Ahn Jin Kyung Bad Personal Statements

Korea's Next Top Model, cycle 3

Cycle 3 cast

Country of originSouth Korea
Original networkOnstyle
Original releaseJuly 21 – October 20, 2012
Season chronology

← Previous
Cycle 2

Next →
Cycle 4

Series summary

Korea's Next Top Model, cycle 3 (or Do-jeon Supermodel Korea, Cycle 3) is the third cycle of the Koreanreality television show in which a number of women compete for the title of Korea's Next Top Model and a chance to start their career in the modelling industry. The prize includes: a modelling contract with Major Model Management in New York, a feature in W Magazine Korea and a contract for SK-II.[1]

Episode guide[edit]

Airport Fashion Couture and Captivating Goddesses of Nature[edit]

Original Airdate: July 21, 2012

The models undergo an interview with the judges, including host Jang Yoon-ju, and face a trio runway challenge at the airport when they arrive for casting. Most of the girls impress, while some fail to excel. Yeon-hee, So-ra, Se-hee, and Han-bit excel. Da-min also manages to make a lasting impression. After the runway, the models take part in a photo shoot challenge at the airport, which will be followed by an elimination later on that day. At the shoot, Cho-won, So-ra, So-hyun, Na-hyun, Han-bit, Yeon-hee and Jin-kyung manage to impress. A handful of other semi finalists fall flat.

Host Yoon Ju rounds up the semi-finalists, and tells them that they will all have to pass through a metal detector. If the metal detector beeps, the model has not made it to the top 16. If the model is able to pass through the detector without having it beep, she is one of the final 16. The pool of girls is reduced to 16. Two contestants who were initially rejected (Da-min & Hae-rin) are added to the cast after a change of heart, bringing the final number to 18 contestants.

The final 18 models undergo a second photo shoot at Jeju Island, where they pose as Goddesses of nature.

So-ra's photograph is praised during judging, and she receives a first call-out.

So-hyun, Da-min, Han-sol and Hae-rin ultimately land in the bottom four due to their poor performance at the shoot. Yoon Ju hands the final photograph to So-hyun, thus eliminating the other three contestants.

  • First call-out: Choi So-ra
  • Bottom four: Kwon Da-min, Min Hae-rin, Jung Han-sol & Ko So-hyun
  • Eliminated: Kwon Da-min, Min Hae-rin, Jung Han-sol
  • Featured photographer: Nam Hyeon-beom (Casting), Kim Young-joon

Conceptional Group Shots[edit]

Original Airdate: July 28, 2012

The contestant were grouped by one of the host and required to film a short fashion clip embodying a specific theme.

Team 1Na-hyun, Ji-su, Yeon-hee, Min-jung & Se-hee
Team 2Jang Mi-rim, So-ra, Cho-won, Eun-hwa & Jin-kyung
Team 3So-yeon, Seul-ki, Kyung-hee, So-hyun & Han-bit

The groups were deliberated and Team 3 of the leader Han-bit won the challenge and the prize was an exclusive lunch in a luxurious yacht.

  • Reward Challenge Winner: Team 3 (Ji So-yeon, Lee Seul-ki, Heo Kyung-hee, Ko So-hyun & Choi Han-bit)

The photoshoot is a group shot with exceptional concepts.

During deliberation at the judging panel, Cho-won was hailed the best and as well as her group embodying stark minimalism. So-hyun was deemed also exceptional though her group Agriculture was deemed the worst, She was called eleventh place but if it was an individual shot, she might be on the top 3 photos. Seul-ki and So-yeon landed at the bottom 2 for their uninspiring presence and mediocre photos. Despite of appearing in bottom 2 again, So-yeon was spared and Seul-ki was eliminated though she produced a stellar photo last week.

  • First call-out: Kang Cho-won
  • Bottom two: Lee Seul-ki & Ji So-yeon
  • Eliminated: Lee Seul-ki
  • Featured photographer: Kim Young-jun
  • Special guests: Kang Seung-hyun

High Fashion Editorial Olympiads[edit]

Original Airdate: August 4, 2012

At the makeovers, almost everyone was satisfied with their new looks.

Cho-wonLovely Bob Cut
So-hyunModern Classic
Jin-kyungStreet Vintage
Yeon-heeGlamourous Layerd
Eun-hwaEropean Chic
Min-jungRetro Volume
Mi-rimAvant-Garde Unbalance
So-yeonNatural Bang Hair
Se-heeLuxury Short Cut
So-raModern Chic
Han-bitRomantic Wave
Ji-suOriental Charisma

The contestant are required their third photoshoot and that is shooting a High fashion olympic couture inspired by London-Olympic. The girls were divided into:

During panel, Han-bit produces her best stellar shot to date but she did not earn the first call out. Jin-kyung were compared to Jung Sun of Cycle 2 because of their age and flawless high fashion ability thus, she gained the first call out of the week. Yeon-hee, Min-jung, Na-hyun, Se-hee and Hanbit produced stellar while other fall flat and ultimately, Kyung-hee and So-yeon landed in the Bottom two. Because of her third appearance in the Bottom 2, So-yeon eliminated thus Kyung-hee spared.

