WINNER has been a group for nearly 6 years now, but their debut was an interesting one. The way the group was formed, the members of the group, the delays, etc. all played a part in the group formation. Here are 7 reasons why WINNER had one the most anticipated and legendary K-Pop debuts.
1. The members
Most of the members of WINNER were revealed before their appearance on Who Is Next: WIN. Seungyoon was a contestant on Superstar K2 and was praised for his unique vocals during the show.
He also debuted as a solo artist in 2013, where his music was geared more towards the rock genre. This is one of the contributing factors as to why people were initially shocked that Seungyoon would participate in Who Is Next: WIN and become an idol.
Seunghoon also had pre-debut appearances as he was a contestant on the first season of K-Pop Star. Seunghoon impressed a lot of the judges, especially Yang Hyun Suk, and finished in 4’th place that season.
Mino was an underground rapper during his earlier days and was one of the ways he initially got his name known. He also debuted under the group BoM in 2011, but they disbanded two years after their debut.
2. Who Is Next: WIN
While survival shows may be common nowadays, they were particularly unheard of back in 2013. Who Is Next: WIN was one of the first survival programs of its kind, where trainees would be facing each other and the winning team would be the ones debuting. This added suspense for the viewers because this kind of program wasn’t seen before and the public was able to vote towards the team they wanted as the winning group. WINNER was “Team A” during the show, while the eventual members of iKON were “Team B”.
3. Teasers before their debut
Before their official debut as WINNER, the members got many experiences to perform on stage with other YG Entertainment artists. WINNER got to perform in concerts, such as being guests for some of 2NE1‘s concerts, as well as participating in the YG Family Power World Tour.
4. Constant delays
Despite Who Is Next: WIN concluding in October of 2013, WINNER didn’t officially debut until August of 2014, nearly 1 year after WINNER was formed. The constant delays for their debut is one of the aspects that made their debut even more anticipated. Some of the reasons for the delays is due to YG Entertainment wanting a unique concept for WINNER, as well as wanting to select the best songs to represent them.
5. Immediate success
All the wait was worth it, as WINNER had success as soon as they debuted. At the time, WINNER became the fastest boy group to get their first win on a music show, as they got their first win only 10 days after their debut. Despite “Empty” being their debut song, the song still won first place on 6 music shows.
6. First YG Entertainment boy group since BIGBANG
WINNER had big shoes to fill as they were the first boy group formed by YG Entertainment since BIGBANG. Yang Hyun Suk has never been shy to let people know that BIGBANG is the reason that YG Entertainment even exists.
This put a lot of pressure on WINNER to become successful and to carry on the legacy that BIGBANG started.
7. Unique debut concept
WINNER also had a unique concept to their debut, where they showed off a more mature image. The members were seen often wearing more formal clothes for a lot of their concepts, which is a bit different from usual K-Pop concepts that try to look more youthful.