Mnet announced that they would be launching a new survival program titled “Idol School” to form a new K-Pop girl-band in March, 2017. Because Mnet also produces “Produce 101”, the show was influenced by “Produce 101”. Many often misunderstood the program concept as a project group. However, “Idol School” was a program that started with individual trainees who did not have a separate agency which made its debut through this program.
“Idol School” aired its first episode on July 13, 2017. The image of the show looked like dozens of cute, young, uniform-wearing aspiring idols singing and dancing their hearts out when actually it was a tough competition that would eventually trim down the 41 participants who could be chosen to be part of a new K-Pop girl-band named “Fromis (프로미스)”. The concept of “Idol School” is similar to an actual school, wherein for a total of 11 weeks, the contestants would receive lessons in not only singing and dancing but also the history of K-Pop and everything that comes with being an idol in South Korea, such as mental training and appearing in public, according to Wikipedia.
The show highlighted each of the 41 contestants, outlining the students’ unique traits and talents. The contestants underwent evaluations in dance, vocals, physical, and personality during the episodes. At the end of the show, after three months of being on air, the final result were solely decided by the total number of live and online votes. Here is the final result that was selected :
Rank No. 1: Roh Ji-sun (with the score 71,834 votes)
Rank No. 2: Song Ha-young (with the score 71,549 votes)
Rank No. 3: Lee Sae-rom (with the score 71,037 votes)
Rank No. 4: Lee Chae-young (with the score 65,318 votes)
Rank No. 5: Lee Na-gyung (with the score 64,001 votes)
Rank No. 6 Park Ji-won (with the score 63,816 votes)
Rank No. 7: Lee Seo-yeon (with the score 61,083 votes)
Rank No. 8: Baek Ji-heon (with the score 59,577 votes)
Rank No. 9: Jang Gyu-ri (with the score 57,230 votes)
After the final episode of “Idol School”, it ended with Roh Ji-sun, Song Ha-young, Lee Sae-rom, Lee Chae-young, Lee Na-gyung, Park Ji-won, Lee Seo-yeon, Baek Ji-heon, and Jang Gyu-ri as the 9 fixed members of Fromis (프로미스). It is said that the nine fixed members of Fromis were trained by PLEDIS Entertainment, which is headed by CEO Han Sung-soo. In fact, from the formation to its debut, the group was managed by a joint venture by CJ E&M, named Stone Music Entertainment.
During the transition period, the group premiered its own reality program, titled “Fromis’s Room”, which documented their journey to debut with the format simulcast that combined pre-recorded materials and replays of Facebook Live broadcasts in their dorm. The reality program aired every Friday from October 20, 2017. Following the final episode of “Fromis’s Room” on November 23, 2017, the group’s name was later changed from “Fromis” to “fromis_9 (프로미스나인)”, with the underscore “_” indicating one member, meanwhile the “9” means “the nine students who graduated from Idol School”.
On November 29, 2017, fromis_9 was actively involved in their first pre-debut stage and performed their pre-debut single, titled “Glass Shoes (유리구두)”, at the Mnet Asian Music Awards 2017 before they officially did debut in 2018. On November 25, 2017, They also appeared on MAMA 2017 in Japan.
fromis_9 also performed their pre-debut song and first-ever appearance in a music program on the December 15th episode of Music Bank.
On January 8, 2018, fromis_9 announced they would officially debut with their first Extended Play (EP), titled “To. Heart”, on January 24, 2018, under Stone Music Entertainment. On January 10, 2018, fromis_9 released the track list of their first EP, “To. Heart”, that had six tracks in all, including the title track, “To Heart”, and their pre-debut song, “Glass Shoes”.
On January 12, 2018, fromis_9 released a sweet debut teaser video, titled “10m Away From Me”, that showcased each of the members. You can watch below!
On January 15, 2018, fromis_9 released a debut teaser video of Jiheon. You can watch below!
Also fromis_9 released a prologue debut video and shared some new official debut photos.
On January 16, 2018, fromis_9 released a debut teaser video of Seoyeon and Nagyung. You can watch them below!
Also, fromis_9 shared a new set of official debut photos featuring the members having fun at school.
On January 17, 2018, fromis_9 released a debut teaser video of Jisun and Saerom. You can watch them below!
On January 18, 2018, fromis_9 released a debut teaser video of Chaeyoung and Jiwon. You can watch them below!
On January 19, 2018, fromis_9 released a debut teaser video of Gyuri and Hayoung. You can watch them below!
On January 20, 2018, fromis_9 released a highlight medley for their first EP, “To. Heart”.
On January 21, 2018, fromis_9 released a glimpse of their debut music video Teaser “To Heart” video.
On January 23, 2018, fromis_9 released trio unit photos as they geared up for their debut.
On January 24, 2018, they finally released their first EP ,together with their special showcase appearance which was broadcast live on Naver’s V Live.
The next day, they first appeared on their debut stage with the song “To Heart” on Mnet’s “M! Countdown” music program. You can watch their debut stage performance below!