  • First call-out: Kim Jin-kyung
  • Bottom two: Heo Kyung-hee & Ji So-yeon
  • Eliminated: Ji So-yeon
  • Featured photographer: Yoo Young-kyu (Makeover) & Jo Seon-hee
  • Special guests: Taeyang & Kim Hyun-suk

Petitzel Orange Commercial[edit]

Original Airdate: August 11, 2012

The contestant were required to attend a vocal class of Phantom of the opera and their challenge is to sing their pieces in front of others. Min-jung hailed the most dramatic and gained the winner title of the challenge and the prize of a jewelry. She chooses Ji-su to accompany her to the boutique.

  • Reward Challenge Winner: Lee Min-jung

The Photo shoot was not actually involve in photos but shooting a commercial.

Most of the girls impressed the judges at the panel. Na-hyun didn't kept her composure and reveal that So-ra's commercial was not appropriate when she crumpled the cup during the commercial. The revelation result into a small altercation between the two front-runners. So-hyun was hailed the best out of the bunch and gained her first and well deserved first call out followed next by Yeon-hee, So-ra, Na-hyun, Min-jung and Cho-won. Other contestant fall flat. Ji-su and Mi-rim landed at the bottom two producing worst commercials. Despite of strong portfolio, Mi-rim was eliminated and Ji-su was saved.

  • First call-out: Ko So-hyun
  • Bottom two: Jang Mi-rim & Hong Ji-su
  • Eliminated: Jang Mi-rim
  • Featured commercial director: Cha Woon-taek
  • Special guests:Kolleen Park & Jang Moon-jung

"High" Fashion Spy[edit]

Original Airdate: August 18, 2012

The contestants were surprised in the morning by a person dressed up as Spiderman descending from the roof of their house. Later, they were required to practise stunts in midair on a wall while secured on wires. So-ra knocked her leg and back on the wall while practising and complained of back pain constantly, which annoyed some of the girls. Then, all the girls were paired for the challenge, which was to perform the stunts taught in synchronization with their partners. Cho-won and Jin-kyung were declared the winners and won the right to assign house chores to the other contestants.

  • Reward Challenge Winner: Kang Cho-won & Kim Jin-kyung

The next morning, the girls were welcomed by their creative director and played a video message from Americas Next Top Model's creative director, Jay Manuel. Mr. Jay was then revealed to be right behind them and surprised the girls for the next photo shoot.

The photo shoot required the girls to pose on a high-rise building embodying a secret agent or spy. Because of So-hyun's first call-out in the previous episode, she got to decide the order of which the girls get their photos taken. So-ra was the first girl up. Within seconds from being dropped down from the roof of the building slowly, So-ra panicked and could not start her shoot. After a few other girls took their photos, she requested the props department to provide her the fake gun Han-bit used in her photo shoot to aid her posing, which rubbed some of the girls the wrong way. Most of the girls impressed Jay, especially So-hyun and Han-bit, who produced stellar photos in a variety of excellent poses. During panel, So-hyun was deemed to be the best and earned her second consecutive first call-out, followed by Yeon-hee and Han-bit. Cho-won's photo was deemed amazing by all the judges, with the exception of Jay, who said she looked as though she needed to go to the bathroom. This caused Cho-won to cry after her critique, and Jay saying that she needs to be more mature and tough in such a harsh industry like modelling. The other girls did not seemed to impress at all. So-ra was reprimanded for her terrible attitude on set, which reflected in her photo. During her critique, So-ra's bad habit of tearing the skin under her fingernails caused her hands to bleed in front of the judges. Ultimately, Kyung-hee and Min-jung landed bottom two. Kyung-hee for not taking the competition seriously and Min-jung for her cliche photos. Min-jung was given a chance and Kyung-hee was eliminated.

  • First call-out: Ko So-hyun
  • Bottom two: Lee Min-jung & Heo Kyung-hee
  • Eliminated: Heo Kyung-hee
  • Featured photographer: Oh Joong-seok
  • Special guests: Go Eun-kyeong & Jay Manuel

Vampire Brides[edit]

Original Airdate: August 25, 2012

After the elimination, the girls told So-ra about their issues with her, specifically that she was seemingly complaining too much about things that were affecting all the girls — for example, the pain and discomfort of the previous photoshoot — and the fact that she appeared to steal ideas from other girls (such as Na-hyun's cup-crushing idea during the commercial shoot, and Han-bit's gun prop during the spy photo shoot). So-ra was dejected after the conversation, which was noticed by the other girls.

