Mnet’s “PRODUCE 101” (프로듀스 101) is a large scale girl group survival program with 101 female trainees from different agencies both inside and outside South Korea. The aim to select the best 11 girls from the pool and “produce” a unit of girl group that will obtain a 1-year contract.
The program ended on 1st April and the group I.O.I (아이오아이) will be debuting in May! Let’s meet the 11 girls who will be the members of 2016’s most anticipated female idol group:
1. Im Na Young (Leader)
As the oldest and tallest member of the group, Im Na Young is bound to be voted as team leader. The 21-year-old rookie is known for being “emotionless”, hence the nickname “stone Buddha”. In “Produce 101”, she managed to showcase her skills as a rapper, making her the sole rapper of the group. She gained a lot of attention because she looks like her senior UEE, from After School.
2. Kim Chung Ha
Being a former JYP trainee for 3 years prior to the show, fans and judges have high expectations for Kim Chung Ha. She definitely did not disappoint when she earned her place as the group’s lead dancer. It was also reported that she received many “love calls” for endorsements and auditions after her appearance on the show.
3. Kim Se Jeong
Kim Se Jong was placed first during the show’s vocal challenge, making her the main vocalist of the group. Her specialty is ballads, but as members of a K-Pop girl groups have to be versatile, she also practiced hard in dancing and acting. She was also a former contestant of “Kpop Star 2”.
4. Jung Chae Yeon
Being one of the visuals in the group, Jung Chae Yeon’s appearance and “aegyo” (acting in a cute manner) caught the hearts of many fan boys. Before being a member of I.O.I, she was previously in a girl group called DIA (Diamond), but withdrew to join the survival program.
Pinky, also known as Zhou Jie Qiong (周洁琼), is the group’s only Chinese member from Shanghai. She is an all-rounder as she is skilled in singing, dancing, and acting. Many netizens commented online that she deserves to be the center of the group. Do you think that she can be the next Tzuyu?
6. Kim So Hye
Kim So Hye was one of the girls who received criticism for being unable to keep up with her peers. Although she’s not the prettiest nor the most talented, the 17-year-old singer was praised to be the most hardworking member. According to former After School member and mentor Ka Hi, she is the golden example of “hard work pays off”.
7. Yoo Yeon Jung
Aside from Kim Se Jeong, Yoo Yeon Jung is also the group’s main vocalist. Although she has been criticised for her lack in the looks department, she impressed the viewers with her talented vocal skills when she hit all the high notes for Girls Generations’s “Into The New World”.
8. Choi Yoo Jung
Choi Yoo Jung is the shortest member in the group and she is someone who has a lot of “sense”. The 17-year-old rookie is popular for her funny facial expression, earning her the nickname “Yoo Daenggi”. As one of the top 3 in the group, she is also the team’s main dancer alongside Chung Ha.
9. Kang Mi Na
Known to be one of the members in the group’s dance-line, Kang Mi Na specialises in “wacking dance”, which is a form of punk dance where the arms move above and behind the shoulder. Remarkably, she also has the shortest training period in comparison to her members.
10. Kim Do Yeon
Before her appearance in “Produce 101”, Kim Do Yeon already gained much attention as a popular “ulzzang” (pretty face) online. She is the junior of the girl group HELLO VENUS.
11. Jeon So Mi
Jeon So Mi’s birth name is Ennik Somi Douma and she is Korean-Canadian. Although the 15-year-old member is the team’s maknae (youngest member), she is ranked first among her group members and is the most popular out of the group. Like Chung Ha, she was also a JYP trainee.
On a side note, the girls just moved into their shared dorm recently and a mini-album is set to be released on 4th May. I.O.I will be promoting 4 songs – 2 songs will be promoted as a full group, while the other 2 will be unit songs.
Also, don’t forget to check out their music video for “Produce 101”:
It is a known fact the K-Pop industry is the most competitive music industry in Asia. With entertainment agencies taking in hundreds of trainees, it’s no wonder that rookie artistes are having a tough time competing with each other.
Who are your favourite members? Do you think I.O.I will stand out or will they be just another pretty pot of flowers in the garden? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below! :)