What Happened To I.O.I From Mnet’s ‘Produce 101 Season 1’ After Disbandment? The Reason Behind the Fast Reunion With Incomplete Formation


The Members of I.O.I’s Stories After Their Disbandment

Hello, our good fellow K-Poppers! Channel-Korea is back with another piece of the story from the Korean Entertainment. We hope you guys all are in good condition and ready to jump into it. This time, in this article, we will give you some pieces of information about I.O.I and the personal stories of the members after the disbandment of the group.

For you who might not know yet, I.O.I (아이오아이 in Korean words), also known as “Ideal of Idol,” was a South Korean girl group formed by CJ E&M through the 2016 reality show Produce 101 on Mnet. The group was initially composed of eleven members chosen from a pool of 101 trainees from various entertainment companies.


The members of this girl group were Lim Na-young, Kim Chung-ha, Kim Se-jeong, Jung Chae-yeon, Zhou Jieqiong, Kim So-hye, Yoo Yeon-jung, Choi Yoo-jung, Kang Mi-na, Kim Do-yeon, and Jeon So-mi. I.O.I debuted on May 4th, 2016, with the EP Chrysalis and actively promoted for less than a year. They officially disbanded at the end of January 2017 and returned to their respective agencies. After this introductory piece of information about them, let’s get into the main topic.


Somi’s Story Before and After Leaving JYP and Becoming a Solo Artist in Black Label


Ennik Somi Douma, known by her Korean name Jeon So-mi, is a Korean-Canadian singer based in South Korea. She was born to a Korean mother, Jeon Sun-hee, and Dutch-Canadian father, Matthew Douma. Somi was born in Ontario, Canada on March 9th, 2001. She graduated from Cheongdam Middle School on February 3rd, 2017, and is currently attending Hanlim Multi Art School, majoring in Practical Music and Vocal.

In 2014, Somi joined JYP Entertainment after auditioning with 2NE1’s “Lonely” leading her to appear in Got7’s “Stop Stop It” music video with other fellow female trainees. In May 2015, Somi participated in Mnet’s reality survival program Sixteen. However, she was eliminated in the final round, thus continuing as a trainee under the label.

In January 2016, Somi represented JYP Entertainment on the reality survival program Produce 101. She finished in first place with more than 850.000 votes and debuted on May 4th, with the project girl group I.O.I.


On January 9th, 2017, Somi signed a formal contract with JYP Entertainment for solo activities regarding Television appearances. And then, her activities with I.O.I came to an end following disbandment on January 29th, 2017. On August 20th, 2018, JYP Entertainment released an official statement revealing that after mutual agreement, Somi terminated her contract with them and left the label.

In the following month, Somi signed an exclusive contract with YG Entertainment’s subsidiary label called The Black Label. And on February 25th, 2019, The Black Label announced Somi is prepared to make her debut as a solo artist under their label. Her debut single “Birthday” was released on June 13th, along with its accompanying music video.


Cungha’s Success as a Solo Artist


Kim Chung-ha, or people have known her as Chungha, is a South Korean artist who was born in Seoul, South Korea on February 9th, 1996. She lived in Dallas, Texas for eight years under her English name Annie Kim, before returning to South Korea to become a singer. And then, as a result, she is able to speak both English and Korean. Chungha said that South Korean singer IU is her role model as she admires the way the popular solo artist is able to sing, dance, and various other things.

Chungha auditioned for YG Entertainment and is a former JYP Entertainment trainee before joining her current agency MNH Entertainment. She trained for three years before debuting and had been dancing for 6 – 7 years in her life.


Chungha then represented MNH Entertainment on the reality girl group survival show Produce 101. She finished in the fourth place and debuted on May 4th with I.O.I. On December 21st, 2016, MNH Entertainment confirmed that she will be debuting as a solo artist at the beginning of 2017 after wrapping up I.O.I’s promotions.

And then, on April 21st, 2017, Chungha released her pre-debut single titled “Week,” on the official MNH Entertainment YouTube account, followed by her debut EP Hands on Me, with the lead track “Why Don’t You Know.”  On November 22nd, the first episode of her own reality show, Chungha’s Free Month, was released on YouTube and NaverTV.

On January 17th, 2018, Chungha released her second EP Offset that contains five tracks including the title track “Roller Coaster.” On July 18th, 2018, Chungha came back with her third mini-album titled Blooming Blue, with “Love U” serving as the lead single. The same year, Chungha became the ambassador for the Seoul International Architecture Film Festival in October.


On January 2nd, 2019, Chungha released her single album, Gotta Go, and then on January 9th, 2019, Chungha won her first-ever music program trophy on the MBC Music’s Show Champion. On January 24th, 2019, she released her fourth EP Flourishing alongside the music video of the lead single, “Snapping.” An then, “Snapping” was placed first on Show Champion on July 3rd, 2019.

With this long history from her hard work, it’s not too much to say that Chungha is successfully grasping her dream to become the greatest solo artist.


The Future of Nayoung’s and Kyulkyung’s Career After PRISTIN’s Disbandment


PRISTIN (프리스틴 in Korean words, formerly known as Pledis Girlz) was a South Korean girl group formed by Pledis Entertainment in 2016. The group was composed of ten members: Nayoung, Roa, Yuha, Eunwoo, Rena, Kyulkyung, Yehana, Sungyeon, Xiyeon, and Kyla. Most of them appeared on the television show Produce 101.

Before joining PRISTIN, Nayoung and Kyulkyung (Zhou Jieqiong) went on to debut as part of the group I.O.I. Then, they reunited again to debut as PRISTIN on March 21st, 2017, with their first EP Hi! Pristin. PRISTIN was known for writing and composing their own music.


Lim Na-young, or Nayoung, was born in Seoul, South Korea on December 18th, 1995. And Zhou Jieqiong, or Kyulkyung in Korean, was born in Taizhou, Zhejiang, China on December 16th, 1998. Nayoung and Kyulkyung were both representing Pledis Entertainment and made it to the final line-up of I.O.I, as Nayoung ranked tenth and Kyulkyung ranked sixth.

On May 24th, 2019, PRISTIN was officially disbanded. And Pledis Entertainment announced that Kyulkyung, Yehana, and Sungyeon would stay with the company, while the remaining members (Xiyeon, Rena, Roa, Kyla, Nayoung, Yuha, and Eunwoo) would be departing.

There are no other statements again for Nayoung and Kyulkyung after Pledis Entertainment disbanded PRISTIN, and made the announcement that Nayoung is departing from the agency and Kyulkyung is going to stay.


Kim So-hye as an Actress


Kim So-hye is a South Korean actress who was born in Seoul, South Korea on July 19th, 1999. She graduated from Gyeonggi Girls’ High School.

Coming from an acting company, Kim So-hye was training to become an actress and had no experience in singing and dancing before joining Produce 101.

She represented her company, Redline Entertainment, and finished in fifth place and became a member of I.O.I. However, Redline Entertainment maintained that she would continue her acting training once she finished promoting with the group.


In June 2016, Kim So-hye created her own management label, S&P (Shark & Penguin) Entertainment. She also opened a coffee shop, Penguin’s Café, in Seocho District. And aside from participating in activities as part of I.O.I, Kim So-hye was a regular host of MBC Every1’s Star Show and SBS’ Game Show.

In 2017, Kim So-hye made her debut in the acting field with the web drama titled Poetry Story. The same year, she was cast as the female lead in her first television drama, Kang Deok-soon’s Love History. In 2018, she was cast in the youth drama Best Chicken as the female lead. And in 2019, Kim was confirmed to make her big-screen debut in the melodrama film Full Moon.