The remaining 11 contestants were treated to a lunch with male guests. Unbeknownst to them, however, this was a challenge about being professional wherever the models are. The two models that impressed the modelling trainer were Cho-won and Ji-su, who were treated to jewelry. In addition, there was only one watch to be won; Ji-su allowed Cho-won to keep the watch.

  • Reward Challenge Winner: Kang Cho-won & Hong Ji-su

Soon after, they were individually interviewed by Christian Paris of Major Model Management, and the girls were warned beforehand that this would be an elimination challenge. Most girls impressed Christian, especially Ji-su's facial features, Se-hee's sense of style, and So-ra's look in general. So-hyun's height was deemed a little too short for modelling, but Christian stated to her that if she's able to outshine the other taller contestants, she can be booked. Cho-won's cute personality did not sit well with Christian. Christian pointed out to some models what they needed to work on in order to get booked. Ji-su was the first person called. Han-bit and Eun-hwa were in the bottom two. The casting director previously stated that Eun-hwa was gaining too much weight for modelling. The director also disapproved of Han-bit, as she unnecessarily danced during her audition. Ultimately, Han-bit was the last person called out, and Eun-hwa was eliminated.

  • Reward Challenge Winner: Hong Ji-su
  • Bottom two: Yoon Eun-hwa & Choi Han-bit
  • Eliminated outside of judging panel: Yoon Eun-hwa

The photoshoot required the girls to pose with male models for a "Vampire Bride" concept. As So-hyun was the winner of the previous shoot, she was able to again choose the order in which the girls go for their photoshoot; So-ra was surprisingly chosen to go second, after Min-jung. The girls complained that So-ra seemed to attract special attention from the photographer, as she was allowed to practice with the photographer prior to the actual shoot. Many of the girls had some difficulties, but So-hyun and Yeon-hee received strong praise from the creative director and the photographer.

Both the photographer and Christian Paris were part of the judging panel. Upon viewing So-ra's photo, Paris disagreed with the rest of the judges, as he felt that it was lacking in emotion and underwhelming; however, the rest of the panel expressed their contentment over her photo. So-hyun's picture left judge Lee Hye-ju "breathless" and stated that she did not seem to be an amateur model. She continued to say that she underestimated her (and the photographer admitted this as well), but that So-hyun's ability to understand and work with the concept was surprising. Yeon-hee's picture was also well received by the panel: the photographer stated that she totally let go of any inhibitions and surprised the entire crew with her modelling, and Lee Hye-ju stated that she would choose Yeon-hee as "Best Actress". Han Sang-hyeok confirmed that Yeon-hee was runner-up quite often, and that he hoped that she would not be runner-up this week.

Ultimately, So-hyun was the girl first called out, and Yeon-hee was second, each for the third week in a row. The bottom two were Han-bit and Se-hee. Jang Yoon-ju stated that for Se-hee, the issue was that even with her makeover, she was unable to showcase her modelling abilities in photoshoots and demonstrate to the judges that she had what it takes to become a top model. For Han-bit, the issue was that her acting ability was demonstrated in the picture, as expected, but the judges were getting tired of her overacting and unnatural poses, and that for her to become a high fashion, she must learn to exercise restraint. Se-hee was the last girl called out, and Han-bit was eliminated.

  • First call-out: Ko So-hyun
  • Bottom two: Choi Han-bit & Choi Se-hee
  • Eliminated: Choi Han-bit
  • Featured photographer: Kim Wook
  • Special guests: Christian Paris, Fabian & An Jae-hyeon

Underwater Mermaids[edit]

Original Airdate: September 1, 2012

The girls were undergone a runway tutorial wearing high fashion couture dresses. Most of them did well but most of them fell because of the difficulty of the dress like Ji-su, and So-ra. Later that day, The remaining contestants were introduced to their challenge. A live fashion runway walk in a spinning stage. So-hyun fell flat as much as the girls. Ji-su excelled and won reward.

  • Reward Challenge Winner: Hong Ji-su

The challenge required the contestants to shoot an underwater motion editorial and they were grouped into:

Jin-kyung, Min-jung, So-hyunIn the Ice Cube
Cho-won, So-ra, Hing Ji-suSpace Adventurers
Na-hyun, Yeon-hee, Se-heeWarriors in Hell

So-hyun once again captivated the panel during deliberation though she was reprimanded for having one angle on her stellar portfolio. She was deemed the most excelled and called "magical" in her motion. Yeon-hee, Jin-kyung, Na-hyun and Cho-won also excelled while Min-jung and Ji-su disappointed the panel for producing bad motion due to their phobias. Yeon-hee got first call out because the judges considered her always second to So-hyun. She was followed by Cho-Won, Na-hyun and So-hyun. The two bestfriends Min-jung and Ji-su landed at the bottom and Jang Yoon-ju handed the last snapshot to Min-jung thus eliminating Ji-su.

