4 years ago, there was a girl group that was considered a rival to TWICE. But after only a short time, they mysteriously disbanded.
On March 21, 2017, PRISTIN – a girl group from Pledis Entertainment officially debuted with MV Wee Woo. Before their debut, their image reminded TWICE because of the large number of members (10 members). The group’s style in the debut MV was also similar to Like Ooh Ahh – the debut product of the JYP girl group. Therefore, many people expected that the rookie of Pledis could compete with their senior group.
Indeed, PRISTIN has enough potential to become a top girl group, competing with the brave seniors. Among the 10 members, 7 members gain reputation from the survival show Produce 101 season 1. Kyulkyung and Nayoung even successfully debuted in project group I.O.I. Pledis also wholeheartedly promoted the group. The company not only actively posted their dance practice or dance covers videos on YouTube but also held the 2016 PLEDIS Girlz CONCERT concert for PRISTIN to interact with fans right before their debut.
Not only that, but PRISTIN is also known for its outstanding talent in singing and composing. Main vocal Eunwoo has participated in many competitions such as The Voice Kids or Superstar K4, the other members all participated in composing and writing lyrics for the songs of their debut mini-album Hi! PRISTIN.
PRISTIN has proven its power from the beginning of activities. Their first-week album sales were record high compared to girl groups that debuted in the same year, even higher than TWICE at the time of their debut (TWICE’s The Story Begins album sold 8,239 copies in the first week, while the album sales of Hi! PRISTIN was 11,919 copies).
In 2017, PRISTIN won the title of Rookie of the Year at the Asian Artist Awards, Mnet Asian Music Awards, and Seoul Music Awards. They are considered “dinosaur rookies” and could completely compete directly with TWICE.
However, the opportunity for PRISTIN to become a comparable rival of TWICE did not happen. After releasing the 2nd single titled We Like in August 2017, Pledis announced that the maknae – Kyla had to return to the US due to health problems.
Except for Kyulkyung which has individual activities in China, the remaining members hardly appear in the media or have personal projects. The final stage with the full lineup of the group took place in the 3rd week of September in 2017.
In May 2018, Nayoung, Roa, Eunwoo, Rena and Kyulkyung formed the unit group PRISTIN V, but the group’s debut song was not as successful as expected. Even many people believed that PRISTIN V was Pledis’ measure to deal with the hiatus of PRISTIN. After that, this unit group also stopped working.
Even though fans asked Pledis to explain PRISTIN’s status, the company kept ignoring and even removed petition posts on the fan cafe. They did not even post congratulations on the group’s 2nd anniversary. After that, rumors of PRISTIN disbandment also was spread on social networks, but fans still believed that 10 girls would make their comeback after some members open their personal social media accounts.
However, the bad ending came to PRISTIN. On May 24, 2019, Pledis announced the disbandment of PRISTIN, only 3 members decided to stay in the company.
Later, 4 former members of PRISTIN, who formed a new girl group named HINAPIA, revealed some of the reasons for the disbandment of the old group. Accordingly, some members wanted to continue their studies and pursue new paths, they are the only ones who want to continue their idol career. Disbanding was considered the best option that Pledis proposed.
Although the former members of PRISTIN explained the reason, for the audience, the group’s disbandment is still a mystery. The 10 girls had been greatly supported by Pledis since before their debut, they also won the Rookie of the Year award and their future seemed to be very bright. The audience said that there is no reason why they had to interrupt for so long and then suddenly disbanded after 2 years.
Some people blamed the company while others said that the group members had conflicts with each other. However, whatever the reason is, the disbandment of PRISTIN also left a lot of regret in the hearts of fans and audiences.