[OSEN=선미경 기자] “MIX & MATCH”, cable channel Mnet’s survival audition show designed to select the members of YG Entertainment’s new boy group, has come to an end, giving birth to iKON. As “WIN” Team B’s B.I, BOBBY, KIM JINHWAN, KOO JUNHOE, SONG YUNHYEONG, and KIM DONGHYUK, as well as new face JUNG CHANWOO have been confirmed as final members of iKON, bigger-than-ever spotlight is shed on them.
MIX & MATCH that began in September has come to an end on the 6 this month, in episode nine. Just because it is a survival audition that selects the members of YG’s new boy group, the show has drew much attention, and every episode of the survival that followed last year’s “WIN: WHO’S NEXT” has created sensation with craze.
Just as the program itself has created sensation, many people are paying keen attention to YG’s new boy group iKON. Since talented trainees took part in the show, a fierce competition was unfolded, and trust in surviving members grew higher. Notably, because final members had already proven their talent in “WIN” and MIX & MATCH in a row, people’s interest in them and their popularity grew further and further.
iKON, a new-face showing potential to become an unprecedentedly popular rookie, with rising expectations even before their official debut. We checked some reasons why music fans’ expectations for them are heightening.
# Two survival auditions, proving perfect talent
iKON members include “WIN” Team B members and JUNG CHANWOO. Team B has already proven their talent by performing on the stage of YG Family concert. JUNG CHANWOO has joined iKON after being recognized for his potential in survival audition MIX & MATCH, so the talent and potential of iKON members are beyond doubt. More than anything, since all the members have been selected through picky eyes of YG’s head YANG HYUN SUK and viewers, fans have high expectations for their potential.
Notably, ‘WIN” Team B members have shown remarkable growth compared to what they demonstrated last year, so they came under a big spotlight from the beginning of MIX & MATCH. Their vocal line that was not that highly evaluated in “WIN” also demonstrated substantial improvement. BOBBY and B.I have considerable songwriting skills, to extent of directly writing WINNER’s debut song “empty”.
iKON’s talent has also been recognized by YG’s senior singers, too. Singer PSY spoke about iKON member B.I, “He is such a songwriting, practicing, rapping, and dancing machine. He is a folk who suggested a new milestone of 21st century’s taste. I watched MIX & MATCH and was surprised that he grew so much in such a short period of time. iKON’s hard-work and efforts, anger and bitterness in combination in the long process of survival will make them a remarkable icon upon their debut”.
Hip-hop group EPIK HIGH’s TABLO extolled BOBBY, the winner of cable channel Mnet’s rapper survival “Show Me The Money 3”. He said, “BOBBY has got such an outstanding talent comparable to that of existing singers”. BOBBY has also featured for EPIK HIGH’s music. As such, iKON members’ talent and potential has already been proven by senior singer’s recognition and praise.
# Unprecedentedly powerful fandom that paralyzed YG server
As group WINNER does, iKON also has a big fandom, so their future looks promising. WINNER proved their presence upon debut, meeting high expectations from fans. One of the reasons for the success is their fandom, which was bigger than that of other singers as it was formed from before their debut. WINNER, too, was recognized and built presence from before their debut.
The same goes for iKON. As major label’s training system has long been established in Korea, there have been some cases where wanna-be singers prepared their debut under a big spotlight. They build fandom from before debut and iKON has already built a strong and wide fandom by appearing in mega concerts, “WIN”, “MIX & MATCH”, and “Show Me The Money 3”.
iKON’s fandom proved their remarkable power, paralyzing YG official blog’s server before announcement of iKON’s members. Fans flocked to YG’s official blog to check who the new member is at 0am every day, and every new member created sensation and made headlines on the front page of search engines.
# Found unique color, not as second somebody
Plus, people’s expectations are growing higher, as they have their own unique color. Before iKON, WINNER was highly evaluated by showing an unexpected color through their debut album. While directly writing all the songs in the debut album, WINNER also showed unexpected colors with unexpected songs. As such, they made a fancy debut, sweeping charts and making all songs in their debut album take top places on charts.
iKON is a group with unique color, with a slight different direction from WINNER. YG’s head producer YANG HYUN SUK has said about iKON that “they have a stronger hip-hop color than WINNER”. Plus, BOBBY and B.I’s rap and music shown in “Show Me the Money 3” also showed their identity. As iKON members have unique color, music fans have high expectations for the music the seven will make”.
Source: YG LIFE