ITZY - With Survival Shows to debut and success!

by Helen Bosch
ITZY It`z ica poster image teaserITZY It`z ica poster image teaser

Back in 2013, the first foundation was laid for the girl group ITZY, which debuted in 2019 and is now an indispensable part of the K-pop scene.

itzy chaeryeong mnet m countdown selfie

In late 2013, Lee Chaeryeong, then 13 years old, applied to the survival show "K-Pop Star Season 3" with her big sister Chaeyeon - who later debuted in IZ*ONE. Since their first performance , the sisters impressed with their talent for dance and kept advancing in the show until they were eliminated just before the live shows. After that (2014), they both went to JYP as trainees, which made Chaeryeong the first member of ITZY to train under JYP Entertainment.

Just one year later, Chaeryeong was featured in "Sixteen," a survival show by JYP Entertainment in which 16 trainees from the agency competed for a spot in the new girl group. While she made it to the finals, her sister, who also participated, was eliminated at the very beginning of the show. In the end, however, Chaeryeong was not among the nine winners of the show, who debuted as "Twice" a few months after the finale.

In the same year, three more future members of ITZY joined JYP Entertainment. Ryujin and Yuna were discovered by the agency when they attended a concert; Ryujin at a Got7 concert and Yuna at a year-end concert where various artists performed. In an interview, they talked about how they were both approached by a little lady who worked at JYP and wondered if it might even have been the same one. If so, she had a really good eye for talent!

maybelline new york x itzy poster

Yeji went to an audition, performed "Like Ooh-Ahh" by Twice, and was accepted. Two years later, in 2017, Lia also went to an audition and joined JYP Entertainment after being accepted years earlier by SM Entertainment but not becoming a trainee due to her parents' opposition. With that, all the members of ITZY were gathered in 2017, but it took two more years of things happening before they made their debut together.

In August 2017, Yuna and Ryujin were featured in BTS's "Love Yourself Highlight Reel", where they attracted attention with their good looks. Two months later, JYP Entertainment produced a new survival show, later known as "Stray Kids", which follows the members of the boygroup of the same name as they make their debut. However, at the beginning of the show, a team of female trainees were introduced alongside the team of male trainees, and Park Jin Young, the founder of JYP, did not decide which of the two teams would get a chance to debut on the show until the end of the first episode. The Girls Team consisted of seven trainees, including Ryujin, Yuna, Chaeryeong, and Yeji. Lia was not among them.

After the male team was chosen and the show went on without the female trainees, Ryujin participated in another survival show, "Mix Nine" by YG Entertainment. Among 98 female trainees from various agencies, Ryujin ended up taking first place and was supposed to have debuted in the nine-member project team afterward, but the debut of both teams - a team of nine male trainees was also formed during the show - was canceled because the winners' agencies and YG Entertainment could not agree on a contract. Ryujin was no doubt disappointed that her efforts were not rewarded in the end and returned to her training.

While Ryujin was featured in Mix Nine, Yeji made an appearance on the music variety show "SBS The Fan," in which the so-called "fan masters" introduce rookies to viewers, who could then advance by voting, giving them multiple chances to prove their talent. Yeji was introduced by 2PM`s Junho as JYP`s secret weapon and impressed with her performance, but unfortunately didn`t get past the first round.

After Mix Nine and The Fan, the trainees were quiet for a good year, apparently preparing for their debut during that time, as in January 2019, JYP Entertainment introduced Chaeryeong, Yeji, Yuna, Lia, and Ryujin as members of the new girl group ITZY, which was set to debut in February.

Stage NameReal NameBirthday
YejiHwang Yeji26.05.2000
LiaChoi Jisu21.07.2000
RyujinShin Ryujin17.04.2001
ChaeryeongLee Chaeryeong05.06.2001
YunaShin Yuna09.12.2003

ITZY is derived from the Korean word "있지 (= itji)" which translates to "to have". The name is supposed to mean that the members of the group have everything we want. We think the name fits them very well, because the members have shown us several times before their debut that they have a lot of talent to offer.

