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Produce 101

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Directed by
An Joon-young

Original language(s)

First episode date
22 January 2016

Presented by
Jang Keun-suk



Country of origin
South Korea

No. of seasons

Final episode date
1 April 2016

Number of episodes

Produce 101 PRODUCE 101 101 PICK ME MV Produce 101 101

Theme music composer
DJ KOO, Midas-T, Maximite

Opening theme
"Pick Me" by Produce 101

Jeon So‑mi, Kim Se‑jeong, Jung Chae‑yeon, Kim So‑hye, Choi Yoo‑jung

Sixteen, M Countdown, Bel Ami, Boys24, Unpretty Rapstar


produce 101 i o i crush mv

Produce 101 (Hangul: 프로듀스 101) is a 2016 reality girl group survival show on Mnet. It is a large-scale project in which the public "produces" a unit girl group by choosing members from a pool of 101 trainees from 46 entertainment companies as well as the group's concept, debut song, and group name. The show has the second-largest budget of all shows produced by Mnet at about four billion won (approximately $3.4 million).


Produce 101 Produce 10139 airs official ranking after third vote allkpopcom

Produce 101 Season 2 featuring male trainees will premiere on April 7, 2017.


Produce 101 Produce 10139 comes forward about its problematic voting system

Produce 101 is the nation's first agency-collaboration unit girl group project, which brings together 101 trainees from different entertainment companies both inside and outside of South Korea, and 11 trainees will be selected to form a unit girl group. The unit group will perform four songs together for a year and release a debut album under the record label of CJ E&M but may later join a girl group that their agencies are planning. The members began living together on December 5, 2015. They took to the stage for the first time to face off in a group mission at the CJ E&M studio in Ilsan on December 27, 2015.

Produce 101 Produce 101 The Popjustice Forum

For the girls' training, several artists have been recruited for the show. Actor-singer Jang Keun-suk serves as a mentor, while Brown Eyed Girls' vocalist JeA, alongside vocal trainer Kim Sung-eun, soloist Kahi with choreographer Bae Yoon-jung, and rapper Cheetah are respectively in charge of vocal, dance, and rap training. In addition, trainer Ray Yang is in charge of the girls' fitness training.

Pre-show promotions

Produce 101 httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaen009Pro

Produce 101 was unveiled for the first time on Episode 453 of M! Countdown on December 17, 2015. The group was presented by Jang Keun-suk, and 98 out of 101 members showcased their talents through an EDM song "Pick Me".

Produce 101 Things I hated and loved about Produce 101 Dr Hallyu

Beginning on December 18, 2015, the 101 participants were revealed via official website, Facebook, Instagram and Naver TV Cast over the course of seven days. Each of the girls were introduced through profile with photos and video introductions.

On January 21, 2016, a production presentation for the show was held at the 63 Convention Center in Yeouido, Seoul. MC Jang Keun-suk, the five mentors, and 97 out of 101 trainees attended the presentation. During the event, it was revealed that the unit girl group from Produce 101 with 11 members will debut under YMC Entertainment.

Episode 1 (January 22, 2016)

The contestants enter the studio where 101 seats are arranged in a pyramid with a chair for the '#1' trainee at the top, they are introduced by their label and choose seats from 1 to 101. The contestants are then asked to perform by agency. Each individual trainee is judged based on their overall talents and are graded, A being the highest and F the lowest. Members from each grade will be placed in temporary groups for training. At the end of the episode the popularity ranking is shown with JYP Entertainment's Ennik Somi Douma (Jeon Somi) in first place.

Episode 2 (January 29, 2016)

After being grouped according to the grades given to the trainees, Jang Keun-suk announced that they will be performing on M! Countdown and are given the song "Pick Me" which they must learn in the following days. Their line distribution and overall participation in the performance will be decided from their groups, in which case A would have the most number of lines while F would be backup dancers. They are informed they will have 3 days to practice, and then be reassigned to their final groups after a re-evaluation. Individually, the trainees are filmed performing the song which will be watched and evaluated by the mentors. They are then given their new grades and asked to move to their new rooms. The episode ends with JYP's Jeon Somi's name tag being shown on the screen, presumably to have been moved from group A.

