HOTSHOT has opened up about what it was like to watch two of their members compete on “Produce 101 Season 2,” while member Noh Tae Hyun has talked about his experiences on the show.
Noh Tae Hyun and Ha Sung Woon of HOTSHOT appeared on Mnet’s survival show “Produce 101 Season 2” this spring to vie for a spot in the finalist group. They both developed large fan bases over their time on the show, and Ha Sung Woon was voted into the top 11 group Wanna One. Many viewers were also impressed by Noh Tae Hyun, and he was chosen by fans to be a member of the group of talented eliminated trainees called JBJ, who are planning to promote together soon.
Following the finale, HOTSHOT made a comeback with their new song “Jelly” as a five-member group while Ha Sung Woon promotes with Wanna One. During interviews on August 31, Noh Tae Hyun and his fellow members had the chance to talk about “Produce 101 Season 2,” both as participants and viewers.
Noh Tae Hyun explained that they had found out about the auditions for “Produce 101 Season 2” through an acquaintance at Samuel Kim’s agency, and he said that he and Ha Sung Woon were the ones who first approached their own agency about trying out for the show.
Leader Choi Jun Hyuk added, “We then became divided into who wanted to go on, and who didn’t.” Kim Timoteo admitted that even up until the time the pair did their “Produce 101 Season 2” meeting, he had thought HOTSHOT could possibly disappear, and said he was impressed by Ha Sung Woon and Noh Tae Hyun’s courage when they went for the meeting.
Go Ho Jeong said, “I was really worried, but they got into class A from the start. I was so proud.” Yoon San shared that he had even signed up on Mnet so he could vote since every vote was important. “It was hard to sign up,” he admitted.
The other HOTSHOT members were concerned that it wouldn’t be well received if they publicly showed their support for Ha Sung Woon and Noh Tae Hyun, so they didn’t go to watch the performances or post on social media about the competition. However, they were sure to vote for their fellow members, and chose Ha Sung Woon and Noh Tae Hyun as their two choices when the voting was down to a “two pick” system.
As voters and supporters, the guys also experienced the emotions that many fans felt during the show when the rankings were announced.
“I voted, but their rank wasn’t rising,” said Kim Timoteo. “Only other people were rising in the ranks. Then they got on the right track later on, because they had developed fan bases.”
“I was upset when their rankings were low despite being in class A,” he continued. “It was because their ranking doesn’t just change because they’ve been evaluated as being in class A. I was really surprised when I realized that they wouldn’t necessarily do well just because they’re good.”
Choi Jun Hyuk expressed a similar sentiment about being upset when Ha Sung Woon and Noh Tae Hyun didn’t rise in the ranks at first. He added that he did find it interesting to try to think about it from the standpoint of a producer as he wondered how they could get higher in the rankings.
Watching the finale was an emotional experience for Kim Timoteo, as Ha Sung Woon was shown waiting to find out if he had been chosen to be in the top 11.
“I was watching it live, and I was sure that Ha Sung Woon wouldn’t make it,” he said. “He wasn’t mentioned a lot either, so that made it worse. I know Ha Sung Woon really well. When I saw his face, it was clear that he’d given up. When his name was called, I screamed. Noh Tae Hyun was crying then.”
However, Noh Tae Hyun said that he had predicted that Ha Sung Woon would do well, ever since he’d come in third place the previous week.
“Everyone wondered if it could really happen, but I thought it would,” he said. “When his name was called, I thought about when we were preparing for the first evaluations. We asked each other, ‘Will we get into the top 11?’, and it happened. I was overwhelmed. The situation wasn’t great, but I thought to myself, ‘This is another way it could happen.’”
“I was suspicious about the voting up until the first episode,” Noh Tae Hyun admitted. “But my concerns about whether the results would be fair or not all disappeared when Ha Sung Woon became a member of Wanna One. It was 100 percent fair. It wasn’t something that we could have made up.” He said with a laugh, “It was a really fair result.”
The members also laughed as they said that they would definitely need to be greeted formally by Ha Sung Woon once he debuts in Wanna One. “The other Wanna One members are fine, but Ha Sung Woon definitely has to greet me formally since he’s a junior artist now,” said Noh Tae Hyun. He laughed as he added, “I’m saying that because I’m envious.”
In another interview, Choi Jun Hyuk said, “I really wanted to congratulate Ha Sung Woon and Noh Tae Hyun for doing so well. It was something they achieved through working hard, and rather than feeling envious, I sincerely thought it turned out well.”
Go Ho Jeong also added that he was grateful to the pair. “It is because of them that there has been more interest surrounding our comeback too,” he said.
HOTSHOT is currently promoting their track “Jelly” on music shows, with their next performance set for “Show Champion” on August 2.