“Produce 101” Alumni: Where Are They Now?
With the current season of “Produce 48” gearing up for its finale, and the eventual debut of what will undoubtedly be another monster group, it’s time to check in with the alumni from the first two seasons and see what they’ve been up to since their respective times on the show!
Let’s start off with the girls from season 1:
(Bracketed numbers are their final rankings)
Jeon Somi (No. 1)
After I.O.I, Jeon Somi signed a formal contract with JYP Entertainment in 2017 and joined the cast of “Sister’s Slam Dunk” for the second season. Since then, she’s collaborated with Eric Nam on a single and was also part of “Idol Drama Operation Team.” There have been ongoing rumors that Somi will be part of a new JYP girl group that is planning to debut in the latter half of 2018, so fingers crossed it’ll be sooner rather than later.
Kim Sejeong (No. 2), Kang Mina (No. 9), Kim Nayoung (No. 14)
Jellyfish Entertainment debuted all three girls along with other trainees in 2016, forming girl group gugudan. Sejeong, in particular, has been having an active career outside of the group, showing off her considerable charms as the female lead in “School 2017,” as well as gigs on variety shows like “Talents for Sale,” “Get It Beauty,” and “Busted!” Mina has also scored minor roles in dramas such as “20th Century Boy and Girl.” Just recently, all three girls promoted as subunit gugudan SEMINA, and gave us songs with strong vocals and summery vibes.
Yoojung and Doyeon debuted in Weki Meki in 2017, along with two other contestants Elly (Jung Hae Rim) and Lee Seo Jeong (then under LOUDers Entertainment), and other Fantagio trainees. As a group, they’ve released two EPs, the second one as recently as February this year. Both girls have also been active on the variety show scene, and for those who are keen for more Yoojung will be excited to know she will be appearing on “Secret Sister” along with EXID’s Hani later this month. Doyeon, who is often referred to as “little Jun Ji Hyun,” also landed a lead role in “Short,” starring opposite Kang Tae Oh.
This past June, Yoojung and Doyeon also teamed up with WJSN’s Seola and Luda to form project group WJMK, and released the fun and boppy “Strong,” which you can check out here.
Kim Chungha (No. 4)
Well-rounded performer Chungha was the first of the I.O.I girls to debut, and as a solo singer no less. She’s released quite a few EPs, singles, and even OSTs, and won awards at both the 2017 MAMAs and the 2018 Seoul Music Awards. Her agency also recently announced her official fanclub name, BYULHARANG, and as any K-pop fan knows, that’s a big affirmation of her current status. With her versatility and girl-crush image, it’s safe to say she’s landed firmly on her feet after “Produce 101.”
Kim Sohye (No. 5)
Since I.O.I, Sohye has formed her own agency, S&P Entertainment. Other than being on variety shows, doing CFs, and other fan events, she also starred as a lead actress in “KBS Drama Special: Kang Duk Soon’s Love History” last year. Having just graduated high school earlier this year, here’s hoping Sohye will be able to be more active in her acting career.
Kyulkyung (No. 6), Im Nayoung (No. 10), and Jung Eunwoo (No. 21)
All three girls, along with four other 101 contestants and other Pledis trainees, officially debuted in 2017 as a 10-member girl group, PRISTIN. Like their labelmates SEVENTEEN, PRISTIN is known for their songwriting capabilities, and this, along with their undeniable looks and talent, has garnered them a strong fan following. The trio, along with two other members, recently debuted as subunit PRISTIN V in May. They released “Like a V,” which did quite well on online charts. Kyulkyung (Zhou Jieqiong) has also largely been active in China, and was a dance mentor on the reality survival show “Idol Producer” earlier this year.
Jung Chaeyeon (No. 7) and Ki Heehyun (No. 19)
Chaeyeon and Heehyun, who were both members of DIA prior to joining “Produce 101,” rejoined soon after, with Chaeyeon promoting with DIA and I.O.I simultaneously. Chaeyeon has also been active as an actress, making her debut with a supporting role in “Drinking Solo,” and most recently in the lead role of “to. Jenny.” Since February, she’s also been one of the MCs for “Inkigayo.” As for Heehyun, she made an appearance on “Unpretty Rapstar 3,” but since then she’s been mainly focusing on her promotions with DIA, having been promoted to the position of leader starting from the “Spell” promotions.
Yoo Yeonjung (No. 11)
While still with I.O.I, Starship Entertainment announced that Yeonjung would join WJSN as their 13th member. She’s showed off her vocal prowess with her appearance on “The King of Mask Singer” as well as singing OSTs for dramas such as “Queen for Seven Days,” and “The Undateables.” As for WJSN, they most recently dropped their fourth mini-album in February, which is also their most successful to date.
