1.) What....I don't understand...?
Kohaku 101, stolen from Wikipedia
Kōhaku Uta Gassen (紅白歌合戦?), more commonly known as simply Kōhaku, is an annual music show on New Year's Eve produced by Japanese public broadcaster NHK and broadcast on both television and radio, nationally and internationally by NHK's networks and some overseas (mainly cable) broadcasters which bought the program. The show ends shortly before midnight (when NHK switches to a frenzy of "Happy New Year" greetings from around the nation).
Literally "Red and White Song Battle," the program divides the most popular music artists of the year into competing teams of red and white. The "red" team or akagumi (赤組, 紅組?) is composed of all female artists (or groups with female vocals), while the "white" team or shirogumi (白組?) is all male (or groups with male vocals). The honor of performing on Kōhaku is strictly by invitation, so only the most successful J-Pop artists and enka singers can perform. In addition to the actual music performances, the costumes, hair-styles, makeup, dancing, and lighting are also important. Even today, a performance on Kōhaku is said to be a big highlight in a singer's career because of the show's large reach.
2.) Why is this relevant:?
Rumors were that Kara/Bigbang/SNSD were confirmed to attend, which would've been unprecedented since Kara/Soshi debuted four months ago and Bigbang is still relatively new in Japan. Toho were the last Korean artists to attend, I believe. People were essited for this big accomplishment/ready to raise wank b/c the groups haven't been impacting enough to deserve to attend such a prestigious event.
Now we know for reals \o/
DREAMS COME TRUE
FUNKY MONKEY BABYS
Source: NHK Website
As you are all wondering, there is no Bigbang, Kara, SNSD, so any previous reports were rumors, I guess.