|Winner. (YG Entertainment)|
The five members of the idol group in the making with leader Kang Seung-yoon, Song Min-ho, Nam Tae-hyun, Lee Seung-hoon and Kim Ji-woo were previously known as “Team A” in YG’s survival reality TV program “WIN: Who is Next?”
The popular program first premiered in August as YG CEO Yang Hyun-suk’s latest pet project to determine which of his young male trainees has what it takes for an official debut, leaving the final 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 members of Team A finally prevailed in the end and were crowned the band name Winner.
The young members of Winner will be following in the footsteps of their predecessors Big Bang and 2NE1 ― they will be featured in a weekly reality program that chronicles the lives of the up-and-coming K-pop stars as they prepare to make their debut. In previous years, YG had aired similar broadcasts with “Big Bang TV” and “2NE1 TV,” making the newest program the third series for the agency.
According to officials at YG, the follow-up reality program “Winner TV” will air 10 weekly episodes every Friday on Mnet, as well as a number of popular streaming sites including YouTube, starting Dec. 13.
Although Winner has not yet made its official debut in the K-pop scene, thanks to the huge popularity of “WIN: Who is Next?,” the boy band already has a tremendously large fan base, not only in Korea, but overseas as well. During the group’s first official fan meeting in Japan at the beginning of the month, approximately 8,000 fans gathered to greet the boys.
Winner is currently the opening act for label mates Big Bang during the group’s six-city, 16-show Japan Dome concert tour, which organizers estimate will attract around 720,000 fans.
By Julie Jackson (firstname.lastname@example.org)