Singer and talk show host Kelly Clarkson is receiving praise for her attempts to correctly pronounce the names of TWICE’s members.
The K-pop girl group made their in-person U.S. talk show interview debut on March 14 on the “Kelly Clarkson Show.” They have performed virtually on the show before but were face-to-face in the studio this time around to promote their latest album, “Ready To Be,” and perform their English language song, “Moonlight Sunrise.”
During the interview, Clarkson made an effort to pronounce the TWICE members’ names correctly with assistance from a translator.
She prefaced the interview by apologizing for any errors she would make saying their names, cracking a joke and blaming it on the fact she is from Texas.
When it comes to Nayeon, pronounced “nigh-on,” Kelly pronounces it closer to “nay-on.” When the translator translates Kelly’s question into Korean, Kelly catches her mistake and quickly says, “Nayeon, sorry.”
However, it was Kelly’s interaction with Taiwanese member Tzuyu that went viral.
Kelly says her name closer to “tzoo-you” before looking to the translator to confirm. The translator gives Kelly two pronunciations: the English romanization and the Korean pronunciation.
“Tsoo-yoo or joo-wee” the translator says.
“Wait wait, what?” Kelly asks, surprised.
The translator tries to assure Kelly her pronunciation was fine, but Kelly insists on the preferred way to say it and the translator gives the Korean pronunciation of “joo-wee.”
Kelly then looks to Tzuyu and asks, “How do you want me to say it?,” to which Tzuyu smiles and says, “joo-wee!”
TWICE fans affectionately call Tzuyu “Chewy” because it’s close to the pronunciation in Korean.
Tzuyu’s response earned an “aww” from the audience and Kelly remarked that her name is adorable. Kelly then pronounced her name “chewy” and says, “I think I said it right? I’m trying.”
Netizens praised Kelly for respecting the TWICE members’ names and trying to get to know them individually, finding her interaction with Tzuyu particularly relatable.
As mentioned by Kelly during her introductions of the group to her viewers, TWICE is the first K-pop girl group to sell out two North American arena tours and the first to play a North American stadium, which they did during their encore show of their “III” tour.
TWICE will embark on their fifth world tour, “Ready to Be,” starting in Asia and Australia in April before heading to the U.S. in June.