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Boys Planet: The Top 9 Trainees and Where We've Seen Them Before

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We’re taking a quick break from K-Beauty and talking about something else we are HUGE fans of – K-POP! You’ve been living under a rock if you haven’t heard of K-Pop but at this point, I’m pretty sure every person has listened to at least ONE K-Pop song in their life. Whether you’ve been a long time fan (I’ve been listening to K-pop since 2005!) or a new fan that’s just learning all about the intricacies of the K-pop industry, we can all agree that the concept of K-pop survival shows is fascinating, heartbreaking and so exciting. 

Boys Planet Title Logo

Right now, M-net, a television music channel in South Korea, is airing their first season of Boys Planet and its popularity is sweeping the nation and the globe. M-net has a long history of survival shows from Produce 101’s several seasons to Girls Planet, the shows that made I.O.I, Wanna One, IZ*ONE, X1 (This is one still gives me major tears) and the most recent, Kep1er! Boys Planet has the same concept as its predecessor [Girls Planet] where it aims to create a global k-pop boy group, initially pitting Korean trainees and Global trainees against each other until they’re able to mix and match in different missions with the Top 9 being the winning trainees who will form the anticipated new boy group.

The show is in the process of announcing their second eliminations and it suffices to say, all of us who are keeping track of the future of these boys are on the edge of our seats. M-net aired a live second elimination announcement where it shared the first surviving trainee and will air the rest of the elimination in its next episode.

With the show being well on its way and as we get closer to the finale to find out who will form Bep1er (the name fans have been referring to the debut group as, though there has been no confirmation or hint on what the new boy groups’ name will be just yet), we’re here to take a look back at our first set of Top 9 trainees and where we’ve seen them before! And with the announcement of the Top 9 changing after the second eliminations, we’re curious to see who they’ll be and follow up on where they were before entering Boys Planet as well!

*If you haven't seen any of the episodes, be warned there are major spoilers ahead!

9. Jay Chang

Boys Planet trainee Jay Chang

Image via M-net Official

Jay, like a lot of the other Boys Planet trainees, already has a history in survival shows. If you’re an avid survival show watcher, you probably watched him in Under Nineteen and even if you didn’t, you probably recognized him from his viral video when he was on the show where he performed Sam Kim’s song Seattle. He’s appearing on Boys Planet as a global trainee from FM Entertainment – originally from the US and of mixed Filipino, Chinese, Hungarian and Irish descent. He wow-ed audiences with his rendition of Rush Hour by Crush feat. J-Hope with fellow global trainee Na Kamden and after performing EXO’s Love Me Right in the first mission he secured his spot in the Top 9. But after the second live eliminations, Jay Chang was actually the first to be announced and had dropped down to the 12th position just missing the surviving group by 3 spots. He did wonderfully in his group's rendition of Seventeen's Home during the second mission and we’re excited to see him give his all in the third Artist Battle Mission.

8. Keita

Boys Planet trainee Keita

Image via M-net Official

If you’re a fan of K-Pop Legend Rain then you probably know Keita. What’s the connection? Keita is currently a member of Rain’s RAIN Company debut boy group - Ciipher! They debuted in 2021 with I Like You but a lot of people might also remember Keita from before Ciipher when he was a YG Entertainment trainee and competed in YG’s own survival show Treasure Box which subsequently went on to form the boy group, Treasure. On Boys Planet, Keita also appears as a Global trainee (originally hailing from Osaka, Japan) and has shown his incredible rap skills and stage presence in his performances of Blackpink’s Kill This Love (earning the group a win against K group’s rendition of the same song) and Jessi’s Zoom! We’ve yet to find out Keita’s new position in the second ranking but we’re definitely hoping for the best for him!

7. Lee Hoe Taek

Boys Planet trainee Lee Hoe Taek Hui

Image via M-net Official

Many people were surprised to hear about Lee Hoe Taek joining the show (so was I!) considering that the “trainee” usually goes by the moniker Hui and has been a member of Pentagon (yes Shine, yes THAT Pentagon) since their debut in 2016. Only a week after his military service discharge, he auditioned for Boys Planet and was revealed as the last trainee to be part of the competition in its first episode. With a lot of pressure and high expectations, Lee Hoe Taek has managed to show off his talents once more and secured his spot in the Top 9. We’re excited to see where he places in the next eliminations and what the group would be like if Hui were to re-debut considering his years of experience as well as his amazing producing abilities.

6. Kim Gyuvin

Boys Planet trainee Kim Gyuvin

Image via M-net Official

Unlike the previous trainees mentioned, Kim Gyuvin doesn’t have an extensive history in the public eye but has obviously still found his way into the minds of the Star Creators around the world allowing him to secure the number 6 spot. Coming from Yuehua Entertainment (home of Everglow, Tempest, actor Lee Do Hyun and many more), Gyuvin showed off his skills in his initial performance of NCT 127’s Kick It and has continued to gain admiration from the audience. He was most recently voted in the top spot during the second mission for his performance of Love Killa by Monsta X earning him a substantial benefit (50,000 points + 100,000 points for his group winning top group in their category). We’re excited to see how he evolves in the show and possibly in the debuting group!