  • First call-out: Yeo Yeon-hee
  • Bottom two: Lee Min-jung & Hong Ji-su
  • Eliminated: Hong Ji-su
  • Featured photographer: Lumpens
  • Special guests: Yonny P, Steven J & Cha Woon-taek

Overseas to Cambodia; Oriental High Fashion[edit]

Original Airdate: September 8, 2012

Immediately after the elimination, the girls were told by Jang Yoon-ju that they had to go pack their bags for their overseas destination, without telling the girls where they would be going. The next day, the girls landed in Cambodia. Although pleasantly surprised by the choice, the girls were unhappy with the high humidity and the relatively basic hotel they were staying at. Later on, the girls visited a village school where they interacted with the children and fed them lunch. This was a challenge, so the contestants were paired off in twos. At the end of the day, the models held a "runway" show with the children. The girls who "won" the challenge were Cho-won and So-ra, who had 300 sets of school supplies donated to the school in their name.

  • Reward Challenge Winner: Kang Cho-won & Choi So-ra

The photoshoot was at an old ruined temple, with an "Oriental High Fashion" concept set over a thousand years ago. The challenge winners were given the choice of "stealing" 10 frames from other contestants. Cho-won stole ten frames from Yeon-hee (with the reason that she saw her as a top competitor), while So-ra took them from Jin-kyung (stating that she believed her good shots were from genetics and luck). Min-jung and Jin-kyung pleasantly surprised the creative director, whereas Cho-won and Se-hee struggled to showcase the concept. Na-hyun was noted for complaining and not pushing herself to do her best.

Both the photographer and the creative director were guest judges on the panel. During judging, the girls were judged using both a body shot and a close-up. Min-jung and Jin-kyung were praised for their understanding of the concepts and their poses; Min-jung's photo was labelled as her best to date. On the other hand, Se-hee was considered extremely awkward in her photos; Jang Yoon-ju stated that her hands were odd in both shots, and that both shots were ultimately poor. Cho-won's photos were liked by the judges, but those on set during the shoot noted that it was due to luck, and that the model really needed to quickly learn how to pose for the camera. Na-hyun's photos were stated to be poor, and the judges stated that she showed her discomfort too obviously, although judge Lee Hye-ju stated that she at least emoted well with her face; So-ra, on the other hand, was criticized for not emoting enough. So-hyun was noted to have a poor wide shot (but praised for her close-up), and the creative director advised Yeon-hee to start changing up her poses in more subtle ways, and to make it more sophisticated. During judging, both So-ra and Na-hyun were noted to be losing their spark over the competition's duration.

To her own surprise, Min-jung was the first girl to be called out. The bottom two were Na-hyun and Se-hee. Na-hyun was disciplined for her inability to keep striving forward and mask any frustrations or difficulties. Se-hee was taken to task for being unable to live up to her potential and the fact that she had yet to surprise the judges with any of her photos. Ultimately, Se-hee was eliminated.

  • First call-out: Lee Min-jung
  • Bottom two: Lee Na-hyun and Choi Se-hee
  • Eliminated: Choi Se-hee
  • Featured photographer: Bori

Overseas to Vietnam; Le Petit Prince[edit]

Original Airdate: September 15, 2012

They're playing a truth game. Sohyun is pissed off with Chowon and vice versa. Yeonhee is telling Minjeong to control her expressions because she always looks pissed off. And Jingyeong is awkward at that table because she likes Chowon while the others are talking about Chowon.

  • Reward Challenge Winner: Yeo Yeon-hee
  • First call-out: Lee Na-hyun
  • Bottom two: Kang Cho-won and Ko So-hyun
  • Eliminated: Kang Cho-won
  • Featured photographer: Oh Joong-seok
  • Special guests: Yang Ji-hae

Real-Life Dolls[edit]

Original Airdate: September 22, 2012

The girls introduced into a one on one posing challenge showcasing their posing abilities and variety of Posing styles. Yeon-hee and So-ra excelled while defeating other girls.

  • Reward Challenge Winner: Yeo Yeon-hee

Later they were introduced into their next photoshoot: Posing as a High Fashion Dolls. The contestants were given specific type of dolls that they need to embody.

At the photoshoot, Most of the girls struggled like So-hyun crying during photoshoot Thus, producing stellar photo again. Jin-kyung was hailed as the first call-out of the bunch. Next is Na-hyun, So-hyun and So-ra. Yeon-hee and Min-jung dropped at the bottom two. The judges considered that Yeon-hee is a top competitor than Min-jung thus eliminating Min-jung.

