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Mnet presents new audition program ‘I-Land2: N/a’

By Lee Jung-youn

Published : April 12, 2024 - 15:33

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From left: Producer Kim Shin-young, Monika, Lee Jung, Taeyang, VVN, 24 and Producer Lee Chang-gyu pose for photos during the From left: Producer Kim Shin-young, Monika, Lee Jung, Taeyang, VVN, 24 and Producer Lee Chang-gyu pose for photos during the "I-Land2: N/a" press conference held at S Factory Seongsu, Seoul, on Friday. (CJ ENM)

Mnet, a Television music channel known for several successful audition programs, presents another girl group audition program with advanced technology and the ambition to launch an iconic next-generation K-pop group.

"I-Land2: N/a," scheduled to premiere on April 18, is a sequel to "I-Land," which produced the seven-member boy group Enhypen. CJ ENM, Wakeone, and The Black Label came together to launch the second season, and the final debut group will be under the management of Wakeone company.

Actor Song Kang will appear as the MC and storyteller while the mascot Nasuri, created using AI technology for the first time in Mnet audition programs, will connect the official fandom "I-Mate" with the participants and viewers.

Among the 24 participants recruited through auditions held in 10 countries and 13 cities, 12 will make their way to the debut.

Taeyang of Big Bang and producer Teddy, the head of The Black Label, will lead the participants as the main producers.

"As an artist who has been active for 17 years, I want to offer advice about the way to develop unique identity, skills and character that the participants should have as an artist, based on my experiences," said Taeyang at the press conference held at S Factory Seongsu, Seoul, on Friday.

Leading the music production are the trendsetting composers 24 and VVN. 24 has composed several hit songs with trendy sounds, including Blackpink's "Ddu-du Ddu-du" and Jennie's "Solo." VVN has composed songs like Big Bang's "Still Life" and Jisoo's "Flower."

"What I hope for the participants is self-production. They need to objectively analyze themselves, know their strengths and weaknesses, and the producers are striving to provide advice based on that," said 24.

VVN emphasized that the essence of an idol group is being a singer, saying, “Musicality is essential, and star quality comes next.”

Monika and Lee Jung, who gained recognition through Mnet's “Street Woman Fighter” serve as performance directors.

Lee Jung, who choreographed the program’s theme song "Final Love Song" – sung by Rose of Blackpink -- expressed affection for the participants. "I want to show them how to dance more refined and attractive. All participants have boundless potential." Monika added that she focused not only on dance skills but also on teaching "the ability to express oneself and capture fleeting moments."

Regarding recent allegations of a participant being involved in school violence, the program's producer Kim Shin-young downplayed the allegation indirectly, stating that all participants underwent in-depth interviews both individually and with their parents before finalizing their appearances, and their school-related documents were verified. "School violence should not be accepted. If such issues arise in the future, we will verify the facts and take appropriate action," he added.

Kim also noted that efforts are being made for the health and safety of the participants.

"The participants are provided diets by professional nutritionists and have regular consultations with mental health specialists. There is also a channel called 'Mind Repair' where participants can anonymously convey any concerns to the production team, no matter how trivial it may seem."