5. Zhang Hao

Boys Planet Trainee Zhang Hao

Image via M-net Official

Like Kim Gyuvin, Zhang Hao doesn’t have an extensive history in the public (though you can find plenty of his past dance videos on YouTube) but has definitely made an impact in the hearts and minds of Star Creators, earning him his spot in the Top 9 at number 5. Also a trainee from Yuehua, Zhang Hao also performed Kick It in the initial episode of Boys Planet and wowed the judges with his dance skills, stellar vocals, and his skill on the violin! He was even the G Group center for the shows’ signal song ‘Here I Am’! In the most recent mission, Zhang Hao also garnered the top spot in his group’s performance of G-IDLE’s Tomboy, also getting him the benefit of additional points! Zhang Hao has displayed his great talent and superb leadership skills and we’re super excited to see where he goes from here!

4. Han Yujin

Boys Planet trainee Han Yujin

Image via M-net Official

Yuehua trainees have definitely been showing just how talented they are as our number 4 trainee in the Top 9 is Han Yujin, a fellow Yuehua trainee of Kim Gyuvin and Zhang Hao! Han Yujin is one of the youngest trainees on the show but has been able to show his powerful dancing abilities in each mission. Also like his fellow Yuehua trainees, Han Yujin hasn’t really been in the public eye compared to other trainees of the show but has nonetheless won over the hearts of Star Creators. He had previously been criticized by Dance Master Back Kooyoung after initially being told by fellow Dance Master Choi Youngjoon (both well known choregoraphers of hit idol songs/groups and was recently on Street Man Fighter) that they dance similarly. But it seems Han Yujin had redeemed himself in the eyes of the Dance Master as he praised him for his dance skills and choreography in the most recent episode where he and his group performed Law by Yoonmirae and BIBI. Despite his young age, Han Yujin has been displaying his incredible dance ability and stage presence and we’re curious to see how he’ll grow in the coming missions!

3. Kim Jiwoong

Boys Planet trainee Kim Jiwoong

Image via M-net Official

Kim Jiwoong is most recently known as an actor, having previously starred in dramas like The Sweet Blood in 2021, Kissable Lips, and Roommates of Poongduck 304 of the BL (boys love) genre alongside former Produce x 101 trainee Yoon Seobin. Though some people may not know that Jiwoong actually debuted in 2016 in the group INX but disbanded a year later in 2017. Before then he was part of a predebut group and had been training for 7 years. He seemingly moved on to acting but with his appearance in Boys Planet it seems he is trying his hand at idol life for the third time and it definitely seems to be working out for him! Kim Jiwoong has wowed the audiences of Boys Planet with his mature appeal and stellar stage presence. He’s also shown great leadership skills and can be seen being a guiding ‘hyung’ to the other younger trainees. The audience has definitely taken to Kim Jiwoong as his group had been voted at the top spot for both battle missions earning him the chance to perform on the M Countdown stage TWICE! We’re super curious to see where Kim Jiwoong is ranked in this second elimination lineup and you know what they say, third time’s a charm!

2. Seok Matthew

Boys Planet trainee Seok Matthew

Image via M-net Official

Seok Matthew has definitely become a favorite pick amongst Star Creators and I can definitely see why. As a trainee under MNH Entertainment and originally coming from Vancouver, Canada - Seok Matthew has been able to showcase his vocal abilities, dance prowess and stage presence with each performance earning him the number 2 spot in the shows’ first Top 9. From the very first episode where he performed Jay Park’s All I Wanna Do, audiences were captivated by his dance, vocal and the ever endearing ‘Girrrrrl’ at the very beginning of the song. He wowed a second time, along with the number 8 and 5 trainees (Keita and Zhang Hao) in his performance of Kill This Love showing Star Creators how versatile he can be as a performer. A lot of trainees were shocked during the first eliminations to see he had placed at such a high ranking (though everyone already expected he’d be in the Top 9) so we’re definitely curious to see where he places during the second elimination!

1. Sung Hanbin

Boys Planet trainee Sung Hanbin

Image via M-net Official

By far, trainee Sung Hanbin from STUDIO GL1DE, has been a top favorite amongst Star Creators consistently keeping him at the top number 1 spot in the show. Ever since his showcase performance of Beautiful Beautiful by ONEUS and his endearing brother-like relationship with Matthew (the two have known each other since they were both trainees under CUBE Entertainment), Sung Hanbin had reached the hearts of the judges and Star Creators earning him K Group Center and overall center of the shows’ signal song as well as the top spot in his groups’ performance of Love Me Right by EXO in the first mission battle. Ever since his appearance on the show, past videos of his work have been circulating online from his dance performances where he specializes in wacking and tutting, to his work as a back-up dancer for BTS and Wannaone! Sung Hanbin has consistently been a top performer on Boys Planet and we’re super curious to see if kept his number 1 spot in the Top 9!

The rest of the second eliminations is set to air on Thursday 8:50 PM KST on M-net and the next day on Viki with English subtitles. We’re more than half way through the show and the amount of trainees left are dwindling before our eyes. After this week’s second elimination announcement we will be left with only 28 trainees and another step closer to who will end up being in the debuting group. The show has brought all of these trainees one step closer to achieving their dream and we can’t wait to see who the 9 members of the group will be! Did your picks make it into the first Top 9? Who are you hoping to make into the debuting group?

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