  • First call-out: Kim Jin-kyung
  • Bottom two: Yeo Yeon-hee and Lee Min-jung
  • Eliminated: Lee Min-jung
  • Featured photographer: Shin Sun-hye

Metrocity Special Runway[edit]

Original Airdate: September 29, 2012

Magic Circus[edit]

Original Airdate: October 6, 2012

  • Reward Challenge Winner: Yeo Yeon-hee

The Judges were impressed by Yeon-hee's performance and dedication that is why she earned the best photo. So-hyun and Na-hyun underperformed and castigated by their photos and sent home.

  • First call-out: Yeo Yeon-hee
  • Bottom three: Ko So-hyun, Lee Na-hyun & Choi So-ra
  • Eliminated: Ko So-hyun & Lee Na-hyun
  • Featured photographer: Hong Jang-hyun
  • Special guests: Go Jae-hee, Shin Eun-young & Cha Woon-taek

Top Model Reunion[edit]

Original Airdate: October 13, 2012

Grand Final[edit]

Original Airdate: October 20, 2012

The final three attended a Fashion Runway. Yeon-hee was eliminated first on their pre-elimination round leaving Jin-kyung and So-ra. The judges evaluated the two's portfolio and performance throughout the course of the show and saw So-ra has the chance to make it big plus with her performance that lead to her being crowned as the winner.

  • Eliminated: Yeo Yeon-hee
  • Final two: Kim Jin-kyung & Choi So-ra
  • Korea's Next Top Model: Choi So-ra
  • Featured photographer: Hong Jang-hyun
  • Special guests: Jang Min-young, Choi Yoo-kyung & Song Kyung-a


(ages stated are at start of contest and use the Korean system of determining age)

Jung Han-sol231.76 m (5 ft 9 12 in)Episode 118–16
Min Hae-rin171.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Kwon Da-min271.71 m (5 ft 7 12 in)
Lee Seul-ki241.67 m (5 ft 5 12 in)Episode 215
Ji So-yeon171.71 m (5 ft 7 12 in)Episode 314
Jang Mi-rim191.74 m (5 ft 8 12 in)Episode 413
Heo Kyung-hee231.71 m (5 ft 7 12 in)Episode 512
Yoon Eun-hwa191.81 m (5 ft 11 12 in)Episode 611
Choi Han-bit261.80 m (5 ft 11 in)10
Hong Ji-su171.76 m (5 ft 9 12 in)Episode 79
Choi Se-hee221.74 m (5 ft 8 12 in)Episode 88
Kang Cho-won221.69 m (5 ft 6 12 in)Episode 97
Lee Min-jung191.77 m (5 ft 9 12 in)Episode 106
Ko So-hyun231.67 m (5 ft 5 12 in)Episode 115–4
Lee Na-hyun241.74 m (5 ft 8 12 in)
Yeo Yeon-hee211.67 m (5 ft 5 12 in)Episode 133
Kim Jin-kyung161.72 m (5 ft 7 12 in)2
Choi So-ra211.79 m (5 ft 10 12 in)1


Call-out order[edit]

     The contestant was eliminated
     The contestant was eliminated outside of judging panel.
     The contestant won the competition
  • During the casting of episode 1, the pool of 30 girls was reduced to 16 contestants who would move on to the actual competition. The first call-out of the episode does not reflect on their performance at casting. Additionally, 2 more girls (Da-min & Hae-rin) were later added to the cast, bringing the final number to 18 contestants.
  • In the second part of episode 1, Da-min, Hae-rin, Han-sol and So-hyun landed in the bottom four. Only So-hyun was saved, eliminating the former three models.
  • In episode 6, there were two separate eliminations. The first took place outside of judging panel, and the ranking was determined by the casting director for the casting challenge.
  • Episode 11 featured a double elimination with the bottom three contestants being in danger of elimination.
  • Episode 12, was a reunion special featuring the contestants who participated during the season. Da-min, Hae-rin, Han-sol and Seul-ki decided not to take part in the reunion special.

Photo Shoot Guide[edit]

  • Episode 1 Photo Shoot: Airport Editorial (Casting) & Goddesses of Nature on Jeju Island
  • Episode 2 Photo Shoot: Quintuplets Couture
  • Episode 3 Photo Shoot:Olympic Sports
  • Episode 4 Commercial: Petitzel Squeeze Orange
  • Episode 5 Photo Shoot: Spies hanging from a skyscraper
  • Episode 6 Photo Shoot: Vampire Brides with a Male Model
  • Episode 7 Fashion Film:"Underwater Escape"
  • Episode 8 Photo Shoot: Oriental Queens in a Temple
  • Episode 9 Photo Shoot: Metrocity Campaign in the Desert
  • Episode 10 Photo Shoot: Real-Life Sad Dolls
  • Episode 11 Photo Shoot: Dramatic Circus Acrobats
  • Episode 13 Photo Shoot: W Magazine Covers


