On Wednesday, BTS’ docuseries Burn the Stage ended its eight-episode run on YouTube Red, and throughout the series fans got to learn a lot about the going-on behind-the-scenes of the K-pop group’s Wings tour.
There was a lot to takeaway from the series, but here are some of the highlights:
1. BTS’ members are still growing as artists.
While BTS as a group is undeniably successful, the septet is still working hard to improve as individuals. Throughout the eight episodes, each of the members expressed his own personal struggles to grow artistically. Especially impactful moments came when Jimin and Jin discussed their efforts to get better as a vocalists through practicing and vocal lessons, and when V talked about wanting to sing music that he wrote and become a better actor.
2. Most of the seven BTS members aren’t where they thought they’d be, and it's wonderful.
Several of the members talked about their origins at Big Hit Entertainment and in BTS, and shared some insights into their creative journey, such as Jungkook expressing disbelief retroactively over becoming BTS’ main vocalist and J-Hope talking about how he learned to rap after auditioning as a dancer. Throughout the series there are several references to the groups earliest days, and the group even shared Suga's audition tape for the company.
3. The theme of self-awareness is pervasive throughout Burn the Stage.
Throughout the entire webseries, the BTS members frequently comment on their hard work being simultaneously as important to their career as that of their fans, who have helped them achieve great heights. The group’s recognition that what they’ve become is bigger than themselves is humbling, and shows a great sense of consciousness from one of the world’s most popular boy bands.
At the same time, Burn the Stage as a show is itself very aware that it’s a documentary series giving a look into the life of an act that came out of the tightly-controlled K-pop industry: in one episode, the BTS members and their staff are seen discussing how they have the final say regarding footage filmed at JBTV in Chicago.
4. Communication is key.
Though they were put together by Big Hit and were originally strangers, it’s clear that through the series that there is a tight bond between the seven members of BTS. During Burn the Stage, the members refer to how they’ve learned over the years that the key to successfully working together is through conversation and understanding. Even in the tense moments that are shown, discussion is key; when Jin and V fought before a concert, the entire group got together to talk things out afterwards.
RM also discussed how important it was for him to use music as a way to communicate with fans, as a way to impact the lives of people around the world.
5. BTS’ work ethic is no joke.
Social media erupted in shock and sadness over some early Burn the Stage scenes that revealed youngest member Jungkook had passed out behind stage after performing in one of the group’s shows in Chile. Throughout the episodes it's revealed that ice packs and cans of oxygen made frequent appearances as the seven members toured the world, and the final international stop of the Wings tour in Macau even saw Jimin unable to perform the choreography due to illness. The series also revealed that members carry around portable studios in their suitcases to produce new music as they jump between countries rapidly. It was clear throughout the series that BTS’ dedication and drive to put on the best show possible for their ARMY is literally a labor blood, sweat, and tears.
Bonus: V found out they were going to the BBMAs when he saw the stylists picking out their outfits.
BTS will be performing at this year's Billboard Music Awards on May 20, two days after they release their highly-anticipated Love Yourself: Tear album. They are nominated once again in the Top Social Artist category, which they won last year.