After receiving much love from fans, these five girls debuted in August 2016 as project group I.B.I, with the single “Molae Molae.” After finishing their promotions, the girls went their separate ways. Star Empire planned to debut Hyeri as part of new group OMZM, but this fell through when she chose to leave the agency mid-last year. Since then, she’s also auditioned for another survival reality show, “MIXNINE,” but unfortunately did not qualify.
Both Soo Hyun and Hae In, who were originally in SS Entertainment, left the label and signed with HYWY Entertainment, with Hae In leaving in early 2017 due to a panic disorder. The label intended to debut Soo Hyun along with other trainees last year as DAYDAY, even releasing teasers and photos, only to ultimately cancel the debut months later. As for Hae In, she joined another survival reality show, “Idol School,” but narrowly missed out on debuting at the end.
So Hee has been active with both OSTs and variety shows, notably appearing on “Idol Drama Operation Team” alongside Somi. She also made her debut as a solo artist in November last year, with EP “The Fillette,” filled with easy listening songs that showed off her sweet and calming voice. Chaekyung joined girl group APRIL and made her official debut with them in 2017 as well as their Japanese debut earlier this year.
Park So Yeon (No. 18)
So Yeon’s agency announced in mid-2017 that they are planning to debut her in 2018 with other LOEN trainees (now referred to as FAVE girls.) She auditioned for “MIXNINE” with her fellow trainees but did not pass the audition stage. As of now, no official debut date has been announced yet.
Jeon Soyeon (No. 20)
After her appearance on “Produce 101,” Soyeon has remained constantly in the spotlight, first with her largely successful run on “Unpretty Rapstar 3,” where she made it to the semifinals, as well as debuting as a solo artist in late 2017. Earlier this year, Cube Entertainment re-debuted her as part of new girl group (G)I-DLE, as their leader and main rapper. The group debuted strong, garnering over 2 million views for their “LATATA” MV, as well as receiving three wins on music shows. (G)I-DLE also just dropped their hot new digital single “HANN,” which was also written by Soyeon herself. Check out their strikingly beautiful MV here.
Kang Sira (No. 22)
Other than having released her first self-titled EP in January 2017, and also participating in an OST for drama “Duel” mid last year, Sira has remained mostly under the radar.
And now for the boys of Season 2:
Kang Daniel (No. 1), Park Ji Hoon (No. 2), Lee Dae Hwi (No.3), Kim Jae Hwan (No. 4), Ong Seung Woo (No. 5), Park Woo Jin (No. 6), Lai Guan Lin (No. 7), Yoon Ji Sung (No. 8), Hwang Min Hyun (No. 9), Bae Jin Young (No. 10), Ha Sung Woon (No. 11)
The top 11 ranked boys are still obviously promoting in Wanna One, and their immense popularity shows no signs of diminishing any time soon. Their EPS have always peaked at No. 1 on charts and have all been certified (at least) double platinum — incredible stats befitting an incredible group. Their brand power is top-notch, often ranked at the top of the Power Index and brand reputation rankings, which translates to a multitude of endorsement deals that keep them busy in between comebacks.
The members have also been diligently appearing on various variety shows, and even being cast as permanent cast members on programs such as “Master Key,” “It’s Dangerous Beyond the Blankets,” and the currently-airing season of “Law of the Jungle in Sabah” (with Sung Woon and Seong Woo). You can also catch the whole gang and their silly antics on “Star Road,” currently airing on V Live.
The group’s contracts are scheduled to end on December 31 this year, but there have been talks of a one-month extension, mainly so they can attend award shows in January. As there are many agencies involved in this discussion, no definitive news has been announced yet.
Jeong Sewoon (No. 12)
Sewoon debuted as a solo artist just a few weeks after “Produce 101 Season 2” finished airing and has been constantly promoting ever since. He’s released three EPs to date, with the latest title track “20 Something” having dropped in July, providing a more laid back sound amidst all the cheery Summer comebacks. In between comebacks, he’s been involved with OSTs for dramas such as “What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim,” as well as making his rounds on variety shows. Despite his rookie status, Sewoon has been nominated for various important awards, and is proving himself to be an artist to keep an eye on.
Kang Dong Ho (No. 13), Kim Jong Hyun (No. 14), Choi Min Ki (No. 20)
The trio was part of NU’EST before joining the show, and afterward, they rejoined member Aron to promote as NU’EST W (while Hwang Min Hyun promotes with Wanna One). And while fans were devastated the members didn’t make the cut, things still turned out great for them, as NU’EST W has gotten their second wind, doing very well on both physical and digital charts. Their recent EPs have sold 10 times more compared to before they appeared on 101. Jong Hyun (promoting as JR), in particular, has been active on variety shows, notably having joined variety show “Night Goblin” as a permanent cast member, showcasing his silly but innocent image.
