On Jan. 23, YMC Entertainment, the entertainment supporting the popular female idol group I.O.I, made an announcement that many fans had been expecting for long, but still came as a shock. They posted on the official I.O.I fan café that after Jan. 31, I.O.I will be disbanded, and the members will no longer be performing together, in addition to their fan café being closed down.
The members of I.O.I were the 11 most voted female trainees that came out in the television show “Produce 101” last year. Despite the group’s immense success as a new idol group, because each member has a separate contract with an entertainment or label of their own, the group cannot stay active for more than a year. YMC Entertainment also released that their fan café will be shut down due to privacy issues.
“It was so nice to see all of the most popular members of ‘Produce 101’ together in a single group,” Ryan Hyun (9) said. “Because the group was formed through the direct votes of the people watching the television show, I feel like they were a bit more special compared to other idol groups these days. It is sad that they are being disbanded, but everyone knew from the beginning that it would be impractical for them to form a permanent group.”
After the official disbanding of I.O.I on midnight of Feb. 1, the members will return to their individual entertainments to continue on their lives as members of other idol groups. In their respective entertainments, many of the members have already been assigned idol groups that will be debuting soon. From Chaeyeon Jung in DIA to Sejung Kim and Mina Kang in Gugudan, the members will be presenting themselves to the public in different ways.
“Although it is sad to think that we will never see all the members of I.O.I together on stage, we will still be able to see them individually in different groups,” William Chung (11) said. “Just thinking about the wide variety of idol groups the 11 members will separate into excites me, as they have potential to show different sides of themselves that they couldn’t while they were in I.O.I.”
Despite their having been active for only around a year, I.O.I has gained unexpected amounts of fame and popularity by the public. They won the New Artist award in many different music award ceremonies last December, and their songs have won first place numerous times in music programs. This disbanding is not the end of what people will see of them.