This post is really late, but better late than never. I have been following MNET’s idol survival show, “Produce 101”. For those that do not know, this show featured 101 female trainees from various entertainment agencies. These girls compete against each other for a shot to be in a girl group. The final lineup consists of 11 girls who will promote under YMC Entertainment for one year. This group will be called I.O.I.
Throughout the show there were many missions and live stages. Trainees were eliminated in large groups until the last episode. A couple weeks ago, the winners were announced during the show’s last episode. The final lineup for I.O.I is as follows:
- Jeon Somi
- Kim Sejeong
- Choi Yoojung
- Kim Chungha
- Kim Sohye
- Zhou Jieqiong (Pinky)
- Jung Chaeyeon
- Kim Doyeon
- Kang Mina
- Lim Nayoung
- Yu Yeonjung
This lineup came to no surprise to me. There were clear favourites in Produce 101, and a number of them are part of this group. As much as I do not want to admit, Produce 101 was a popularity contest. Even trainer, Kahi, blatantly stated this on the show. I am not saying that these girls are not talented, but their popularity definitely had a hand in their win.
I am not completely disappointed with I.O.I’s lineup. Although some of my preferences, such as Dani (MBK), Soyeon (Cube), Heehyun (MBK), and Juna (Music K), were eliminated. I believe that ALL the girls in this group have the potential to be great artists.
The group has powerful vocalists like Sejeong and Yeonjung. They both showed their vocal skills throughout the show. It is hard for me to choose who is the better singer!
I.O.I has a lot of great dancers. Who can forget Chungha’s powerful improvised performance during the ranking session in the first few episodes? She continued to show strong dance skills throughout the series. Pinky, Somi, Mina and Doyeon are also great dancers.
Somi and Yoojung are the best stage performers in the group. They know how to appeal to the audience through strategic and careful movements, facial expressions and charm.
Kim Sohye does not have much dance or singing experience, but has remarkably improved since her disastrous performance in the first episode. Her dedication is admirable. Her hard work (and popularity) put her in I.O.I. I admit to voting for her every day. She reminds me of a Hello Project idol. They start off with little experience and they blossom into high-skilled performers. I believe Sohye is I.O.I’s underdog.
The one member that has not stood out to me is Chaeyeon. She seems to be popular among the fans, but she barely appealed to me during the show. I will see if this changes as the group officially starts promoting.
Before I end this post, can we talk about the tragedy that is this group’s name? It lacks innovation and originality. They created the name ‘I.O.I’ to resemble the ‘101’ in the show’s name, “Produce 101”. The acronym has no meaning like U-Kiss’s “Ubiquitous Korean International Superstar” or Teen Top’s “Teenager Emoboy Emotion Next Generation Talent Object Praiser”. It is simply I.O.I. I am sorry, but this is a terrible name. I understand why Elvis (AoA fans) are up in arms about this. I would love to say that they name will grow on me, but that is hardly likely.
Anyways, I.O.I (shudders) has a full year ahead of them. They have already released a music video for their pre-release single, “Crush”. This music video has already received a lot of attention due to Yeonjung’s prominence throughout the video. The video has since been re-uploaded with Yeonjung receiving a lot less camera time. Hopefully they continue a more positive and successful road within the next year.