Despite only working for approximately 8 months as a group, I.O.I released several mini-albums and singles since their debut on May 4, 2016. These songs became their record as a project group formed by Mnet and CJ E&M. Below, you may see I.O.I’s discography!
2016 – Chrysalis (mini-album)
2016 – “Whatta Man” (sub-unit single)
2016 – “Hand in Hand” (sub-unit digital single for South Korea’s Olympic theme song)
2016 – “I Love You, I Remember You” (original soundtrack for SBS’s Moon Lovers)
2016 – Miss Me? (mini-album)
2017 – “Downpour” (digital single)
Ever since their days as contestants on Produce 101, I.O.I’s members became used to cameras and never hesitate to show their carefree and youthful side, hence the abundant ‘love calls’ sent by the PDs of variety shows. Their appearances on television broadcasts always became a hot topic in search engines, making them wanted guest stars in 2016. Below, you may see the list of I.O.I’s television shows!
2016 – Mnet’s Produce 101 (Contestants)
2016 – Mnet’s Standby I.O.I (Regular Cast)
2016 – jTBC’s Two Yoo Project: Sugarman (Guest Cast on episode 28)
2016 – tvN’s SNL Korea 7 (Guest Stars)
2016 – Mnet’s LAN Cable Friends I.O.I (Regular Cast)
2016 – KBS’s Immortal Songs: Singing the Legend (Guest Cast)
2016 – MBC Every1’s Weekly Idol (Guest Stars)
2016 – jTBC’s Knowing Brothers / Ask Us Anything (Guest Cast on episode 23)
2016 – Mnet’s I Miss You Very Very Very Much Show (Regular Cast)
2017 – MBC’s Section TV
2018 – Mnet’s Produce 48 (Guest Cast)
I.O.I held their debut showcase and fan meeting on April 11, 2016, at Jangchung Gymnasium. Reportedly, the showcase was attended by 3,000 fans, and the group performed several songs including “Pick Me,” “Knock Knock Knock,” and “Crush” as well as their debut track”Dream Girls” and the special versions of “24Hours,” “Yum-Yum,” “In the Same Place,” and “When the Cherry Blossoms Fade.”
I.O.I did another comeback showcase as a full group on October 17, 2018, at Yes24 Live Hall, Seoul, South Korea. In the showcase, I.O.I revealed that they would hold a final solo concert titled Time Slip which was held for three days from January 20-22, 2017. The concert was located once again at Jangchung Gymnasium, and the tickets sold out. During the concert, I.O.I performed their final song “Downpour,” and some of its members, namely Nayoung, Kyulkyung, and Yoojung, performed their self-composed song titled “Line.”
I.O.I in Produce 101 Season 1
Before merging as a group, I.O.I’s members had to undergo competing with one another on Mnet’s Produce 101. Notably, the survival show occurred for approximately three months. Contrary to non-viewer expectations, all of I.O.I’s members were divided into several teams during the evaluations to avoid certain cliques from being formed. As a result, I.O.I’s members easily mingled with each other because they joined forces as a team during their trainee days.
In the early episodes of Produce 101, Jeon Somi’s figure gained the attention of her competitors and judges due to her status as a trainee of JYP Entertainment and being a former contestant of SIXTEEN, a survival show used to pick the members of JYP’s new girl group later known as TWICE. Somi easily ranked in A class but later was re-positioned to B class. Despite the class degradation, Somi felt happier because she was previously pressured after being chosen for the top class.
Kim Chungha unexpectedly hyped the crowd due to her freestyle dance to Beyonce’s song. Even though her exposure was initially shadowed by her fellow agency mate Oh Seojung, Chungha was able to shift the attention which earned her a solid spot as a future I.O.I member.
The term ‘Dance Avengers’ was coined for the first time after Somi, Chungha, Doyeon, and Yoojung with other Produce 101 participants performed “Bang Bang.” Their lit stage will always become the main reference of how a performance should be done.
