On April 1st, Mnet’s Produce 101 (a reality girl group survival show) finally announced their top 11 contestants who will be debuting as the girl group members of I.O.I. These lovely ladies, out of the pool of 101 trainees from 46 entertainment companies, showed outstanding performances and received over 3,500,000 votes from their viewers. It will be an exciting launch of their first album and song next month!
Image above – credits to Marie Claire Korea:
Kim Se-Jeong (김세정) : Multi-color sequin top by Official Holiday by Koon, and gold pleated skirt by Lucky Chouette.
Kim Chung-Ha (김청하) : Metallic knit top and pleated skirts by KYE, and multi-color ankle strap pumps by Miu Miu.
Kang Mi-Na (강미나) : Letter print knit top and gold skirt by KYE, and studded sandals Philipp Plein.
Jung Chae-Yeon (정채연) : Metallic color block knit dress by KYE, and sandals by Burberry.
If you have been living under a k-pop rock…
Mnet’s Produce 101 is a large-scale reality girl group survival show that is HUGE in South Korea. Here, the public are the “producers”, as in the viewers are in charge of who will survive in this reality show, and are responsible of ultimately creating the final of unit girl group by selecting the members from a pool of 101 trainees from 46 different entertainment companies. Watch some of their performances on YouTube.
Meet Produce 101 & hear their thoughts
Red polo shirt, stripe pattern shirt, frill see-through dress, candle print ruffle dress all from Miu Miu.
Ruffle floral print silk dress all Vetements by BoonTheShop.
Letter print oversize denim shirt, denim over the shoulder dress, two-toned denim jacket all
from SJYP, and Choi Yoo-Jung’s knit and shorts from Lucky Chouette.
Jeon So-Mi (전소미)
“The performing stage for ‘Bang Bang’ was the most memorable experience I had so far. Instructors told me that I had to work on my dancing skills that were still lacking, but that motivated me to work harder so that I could show a greater improvement. For that reason I selected ‘Bang Bang’ to perform on stage, because it consist of intense and powerful dance moves. Others might think foolhardy of me to take such a risk, but I wanted to challenge myself and prove that I was capable. I tend to be very direct with my words and actions, and maybe that’s why people like me so much. (Laughs) But from now on, I am going to be more careful with my words and keep a good relationship with everyone. I also hope that I can continue to work with I.O.I. because they are an awesome group to be with.”
Kim Se-Jeong (김세정)
“I always dreamed of placing in the top 11, but I didn’t know it would actually become a reality. People think that I’m very strong when it comes to performing and going up on stage, but I get really nervous too. It’s just that I try not to think about all the competition and placing in the top ranking. Overtime, I realized that the more you smile, good things happen to you. So I always think positively. My mom used to tell me that I have a really strong mindset. But I think it’s my mom who just motivates me all the time to do better. You know how most moms would always reassure you that everything is going to be fine? My mom is the kind of person who would be really honest with her thoughts. Like she is going to tell you if something is not going to work out instead of talking around it. (Laughs) So I think that has toughened me up. To be honest, I’m not a good dancer. I just try really hard to master the dance moves so that I don’t make a mistake. I sometimes feel overwhelmed by being the exemplary student of I.O.I., but I know that this is going to help me in the long run.”
Choi Yoo-Jung (최유정)
“I heard people telling me that I transform on stage. I think deep inside, I have that power of excitement hidden somewhere. So when it explodes, I am uncontrollable. (Laughs) I’m not very confident in my physical appearance, so when I saw people cheering me on, I was very thankful of their support but at the same time confused to why they liked me so much. On some days, I just sat down by myself and cried looking into the mirror. Many thoughts flowed through my head, but I was slowly able to get myself back up from all the support I was receiving from my fans. My confidence level even increased. I’m not normally this passive and quiet, but when I entered training camp, it was a little difficult in the beginning. But I didn’t know people would like my bare face look and eating alone. I was rather worried that they would not like me anymore. I.O.I. has opened up a huge door to my career, and it contains everything that I’ve ever wanted in my dreams. I just hope that I can become a great person who can handle all the big opportunities that will come before me.”
Kim Chung-Ha (김청하)
“I seem very calm and quiet on screen, but I am actually very talkative. Since this is a survival program, I try to be more focused and serious in front of the camera. I remember when I performed ‘Push Push’ with some of my other members, I became very sad because I couldn’t perform as great as I thought I’d be. So this time around I practiced really hard and received a lot of compliments when I performed ‘Bang Bang’. When my members and I prepared for ‘Bang Bang’, we tried to make every member have a solid part in the song where they could show off their dance moves. I always do my best to show everything so that I have no regrets later. In the long run, I want to become a singer who is capable of showing great emotions and moving performances. I also want to try rapping!”
Kim So-Hye (김소혜)
“When I performed ‘Irony’ on stage, it was very difficult. But when I monitored the video once it was over, you could tell by my facial expression that I was really enjoying it. I was enjoying every moment of it. You know I even made a small mistake at the beginning with my lyrics. (laughs) But looking back at all those moments, it’s just so surprising how much I have improved and changed. I’m normally a very quiet girl, but I’m not sure how I danced in front of 101 people on stage. Now I even volunteer on my own and I can see that my dances are getting better. There were even times when people asked if I was the ‘daughter of Mnet’, which was shocking at first but not upsetting at all. I didn’t take it personally but rather took it as a joke. When I explained on air that I wasn’t Mnet’s daughter, people then asked if I was their cousin (lol) I think everyone experiences something similar to that even if it’s not related to broadcasting. So that’s probably why everyone is very understanding and supportive. As a member of I.O.I., I am going to work harder to become a great addition on the team.”
