NUEST
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Produce 101 Season 2: Last Chance for NU’EST

NU’EST is a boy group under Pledis Entertainment. NU’EST stands for New Establish Style Tempo. They debuted in 2012 with five members called JR, Minhyun, Aron, Baekho, and Ren. Even though they have released two studio albums and five singles, their career was not going as well as they thought. In April 2017, they made a surprising comeback by appearing on Produce 101 Season 2, a survival reality show by Mnet where 101 male trainees from different agencies debut as a 11-member boy groups.

NU’EST Appear on ‘Produce 101’

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In Februari 2017, rumors about NU’EST were circulating on the internet. Rumors said that they were going to disband and then participate in Mnet’s Produce 101 Season 2 as Pledis’ trainees. Later, their agency, Pledis Entertainment, released an official statement that the news of NU’EST participating in Produce 101 Season 2 was true. Pledis also stated that NU’EST members were going to participate as their promotional activities and denied the rumor about NU’EST’s disbandment.

At that time they did not tell which members would appear on the show. After the show released introduction videos and individual profile photos, it was revealed that the NU’EST members who were participating were Kim Jonghyun (JR), Hwang Minhyun (Minhyun), Kang Dongho (Baekho), and Choi Minki (Ren).

Joining Produce 101 Season 2 as trainees who had already debuted for 5 years was not an easy thing to do for NU’EST members. Many people thought that they were “cheating” and would probably survive the show since they already had a fan base. But for the members, joining Produce 101 Season 2 was perhaps their last chance. If they failed at this too, then they may really have had to disband.

“Now I really thought ‘I could see the end.’ The day that NU’EST disbands doesn’t seem so far away anymore.” – Choi Minki (Ren) on Produce 101 Season 2 Episode 1 interview

“There are two friends from our company (Pledis) in I.O.I and I was envious. I want to be successful like I.O.I and Seventeen.” – Kang Dongho (Baekho) on Produce 101 Season 2 Episode 1 interview

Let’s watch their very first performance in Produce 101 Season 2 during company evaluation:

Reasons Why Aron is Not in Produce 101 Season 2

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Kwak Youngmin, or Aron, is the lead rapper, lead dancer, and vocalist of NU’EST. He is the only NU’EST member who didn’t participate in Produce 101 Season 2. Pledis Entertainment didn’t give an official statement about Aron not joining the show with the other four members, but fans have speculated and come up with these reasons:

  • Aron is said to have injured his leg. Hence he could not join Produce 101 Season 2 because he had to take a rest for his recovery.
  • When he first auditioned together with JR, Minhyun, Baekho, and Ren, it’s said that Aron got rejected by Mnet because of the controversies he had, such as his sexist comments towards Chocolat’s Tia and Lori on Arirang’s radio in 2013 and his insults to his junior label mate Seventeen in 2015.
  • Pledis Entertainment didn’t let him join the show because they are afraid that the public may start talking about Aron’s controversies again.
  • All members of NU’EST can’t join Produce 101 Season 2 together because this may lead to disbandment after the show, so only four members could join the show.

Not long after Produce 101 Season 2 ended, Aron mentioned the real reason why he didn’t appear on the show. He said it’s true that when other members were participating the show, he had a leg injury and couldn’t join them. Even though Aron did not join, he said during his V Live that he always watched Produce 101 Season 2 to support the other members. He cheered and voted for them.

NU’EST Members’ Ranking in Produce 101 Season 2

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JR, Minhyun, Baekho, and Ren all managed to the top 20 of Produce 101 Season 2. But it’s not easy. They have to collect a lot of votes before the ranking announcement in order to survive to the next round. Let’s see how their rankings were and how many votes they got during the show.

Choi Minki (Ren)’s Ranking

  • 1st Ranking Announcement: 19th with 476,249 votes
  • 2nd Ranking Announcement: 20th with 1,102,561 votes
  • 3rd Ranking Announcement: 15th with 217,734 votes
  • Final Ranking Announcement: 20th with 277,106 votes

Kang Dongho (Baekho)’s Ranking

  • 1st Ranking Announcement: 20th with 472,132 votes
  • 2nd Ranking Announcement: 11th with 1,585,712 votes
  • 3rd Ranking Announcement: 12th with 314,807 votes
  • Final Ranking Announcement: 13th with 755,436 votes

Kim Jonghyun (JR)’s Ranking

  • 1st Ranking Announcement: 8th with 752,149 votes
  • 2nd Ranking Announcement: 1st with 2,795,491 votes
  • 3rd Ranking Announcement: 7th with 367,052 votes
  • Final Ranking Announcement: 14th with 704,148 votes

Hwang Minhyun (Minhyun)’s Ranking

  • 1st Ranking Announcement: 11th with 680,322 votes
  • 2nd Ranking Announcement: 6th with 2,004,207 votes
  • 3rd Ranking Announcement: 11th with 315,650 votes
  • Final Ranking Announcement: 9th with 862,719 votes

The Improvement of NU’EST Ren in Produce 101 Season 2

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Ren is known for his cute looks but he is also in charge of vocals in NU’EST. His singing skill when he first debuted was not as good as it is now. During Produce 101, he received vocal training and his improvement in singing skill was acknowledged. The producer of Produce 101 Season 2 theme song “Me, It’s Me” and final song “Super Hot” Ryan Juhn praised Ren’s vocal skill improvement. Let’s listen to Ren’s singing voice during his performances in Produce 101 Season 2!

Ren shows his cute and manly side at the same time during his stage of SHINee – Replay:

Ren, back to blonde hair just like when he first debuted and performing Blackpink’s Playing with Fire:

Cuteness overload! Ren became the center of “Oh Little Girl” stage:

Baekho is The Manliest Trainee of Produce 101 Season 2?

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Baekho, whose real name is Kang Dongho, shows not only his singing skills but also his manly looks during Produce 101 Season 2. He even received nicknames like “Sexy Bandit” and “Kang Daddy.” He first got the name “Sexy Bandit” because of his fierce gaze when he performed BTS – Boy In Luv during group battle evaluation. The name “Kang Daddy” was given to him by fans because during Knock team while preparing for Open Up stage, Baekho helped other trainees a lot and it makes him looks like a daddy. Let’s watch his performances and take a look at how sexy he is!

The beginning of “Sexy Bandit,” Baekho’s stage of BTS – Boy In Luv:

The Sexy Bandit Baekho becomes more sexier on Blackpink – Playing with Fire stage:

Kang Daddy who still managed to looks sexy on “Open Up” stage:

JR, From Leader of NU’EST to National Leader

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As the leader of NU’EST who didn’t do well, Kim Jonghyun, or JR, felt like he is was fault. On Produce 101 Season 2, at first he was afraid to become a leader again, but other trainees trusted him. So he became a team leader, not just once but four times! Moreover, the teams he led did well on the show. Hence, fans named him as “National Leader” because of his good leadership skills and his experiences as a leader. Let’s watch Kim Jonghyun’s performances in Produce 101 Season 2!

The beginning of “National Leader”, JR’s Super Junior – Sorry Sorry performance:

Leader JR shows his rap and lyrics-making skills during his stage of Mino’s Fear:

Third time as the leader… JR’s part during “Never” stage was short but lit:

The only NU’EST Member who Survived The Show, Minhyun

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Hwang Minhyun is now known as a Wanna One member. He is the only NU’EST member who made it into the top 11 of Produce 101 Season 2 as he ranked 9th in the final episode. Fans named Minhyun as “Hwang Emperor” after he performed Sorry Sorry with his team members. Minhyun’s Sorry Sorry Team, or also known as Justice League, showed a memorable stage and is very loved by the fans until now because of their friendship. Sorry Sorry Team members was chosen by Minhyun hence he got the nickname. Let’s take a look at Minhyun’s performances!

The beginning of “Hwang Emperor” and his legendary team, performing Super Junior – Sorry Sorry:

Minhyun shows his singing skills during performing I.O.I’s Downpour:

Not only singing, Minhyun is also good at dancing as he became the center of “Never” stage:

NU’EST is now receiving a lot of support and love from K-Pop fans. Their popularity is still rising after Produce 101 Season 2 ended. Even though it was only Minhyun who debuted with Wanna One, JR, Aron, Baekho, and Ren are now doing well as NU’EST W. They are now focusing on their promotion as a four member band while still waiting for Minhyun. Let’s keep supporting all of NU’EST members!