Yoo Yeonjung’s talented vocal skills were noticed by viewers through her performance of “Into the New World” due to her freshness and stability. Many people praised her for being able to sing high notes which were originally sung by the two main vocalists of Girls’ Generation, Kim Taeyeon and Jessica Jung.
Besides Yeonjung, Sejeong was also noticed by her husky voice, charming appearance, and refreshing personality, hence her nickname ‘God Sejeong.’ Reportedly, Sejeong’s eye contact performance of “Irony” has been watched 1.4 million times, making it one of the most viewed Produce 101 videos.
Contrary to the usual performances, Kyulkyung, Chaeyeon, and Sohye performed “Full Moon” by Sunmi as a trio. Though their practice time was intense due to Sohye’s difficulty in picking up the choreography, the team was able to deliver their performance perfectly.
During concept evaluation, “Fingertips” and “Yum-Yum” garnered the most attention due to the catchiness of the songs. In addition, popular trainees who later became members of I.O.I also filled the teams who performed these songs, namely Chungha, Sejeong, Nayoung, Somi, Yoojung, and Chaeyeon.
Besides shining and becoming popular through performances, some of I.O.I’s members were chosen as favorite picks among the contestants of the show.
Joo Kyulkyung from Pledis Entertainment occupied the top spot followed by Kim Doyeon from Fantagio Entertainment, Jeon Somi from JYP Entertainment, and Kim Chungha from M&H Entertainment.
I.O.I’s Debut Journey
Initially, I.O.I was going to debut on April 1, 2016, with the song “Crush.” However, YMC Entertainment and Mnet decided to postpone the group’s debut to prepare a better concept and choreography with a new song instead. I.O.I’s debut journey was shortly recorded through their 2-episode reality show Standby I.O.I. Each episode ran for an hour and revealed the dorm life of I.O.I’s members.
The show started from D-24 of their debut day. The girls were notably shocked upon seeing the camera setup installed in many spots of their dorm. They were also amazed by the camera’s AI technology which was able to understand their commands in direction and zoom to certain areas. Some of the members such as Somi, Yoojung, Sohye, Kyulkyung, Chaeyeon, and Mina often played with the cameras, showing their funny and playful side to the viewers of the show.
Not only I.O.I’s dorm life, Standby I.O.I also recorded the group’s activities in filming their debut preparation and advertisements. Prior to their debut, I.O.I was already appointed as the brand ambassador of various kinds of products such as Etude House, the school uniforms of Elite, Mom’s Touch Chicken and Burger, mobile games from Netmarble, SK Telecom, and KB Kookmin Bank which are worth approximately KRW 1.4 billion (USD 1,252,011).
In addition, viewers were able to look into the school life of Sohye and Doyeon as they brought along the cameras to their respective schools. After their participation in Produce 101, Sohye and Doyeon’s popularity was apparent, especially in their educational institutions.
As a way to repay fans’ support ahead of their debut, I.O.I did a coffee truck tribute. The team was divided into two, namely Nayoung, Chungha, Somi, Sohye, and Kyulkyung in the Yongsan area and Sejeong, Doyeon, Yoojung, Chaeyeon, Yeonjung, and Mina in Sangam. Even though rain was pouring down on the sites, the coffee truck event was visited by lots of fans.
Before officially disbanding on January 29, 2017, I.O.I released their final song titled “Downpour” in January 2017. The track was composed by Seventeen’s Woozi along with Won Young Heon, Neighborhood Hyung, and Yama Art. Notably, all eleven girls sang the track at their final concert Time Slip. Below, you may watch the music video of “Downpour.”
I.O.I’s Latest News
Even though I.O.I disbanded, the members are still occasionally meeting in their leisure time. Before their disbandment, I.O.I’s members in unison stated that they wanted to reunite in 2021. In 2018, all the members gathered to shoot a teaser for Produce 48 along with their junior group Wanna One.
Behind the scenes, I.O.I also recorded a video to commemorate their 2nd debut anniversary which was shared through Chaeyeon’s personal Instagram account.
