RECAP: BTS Week on The Tonight Show

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WRITTEN BY: Ruby Lee

The B in BTS stands for busy busy busy. (Just kidding, don’t fact check that.) But seriously, BTS has been SO incredibly active and busy – pretty much always, but especially these past couple months. 

Back in August, the group released their colorful single “Dynamite,” an explosive, energetic, fun and lighthearted track which absolutely shattered all kinds of records. For one thing, it became the most-viewed music video premiere EVER on YouTube by racking up over 100 million views within the first 24 hours of its release. What’s more, it’s teetered between the #1 and #2 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 for a steady SEVEN WEEKS now. It was also the first song ever to hold the #1 spots on the Billboard Hot 100, Billboard Global Excl. US, and Billboard Global 200 charts, all at the same time! 

Since the song’s release and throughout the month of September, BTS has performed “Dynamite” at the VMAs, Today Show, iHeartRadio Festival, Tiny Desk, Grammy.com, and more. And to close this incredible month of promo, they have just blessed the world with a week-long residency at the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. 

BTS has had a special history and relationship with both the Tonight Show and Jimmy Fallon. They were guests on his show back in 2018 when they were relatively new to mainstream America, and in February of this year, they participated in a totally unprecedented Subway Special episode, wherein the boys rode the subway and went around with Jimmy in New York, while also talking and answering questions and playing fun games together. The episode ended with a jaw-dropping performance of BTS’ single “On” at the iconic and beautiful Grand Central Station, complete with flawless vocals, powerful choreo and even a full-on badass marching band. 

This time around, the Tonight Show invited BTS to be guests for an entire week, a move which was equal parts genius and exciting as a way to top their Subway Special from before. This wonderful blur of a week saw new surprise performances from the group every night, as well as games and an interview with Jimmy. Here’s a brief breakdown of what each party of an evening looked like:

Night One (#BTSonFallon_D1)

Before the first commercial break, BTS performed a chill yet subtly mind-blowing rendition of “Dynamite” with Jimmy and the Roots. The set was simple yet effective with bright colored backgrounds and even some glow-in-the-dark action in conveying an innovative and fun semi-acapella version of the smash hit. 

To close the show, BTS performed their 2018 banger “Idol” in front of the historic Gyeongbokgung Palace in Korea, while styled in sleek and striking modern hanbok. There was definitely a regal air about them as they danced and sang with power and confidence, delivering lines such as “I know what I want” and “I never gon’ trade” with a sense of firm finality.

Night Two (#BTSonFallon_D2)

Night two saw a music video-caliber performance of the song “HOME” from their 2019 album Map of the Soul: Persona, with a blue and white color scheme and a fun (and slightly trippy) at-home pajama party.

Night Three (#BTSonFallon_D3)

Wednesday was PACKED! 

First, the boys played a game called Dance Your Feelings with Jimmy that was all sorts of hilarious and chaotic. Jin ended up winning with some moves that will absolutely have you in tears, fair warning.

Then the boys connected with Jimmy for a virtual interview, wherein they were able to share about “Dynamite,” as well as their upcoming album BE (out Nov. 20), and even talk about what they were like in high school! Another spoiler/warning: V and Jimin were THE most adorable bffs, and Jungkook was essentially the group’s collective child. 

Finally, BTS delivered an ethereal performance of “Black Swan” in a gorgeous garden ruins set.

Night Four (#BTSonFallon_D4)

BTS was able to join Jimmy for another fun virtual activity: Zoom Olympics! Similar to the Subway Olympics they played back in February, they played several different and random games together and settled on a winner bracket-style.

To close the night, BTS performed a lovely serotonin-inducing version of their song “Mikrokosmos” at Gyeonghoeru pavilion. The song is a fan favorite, and the performance ended with special-effect constellations in the shape of the ARMY and BTS symbols as a shoutout to their treasured relationship with their fans.

Night Five (#BTSonFallon_D5)

BTS concluded the week with another special performance of “Dynamite,” this time in a beautifully vibrant and lively roller skating rink set. The rainbow-colored visuals and show-stopping performance as a whole were full of light and energy and excitement, making for a fun and lighthearted end to an absolutely sensational week of BTS x Tonight Show content. 

BTS Week brought an unbelievable amount of joy, laughter, and overall good vibes to both die-hard fans and casual watchers everywhere. It was certainly a very busy week for BTS, but they made so many people so incredibly happy during it, and they’ve often said that’s WHY they do what they do. All of the members seem strongly bound by the common goal of wanting to be a source of comfort, strength, and hope for others, even and especially in these difficult and uncertain COVID-19 times. In a recent interview with KBS News 9, RM stated in an emotional closing message that they will be doing all they can from their positions to try to stay hopeful, and they want their fans and everyone around the world who may be struggling and/or suffering to try to do the same. As the group said at the end of their speech in September at the UN General Assembly in collaboration with UNICEF, “Let’s live on.”

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