Whatever Happened To I.O.I?

Published Categorized as kpop Buzz

Back in 2016, “Produce 101” winning group I.O.I ruled the Kpop scene. The girls who took the top 11 spots ended up debuting in one of the biggest girl groups of 2016. The group went on to release many hit tracks and found instant success after their highly publicized battle for a spot on the group.

It has been more than 2 years since the group debuted and more than a year since they disbanded. The group promoted for less than a year and all of its members returned to their respective agencies and groups after they disbanded in January 2017.

Finding success outside of a popular girl group isn’t an easy thing to do, whether it be through a girl group or solo, some of those girls managed to ride the fame wave and utilize it to the full potential while others simply faded into the background and were rarely talked about after I.O.I disbanded.

So today, I want to talk about the girls and go through what happened to each of them after more than a year of the group’s disbandment.

Jeon Somi


Arguably the most famous of the batch, Jeon Somi was the center of I.O.I; she used to be a trainee at JYP Entertainment and was rumored to be debuting in the upcoming girl group.

She recently made headlines when JYP Entertainment announced that they terminated their contract with Jeon Somi. The agency didn’t specify the reason for the contract coming into a close.

This disappointed fans a lot; they were expecting Jeon Somi to be the center of the upcoming JYP group because of her large fan base.

After I.O.I disbanded, Jeon Somi went on to appear in many variety shows and even debuted on July 14, 2017, in a 7 members girl group, called Girls Next Door.

But that wasn’t the only temporary group she became a part of. On May 12, Somi also debuted with Unnies, the project girl group created through Sister’s Slam Dunk. The group released two songs, “Right?” and “Lalala Song.”

Jeon Somi next step remains a mystery; no one knows what the talented idol will do next. Its such a shame she wasn’t able to debut as part of JYP’s girl group. We wonder what her next step will be.

Doyeon and Yoojung


The girls had debuted with Weki Meki on August 8, 2017 back when I.O.I was still active; they had to juggle promoting as a part of two girl groups.

After I.O.I disbanded, the girls returned to their agency and continued their activities as a part of Weki Meki.


The group is a moderate success and is nowhere near the level of I.O.I. The group did sell a lot of albums when it debuted back in 2017 but their second EP recorded lower sales. The group failed to top Korean music charts with their release.

Doyeon and Yoojung are the two members who receive the most spotlight of their group. They are usually front and center. Doyeon became a part of the newest season of “Law of the Jungle” while Yoojung appeared in various variety shows.

Doyeon even made her debut as an actress earlier this year through a short OCN drama called “Short.” the drama had four episodes and was released in conjunction with the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

Yoojung even shed tears talking about how much she feels sorry for her group members for being the busiest and fearing the girls felt left out because of her busier schedule.

Mina and Sejeong


The girls rejoined their existing group Gugudan following I.O.I disbandment. They debuted on June 28, 2016, while they were also promoting with I.O.I during that time.

Of course, there were no complications, the girls were able to find a balance and promoted in two groups before returning to their existing group after I.O.I disbandment.

Mina and Sejeong are also the two most popular girls of their group, the group has 9 members but they are the two members who promote the most.

They both ventured out to acting, Sejeong was cast as the lead in “School 2017.” The drama was a moderate success and achieved okay ratings but fans loved Sejeong’s acting.

Mina joined EXO’s Sehun in Web film “Dokgo Rewind” which is set to be released on September 7 and appeared in many other dramas, she is also set to appear in Moon Chae Won’s upcoming drama “Mama Fairy and the Woodcutter.”

However, Sejeong remains the most active of her group. She usually appears in various variety shows because of her beloved personality and friendliness.

She had variety shows appearances in many TV programs such as The Law of the Jungle, Immortal Songs 2 , Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook many others.

Mina and Sejeong also debuted in the group’s first sub unit gugudan SEMINA along with Nayoung back on July 10, 2018.


The group itself cannot be considered a success yet; they have released tracks but haven’t managed to do well on Korean music charts yet.



Yeonjung is currently promoting in WJSN, is a South Korean-Chinese girl group formed by Starship Entertainment and Yuehua Entertainment.

The group debuted on February 25, 2016, but in July 2016 it was announced that Yeonjung will join the group as its thirteenth member.


WJSN found success as a group. Their first full-length album, Happy Moment, was released on June 7, 2017. The album topped sales by taking the number 1 spot on the Hanteo’s daily and real-time charts.

The group had more success with each comeback selling more and more singles with each release. They are slowly rising and fans hope that one day they will be able to reach I.O.I success level.

WJSN is currently gearing for a comeback without three of its Chinese members due to scheduling conflicts.

Yeonjung has also released many solo OSTs for various dramas including “Queen for Seven Days.”



After I.O.I disbanded Sohye started promoting as actress Kim Sohye officially as this has been her goal, to begin with.

In September 2017, Sohye was cast in her first drama role in “Kang Duk Soon’s Love History,” she played the role of a country girl named Kang Duk Soon. It aired on October 5 at 10 p.m. KST.

A couple of weeks ago, it was announced that Sohye will join actor Park Sun Ho in “The Greatest Chicken,” a drama about youth and chicken. The drama will begin filming in mid-September and is set to make its premiere later this year.

When not acting, Sohye is usually busy doing variety shows.

Jung Chaeyeon


Jung Chaeyeon rejoined her group DIA with “Produce 101” along with contestant Ki Huihyeon after I.O.I disbanded.

DIA is relatively unknown; however, they had received their first music show win not too long ago. They received it on August 14 on SBS MTV’s The Show. Their most recent comeback is considered their most successful to date.

Fans believe the group is really underrated and wish that one day they would receive the spotlight they deserve one day.

Jung Chaeyeon has been in a variety of dramas. She recently led KBS TV movie “To. Jenny” and even starred in a movie called “Love Again” opposite rapper San E earlier this year.

She also makes many variety show appearances and landed many MC roles, she is currently the new co-MC of SBS’ music program Inkigayo

Kyulkyung and Nayoung


The two girls debuted with Pristin on March 21, 2017 after I.O.I disbanded. As a group, they are known for writing their own music.

On May 8, 2018, it was announced that Pristin would be debuting a sub-unit called Pristin V, consisting of members Nayoung, Roa, Eunwoo, Rena, and Kyulkyung.

They debuted on May 28, 2018, with single album Like A V. The single did well online.

The group is nominated for many rookie awards at various music award shows this year, we have to wait and see whether they will be able to snag an award.

Kim Chungha


Kim Chungha is probably the most successful of the bunch.

She is the only one who has debuted solo after I.O.I disbanded. She found instant success with her debut.

She charts well on Gaon chart with every release usually landing in the top 10 spot despite tough competition.

She has even been chosen as a CF model for many brands alongside other idols as well.

Since her debut, she released many EPs, singles, and even OSTs. She even won awards at both the 2017 MAMAs and the 2018 Seoul Music Awards.

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By Jass K.

Hi, I am Jass k. I discuss some of the hottest currently airing kdramas on this site in form of reviews an/or recaps, join me in the discussion~

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