  • Cho-won - Lovely Bob Cut
  • So-hyun - Modern Classic
  • Jin-kyung - Street Vintage
  • Yeon-hee - Glamourous Layerd
  • Eun-hwa - European Chic
  • Na-hyun - Genderless
  • Min-jung - Retro Volume
  • Mi-rim - Avant-Garde Unbalance
  • So-yeon - Natural Bang Hair
  • Se-hee - Luxury Short Cut
  • So-ra - Modern Chic
  • Han-bit - Romantic Wave
  • Kyung-hee - Tomboy
  • Ji-su - Oriental Charisma


This is a Korean name; the family name is Choi.

Choi Jin-Sil (December 24, 1968 – October 2, 2008) was a South Koreanactress. She was considered one of the best actresses in South Korea, nicknamed "The Nation's Actress". She played leading roles in 18 films and 20 television dramas, appeared in 140 commercials and won the 33rd Grand Bell Award for Best Actress.[1] She committed suicide by hanging on October 2, 2008, at her home in Seoul.[2][3]

Early years[edit]

Choi was born as the first child to her parents Choi Guk-Hyeon and Jeong Ok-Suk on 24 December 1968 in Seoul. Her mother separated from her father since 1985 and divorced him in 1998.[4] She had a younger brother, Choi Jin-young who was an actor and singer.

Her family was so poor that her mother once managed the household by running a pojangmacha (a small street stall selling foods). She dreamed of becoming a star to escape from the poverty.[5] She said in talk shows her nickname during her school days was "Choisujebi" because she used to eat "sujebi" (a dumpling soup) instead of ordinary meals due to the home environment.[6] Although she later became a high-paid model and actress, she was known for frugality, even receiving awards for her savings activity and frugality.[5]


In 1987, Choi graduated from Seonil Girls' High School. She began in Korea's entertainment circles as an advertising film model. She began to gain celebrity in an advertising campaign for Samsung Electronics in which she acted as a newly wedded housewife.[7][8][9] In 1988, she became a TV actress starring in the MBC historical drama, 500 Years of Joseon. Her first film was North Korean Partisan in South Korea (1990).[1] After several experiences in TV dramas as a supporting actress, Choi played leading roles in the movie My Love, My Bride (1990) and the MBC drama Jealousy (1992).[5] In 1998, Choi published an autobiographyYes, Let's Live Truthfully Today Too, looking back at the change from an ordinary high school graduate to a famous actress.[1] She largely stayed out of the limelight, raising her two children after her high-profile divorce in 2004. In 2005, she returned with the soap opera My Rosy Life in a role that resurrected her career.[10][11] Her last work was The Last Scandal of My Life (2008), generating many positive reviews from critics and viewers.[12][13] A second season of The Last Scandal of My Life was being planned for broadcast in November 2008 before her death.[14][15] She was also an MC in a talk show, Choi Jin-sil 'Truth and Lie' in 2008.[16]

Personal life[edit]

In 1994, her former manager Bae Byeong-su, who was an influential figure in the entertainment field, was murdered by her road manager. She was called in as a witness. The incident shocked the Korean public. Rumors circulated that she was implicated in the crime and she was defamed by unspecified individuals.[17][18][19] She had a traffic accident in 1995, was nearly abducted in 1994 and 1998, was often the victim of stalking.

In 2000, her marriage to Cho Sung-min received widespread attention in South Korea. Cho was a professional baseball player with the Yomiuri Giants of Japan. They first met on a television show in 1998. Choi gave birth to a son Hwan-Hee (2001) and a daughter Joon-Hee (2003).[4][20]

Cho insisted that Choi was a blameful spouse through the press without filing a lawsuit for divorce in December 2004. It was senseless act according to South Korean civil law. Choi privately had the consideration period in connection with divorce for about two years from 2002 to 2004. Choi had not been sued for divorce for the period. In September 2004, Choi decided to divorce Cho.[21][22][23][24][25]

Cho committed a breach of marital fidelity, violence and defamation against Choi for about two years from 2002 to 2004.[26] In addition, Cho borrowed money from Choi's mother and Choi's younger brother and defaulted on the debt; Cho was sued for it by them. In November 2002, Cho physically attacked Choi, who was pregnant at the time with their second child. In August 2004, Cho again assaulted her. The former violence was known to people in December 2002 by Cho and Cho insisted that the violence had been mutual attack to the press. Cho insisted that the latter violence also had been mutual attack. The case was widely publicized in the media.

Choi won the parental rights and child custody over the children on condition of exempting Cho's debt to her mother and brother as well as dropping several charges against Cho. Cho could visit his children regularly according to the mutual agreement. Choi won sole custody.

