I was late coming into the world of I-LAND, only getting to it once the first round of global voting had ended for part one. And this was after I had sworn off any type of KPOP survival show since the whole MNET rigging thing that led to the disbandment of X1 at the beginning of this year. I fell deep into I-LAND, and the final line-up was revealed to us on Friday, and I have to say I am very excited with the results and even more excited for the actual debut!
Before getting to my thoughts on the members who made it into ENHYPEN, let me say a brief few words about the final ones who were eliminated: Daniel and K. First, I am legitimately bummed out that Daniel didn’t make it in. I was rooting for him the entire show and I think he has a lot of potential. He did an amazing job doing the Save Me duet with Sunoo back during part one. I hope he is able to train more and will be able to debut someday so that he can be on stage next to the ENHYPEN members soon enough! As for K, well.. I won’t say much about him because I know he is most likely devastated and I know his fans are as well. Just from my observations of the show, I think he would be a great soloist. We’ll see where he ends up.
Now, for my thoughts on the final line-up!
Jungwon: He is really the only one I know the least about since I didn’t have him in my final line-up wish list. It’s not that I dislike him or anything like that! I’m excited to see more from him and form a better opinion. He did impress me a lot during the final episode and I 100% agree with Jungkook with what he said about Jungwon! That also must have been such a moment for Jungwon as well since JK is his role model.
Sunghoon: He 100% got me during the Fake Love unit song. That was it for me. He’s an incredible dancer and has such flow with his dance, most likely because he was a figure skater for so long. He’s the type where even when he’s not the focus, you are still drawn to him because of how well he dances. That’s really Sunghoon in a nutshell. My best example is the Flicker performance. Or just watch any of his fancams from the show.
Jake: He improved A LOT over the course of the entire show, so I am happy he made it into the final group. It seems like an age ago, but another reason why I like him so much is because I thought he did a great job in the first ever performance on the first episode where he performed with Sunoo and Youngbin (eliminated). He’s demonstrated how dedicated he is and is a hard worker in trying to keep up and learn the routines, so he will be a powerful force in ENHYPEN.
Jay: He was the first one I really liked on the show. It was sad seeing how he wasn’t getting the parts he wanted, but he never gave up and that’s exactly what we need in a group. He showed incredible leadership throughout the show and even when I felt he was being overshadowed by some of the other trainees, he really made a huge comeback and showed his full potential and determination. He’s incredible on stage in every regard. It was like truly watching an already debuted professional.
NI-KI: I am so glad he made it. I have been rooting for him since day one. He is already a great dancer, so let’s see how he improves over time. He definitely has the potential to be an all rounder in the group. I feel that was definitely the victim of the MNET evil edit, and he did display some attitude problems near the beginning, but he really turned himself around and got into the group mentality fairly quickly after that. I think for him being so young, that is definitely a sense of how mature he has become since the show initially started.
Sunoo: What else can I even say about him? Sunoo has such a positive and bubbly aura to him, yet can completely transform himself on stage accordingly. When he performed Crown, it was like he was a member of TXT, honestly. And then, to go from that to performing Save Me and Fake Love as flawlessly as he did? He also did incredibly well in part two. He’s a fan favorite, if not the fan favorite since he was always at the top (until the final.. That’s what happens when you pity vote for others). He, along with Jake, also have the least amount of time being a trainee, so the fact that they both made it in just shows how naturally gifted these two are!
Heeseung: I knew he was going to make it as soon as I saw him. He’s already an all rounder. He has that type of aura when he’s on stage. An incredible vocalist, dancer, and leader all in one. Most importantly: he is consistent in his performance. Whenever his parts came up during a performance, you could just feel the energy and passion behind his performance no matter what he was doing. I feel like ENHYPEN is really going to thrive having him in it as the oldest member both with his experience and leadership.
ENHYPEN has monster rookie group written all over them. I believe they are expected to debut by November, or in November, so let’s support them! I’m so excited to see the concept, teasers, and what type of songs they will do. And of course, purchasing the albums and seeing whose photo card I pull. My favorites though? Definitely Heeseung and Sunoo!
Until then, you can find performances from I-LAND on YouTube. You can also stream a couple of the I-LAND performance songs on Apple Music and Spotify! Most importantly, follow them on Twitter (also here!) for updates as well. And here’s a list that has all their social media accounts.