The first season of Produce 101 picked 11 young women out of more than 100 to be members of I.O.I, and the second season of the Korean music competition show is all about the guys — 101 of them.
A clip featuring the competitors performing the theme song for the second season of Produce 101 aired in Korea on Thursday (March 9). “Me, It’s Me (Pick Me)” is a sequel of sorts to the first season’s widely popular theme, “Pick Me.” Like the original, “Me, It’s Me (Pick Me)” is an uptempo electro-pop song. It was created by Ryan Jhun, who produced several songs for I.O.I.
The performance is the first time the new competitors have been introduced to the public, whose voting will affect the future of the young men. Throughout the second season of Produce 101, the male K-pop trainees will compete for the top spots of the show’s voter-influenced rankings and the most popular men will be granted spots in a temporary boy band that seeks to replicate I.O.I’s success.
Over 100 trainees from multiple Korean entertainment companies will be featured in the new season of Produce 101, although major players like SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment, and JYP Entertainment are notably absent.
Along with unknown talent and former members of various K-pop acts, the second season of Produce 101 features current members of K-pop groups like Nu’Est and JJCC, the latter of which was produced by Jackie Chan.
Produce 101 began in 2016 by Mnet as an interactive show where voters could affect the final outcome of the upcoming girl group’s lineup and also impact the band’s name, musical styling, and other aspects of the temporary act. The resulting eleven-member I.O.I and the individual members themselves became extremely popular throughout their year together, and have a continued presence in the Korean entertainment industry since they disbanded in January.
The new group resulting from the second season of Produce 101 will last even longer than the length of time I.O.I was together, with Korean media reporting that the boy band will last through the end of 2018.
Although the show was extremely popular and the second season is expected to do well, the Korea Times reported that Produce 101 was heavily criticized last year after producer Han Dong Chul explained he created the show to be a form of “healthy pornography.”
The second season of Produce 101 begins airing in Korea on Mnet on April 7.
Watch the video of “It’s Me (Pick Me)” here: