I.O.I.- The Dream Girls
I.O.I. or Ideal of Idols is a 11-member girl band from South Korea and is formed from the Produce 101 survival program. Produce 101 is a survival program in which 101 trainees from various leading agencies in South Korea gather to compete with each other to debut as Korean idols. Produce 101 aired in January 21st, 2016 and ended on April 1st, 2016. Of the 101 trainees participating 11 talented members were elected – Nayoung, Pinky, Chungha, Chaeyeon, Somi, Doyeon, Yoojung, Yeonjung, Sohye, Mina, and Sejeong.
They released a single titled Crush on April 5th, 2016 as their pre-debut song, and on May 4th, 2016 I.O.I. officially debuted with the song Dream Girls. In early June, YMC announced the formation the first sub-unit of I.O.I. with members: Nayoung, Chungha, Pinky, Sohye, Yoojung, Doyeon and Somi. Four other members left because of another engagements outside of the I.O.I.- Chaeyeon, returned to her group DIA, Sejeong and Mina, focused their debut with Gugudan and Yeonjung, became the 13th member of Cosmic Girls (WJSN). The first unit finally released a single called Whatta Man (Good Man) on August 9th, 2016. In the end I.O.I.’s wasn`t renewed and they disbanded on January 31st, 2017.
The Reason Why I.O.I. Disbanded
In 2016, the Produce 101 survival event was in great demand and managed to form a group with 11 female members named I.O..I, they debuted on May 4th, 2016 and were only on one year contract with the YMC Entertainment and they officially disbanded on January 31st, 2017.
The finalists were from different agencies and after the official I.O.I. disband each of them returned to their agencies and perform promotions, solo-debuts or joining a previously existing groups.
Many of the facts behind the I.O.I. group and the dissolution of the group are listed below. Keep reading to find out more!
1. Different Agencies
The eleven members of the IOI are a combination of some of South Korea’s leading agencies, such as:
Somi who is a JYP Entertainment trainee, Kim Chungha from M&H Entertainment, Nayoung and Pinky from Pledis Entertainment, Kim Sejeong and Kang Mina from Jellyfish Entertainment, Choi Yoojung and Kim Doyeon from Fantagio, Yeonjung from Starship Entertainment, Jung Chaeyeon from MBK Entertainment , and Kim Sohye from S&P Entertainment.
While they were members of the I.O.I some of them ware also busy with promotions with their other respective girl-bands. Like Chaeyeon who kept promoting with DIA, Sejeong and Mina that debuted with Gugudan, and Yeonjung with WJSN (Cosmic Girls).
2. The Sub-Unit
YMC Entertainment formed the first sub-unit of I.O.I. composed of Nayoung, Pinky, Doyeon, Yoojung, Chungha, Sohye, and Somi. They debuted with the title song Whatta Man.
Their concept this time was not cute and innocent like Dream Girls, this time they were more daring, sexy and elegant, with this concept the sub-unit of I.O.I. was able to steal the attention of the Internet population, because now their appearance looked more mature.
3. First Win with Very Very Very
The last victory of I.O.I. as a complete formation was on October 26th, 2016. They promoted their last song before breaking up that was with title Very Very Very. The members were unable to hold back their tears, because they knew that shortly after that they are gonna be splitting up.
4. Different Groups
As we mentioned before most of the members come from different agencies and some have other bands
- Yeonjung, she officially became the 13th member of the girl group WJSN or Cosmic Girls managed by STARSHIP Entertainment and took the main vocal position in the group. Yeonjung debuted with WJSN with a song called “Secret”. During the show Produce 101, Yeonjung was known as The Next of Hyolyn. She managed to steal the attention of the Internet with the performance of the song Into the New World performed by SNSD or Girls Generation, she managed to take the high notes sung by Taeyeon, and that won her the title of a vocalist with very beautiful voice.
- Sejeong and Mina. During I.O.I.’s sub-unit promotion with Whatta Man, they were busy with their group named Gugudan managed by Jellyfish Entertainment.
- Chayeon whose main focus was her leadership role in the girl group DIA under MBK Entertainment.
As Yeonjung, Sejeong, Mina, and Chaeyeon were busy with their own careers the YMC Entertainment decided to create the sub-unit to promote the other members.
5. Only One-Year Contract
Since its creation in January 2016 YMC Entertainment said that I.O.I. will only last for one year and will be disbanded in early 2017.
Although some fans disagreed and hoped YM Entertainment will extend the I.O.I. contract, still the official I.O.I .broke up on January 31st, 2017 and Very Very Very became their last song.
“We are so loved and we are so close, every member has thought to say goodbye to each other, it’s hard to describe with words, but I hope we end up well, I’m proud of all the members who have been working hard inside and outside I.O.I.”, Im Nayoung said.
“Instead of thinking of this as our last release, we promised each other that we would just be making a new album.” Jung Chaeyeon said.
“We have revealed this in another show, but we have promised to reunite in five years,” said Jeon Somi.
6. Somi Join TWICE?
Many rumors arouse that after I.O.I.’s disband, Jeon Somi will be the 10th member of TWICE.
Please check below some reasons why this was a possibility:
- Somi cannot make a solo-debut because the vocals he has are not that good.
- Somi does not have any other trainees in JYP Entertainment to debut with her.
- She can not debut as an actress because Somi needs to train harder, if he decides to swerve into the acting world. In addition, Somi has a foreign face that makes it less suitable to be the main character as a traditional Korean woman.
- Somi already has many fans. It can not be denied that being part of the I.O.I. has boosted her popularity. Now, this young JYP girl has a huge fan base, both local and international. The Fans and followers of Somi can be very useful for TWICE and JYP in terms of endorsement and album releases.
- Jeon Somi has a role she can play in TWICE. Similar to Dahyun, Somi is quite energetic and has a cheerful personality, in contrast to the image of the other mostly shy and innocent TWICE members. In addition, Jeon Somi is a good friend of TWICE’s maknae – Song Chaeyoung.
7. Nayoung and Pinky Focus with Pristin
Nayoung and Pinky are from Pledis Entertainment. After I.O.I. declared dissolution, Pledis Entertainment formed a girl group named Pristin with ten members and some of them were from I.O.I.
Pristin officially debuted on March 21st, 2017 with the title song We Like. Nayong, Pinky, Eunwoo, Xiyeon who previously came from Produce 101 became permanent members of Pristin.
8. Chungha Focusing with Her Solo Career
Kim Chungha’s dancing and vocal abilities deserved praise, even Chungha managed to stole netizens’ attention on the 1st Produce 101 episode where all trainees showed their dancing and singing abilities in front of other trainees. At that time Chungha showed her dancing skills and managed amaze all other trainees and mentors.
Chungha also made her own choreography for the dance of the BangBang song. Everyone was fascinated by Chungha’s choreography, even Kahi who was then a mentor was not be able to make such choreography.
After I.O.I. broke up, Chungha focused on a solo career. She officially debuted in June 2017 with the title song Why Dont You Know and cameback in January 2018 with the title song Roller Coaster. The surprising thing behind Chungha’s debut and comeback was that she herself made the choreography of the song.
9. Sejeong and Mina Focus with Gugudan
Gugudan was formed in 2016 and officially debuted with the title song called Mermaid. Sejeong and Mina became members of Gugudan before I.O.I .was officially disbanded. The group consists of nine members, namely Mimi, Hana, Haebin, Nayoung, Sejeong, Sally, Soyee, Mina and Hyeyeon.
10. Chaeyeon is Focusing on DIA
DIA ( shortened from DIAMOND and acronym for Do It Amazing) is a South Korean girl group formed by MBK Entertainment in 2015. They made their debut as a seven-member group in September 2015 with their full album Do It Amazing and its title track “Somehow”. The group currently consists of nine members: Eunice, Jueun, Huihyeon, Jenny, Yebin, Eunjin, Chaeyeon, Eunchae and Somyi.
In June 2016, the group released their first extended play Happy Ending with the title track “On the Road”, which entered the Gaon chart at number forty-eight, which is their highest position on the chart to date. Before I.O.I. declared dissolution, Chaeyeon was already doing promotion with DIA.
11. Yeonjung is Focusing on WJSN
WJSN or Cosmic Girls is a girl group under STARSHIP Entertainment and also collaborates with Chinese agency Yuehua Entertainment which debuted in February 2016 with the song MoMoMo. They debuted as a 12-member formation – three of them were from China and the rest came from Korea.
WJSN provides a unique concept as a rookie-group. They have their own symbols taken from the 12 zodiac signs. Initially when WJSN debuted was able to steal netizens’ interest and attention, but shortly after STARSHIP Entertainment contributed three trainees to join Produce 101.
Before I.O.I. was disbanded, Yeonjung had become the 13th member of WJSN and debuted with the song I Wish. There is no doubt in Yeonjung`s vocal abilities, she took the position of main vocal in the group and replaced Dayoung. Since the presence of Yeonjung in WJSN, netizens have become increasingly more interested with WJSN as pert of the Korean music industry.
12. Sohye Focusing on Acting
During the Produce 101 show, Kim Sohye was often highlighted for her weakness in memorizing powerful movements and vocals. In fact, she goes into group F, where group F is a collection of trainees with the biggest weaknesses.
However, over the passage of time as well as the spirit and help of other trainees, Sohye was able to perform various missions and present them well. In fact she got the highest score compared to Pinky and Chaeyeon while covering Sunmi song entitled Full Moon. Sohye proves that group F is not as bad as the netizens’ think, Sohye who comes from the F group is able to debut with I.O.I..
Sohye comes from S&P Entertainment where the agency focuses its’ artists for acting. Some questions from other trainees arose like, does Sohye really only act as the weakest trainee just to get more spotlight than other trainees?
After I.O.I. broke up, representatives from Sohye’s agency said if Sohye will focus on her career as an actress.
13. Doyeon and Yoojung Focusing on Weki Meki
Weki Meki or WEME is a rookie-group formed by Fantagio and debuted in 2017 with the title song I Do not Like Your Girlfriend. The group consists of eight members: Ji Suyeon, Elly, Choi Yoojung, Kim Doyeon, Sei, Lua, Rina, and Lucy, where Yoojung and Doyeon were previously members of I.O.I..
After the official I.O.I. disband, Fantagio formed a girl group for Doyeon and Yoojung along with the 6 other trainees. With a unique and energetic concept they were able to steal the attention of the netizens’.
14. No Contract Renewal
I.O.I. has been contracted by YMC Entertainment for one year and there is no contract extension for them, as some of the I.O.I. members already had their own groups and were afraid that they will interrupt the I.O.I. schedule.
In contrast to Wanna One – a group that was also formed from Produce 101, but wasall male. Many rumors say that the Wanna One’s contract will be extended due to its continuously increasing popularity. Netizens who know about the news there were disagreeing, because they liked I.O.I., who did promotions for less than a year.
I.O.I.s’ Disband Date
The 26th Asian Music Awards on January 19, 2017 became the almost last event in the I.O.I. schedule.
I.O.I. fans have been anticipating the event since the Seoul Music Awards. Many achievements have been received by I.O.I. as a rookie-group who only did promotions for 10 months. They won rookie of the year at MAMA on December 2nd, 2016, which was a very good achievement.
I.O.I. debuted after “Produce 101” with the song “Dream Girls” in May. After that, seven members were promoted as sub-unit with “Whatta Man” in August and won first place in various musical performances. As a last track, they released “Very Very Very” in October and went up to the first place again on many music shows.
Meanwhile, I.O.I. also performed at the KBS Music Awards on December 29th. After their concert, they officially ended their promotion on January 31st as originally planned.
The last concert of I.O.I titled “Time Slip-I.O.I.” was held on 20-22 January 2017. This three-day consecutive concert was held in Janchung Gymnasium. The location was also the place where I.O.I. first made their showcase debut. At the end of the concert, all I.O.I. members and fans were crying.
In the photo I.O.I. carried banners that read, “Do not forget that we really love you guys,” bringing the sad feelings of the fans. The part that was touching was when all of I.O.I. members sang a song created by Woozi SEVENTEEN entitled Downpour.
Ahead of the breakup of I.O.I., YMC Entertainment released an official light stick for I.O.I. fans who will watch the last concert to encourage them. Light sticks were shaped like ice cream and were equipped with 3 batteries, 1 hanger and 2 colors – yellow and pink. Of course the shape of ice cream perfectly matches the personality of I.O.I.s’ members as they are cute and sweet.
Do you guys miss I.O.I.?