For the past three months, one of the biggest questions in the minds of K-pop fans was whether Girls' Generation, or SNSD, would survive the controversial firing of Jessica Jung.
Will 2015 mark a comeback for the eight remaining members? Or will it mean the end of the road for one of South Korea's biggest and most recognisable music acts?
As a team of nine, they garnered more than a billion YouTube views, sold over 45 million records, conquered the Asian market and made headway in the West with appearances on The Late Show With David Letterman, MTV and Live! With Kelly and Michael.
Personally, I am doubtful of the group's future.
Going by their live performance of hit single Mr.Mr. on annual year-end mega song festival KBS Gayo Daejun on Dec 26, things aren't looking good at all for Taeyeon, Tiffany, Yoona, Seohyun, Sunny, Sooyoung, Yuri and Hyoyeon.
It was the girls' first TV telecast gig sans Jessica.
It could have been a fantastic opportunity to show the world - especially critics - a rejuvenated, reinvigorated line-up.
It turned out to be a most disastrous affair.
Their outfits were awful (red high-waisted shorts, seriously?). Their dancing was lackadaisical and every one looked sapped of energy.
Even Taeyeon, with her consistently powerful vocals, was off-form and pitchy.
Their choice of song didn't help.
The album version of Mr.Mr., unfortunately, featured Jessica rather prominently.
Whenever it was Yuri or Sunny stepping forward to fill in for her, the difference in their singing styles proved to be glaring.
Perhaps their full-length concert at the Tokyo Dome on Dec 9 - where they played to a 50,000-strong crowd - had taken a toll.
Then again, for a group so experienced, they should have known that the last thing fans want to see on television is their idols looking exhausted and lifeless.
KBS Gayo Daejun could have been the perfect platform for Girls' Generation to send out the message: Hey people, we're better off without our distracted, non-committal ex- member who was too caught up with solo fashion endeavours.
Instead, it's Jessica Jung: 1, Eight Others: 0.
According to entertainment website Popdust, the girls have a new Japanese single slated for release early next year.
I can only hope that by then, they manage to get their mojo back.
This article was first published on December 31, 2014.
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