Episode 3 (February 5, 2016)

The girls move to their new groups after the re-evaluations. They start rehearsing for their "Pick Me" stage where Fantagio's Choi Yoo-jung, who was moved from group D to A, was chosen as the center. After the performance, Jang Keun-suk announced the departure of 3 trainees from the show and also announced that the last 37 contestants on the rankings will be eliminated in the next episode. The trainees start their second mission, which would be group performances with live audience. They are given the debut songs of ten girl groups: Wonder Girls' "Irony", KARA's "Break It", Girls' Generation's "Into the New World", After School's "AH", 2NE1's "Fire", 4Minute's "Hot Issue", f(x)'s "LA chA TA", SISTAR's "Push Push", miss A's "Bad Girl Good Girl", and Apink's "I Don't Know". The girls in group A compete for each song individually through a race and are given the privilege of picking members from each group to form their teams. Each song is performed live by two groups and each member is voted on separately by the live audience, combining the total scores to declare the winner of the 2 groups. This episode shows the groups rehearsing and assigning roles such as 'center', 'main vocal', 'second vocal', etc. Groups contain 4-5 members each. Their points from the live voting will be combined with their online votes which will then determine their scores. Members of the winning group will gain an extra 1000 points each.

Episode 4 (February 12, 2016)

The second half of the groups perform the respective songs and rehearsals for the groups are shown. During rehearsals of the groups performing f(x)'s "La chA TA", MBK Entertainment's Kim Danielle (Dani) and Clear Company's Ma Eun-jin both get sick and are unable to attend practice. Kim Dani quickly recovers from her fever, but Ma Eun-jin is forced to leave the show due to her health. After the last performance, the girls are shown their ranking based purely on their individual votes and the additional 1000 points for the girls of the winning teams, with Jellyfish Entertainment's Kim Se-jeong taking first place.

Episode 5 (February 19, 2016)

For this episode, Shin Bora, Heo Young-ji and Block B's Park Kyung appeared as special panelists. In between announcements of each girl's ranking during the first elimination, events leading up to it are shown. Just after arriving at the dorms, the girls are taken to get flu shot. Weeks after, they are weighed and do a series of exercises with the help of trainer Ray Yang. Some girls are put on a strict diet in order to lose weight. The trainees are also tricked into participating in a 'hidden camera'. The first is a consideration test, to see who will help a staff struggling with two heavy packs of water bottles. The second is a puddle of coke which was spilled on the floor of a waiting room, to see if they will clean it up. The third is a $30,000 camera which a staff pretends to break during a fake interview. The staff tells each trainee that she might get fired, and some girls take responsibility, pretending it was them who broke it. The 97 trainees choose the 'top visual'. Pledis Entertainment's Zhou Jieqiong takes first place while Jung Chae-yeon, Kim Do-yeon, Kim Se-jeong, Kim Ji-sung, Seo Hye-lin, Park Si-yeon, Kwon Eun-bean, Ki Heui-hyeon (Cathy), Lee Su-hyun, and Jeon Somi takes 2nd to 11th place respectively. Jang Keun-suk then announces the top 20 trainees and finally the 61st and last trainee, Happy Face Entertainment's Hwang A-young, who was saved from elimination.

Episode 6 (February 26, 2016)

Jang Keun-suk once again met up with the trainees to announce the next challenge. The trainees are tasked to perform live in groups based on positions they want to debut in; Vocal, Dance or Rap. There are six songs for vocals (Big Bang's "Monster", EXO's "Call Me Baby", Huh Gak and John Park's "My Best", GFriend's "Me Gustas Tu", Zion.T's "Yanghwa BRDG", and Tashannie's "Day by Day"), four songs for Dance (EXO's "Growl", Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj's "Bang Bang", Destiny's Child's "Say My Name", and Sunmi's "Full Moon") and three songs for Rap (Verbal Jint's "You Look Happy", SMTM4's "Turtle Ship", and IKON's "Rhythm Ta"). Each song has a member limit and would be picked by each trainee based on their ranks, in which case Jellyfish Entertainment's Kim Se-jeong would have the privilege of choosing the song she wants to perform first and Happy Face Entertainment's Hwang A-young would automatically be placed in the empty slot. Jang Keun-suk also announced that only 35 trainees will remain in the next round and the winner from each category will receive 100,000 votes. The vocal teams are the first to perform and after each performance, they are ranked in their groups first and overall in the category. Kim Se-jeong emerged as the winner in the vocal category.

