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Survival Shows: A Trend for Producing the Next K-pop Superstars

By Staff Reporter | June 12, 2019 11:30 AM EDT

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In recent years, many up-and-coming K-Pop groups are formed through survival programs. These shows have become a trend in Korean entertainment to discover new aspiring idols and debut them either in a temporary or permanent group. Survival Programs open doors for trainees to promote themselves to the public as well as those already debuted idols who barely got recognition.


There will be a series of auditions for those who want to make it big in the KPOP world. Once the candidates pass the auditions, they will slowly be revealed to the public audience which will later turn out to be their supporters. The participants will undergo rigorous training and compete with each other for a certain evaluation to determine who will move to the next level of the show. Skills such as dancing, singing, and rapping will be assessed to highlight each of their strengths. With every outstanding live presentation, the judges and public will give their votes to those whom they think to deserve to be the next K-Pop stars.

Here are some of the most successful K-Pop Idols that are products of a Survival Show. These groups are not only loved by Korean netizens but also by international fans.

1. IOI - Produce 101 Season 1

I.O.I was a South Korean girl group debuted through a popular 2016 reality show Produce 101 on Mnet. The final group was composed of eleven members chosen from a pool of 101 trainees. As part of being in a temporary group, they only promoted for about 8 months and officially disbanded in January 2017.

2. Wanna One- Produce 101 Season 2

The group debuted on August 7, 2017, under Swing Entertainment and CJ E&M. They were called Wanna One and became one of the biggest K-Pop boy groups. Like the previous season, they were also a temporary group. Their last activity as a group was their final concert last January 24-27, 2019 wherein they bid their farewell to their fans who have been supporting them for a year and a half.

3. iKON - Mix & Match

iKON is a South Korean boy band formed by YG Entertainment in 2015. They were first introduced in the reality survival program WIN: Who is Next as "Team B". After that, the team participated in the 2014 survival show Mix & Match, which determined the final seven-member lineup of the original Team B with an addition of Chanwoo. The group has broken number of records since debut and was called as "Monster Rookies" where they bag all Rookie of The Year Awards in 2015. Their popularity increased on 2018 with their comeback title track Love Scenario that set a record of 204 Perfect All Kills- the highest record for a song in the history of digital K-Pop music chart. This made iKON hailed as Song of The Year Winner and gave YG the first daesang of YG's third generation groups.

4. TWICE - SIXTEEN

Twice is a South Korean nine-member girl group formed by JYP Entertainment through the 2015 reality show Sixteen. They rose to fame on 2016 with their single "Cheer Up" which charted number one on GAON Digital Charts which made them won various awards such as Best-Performing Single of the Year and Song of the Year. The group is dubbed as the "Nation's Girl Group" with their wide recognition and popularity in the general public that resulted to their consecutive hit singles.

5. MOMOLAND - Finding Momoland

MOMOLAND is a South Korean girl group formed by MLD Entertainment through their 2016 reality program Finding Momoland. The group rose to fame with their hit single "Bboom Bboom" on 2018. The song was called a sleeper after it peaked at No. 2 on the Gaon Digital Chart two months after release. The song was popular not only in the Korean general public but also in international countries such as the Philippines.

The following groups are some of the most popular K-Pop groups who helped expand the Hallyu wave across the globe. There are newly debuted groups who are slowly gaining recognition so we can look forward to the next groups that will help elevate K-Pop to the newer generation!

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