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Six years ago today, on May 27, 2006, Cho Kyuhyun debuted as the 13th member of Super Junior. However, at this time, only 2 of the original 12 members were in favor of his joining. It goes without saying that the majority of the fans, who would later be known as ELF, did not support his addition, and as a result, young Kyuhyun received a great deal of back lash. The majority of the members resenting him for being able to become a Super Junior member after a mere six months of training, while they trained for several years to get where they were. And they did not hesitate to inform him of this. Years later, Kyuhyun reported that he spent the majority of his nights after his debut drunk and crying, often in Ryeowook’s room (one of the two members who were in favor), upset and hurt that neither the members nor the fans would accept him.
But he never let it show and he persevered through the strain of finding a foothold somewhere in the world he had been thrust into with no one on whom he could rely. He continued to showcase his vocal talents and slowly, slowly, very slowly, people began to recognize him as an artist and fellow member.
It was not until November 30, 2006, six months after Kyuhyun’s debut, when Super Junior won their first award for “U” that Kyuhyun felt as though he truly was a member of Super Junior. In an interview, he recounted the atmosphere backstage after they had been given the award, remembering looking around at the members crying and hugging one another while he hung to the side. Leeteuk approached him and told Kyuhyun that it was his award too, and that he was free to cry as well. And so Kyuhyun broke down in Leeteuk’s arms, becoming one with his other 12 brothers.
And now it is hard to imagine a Super Junior without Kyuhyun. It wouldn’t be right, by anyone’s standards. It took an inexplicably horrific event to solidify the love and appreciation that today makes Super Junior inseparable, and that five years ago made the others realize how desperately they need their maknae, perhaps despite his occasional insolence.
Happy 6th year anniversary, Kyuhyun. I think I speak on behalf of all Gamers and ELFs when I say that I am eternally grateful that you became a member of Super Junior, that you are a fighter, and that you continue being your unique, precious, talented little self in all that you do. I love you ;~; ♥