Can you believe it’s already been a year since I-LAND first premiered on Mnet? These days, the winning contestants—Jungwon, Heeseung, Ni-Ki, Jake, Jay, Sunghoon, and Sunoo—are all promoting together as ENHYPEN, but what happened to the rest of the contestants? From new group debuts to acting, here’s what all 16 of the eliminated trainees are up to these days.
Geonu made it into I-LAND‘s final 12, but was unable to score a place in the final lineup. Thankfully, his journey to stardom didn’t stop there. In fact, at the end of last month, Geonu made his debut as the lead vocalist of JUST B, a new boy group under Bluedot Entertainment.
Made up of contestants from I-LAND and Under Nineteen, JUST B dropped their first single (“Damage”) on June 30, and it already has over 12 million views on YouTube.
Meanwhile, Geonu also has a personal Twitter account with over 165,000 followers.
보너스 거누 등장😃🕶
Bonus Geonu😎 pic.twitter.com/kXn7XVWI3Y
— 이건우 (@geonu___) May 13, 2021
Popular Vietnamese contestant Hanbin made it to episode 11 of I-LAND before he was sadly eliminated. Many weren’t sure whether the 23-year-old would stay training at BE:LIFT LAB long enough to debut in a future boy group, but his foray onto the K-Pop stage could be coming a lot sooner than that—earlier this month, Hanbin terminated his contract to sign with Yuehua Entertainment, the company behind EVERGLOW and WJSN.
When he does finally make his debut, Hanbin is sure to see a lot of success. Last year, his online fan event trended worldwide, and his performance at HYBE Labels‘s 2021 New Year’s Eve Live has racked up 2.3 million views on YouTube.
On top of that, Hanbin also has his own official Twitter account with over 500,000 followers to date.
히히 안녕하세요 여러분~✌🏻
오늘은 월요일입니다! 이번주도 우리 같이 힘냅시다! 여러분~ 화이팅 💪~ ^❤️^
— HANBIN (@HANBIN_twt_) April 26, 2021
Sadly for fans, it’s been a while since Daniel was last spotted. After making it to the final 12, the young trainee was eliminated from I-LAND in the show’s last episode. Big Hit Music is set to launch a new global K-Pop boy group in the second half of 2022, some are hoping Daniel will transition from BE:LIFT LAB To join the lineup.
K is another I-LAND trainee who made it all the way up to the show’s finale before he was eliminated from the final ENHYPEN lineup. Luckily, this is far from the end for him. After training for over three years, K is one of the members confirmed for HYBE Labels Japan‘s upcoming boy group set to debut this year, and many fans think he’ll be the leader.
Until then, fans got a glimpse of K when he had a cameo in ENHYPEN’s recent “Drunk-Dazed” music video.
16-year-old Taki was eliminated from I-LAND in episode 10, just a few weeks before the lineup was chosen. He too will be debuting in HYBE Labels Japan’s new boy group this year, possibly as the maknae.
Eliminated in episode seven, EJ is the third I-LAND contestant confirmed for HYBE Labels Japan’s new boy group and the only Korean member so far.
Like K, EJ also appeared in ENHYPEN’s “Drunk-Dazed” music video; the pair’s werewolf roles may have been a hint as to the new boy group’s concept.
Finally, Nicholas is the final member of HYBE Labels Japan’s current lineup, though more trainees are expected to be added in the future. Eliminated in episode seven, Nicholas is the only Taiwanese member so far.
Originally, Kyungmin was also announced as a member of HYBE Labels Japan’s new boy group.
However, in June, it was announced that Kyungmin left HYBE after failing to agree on his career direction with the company. Since then, Kyungmin has opened his own TikTok account with 235,000 followers to date.
9. Echan (Jaebeom)
Rather than continuing on with his idol aspirations, Jaebeom (who legally changed his name to Echan this year) decided to pursue another talent: songwriting. Now, he’s part of the music writing and production group YOUTH. Back in June, it was revealed that he co-wrote and co-composed GHOST9‘s “Runaway.”
Echan also has his own Instagram account with over 200,000 followers.
10. JM (Jimin)
Alongside Geonu, Jimin also debuted in Bluedot Entertainment’s JUST B last month. Now known as JM, he’s one of the group’s vocalists.
Unfortunately, fans haven’t heard much about Sungchul since he was eliminated in episode seven of I-LAND. Reportedly, Sungchul has since left the company, but since he hasn’t opened any social media accounts, many believe he’s still a trainee. If so, the 17-year-old has now been training for almost two years.
Currently, it’s unclear whether Jaeho is still a trainee under BE:LIFT LAB or whether he’s left the company to grow his career elsewhere.
However, he did create his own Instagram account back in December last year, and he currently has over 120,000 followers.
Before joining I-LAND, Taeyong got his start in the entertainment industry with acting roles in Shuttlecock and KBS2‘s Abiding Love Dandelion. Now, he’s set to return; in a YouTube video with his twin brother last year, Taeyong revealed he’s preparing to return to acting.
He also has his own Instagram account now with almost 190,000 followers.
Seon’s current status in the industry is unknown, and he’s yet to announce whether he’ll be continuing his idol journey or whether he’s left the agency.
Thankfully, fans can still see him through his Instagram account, where he has over 165,000 followers.
Sadly, Yoonwon left I-LAND before he could even make it to episode seven due to a leg injury which left him barely able to walk. Thankfully, he’s doing much better these days.
After making a recovery, he returned to his position in THE J—a popular dance cover group with over 700,000 YouTube subscribers. Back in January, he covered Lady Gaga’s “Fun Tonight” after choreographing the dance himself.
However, he hasn’t been seen in THE J’s videos for several months. As such, many believe he may be in training to become an idol again.
Like Sungchul, Youngbin is another I-LAND contestant whose whereabouts are currently unknown. If he’s still training under BE:LIFT LAB, he could possibly become a member of Big Hit Music’s new boy group next year.