|Team A, the winner of the “WIN: Who is Next?” reality survival TV program, performs live in the final battle show on Friday at SK Handball Stadium in Seoul. (YG Entertainment)|
And the winner is: Team A.
The finale of YG Entertainment’s reality TV survival program “WIN: Who is Next?” concluded on Friday night during the show’s live final battle performances, which aired on Mnet, with Team A (leader Kang Seung-yoon, Song Min-ho, Nam Tae-hyun, Lee Seung-hoon and Kim Ji-woo) receiving the majority of the fans’ votes and taking the crown over its younger, rivaling boy band members of Team B (Leader B.I., Bobby, Gu Jun-hoe, Kim Jin-hwan, Song Yoon-hyeong and Kim Dong-hyuk).
“To start, the winner will make its official debut with a new single and music video and they will also be the opening act of Big Bang’s upcoming dome tour in Japan,” said YG founder and CEO Yang Hyun-suk at a press conference held right before the live finale.
SK Handball Olympic Stadium was filled with eager fans that night as the teams took to the stage each with three routines that included two performances of the group’s self-composed original songs.
Each one of the 11 total performers laid their hearts and souls on the stage, including a dramatic and emotional original track performance ― with lyrics about having no regrets even if the day ends in a loss ― by the members of Team B as the final act of the night, leaving the band mates, Yang and the audience members teary-eyed.
|Team B performs live in the final battle performance show for the last episode of “WIN: Who is Next?” on Friday at SK Handball Stadium in Seoul. (YG Entertainment)|
“I know how hard you guys have worked for me, I know you hardly had any sleep these past weeks,” Yang spoke, trying to hold back his tears, before final results were announced. “I’ve gotten to know you guys well since the show started ... and I know how much you all want this. I appreciate all of you.”
The members of Team A will soon be able to drop their title as trainees and henceforth be referred to by the group’s predetermined band name “Winner.” And despite Team B’s loss, YG on Monday released a four-track EP of the finale show which includes the two original songs from both Teams A and B. The EP reached No. 1 on iTunes charts in five countries ― China (Hong Kong), Japan, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam ― as well as ranking in the top 10 all over Asia including Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. In Korea, Team A’s single “Go Up” topped five real-time charts.
YG’s reality TV survival program premiered on Aug. 23 as the agency’s latest pet project to determine which of its two boy-bands-in-training would make an official debut and which one would have to break up. Yang stated that the program’s intention was to see which new boy band in the making had what it took to become the agency’s “next Big Bang.” Yang decided that he would leave the decision up to the fans.
The show consisted of 10 weekly episodes that featured two rival groups going head-to-head in a number of song battles and dance challenges in the winner-takes-all competition. The two groups managed to garner a large following and fan base as many viewers grew emotionally attached, including Yang himself, after witnessing the dedication and determination of each of the aspiring members as they struggled every day to prepare for the week’s challenges.
Yang had stated on numerous occasions that no matter the show’s outcome and the fan responses, the losing team would undergo changes, meaning that some members would most likely have to leave the group and even the agency.
“What I wish to say to the losing team is not to worry and to be patient ― your time will come,” Yang said at the press conference before the final show. “Deciding which members from the losing team to send off will not be an easy decision for me. I have no intentions to completely dishearten these boys, so fans should not worry too much.”
By Julie Jackson (email@example.com)