“I tend to break easily. By that I mean I don’t worry about what others think of me as long as I’m honest with my feelings. My agency has been telling me that I should try to be more woman-like. But I can’t help being myself. Originally I wanted to be like Krystal from f(x) who is classy and sophisticated, but I realized that it’s not as easy as it sounds. My girlfriends like me because I don’t try too hard being all princess like, but I guess guys don’t like that. (Laughs) I really like having a good time, and I always look for something fun to do. So I’m always with friends who keep me entertained. But there are also times when I think about my personal goals and problems a little too deep. That sometimes makes me wonder how I would appear to others. When I monitor Produce 101, it helps me to understand who I truly am, and I really like that I can spend time getting to know about myself these days.”
Printed t-shirts and silk skirt, belted leather rider jacket all from Low Classic, and slider from Burberry.
Jung Chae-Yeon (정채연)
“From time to time, I ask my agency why my corner in the program is so little compared to everyone else. (Laughs) I know that the quantity of time on air is not relevant to getting a lot of votes, but I had this theory that it’d at least give me an opportunity to show who I am to others. So instead, every time I went up on stage, I tried to do things differently. As if seeing the world through another lens, I tried to look innocent in the first round, and provocative on the next and so forth. I really love how every stage ends with such a great performance, and I always do my best to show my best performance. Stage directors have also captured great still shots for me, and I really appreciate them for doing that for me. I love dancing and singing, but also making specific facial expressions to go along with the song. You know singers are actually acting on stage too. So I try to find what makes me look best on stage.”
Kim Do-Yeon (김도연)
“At the beginning when the program first aired on T.V., I thought to myself that maybe I could place 7th or 8th and become one of the debuting members for a girl group. But ever since the voting system changed to one vote per member, my dreams have changed to placing 11th place. If I am unable to place top in the program, I decided to accept the fact that I might come in 15th place. But I was happy to find that I placed 8th! Before Produce 101, I always practiced by myself so I was unable to see how others were practicing. So my confidence level dropped unknowingly. I even wondered if I was walking the right path. One time, I couldn’t even perform the right dance moves. It was really hard for me psychologically because this was a survival program. But I knew I made the right choice. I became confident again after performing on stage and finding some good results. It gave me the urge to work harder and dream of something that I wasn’t able to before. Just the fact that I was performing on stage made me become stronger.”
Kang Mi-Na (강미나)
“During the ‘Pick Me’ section for personal reviews, my confidence level dropped significantly. During agency tryouts, everyone has been receiving compliments for their outstanding performances, but I was becoming diffident. I was assigned Team A, and I was scared of falling behind everyone else for that would make me feel really sad. There are a lot of things that I want to achieve, and I want to practice and make my singing and dance moves perfect until I become fully satisfied. But diet is never under my control (laughs). You know when it comes to cutting down on your favorite food diet, it’s the most difficult thing in the world. But over time I achieved my goals of losing some weight and toning up my body, and I received a lot of compliments on losing weight and showing a great performance. Ever since then, I felt proud for what I was capable of doing.”
Lim Na-Young (임나영)
“My first mission while performing ‘AH’ was making no facial expressions, and that’s when my ‘stone Buddha’ image was created. It’s funny how that actually resembles my actual personality (laughs). No one can even tell how nervous I am before going up on stage, because nothing is shown on my face. Sometimes I worry by myself and try not to let the other members know because I’m the leader of the group. I am the leader at my agency and I.O.I, but at home I’m actually the youngest child. So I tend to act like a baby and make my brother do most of the chores. My parents are surprised by what I do outside of the house. As the leader of I.O.I., I want to show my members that I’m responsible. Since this is my first step towards everything, I want to plan it very meticulously.”
Yu Yeon-Jung (유연정)
“It wasn’t an official evaluation day at Daegu Guerilla Concert, but we still had an amazing experience. The crowd was cheering us on, and we were able to enjoy our performance without worrying about being evaluated. It ended so quickly that we couldn’t believe it was already over. I don’t feel that I’m particularly good at singing. I had vocal lessons for the past 3 years, but I don’t think that is a long time because some trainees have been doing it for about 5 years. But for me, I think I was able to improve so quickly because I solely focused on my vocal/singing skills. I’m not completely satisfied with my current public image, but I have goals for the future to change that. I had to survive from a pool of 101 trainees, so why not try harder to create the image I want? Now that time is given, I am going to carefully and wholeheartedly do my best to portray my true character to others.”
This article is translated by K-Beauty Now and originally published from Marie Claire Korea:
Editor 장 보미, 유 선애 Jang Bomi, Yoo Sunae
Photographer 목 정욱 Mok Jeong Wook
Hair 김 귀애, 이 선영, 백 흥권 Kim Gwi Ae, Lee Sun Young, Baek Heung Kwon
Makeup 류 현정, 서 은영, 김 부성 Ryu Hyun Jeong, Seo Eun Young, Kim Bu Sung
Prop styling 다락(DA:RAK )