him by saying he still had feelings for Eun Hye.
Anyway, it seemed that Kim Jong-kook had finally found someone. Talking about his initial impressions of Jung So Young, Jong Kook said "She stirred up a protective instinct within me. I want to protect her. I want to keep her safe." This is obviously a very promising prospect for the 40-year old singer. He also sang for her in the evening on a Han River ferry. It was both a romantic and a hilarious moment as Jong-kook fell down on the floor laughing as noise from the subway drowned his voice as he began singing. He picked up the song again, of course.
As to the outcome of the dating, everyone was nervous and expecting the worst, as always. However, Jung So Young revealed that she liked him and would like to know more about him. "I was so surprised. He's very different from what I thought. I didn't really know much about him, but I was surprised at how deeply thoughtful he was, and I think I really want to get to know him," she said as the 'Running Man' cast members cheered for Kim Jong Kook, who obviously was happy by her answer. At the end of the episode the two were crowned a 'couple.'
The next episode of 'Running Man' will air on January 22. The show will end on February 26, this year.