IT`Z DIFFERENT, IT`Z ICY, IT`Z ME

On February 12, 2019, the time had finally come; ITZY made her debut with the single album "It`z Different," which includes the title track "Dalla Dalla" and another song called "Want It?". "Dalla Dalla" reached second place on both the Korean Gaon and K-Pop Hot 100 and Billboard's American World Digital Song Sales charts. In addition, the song earned the girl group their first music show win just a record-breaking eight days after its debut, and the music video broke the record for the most viewed K-pop debut video in 24 hours on YouTube. Also, no debut music video had ever reached 100 million views so quickly before.

ITZY it`z me album cover poster

There is no physical CD for "It`z Different," but instead fans were able to purchase a photo book that came with a set of cards and a photo strip.

The second album "It`z Icy" was released on July 29; this time there was also a physical album. On the CD there are 5 tracks including a remix of "Dalla Dalla" and "Want It?". With the title track "Icy" ITZY won 12 music shows at once! After the second album was also successful, the girl group held a showcase tour in Asia and America in November to January 2020. At the end of 2019, ITZY also swept a number of rookie awards, including the "Best New Female Artist Award" at the Melon Music Awards and the Mnet Asian Music Awards.

On March 9, 2020, the third album "It`z Me" was released with seven brand new songs. It became ITZY`s first album to reach number one on the Gaon Album Charts and the group`s highest position on Billboard`s World Album Charts to date: number 5!

AlbumRelease dateTitle song
It`z Different
- Digital Single Album
12.02.2019Dalla Dalla
It`z Icy29.07.2019Icy
It`z Me09.06.2020Wannabe

It`z Different, It`z Icy and It`z Me form the so-called "It'z Series", which is now completed after the three albums. The following releases are no longer assigned to a series by title, but stand for themselves.

Not Shy17.08.2020Not Shy
Not Shy (Englisch Version)
- Digital Single Album
22.01.2021Not Shy (Englisch Version)
Guess Who30.04.2021Mafia In The Morning

The fourth album "Not Shy" with the title song of the same name, which topped the Gaon album charts, was followed by ITZY's first English release. The digital single album "Not Shy (English Version)" contains 4 songs; the English versions of the four previously released title songs "Dalla Dalla", "Icy", "Wannabe" and "Not Shy". For the new version of "Not Shy" there is even an animated music!

Two months later, on March 20, 2021, ITZY presented the single "Trust Me: Midzy" dedicated to her fans called "Midzy". "Midzy" comes from the Korean word "믿어 (= mido)," which stands for "trust." The name is meant to represent that ITZY and MIDZY trust each other.

On April 30, the fifth Korean album "Guess Who", with which ITZY made it to the Billboard 200 for the first time, entered at No. 48. The title track "Mafia In The Morning" was also released in English two weeks later.

On June 25, "VIVO," a production company that creates content for the Internet, announced that ITZY would record a digital single with "Second Aunt Kim Da Vi," the alter ego of comedian Kim Shin Young, as part of the "How to Have a Good 2021" project. "Break Ice" was then uploaded to YouTube on July 21 with a music video.

In early September, ITZY made her solo debut in Japan with the digital album "What`z Itzy," which consists of the Japanese versions of the five previously released Korean title songs.

After that, the girl group did not take a break, but worked on a new Korean album, which will be released on September 25! You can learn more about "Crazy In Love" here!

Bonus

After Chaeyeon and Chaeryeong last performed together in K-Pop Star in 2014, fans were finally able to see the two sisters on stage together again on December 18, 2020 at the "2020 KBS Song Festival." (Chaeyeon left JYP Entertainment after Sixteen.) The festival featured performances by a number of popular idols including BTS, Twice, SHINee, NCT, Stray Kids, and TXT. Chaeyeon and Chaeryeong performed there not only with their respective groups - ITZY and IZ*ONE - but also as a pair! The two sisters danced together to "Rain On Me" by Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande, after Chaeyeon previously covered an excerpt of SHINee Taemin's "Criminal" and Chaeryeong covered "Roller Coaster" by Chungha.

Later, they even released a Dance Practice . Our hearts still race every time we watch the performance! Did you like it that much too? Let us know!

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