In January 2008, the South Korean family register (hoju) was changed. As a result, children could now use their maternal family name. According to the register, her children changed their surname from "Cho" (paternal family name) to "Choi" (maternal family name).[27][28]

After Choi's death, her mother managed the inheritance and was awarded custody of the children.[29][30][31][32][33]

Allegations of domestic violence[edit]

In August 2004, Choi Jin-sil came forward as a victim of domestic violence. Subsequently, the advertiser, Shinhan Engineering and Construction, claimed she had not kept her contractual obligation to "maintain dignity" as she had disclosed to the public her bruised and swollen face which was caused by the violence of her then husband.[24][34]

On June 4, 2009, the Supreme Court reversed a high court ruling that decided in favour of Choi in a compensation suit filed by the advertiser in 2004 against the actress, who was the model for its apartments. In handing down its ruling, the Supreme Court censured Choi for coming forward and declaring herself a victim of domestic violence, saying it constituted a failure to maintain proper "social and moral honour". Her two children became defendants as heirs.[35][36]

On 9 June 2009, Korean Womenlink, the Korea Women's Hot Line, and the Korea Women's Association United issued a joint statement lambasting the ruling. Women's groups censured the Supreme Court for not realising the suffering of domestic violence victims, which included Choi. As to the ruling, the groups claimed that revealing the results of domestic violence was not a matter of "dignity" but a matter of "survival". "When a person is suffering, he or she needs to restore their dignity and social honour by disclosing the damage and seeking proper legal help as Choi did," a director of Korean Womenlink said.[37]


Choi Jin-Sil committed suicide by hanging on 2 October 2008, at her home in Seoul.[2][3][38] Her suicide was confirmed by the police. She was survived by her two children, her mother and younger brother Choi Jin-Young, who committed suicide a year and a half later. Choi's suicide was linked in the media to a temporary 70% increase in suicide in South Korea for about a month after her death; police recorded 700 more suicides in that month than would have been typical statistically.[39]


On 8 September 2008, Ahn Jae-hwan, the husband of popular comedian Jeong Sun-Hee, was found dead in his car. Ahn committed suicide apparently due to distress over mounting debts.[40] Jeong and Choi had been close friends for a long time; at his funeral Choi appeared deeply shaken. Shortly after, rumours circulated on the web that Choi, as a loan shark, had lent a large sum of money to Ahn. On 22 September 2008, Choi sought a police probe into the source of the rumours, calling them groundless. On 28 September 2008, police arrested a securities company employee for spreading the rumours.[2][41][42]

Choi came under greater stress amid rumours circulating on the Internet that she was involved in the suicide of fellow actor Ahn Jae-Hwan.[43][44]

In response to Choi's death, the South Korean government tried to strengthen a legal push to regulate Internet postings. Politicians have reacted by proposing legislation that would impose a more rigorous real name registration requirement on the Internet and more heightened punishment for libelous statements.[45][46][47]

Press reaction[edit]

The news of her death was widely reported and large number of reporters rushed to Choi's house to cover the event. On the other hand, major portal web sites blocked online users from leaving replies for articles concerning Choi, for fear that some users might leave malicious comments.[48][49][50]

"Almost 80 percent of South Korea's households have broadband access, fostering active online interactions. Most Web sites here have bulletin boards where users can post uncensored, anonymous comments, and nearly all young people run their own blogs, updating via cellphone. Such sites were a major avenue for rumors about the possible dangers of dropping a ban on American beef that fed enormous street protests and political upheaval earlier this year. Major Web portals have in recent years doubled the number of monitors to screen out online character assassination and respond more quickly to complaints of malicious rumors. But many victims still complained that vicious rumors spread so fast their reputations were ruined virtually overnight," The New York Times commented on her death on October 2, 2008.[44]

"She was more than South Korea's Julia Roberts or Angelina Jolie. For nearly 20 years, Choi was the country's cinematic sweetheart and as close to being a "national" actress as possible. But since her body was found on Oct. 2, an apparent suicide, she has become a symbol of the difficulties women face in this deeply conservative yet technologically savvy society. Incessant online gossip appears to have been largely to blame for her death. But it's also clear that public life as a single, working, divorced mom—still a pariah status in South Korea—was one role she had a lot of trouble with," Time commented on her death on October 6, 2008.[51]

Theft of urn[edit]

On August 15, 2009, Choi's ashes were stolen from her burial site.[52] The police hunt for a suspect was aided by surveillance camera images showing a man carrying out the theft. On August 25, 2009, the police arrested him and Choi's ashes were found in his home.[53]