Lim Young Min (No. 15), Kim Dong Hyun (No. 28)
Lim Young Min and Kim Dong Hyun officially debuted in September last year as project duo MXM, presumably until Woo Jin and Dae Hwi finish their Wanna One promotions. They also recently teamed up with Sewoon and Lee Gwang Hyun to form project group YDPP, and enjoyed a short promotional period with their fun and youthful single, “Love It Live It.” The duo is now back promoting as MXM, having just released their first studio album, “More Than Ever,” with both members participating in songwriting and composing. Check out the colorful MV for their title track “YA YA YA” here.
Ahn Hyeong Seop (No. 16) and Lee Eui Woong (No. 23)
The Yuehua Entertainment duo teamed up to form HyungseopXEuiwoong, and debuted November last year with the single “It Will Be Good.” They also released a mini-album earlier this year, with the youthful sounding title track “Love Tint.” Hyeong Seop has also been stretching his acting chops, having teamed up with Yoo Seon Ho, and Apink’s Namjoo in the web drama “Rebel Detectives” last year. They reunited again this year for time-traveling themed “Rebel Detectives 2,” which is slated to air later in September.
Yoo Seon Ho (No. 17)
Yoo Seon Ho has been keeping himself busy with a multitude of variety show appearances, as well as an acting role in “Rebel Detectives,” as per the entry above. Seon Ho was also personally selected by 10cm to appear in the MV for the song “Pet.” In terms of his singing career, Seon Ho made his solo debut in April this year, with a perfect-for-Spring title track, “When Spring Comes.” It was also recently announced that he will be part of the new cast for the second season of “Carefree Travelers,” which will be premiering in October.
Samuel Kim (No. 18)
Just like Sewoon, Samuel also made a speedy debut after his time on “Produce 101 Season 2,” and has been constantly promoting ever since, even making his Japanese debut earlier this year. His most recent comeback in May featured his more mature and charismatic side. He has also just announced that he will be holding his first-ever solo concert in September, which will certainly be one of many more to come!
Joo Hak Nyeon (No. 19)
Joo Hak Nyeon made his debut late last year with 12-member group The Boyz and their EP “The First.” The group has been keeping their fans entertained with their own reality shows as well as online mini-concerts. They recently made a comeback with a digital single “Keeper,” and also won the Male Rookie Idol of the Year award for the Korea Brand Awards.
Longguo (Kim Yong Guk, No. 21), Kwon Hyun Bin (No. 22), Takada Kenta (No. 24), Noh Tae Hyun (No. 25), Kim Sang Gyun (No. 26), Kim Dong Han (No. 29)
Just like I.B.I, project group JBJ was formed due to the intense outpouring of love and support from the fans. Since debuting in October last year, they have released two EPs and one special album, which have all done considerably well both on digital charts and physical sales, again proving how popular the group was. Sadly, the group’s contract was only seven months, and the members have since gone back to their original agencies.
Here are some quick individual updates:
Longguo is currently actively promoting as a solo artist, even collaborating with Yoon Mi Rae on his R&B track “Clover.” He will be releasing a new album later this month and has just revealed his official super adorable logo. Hyun Bin can mostly be seen on variety shows, being a permanent cast member on the prison reality show “Let’s Live Kindly” earlier this year, and currently on “Dunia.”
Kenta and Kim Sang Gyun have paired up a lot in various schedules, including dramas and fan meetings. The Powers That Be apparently took notice of their chemistry and decided to officially debut them as a permanent duo. No concrete date has been set yet, but as of now, they have announced their new group name!
Tae Hyun has reportedly returned to HOTSHOT, but as two members are currently promoting with other groups, it seems like there are no plans for them to make a comeback in the immediate future. As for Dong Han, he is also promoting as a solo artist, and was able to take home a music show trophy just one week after his impressive debut just a few months ago!
In fact, many other contestants not on this list, such as little Woo Jin, have gone on to debut after their respective seasons on the show, and are doing well for themselves. This just proves what a cultural phenomenon the “Produce” series has been, and we can only anticipate what this third season will bring!
We wish the alumni all the best in their careers, and hope to see them go off to do even bigger and better things!
Which alumni’s post-101 career surprised you the most? And who do you think will be the first to debut when Wanna One eventually (and sadly) disbands? Let us know in the comments below.
Belinda_C can’t help but feel like a proud mama when she sees these boys and girls succeeding after all they’ve gone through. She’s also absolutely loving the “2 Days & 1 Night” crew for treating Shinhwa so well on their recent appearance.
Currently watching: “Produce 48,” “Law of the Jungle in Sabah,” “Super TV” (Yay, Ryeowook!)
All-time favorite: “Running Man”
Looking forward to: Upcoming season of “New Journey to the West”