South Korean star Kim Jong Kook is all about eating healthy. After all, that’s how he keeps his body in shape. And we reckon this passion for everything healthy could be why he’s game enough to try anything in the name of good health—including snake soup.
The singer, who is best known for being part of the regular cast line-up of popular Korean variety show Running Man, ate the nutritious delicacy in Hong Kong. It was part of the challenge posed to him while filming for original travelogue by streaming site Viu, No Sleep No FOMO.
“This might sound crazy, but it actually tastes like chicken soup. It’s pretty tasty and it’s good for health. You will feel energetic after eating it,” says Jong Kook, who was in Singapore on Wednesday to promote the show, which challenges celebrities to complete 60 tasks in 60 hours without any sleep.
Unsurprisingly, the workout fanatic made it to the gym after a 10-hour gruelling shoot in Hong Kong. Perhaps the nourishing soup gave him an energy boost.
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“When I was trying the snake soup, I [was thinking] I should recommend it to [Lee] Kwang Soo,” says Jong Kook with a broad grin on his face.
For those who didn’t know, Kwang Soo is his on-screen arch nemesis on Running Man. Could this be payback for all the times Kwang Soo betrayed him on the show? We’re giving Jong Kook the benefit of the doubt and reckon he meant well when he recommended that his offscreen buddy down a bowl of slithery reptile soup.
And perhaps, next time, they could even enjoy the soup together because Kwang Soo is Jong Kook’s number one choice to bring along as a travel mate should there be a second season of No Sleep No FOMO. “Because he is funny. Whatever he tries (to do), he is funny and makes people happy,” says Jong Kook, who was a special guest who filmed for a shorter period on the show.
What we’re really wondering is if singleton Jong Kook feels FOMO about Kwang Soo finding love and dating actress Lee Sun Bin.
While we couldn’t ask the question at the interview session, Jong Kook reportedly told the Korean media he wishes to date in 2019 and get married in 2020.
With an announcement so public, we’d imagine Korean media outlet Dispatch, famed for uncovering underground celebrity romances, would be on high alert and trail the star as closely as possible.
But then again, the media outlet could have given up on trailing him. Fellow Running Man host Haha once said: “Dispatch used to follow Jong Kook but they gave up. His schedule is just to go to the gym, to the office and so on. It took Dispatch months and they did not get anything.”
Jong Kook confirmed his humdrum routine with us. Rather than being FOMO, he identifies with feeling “JOMO”, the “Joy of Missing Out” . The term refers to the pleasure of not worrying about missing out on what others are doing, as opposed to the anxiety felt by FOMO sufferers.
Oozing the same confidence as seen when tackling physical challenges on TV, Jong Kook says: “I like to do what I like. I don’t have to do what other people do. My life, sometimes, people say it is kind of boring. I like to chill, work out and work and eat. That’s my life.”
No Sleep No FOMO premieres on Viu on March 22, and the Hong Kong episode will be available on April 12.
Text: Gwendolyn Ng