A small memorial park for Choi Jin-Sil has been built in a cemetery in Gyeonggi Province. Choi's ashes were placed in the new tomb in the park in the Gapsan Park Cemetery in Yangpyeong on September 28, 2009. Security devices have been installed to prevent a recurrence of the theft, with the tomb specially manufactured in China and more surveillance cameras placed around the tomb.[54]

Choi Jin-sil Foundation[edit]

Choi was the "big sister" who led the so-called "Choi Jin-Sil Association". It was a friendly group of close celebrities that included the comedians Lee Young-Ja and Jeong Sun-Hee, the models Hong Jin-Kyung and Lee So-Ra, and the actresses Choi Hwa-Jung and Uhm Jung-Hwa. After Choi's death, they founded "The Choi Jin-Sil Foundation" for charity.[55][56][57]

Drama synopsis[edit]

The drama synopsis As Life Goes On (사노라면) which Choi Jin-Sil had written was found in her home after her death.[58]



You Know What? It's a Secret 2있잖아요 비밀이에요 2Itjanayo Bimiriyeyo 2
My Love, My Bride나의 사랑, 나의 신부Naui Sarang Naui Sinbu
1991Susanne Brink's Arirang수잔 브링크의 아리랑Sujan Beuringkeu-ui Arirang
The Room in the Forest숲속의 방Supsogui Bang
1992Mister Mama미스터 맘마Miseuteo Mamma
1993The Girl for Love and The One for Marriage사랑하고 싶은 여자, 결혼하고 싶은 여자Saranghago sipeun Yeoja, Gyeolhonhago sipeun Yeoja
1994How to Top My Wife마누라 죽이기Manura Jugigi
I Wish for What Is Forbidden to Me나는 소망한다, 내게 금지된 것을Naneun Somanghanda Naege Geumjidoen Geoseul
1995Mom Has a New Boyfriend엄마에게 애인이 생겼어요Eommaege Aeini Saenggyeosseoyo
Who Makes Me Crazy누가 나를 미치게 하는가Nuga Nareul Michige Haneunga
1996Ghost Mamma고스트 맘마Goseuteu mamma
1997Baby Sale베이비 세일Beibi Seil
Holiday In Seoul홀리데이 인 서울Holidei in Seoul
The Letter편지Pyeonji
2000The Legend of Gingko단적비연수Tan Jeok Bi Yeon Su

TV drama[edit]

1988500 Years of Joseon: The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyeong조선왕조 오백년: 한중록Joseon Wangjo Obaengnyeon: HanjungnokMBC
1989500 Years of Joseon: Pamun조선왕조 오백년: 파문Joseon Wangjo Obaengnyeon: Pamun
Sleepless Tree잠들지 않는 나무Jamdeulji anneun Namu
1990Gaksibang Sarang Yeollyeonne각시방 사랑 열렸네Gaksibang Sarang Yeollyeonne
Our Paradise우리들의 천국Urideurui Cheon-guk
1993Stormy Season폭풍의 계절Pokpung-ui Gyejeol
1994Scent of Love사랑의 향기Sarang-ui HyanggiSBS
1995Asphalt Man아스팔트 사나이Aseupalteu Sanai
1997Star in My Heart별은 내 가슴에Byeoreun Nae Gaseume
You and I그대 그리고 나Geudae Geurigo Na
1999Roses and Bean Sprouts장미와 콩나물Jangmiwa Kongnamul
2002Since We Met그대를 알고부터Geudaereul Algobuteo
2004War of the Roses장미의 전쟁Jangmiui Jeonjaeng
2005My Rosy Life장밋빛 인생Jangmitbit InsaengKBS2
2007Bad Woman, Good Woman나쁜여자 착한여자Nappeun Yeoja, Chakhan YeojaMBC
2008The Last Scandal of My Life내 생애 마지막 스캔들Nae Saeng-ae Majimak Seukaendeul


Film awards[edit]

  • Grand Bell Awards
  • Blue Dragon Film Awards
    • 1991 (12th), 1992 (13th), 1993 (14th), 1994 (15th), 1995 (16th), 1997 (18th), 1998 (19th) - Popular Star Award
    • 1990 (11th) - Best New Actress for Nambugun
  • Baeksang Arts Awards
    • 2006, Best Actress for Television
    • 1991, 1995, 1997 - Most Popular Actress
  • Chunsa Film Art Awards

Broadcasting awards[edit]

  • KBS Drama Awards
    • 2005, Top Excellence Award, Actress; Netizen Award; Best Couple Award
    • 1998, Top Excellence Award, Actress
  • MBC Drama Awards
    • 1997, Top Excellence Award, Actress
    • 2008, Achievement Award[60]
  • SBS Drama Awards
    • 1994, Top Excellence Award, Actress
    • 1995, Top Excellence Award, Actress
  • Grimae Awards
  • Korea Broadcasting Association Awards

Broadcasting nominations[edit]

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]

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