After School’s Lee Ga Eun Tears Up On “Produce 48” While Talking About Long Hiatus

During the premiere of “Produce 48,” After School member Lee Ga Eun talked about the group’s five-year hiatus, as well as being motivated while seeing her Pledis Entertainment label mates on previous “Produce 101” seasons.

Lee Ga Eun joined After School in 2012, first promoting the song “Flashback” with them that year. She is now a contestant on “Produce 48,” and she talked about her hiatus in a personal interview.

“My last album promotions were in 2013,” she said. “Five years passed by, and I did think, ‘Will it be difficult to do a comeback?'”

Dance trainer Bae Yoon Jung asked her what she’s been doing while not promoting. Lee Ga Eun hesitated and became tearful before she replied, “I waited for our comeback. I kept waiting, and then it didn’t happen so…”

In her interview, Lee Ga Eun cried as she said, “Honestly, I was cheerful while taking a break for a long time, and I thought that it was okay. But then at some point, I realized it wasn’t okay at all.”

She went on, “In the first season of ‘Produce 101,’ friends that I’d trained with appeared as contestants. I wondered whether I would have done well if I’d gone on season one if I hadn’t debuted.” The first season of “Produce 101” included several contestants from Pledis, and two of the trainees (Nayoung and Kyulkyung) made it into the final project group I.O.I. The contestants later went on to debut as members of PRISTIN.

Lee Ga Eun continued tearfully, “I thought, ‘I definitely debuted, so why am I at home watching this, unable to do anything?’ It was frustrating.”

Lee Ga Eun then performed “Havana” by Camila Cabello along with fellow Pledis contestant Heo Yoon Jin. Afterwards, former After School member and “Produce 48” dance trainer Kahi (who never promoted with Lee Ga Eun) smiled and greeted her, and asked how she felt to be appearing on the show.

“First off, I’m really happy because I feel like I have a second chance,” said Lee Ga Eun.

“I think you must have been very inspired while watching NU’EST,” commented Kahi.

Lee Ga Eun replied, “Yes, it made me wonder if I could have a chance to try again too. I think that’s why I was able to have courage.”

Four members of the Pledis group NU’EST appeared on “Produce 101 Season 2,” with Hwang Minhyun winning a spot in the final group Wanna One and NU’EST’s popularity seeing a marked rise since the show.

Bae Yoon Jung asked Lee Ga Eun if After School has no plans to promote in the future, which made Kahi laugh and say to her, “Why are you asking her?” Cheetah added, “You should ask the CEO.” Bae Yoon Jung clarified that she wanted to know if she’d heard anything, and then asked if they’d disbanded.

“No, we haven’t disbanded,” replied Lee Ga Eun. “But since they told me that I could come on the show, I’m wondering if it might be like that.”

When Soyou asked her if that meant she’d been the one to say to her agency that she wanted to go on “Produce 48,” and Lee Ga Eun confirmed that that was true. She ended up receiving an A grade in the evaluations.

“Produce 48” airs every Friday on Mnet.

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