Woo Jin Young, a former contestant and first place winner of JTBC’s “MIXNINE,” recently partook in an interview to share his thoughts on participating in idol survival programs and debuting.
When Yang Hyun Suk called out Woo Jin Young’s name as the first place contestant, the contestant looked puzzled and surprised. “To be honest, I came in second place right before [the final], so I had emptied my mind, but I was happy that I came in first place,” said Woo Jin Young.
This wasn’t Woo Jin Young’s first time participating in an idol survival program. He previously appeared on Mnet’s “Produce 101 Season 2” and showed off his rapping skills through performances of “Mansae” and “It’s Not Me Who You Used To Know.” After being eliminated at 40th place, he persevered through practice and appeared on “MIXNINE.”
Woo Jin Young admits, “There was some pressure to do well if I were to go on ‘MIXNINE,’ so I worried a lot. If I were to get eliminated again, I wanted to practice hard and debut. Then one day when I was home, I saw my grandma watching a rerun of ‘Produce 101 Season 2.’ She was happy that her grandson was on TV. I wanted to show her grandson on TV while she was healthy. If I go on ‘MIXNINE’ and rank high, then my debut can come quicker…I wanted to quickly show my grandma me as a singer.”
After two years of practicing and competing on survival programs, Woo Jin Young will now finally achieve his dream of debuting as a singer. He said, “My family was so happy, especially my grandmother. She said, “Are you finally becoming a singer?’ and was really happy. I was happy that my friends and other trainees at my agency were happy for me as if it was their good news. [N.Flying member] Yoo Hoe Seung and Joo Won Tak also congratulated me. We said it would be nice to run into each other at a broadcasting studio.”
Woo Jin Young performed in front of Yang Hyun Suk and shed tears after passing the first audition. He described that moment as having “complicated feelings.” Woo Jin Young explained, “At the end, Yang Hyun Suk told us to say something, but none of the members would grab the opportunity. I asked him for a chance and thanks to that, I was able to pass. I thought, ‘Did I take away the opportunity from the members who trained with me?’ We practiced hard together, so I felt sorry that I was the only one chosen. When I saw the members crying, I had complicated emotions and it also motivated me to prove something through ‘MIXNINE.’ Those were my thoughts.”
As his favorite stages, the former contestant chose “Born Hater” and his performance on the live finale. Woo Jin Young said, “After ‘Born Hater,’ the other contestants and staff members did my rap. After seeing that impact, I thought, “I did a good job on this stage. I showed good rapping.’ I heard a lot of praise from my rap teacher while preparing for the live finale stage. I was happy that the judges gave good comments.”
When asked what contestants he considered as his rivals on “MIXNINE,” he named the other contestants who were rappers. He continued, “When I saw Choi Hyun Suk, Lee Byoung Gon, Jin Sung Ho and Shim Jae Young rap, I was amazed.”
Lee Byoung Gon was his rival on the show but now also his closest friend. However, they did not hit it off from the start due to a small misunderstanding.
Woo Jin Young explained, “I’m close with everyone, but I’m the closest with Byoung Gon. He knows a lot about me. To be honest, we both had bad first impressions of each other. According to Byoung Gon, I didn’t say hello properly when I boarded the accepted trainee bus. I think it appeared that way because I was feeling down. He told me that he thought, ‘Why is his personality like that?’ But he didn’t say hello to me either.”
He continued, “A YG trainee told him that I was nice, so we talked a couple times on the bus. Our misunderstanding was cleared up and now we’re the closest.”
Woo Jin Young said he liked the finalist boy group and added, “I was in a team with all of the members at one point, so we’re all close. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. I want to become the main rapper of the team.”