This might be a formula used by Mnet for both IZ*ONE and X1 to guarantee a failproof debut!
Ever since its first appearance in 2016 to now, the “PRODUCE 101” series of Mnet has always been a favourite battlefield for talented trainees who haven’t had the chance to debut or idols who have already debuted but still couldn’t find their success. After the first successful 2 seasons with I.O.I and Wanna One, “PRODUCE”’s fame started to go down after the 3rd and 4th season which can be seen in criticism against IZONE and X1. However, despite all the bashing, IZONE and X1 still break countless records and proudly stand next to their seniors with their accomplishment.
So, what is the reason for the support from the public and fans for the aforementioned 2 groups?
1. Make use of the internal competitiveness inside the fandom
Right from the group format, which is made from a survival show, both IZONE and X1 has had for themselves a trong fanbase who are willing to do anything and competitive against each other. They compete with each other, not just during the voting on “PRODUCE” pre-debut but also after the 1st album has been released. SWING Entertainment (IZONE and X1’s management agency) designs the albums with all kind of random elements to increase the physical sales for both groups to an extent that they can compete with other top names.
2. Public-friendly debut tracks
Different from netizen’s prediction after the debut line-up was revealed that IZONE would follow a cutesy concept, the debut track “La Vie En Rose” was like a strong reply from Mnet. 12 IZONE members had turned into 12 elegant, girlish ladies through the catchy but unique tunes of “La Vie En Rose”.
X1’s debut track “FLASH” is also complimented with a stable digital rank on Korean charts. What’s worth mention is that, X1 is the only rookie of 2019 to receive a #1 on MelOn and 1 among 4 idol groups in 2019 to do so. The others are BTS (“Boy With Luv”), TWICE (“Fancy”), WINNER (“Ah Yeah”).
3. A varied member line-up that is enough to satisfy the fans
With such a large number of member (11-12 members), Mnet has made groups with enough member to be in charge of visual, vocal, dance and variety skill which is much needed to create a successful idol group. In IZ*ONE, Mnet has a mesmerizing visual line with Sakura, Wonyoung, Minju, Hyewon,..as well as strong vocal such as Yuri, Chaewon, not to mention a dance prodigy like Chaeyeon. The group has members who fit well with the cutesy concept like Nako, Wonyoung, Yena, Hitomi as well as members who are perfect for the grown-up, elegant concept like Sakura, Minju, Chaeyeon,…
In X1’s case, the debut line-up is also widely supported by fans due to the balance in visual and talent of all 11 members. Hyungjun and Dongpyo are the members with cute concept that are totally capable of getting more fans.
Aside from members who are chic and manly, Dongpyo and Hyungjun are two wild cards of X1.