Like in any other industry, KPOP has also been subjected to a lot of changing trends. Lately, Korean fans are going crazy over project groups.
Project groups in KPOP are not something new. Many KPOP acts that date back even to the 90s have been project groups. However, it gained a lot of attention when MNet produced a survival show called Produce 101 in 2016. The show gave birth to one of the most sensational girl groups that the KPOP industry has ever seen, I.O.I who promoted for a little over a year.
A year later, the show aired its second season featuring male trainees. This was more my type as I’ve always preferred boy groups. The show featured a lot of trainees from different small and well-known talent agencies. Some were even familiar to the viewers because they have already debuted as idols but was not that successful in gaining fame.
The contract of the group that was produced in the second season also got longer. The final group would promote for 18 months, which made fans happy. Ultimately, 11 boys were chosen to be in the final lineup that will be called WANNA ONE (the name was also chosen by the fans): Jisung, Sungwoon, Minhyun, Seongwoo, Jaehwan, Daniel, Jihoon, Woojin, Jinyoung, Daehwi, and Kuanlin.
WANNA ONE Members’ Profiles
Name: Yoon Jisung
Birthday: March 8, 1991
Position: Leader, Sub Vocalist
Jisung ranked 8th in the final evaluation ranking of the show. He got a massive 902, 098 votes from the fans. He started in the show as a trainee under MMO along with Daniel. However, his contract in MMO expired and he is now under LM Entertainment.
Jisung is quite the character. He was the oldest contestant in PD101 after the other one got eliminated. However, his actions speak the opposite. He’s a loud mouth and honestly, it gets annoying. But hey, that doesn’t stop him from being a really good leader!
Name: Ha Sungwoon
Birthday: March 22, 1994
Position: Main Vocalist
Sungwoon was the last member to be announced as he came in 11th place with a total of 790, 302 votes. If you are a fan like me who likes underrated groups, you would recognize Sungwoon as part of a group called HOTSHOT prior to his appearance in the show.
He went to the show together with another member, Noh Taehyun. Unfortunately, Taehyun got eliminated but thankfully, Sungwoon became part of Wanna One and became the bearer of HOTSHOT’s name. He is also known to be close friends with BTS’ Jimin, EXO’s Kai, VIXX’s Ravi, SHINee’sTaemin, and FT Island’s Hongki.
Name: Hwang Minhyun
Birthday: August 9, 1995
Position: Lead Vocalist
Minhyun ended up being in the 9th rank of the final ranking with 862, 719 votes. Minhyun has become my bias in Wanna One after the final ranking announcement. You see, I have always been a fan of NU’EST ever since they began and it was just so sad that they were not able to get the recognition they deserved for a long time.
I was so dumbstruck when I heard the news that four of the five members of NU’EST will be joining the show. I actually cried when I saw their audition piece on the show. In NU’EST, JR is my bias and all throughout the show, I have been rooting for him to be part of the final group and become the leader.
Unfortunately, he was three ranks short of being part of Wanna One and Minhyun became the only member of the group to make it to the debut lineup. And while I was still so salty about JR not being part of Wanna One, I made the decision to support Minhyun because I love the group so much.
Name: Ong Seongwoo
Birthday: August 25, 1995
Position: Main Dancer, Lead Vocalist
Seongwoo ranked 5th with a total of 984,756 votes. Among the members, he was one of the most popular ones. His rank was always consistent and he never went down under the top ten. He is also the mood maker of the group and never fail to make everyone laugh.
Nothing is confirmed about his future activities now that Wanna One’s contract has ended. But, I am hoping he debuts in a boy group. Fantagio has been under fire lately and they seriously need to turn things around by providing fans with artists like Seongwoo so people will view them positively again.
Name: Kim Jaehwan
Birthday: May 27, 1996
Position: Main Vocalist
Unlike the other members of Wanna One, Jaehwan started out as an independent trainee. This means he did not have an agency behind him. And, for an independent trainee to end up in 4th place with 1, 051,735 votes is a very big achievement.
I have always loved Jaehwan’s voice ever since I saw his audition in the earlier episodes of the show. He was one of the trainees I have rooted to become a part of the final group and the heavens heard my prayers.
Name: Kang Daniel
Birthday: December 10, 1996
Position: Main Dancer, Lead Rapper, Sub Vocalist, Center
Everyone knows Daniel. As proof of that, he ranked 1st with a total of 1,578,837 votes. His dancing background includes b-boying. In the show, he was praised a lot for his dancing skills. I, too, am personally impressed by his dancing skills.
It was more than technicality. When he dances, he gives off a very strange but good aura and charisma. No wonder the people chose him to be the center of Wanna One.
Name: Park Jihoon
Birthday: May 29, 1999
Position: Lead Dancer, Sub Vocalist, Sub Rapper, Visual
Jihoon ended up as 2nd place at the final ranking evaluation with 1,136,014 votes. Like Daniel, he is also a popular trainee while on the show. Many people think that Jihoon is really handsome and I could say the same.
He has a very angelic and boy-next-door face that every girl would like. Fun fact: Jihoon used to be a child actor and has appeared in a skit with Big Bang’s G-Dragon.
Name: Park Woojin
Birthday: November 2, 1999
Position: Main Rapper, Main Dancer
Woojin was in 6th place with a total of 937,379 votes. He is the group’s other main dancer. Woojin wasn’t really that popular when the show started.
Thankfully, MNet decided to highlight him in the middle of the show and that’s when fans started noticing his talent and ultimately chose him to be a part of Wanna One.
Name: Bae Jinyoung
Birthday: May 10, 2000
Position: Sub Vocalist, Visual
Jinyoung was in the 10th rank with a total of 807,749 votes. Personally, I think Jinyoung is the member who had a very big improvement since the start of the show. I could remember how bad his audition piece was.
He sure did dance well but he kept looking at the floor and he had no stage presence. Thankfully, the mentors did a very good job and Jinyoung slowly gained confidence, earning him a position in the final lineup.
Name: Lee Daehwi
Birthday: January 29, 2001
Position: Lead Vocalist, Lead Dancer, Sub Rapper
Daehwi entered the final lineup in 3rd place with a total of 1,102,005 votes. During the promotional period of the show where they released the official theme song called “Nayana”, Daehwi was chosen to become the center. That gave him an advantage and he became really popular until the end.
Name: Lai Guan Lin
Birthday: September 23, 2001
Position: Lead Rapper, Maknae
Kuanlin was in 7th place with a total of 905,875 votes. Not only is he the youngest in the group but he also had the shortest amount of training period before joining the show. Many people actually disliked him because they felt like he was not ready enough to become an idol. But hey, he did work hard and his spot in Wanna One was one hard-earned award for him.
WANNA ONE Albums
Throughout the group’s entire promotions, they were able to release three mini-albums and one full-length album. Their promotional singles include “Energetic”, “Beautiful”, “I.P.U”, “Boomerang”, “Light”, and “Spring Breeze”. I find their title tracks good but my favorite track is not really one of the title tracks. Well, almost.
My favorite song is actually the “proposal version” of the title track “I.P.U.” First of all, it is a mellow and peaceful song and when the boys started singing, I could immediately recognize Minhyun’s sweet voice. At this point, I was actually starting to get sad about how the group will have to disband after a few months.
Project groups are good while they lasted. Every promotion was intense and the only sad thing about it is that fans will always look forward to the end of it. We all cannot deny how Wanna One has taken the industry by storm.
While the boys have returned to their respective agencies after their contract ended, fans are still hoping that one day, they will all come together and make even just one special release for the fans who miss them.