Episode 7 (March 4, 2016)

The groups competing in the dance and rap category perform the respective songs and rehearsals for the groups are shown, with the "Bang Bang" group, composed of Choi Yoo-jung, Jeon Somi, Kim Do-yeon, Kim Chung-ha, Kim Danielle, Kwon Eun-bean, and Kim Seo-kyung, receiving the show's first-ever encore call. Kconic Entertainment's Kim Hyeong-eun emerged the winner in the rap category, and Jellyfish Entertainment's Kang Mi-na emerged the winner in the dance category.

Episode 8 (March 11, 2016)

The girls are given an English lesson by trainer Lee Si-won through imitating and watching scenes of rapper Jessi on Unpretty Rapstar. Through a video recording, Jang Keun-suk then announces the beginning of the next evaluation prior to the second round of eliminations, meaning that all 61 girls that have survived so far will continue to practice for the performances, but not all of them will necessarily get to perform. The evaluation is revealed to be a concept evaluation, and the girls are given five original songs to choose from - EDM song "24 Hours" (produced by DJ KOO and Maximite, who previously produced "Pick Me"), girl crush pop song "Fingertips" (produced by Ryan Jhun), hip hop song "Don't Matter" (produced by San E), trap pop song "Yum-Yum" (produced by iDR), and girlish pop song "In the Same Place" (produced by B1A4's Jin-young) - with the winning team to receive a benefit of 150,000 votes. The girls choose their teams based on their category and individual ranking from the last evaluation. However, as only 14 people can be on one team (twice the amount that will be on the team after the elimination occurs), the first girl to have chosen a concept is given the right to kick out any extras, thus forcing them to choose another song. After practicing for the new songs, the girls undergo the second elimination, beginning with rank 34 up to 1, with Kim Se-jeong once again taking first place. Jang Keun-suk then announces the 35th and last trainee, SS Entertainment's Lee Su-hyun, who was saved from elimination.

Episode 9 (March 18, 2016)

Following eliminations, the teams are reorganized, with the groups with more than 7 members voting on who to send to the groups with less. Jang Keun-suk also announces that the evaluation will have an audience of 3000, far more than the 1000 they've had in previous evaluations. The girls resume practice, reassigning parts and meeting with the producers to record studio versions of their songs. On the day of the performances, several eliminated trainees are shown in the audience in support of the other girls. Both the "Yum-Yum" team (composed of Choi Yoo-jung, Jeon Somi, Jung Chae-yeon, Kim Danielle, Park Si-yeon, Park So-yeon and Heo Chan-mi) and the "In the Same Place" team (composed of Kim Do-yeon, Kim So-hye, Yu Yeon-jung, Yoon Chae-kyung, Han Hye-ri, Kim So-hee and Kang Si-ra) receive encore calls, but by a small margin of 30 audience votes, "In the Same Place" ultimately takes the win and the 150,000 vote benefit.

Episode 10 (March 25, 2016)

Amidst the eliminations, the girls undergo various lessons (make-up and speech), attend a therapy session to share about their current feelings, and participate in a question relay. They are also asked to pick the 5 most popular trainees amongst them, with Pledis Entertainment's Zhou Jieqiong taking 1st place and Kim Do-yeon, Jeon Somi, Kim Chung-ha, and Lee Su-hyun taking 2nd to 5th place, respectively. At the elimination, Jang Keun-suk reveals that only 22 trainees will advance to the final stage. The girls are also shocked to discover huge differences in the rankings as a result of the new voting system and the 150,000 vote benefit from the concept evaluation, with various girls previously ranking within the top 11 falling near the bottom. With ranks 21 to 3 revealed, Kim Se-jeong and Jeon Somi are called up as the contenders for 1st, with Jeon Somi revealed to have won by a landslide. The contenders for 22nd place are then called up, Chorokbaem Juna's Ng Sze Kai and SS Entertainment's Lee Su-hyun, with Lee Su-hyun once again barely surviving being eliminated. With the top 22 confirmed, Jang Keun-suk announces the next and final mission - the debut song evaluation. He introduces "CRUSH" (produced by Ryan Jhun, who previously produced "Fingertips") as the final line-up's debut song. He explains that they will be split into two teams of 11, each team composed of one main vocal, eight sub vocals, and two rappers, with only Jeon Somi's position as center confirmed due to having ranked 1st. The girls choose their positions beginning with rank 22 up to 1, with the higher ranked girls being given the advantage of replacing the lower ranked girls and bumping them into another position. After positions are confirmed, the girls begin practicing the choreography and memorizing the lyrics in preparation for the final stage.