Being the first member to go solo, Kim Chungha currently does well as a female singer as she already released three mini-albums, hosted several shows, and is appointed as the brand ambassador of notable products.
Even so, Chungha voiced out her longing to reunite with I.O.I, stating “We contact each other every day. Recently, all I.O.I members got their own cell phones. After three years, we finally created a group chat with all of the members. I really want us to get together again.”
Surprising news came from Jeon Somi when she decided to terminate her contract with JYP Entertainment in August 2018. Many netizens suspected that Somi broke the fundamental rule of the agency, hence the allegation of her being kicked out from the company. Later, Somi signed a contract with The Black Label, a subsidiary company of YG Entertainment which is headed by Teddy. Reportedly, Somi will make her solo debut in March 2019.
I.O.I’s fans longing over the members’ interaction is seen in Mnet’s third installation of the Produce survival series Produce 48 as Chungha and Somi appeared as special hosts in episode 5. Accordingly, the contestants of the show were ecstatic upon seeing Chungha and Somi’s sudden arrival in the studio.
The Ending Fairy Jung Chaeyeon also does well in her individual activities as she has starred in many Korean dramas and appeared on variety shows. On December 8, 2018, Chaeyeon was honored to receive the rookie acting award from “to. Jenny,” the judges formed by experimented directors in the entertainment industry. Chaeyeon also hosted Mnet’s MAMA in Korea along with actor and model Jisoo.
Gugudan’s Kim Sejeong and Kang Mina debuted once again in their sub-unit group SEMINA with their fellow Gugudan member Nayoung in July 2018 and promoted with their full group with “Not That Type” in November 2018. Besides promoting with their group, Sejeong and Mina also have their respective individual activities. Sejeong has been active on variety shows such as Galileo: Awakened Universe and Netflix’s first reality game-play Busted, though, in September, she halted activities due to her toe injury. On the other hand, Mina hosts MBC’s weekly music show Music Core and acted in the film Dokgo Rewind with EXO’s Sehun and in the television series Mama Fairy and the Woodcutter as a supporting role.
Dodaeng couple Choi Yoojung and Kim Doyeon are also busy in 2018 as they formed the sub-group WJMK with WJSN members Luda and Seola in June 2018. They debuted with “Strong” and promoted several times on music shows. Moreover, Yoojung and Doyeon also have individual ventures as Yoojung appeared on JTBC4’s Secret Sister with EXID’s Hani, whereas Doyeon is busy hosting Get It Beauty and became a guest star on SBS’s Law of the Jungle in Sri Lanka. When Doyeon was busy with her other schedules, Yoojung filled her in on Get It Beauty as well, proving their solid workflow as co-members.
Compared to the other I.O.I members, Kim Sohye’s solo career is not as active. Even so, Sohye is relatively considered to do well in her acting projects. In late August 2018, Sohye was announced as the main actress of Dramax’s youth drama The Best Chicken with actor Park Sun-ho. In addition, her web dramas gained interest not only from South Korean audiences but also international audiences. You are able to watch Sohye’s web drama Society Obsessed with Love below.
Similar to Sejeong and Mina, Pristin members Im Nayoung and Joo Kyulkyung also debuted once again in the sub-unit group Pristin V along with their fellow members Eunwoo, Roa, and Rena. As for solo ventures, Nayoung was seen performing rhythmic gymnastics as her group’s representative on MBC’s Idol Star Athletics Championships. On the other hand, Kyulkyung is occupied with her solo activities in China, such as releasing a solo debut as a singer through the song “Why” and her acting debut in the historical mystery drama Miss Truth.
Yeonjung is currently busy promoting with nine other members of WJSN while the three Chinese members are doing activities in their Chinese project group. Reportedly, WJSN had a successful comeback with “Save Me, Save You” and won their first trophy ever on a music show with the song. Similar to Sejeong, Yeonjung briefly halted her activities in mid-October 2018 because of health issues (exhaustion, low blood pressure, and hypoglycemia), though currently, she has resumed working with the rest of WJSN.