Who is Byun Seong-tae, star of Netflix's Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha? Meet the up-and-coming heartthrob playing fictional K-pop idol June alongside Shin Min-a

Asia's Tech News Daily

Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, Korean audition show, another unusual trick, struggled as a trainee, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

If you’ve been religiously watching Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, chances are you’ve seen June, a K-pop idol and member of the fictional boy band D. O. S, played by Byun Seong-tae.

Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, Korean audition show, another unusual trick, struggled as a trainee, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Byun Seong-tae as June in Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha. Photo: @seongtaeeeee___/Instagram

The fictional star appears in the show’s fourth episode: protagonist Hye-jin (Shin Min-a) talks about June with diehard K-pop fan, the teenage Joo-ri (Kim Min-seo). She notices Joo-ri’s merchandise, asking her if she is a Hacker – the name of D.O.S.’ fandom.

Hye-jin then reveals to Joo-ri that she actually met June two years ago, when he visited her dental clinic. When Joo-ri asks for proof, Hye-jin looks for a photo she took with June, and the pair both gush over him.

Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, Korean audition show, another unusual trick, struggled as a trainee, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Hye-jin shows Joo-ri her proof that she met K-pop star June of fictional boy band D.O.S. Photo: Netflix

In another scene, June visits a cafe with Sung-hyun (Lee Sang-yi). Chun-jae (Jo Han-chul), the cafe’s owner and Joo-ri’s dad, then asks his daughter to take their orders. Joo-ri takes a closer look at June, but is sceptical about whether it’s really him. June and Sung-hyun laugh, and the latter remarks that June needs to work hard so that people will recognise him.

Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, Korean audition show, another unusual trick, struggled as a trainee, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Byun Seong-tae, the heartthrob of Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha. Photo: Netflix

Viewers are just as smitten with June as Hye-jin and Sung-hyun, with many wondering whether he is really a K-pop idol in real life too. So, other than his good looks, what do we know about Byun Seong-tae?

He was a former contestant on Mnet’s Produce X 101

Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, Korean audition show, another unusual trick, struggled as a trainee, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Byun Seong-tae competed in Produce X 101, a competition programme. Photo: @produce_x_101/Instagram

Byun actually started his career as a contestant on Mnet’s Produce X 101, a Korean audition show where the public chooses 11 people out of all the contestants to form a boy band.

In his introduction video for the show, Byun said he was part of his school’s cheerleading club and is signed under Urban Works Entertainment. He made it all the way to rank No 66 on the show, but was eventually eliminated.

When the show ended, the aspiring idol shifted his focus to acting, according to Koreaboo. He has appeared in web dramas I Can See Your MBTI and Let’s See What They’re Doing. He also had a cameo in the Netflix drama, Nevertheless.

He has an odd talent

In the same introduction video, Byun showed off his cheerleading skills as well as another unusual trick – turning his double eyelids into monolids. After performing his talents, Minju, a member of the girl group Iz*one and fellow Urban Works talent, came on video to urge viewers to support him.

He recently started vlogging

Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, Korean audition show, another unusual trick, struggled as a trainee, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Seong-tae has created his own YouTube channel where he posts vlogs. Photo: Seongtae World/YouTube

Earlier this year, Byun created a YouTube channel to upload more behind-the-scenes footage from his projects. The channel only has two videos so far, one of which is a vlog of Byun’s trip to a theme park.

While his YouTube channel hasn’t seen new uploads in a while, the star is much more active on Instagram where he regularly posts selfies and updates about work.

He was a SM Entertainment trainee

Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, Korean audition show, another unusual trick, struggled as a trainee, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Byun Seong-tae ranked 66 out of 101 contestants in Produce X 101. Photo: @seongtaeeeee___/Instagram

With his boyish good looks, it’s no surprise that Byun once caught the attention of a SM Entertainment scouting manager.

In an interview with Korean media outlet Sports Today, Byun recalled how an SM executive approached him while he passed by a festival event. He passed auditions, but eventually left the company.

In the interview, the actor said he struggled as a trainee and could not see himself as a K-pop idol. He wanted to act, and counts Gang Dong-won as his inspiration after watching him in the film Jeon Woo-chi.

His fame comes with pressure

Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, Korean audition show, another unusual trick, struggled as a trainee, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Byun Seong-tae used to be an SM trainee. Photo: @seongtaeeeee___/Instagram

With the exposure from Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha catapulting Byun’s popularity, he started getting more messages from his friends and an increase in followers. In the interview with Sports Today, the K-drama star said that as more people recognise him, he feels pressured to work hard and do better.

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