Episode 11 (April 1, 2016)

The episode begins showing the girls' audition tapes, as well as their final confessional interviews. An announcement is then made that viewers will now be able to send SMS votes for one girl only, which will be added to the online votes in order to determine the final line-up. Throughout the episode, the trainee currently ranked 11th is revealed every now and then as encouragement to get people to vote. The debut evaluation starts off with the eliminated trainees joining the top 22 for a performance of "PICK ME". Jang Keun-suk then reveals that the debut group, named I.O.I (Hangul: 아이오아이), will debut with a "unique" concept. The episode then flashes back to the guerilla concert held by the top 22 girls, where they performed their songs from the concept evaluation and eliminated trainee, Show Works' Hwang In-sun, acted as the MC. A high-five event had been held with the first 500 people that arrived at the concert, with Kim Se-jeong having received the most high-fives.

The episode cuts to the girls recording "When the Cherry Blossoms Fade" (produced by B1A4's Jin-young who previously produced "In the Same Place"), which they perform at the evaluation. The girls are then shown preparing for their debut song, during which they surprise the trainers with thank you video messages, cake, and flowers. After the performance of "CRUSH", the episode cuts to the girls interviewing one another, undergoing group photoshoots, and finally, reading letters they had written to themselves from earlier episodes. Voting soon comes to a close, and ranking announcements begin. Lim Na-young, Kang Mi-na, Kim Do-yeon, Jung Chae-yeon, Zhou Jieqiong, Kim So-hye, Kim Chung-ha, and Choi Yoo-jung are announced as 10th to 3rd place, respectively, confirming them for debut. Again, Jeon Somi and Kim Se-jeong are called up as contenders for 1st, and again, Jeon Somi takes the win, confirming her position as I.O.I's center. The contenders for 11th, Star Empire Entertainment's Han Hye-ri and Starship Entertainment's Yu Yeon-jung, are then announced with Yu Yeon-jung ultimately being revealed to be I.O.I's final member.


Controversy arose after Ilgan Sports leaked the contract terms between CJ E&M and the Produce 101 trainees' agencies to the public on February 16, 2016. According to the contract, the agencies and trainees are prohibited from legal action against manipulated edits made on the show and from revealing unreleased information. While the agencies share music production costs, trainees will not receive payment for participating in the show and CJ E&M will take half of any profits from Produce 101 music releases, with the agencies of members featured in the release sharing the remainder.

An affiliate of the show stated that "it [was] regrettable that the contents of the contract were revealed" and emphasized that the terms outlined in the contract are "legally common" and "made to protect the editorial rights of producers and to prevent any spoilers of the show."


The top 11 contestants chosen through popularity online voting at Produce 101's homepage and audience's live voting, shown at the end of each episode. This ranking determined the 11 trainees who will form the unit girl group.

For the first and second voting period, viewers are allowed to select 11 trainees per vote, however on third round, the system changed to only one trainee per vote.

First voting period


  • On Episode 4, an additional 1000 points are given to the girls of the winning teams.
  • The ranking for Episode 5 is the result of combining the girls' online votes and live votes from the previous episode.
  • Second and Third voting period


  • The ranking for Episodes 7 and 9 were not shown due to the second and third elimination.
  • Result

    During the last episode aired on April 1, 2016, Jang Keun-suk announced the unit girl group's name: I.O.I (Hangul: 아이오아이).


    Since it began airing, Produce 101 recorded increasing viewership ratings.

  • Blue-lowest rating episode
  • Red-highest rating episode
  • International broadcast

  • In Japan, the first episode of Produce 101 aired via Mnet Japan on April 3, 2016, followed by 11 weeks of episodes every Friday starting on April 8.
  • In the Asian and North American region, the first episode of Produce101 aired via Channel M on May 4, 2016, followed by 11 weeks of episodes every Wednesday starting May 11.
  • Aftermath

  • I.O.I released its debut EP Chrysalis on May 4, 2016.
  • Some of the group's members resumed activities for their respective agencies:
  • Jung Chae-yeon (with label mate Ki Hee-hyun) came back as a member of DIA for their 1st EP Happy Ending on June 14, 2016.
  • Kim Se-jeong and Kang Mi-na (with label mate Kim Na-young) debuted as members of Gugudan and released their debut EP Act. 1 The Little Mermaid on June 28, 2016.
  • Yu Yeon-jung was announced as the newest member of Korean-Chinese girl group Cosmic Girls and released their 2nd EP The Secret on August 17, 2016.
  • Kim So-hye's family decided to buy out her contract with RedLine Entertainment, and then set up a new agency, S&P (Shark & Penguin) Entertainment.
  • I.O.I's sub-unit released its single "Whatta Man" on August 8, 2016
  • I.O.I released its final EP Miss Me? on October 17, 2016.
  • I.O.I released its final Single "Downpour" on January 18, 2017.
  • I.B.I, the 5 eliminated trainees that ranked 12th, 13th, 15th, 16th and 17th released their 1st single "MOLAE MOLAE" on August 18. They are well known as 'I.O.I's sister group' under LOEN Entertainment.
  • Han Hyeri from Star Empire Entertainment was ranked 12th.
  • Yoon Chae-kyung, who ranked 16th, released a digital single in collaboration with April's Chae-won, "Clock", in May 2016. Then in July, she joined the mock girl group C.I.V.A, a result of the Mnet mockumentary The God of Music 2, as it released a remake of Diva's "Why Do You Call Me?". She was added as a member of DSP Media's girl group April on November 11.
  • Kim So-hee, who ranked 15th, initially made it to the official contestant lineup for the Korean drama adaptation of the hit Japanese anime The Idolmaster, but backed out. She later joined C.I.V.A alongside Yoon Chae-kyung.
  • Lee Soo-hyun (13th) and Lee Hae-in (17th) left SS Entertainment in May 2016 after a month of legal battle. They later made a cameo appearance on The God of Music 2. Aside from that, Hae-in will be a supporting actor in the 2016 remake of 1% of Anything.
  • 101, 8 trainees that were eliminated early (except Hwang In-sun) released the single "Don′t give up" on September 28.
  • Hwang In-sun was ranked 27th.
  • Yoon Seo-hyeung was ranked 37th.
  • Park Hae-young was ranked 38th.
  • Hwang A-young was ranked 56th.
  • Ham Ye-ji was ranked 72th.
  • Kim Mi-so was ranked 73th.
  • Heo Saem (Soo-yeon) was ranked 75th.
  • Pyun Kang-yoon was ranked 78th.
  • Some eliminated trainees debuted in other girl groups:
  • Ng Sze Kai returned to her Hong Kong girl group As One (AS 1) and released the single "Hey Ya!" (헤이야) on May 4, 2016.
  • Ki Hee-hyun (Cathy) rejoined DIA with label mate Jung Chae-yeon and later became the leader of the group. They released their 1st EP Happy Ending on June 14, 2016.
  • Kwon Eun-bin officially joined CLC in June 2016,
  • Park Hae-young, Kim Mi-so and Heo Saem (now Soo-yeon) debuted as part of girl group A.DE with their first single "Strawberry" on June 19, 2016.
  • The eliminated Pledis Entertainment trainees (Gang Gyeong-won, Kim Min-kyeong, Kang Ye-bin, Park Si-yeon, and Jung Eun-woo) released a digital single, "We", on June 28, 2016. They along with Zhou Jieqiong and Lim Na-young will be debuting as part of girl group Pristin.
  • Kconic Entertainment's Kim Min-ji, Park Se-hee, Lee Jin-hee, and Kim Hyeong-eun debuted in 5 member group Bulldok (불독) with single "Why Not" (어때요) on October 20, 2016.
  • Some eliminated trainees debuted as solo singers:
  • Hwang In-sun released the single "Emoticon" on April 28, 2016.
  • Kim Woo-jung debuted under the name of D.A.L as a solo singer on August 4, 2016 with the single "Fireworks" featuring History's Kim Jae-ho under the name of Bignose.
  • Kim Ju-na debuted as a solo singer on September 12, 2016 with the single "Summer Dream".
  • Kang Si-ra released the single "Don’t Wanna Forget" on January 18, 2017.
  • Jeon Soyeon later made it to the contestants line-up for another Mnet reality show, the female rap survival Unpretty Rapstar 3.
  • Kim Ji-sung and An Yoo-mi decided to take another route. Kim is now an actor trainee under N Company, while An stayed with Blessing Entertainment and is now a model.
  • Meanwhile, Choi Eun-bin (a.k.a. EB) and An Ye-seul are facing ongoing legal battles.
  • Lee Soo-min left Fantagio in April 2016, and she was not interested in making it as an idol. She made an appearance as a contestant on Season 6 of K-pop Star.
  • Kim Si-hyeon signed with Yuehua Entertainment in April 2016.
  • References

    Produce 101 Wikipedia

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