ENHYPEN is nearing their second year anniversary as a group. Though they are now performing around the world in sold out concerts, they were once unsure if they could even debut.
The seven members used to be hopeful contestants in the Belift Lab survival program I-LAND. They persevered through a variety of missions ranging from performing the theme song of the show to covering BTS songs and more. They eventually made it to the final lineup that was chosen by both the audience and special producers.
In a new interview with Billboard, member Jake briefly touched on the group’s time in the program, pointing out that their experience was different from what the general public may think.
I-Land was sort of a competition, but I don’t think any of us really felt like it was.
Rather than seeing the other contestants in the show as strictly rivals, they were more preoccupied with coming up with a clean, memorable performance each round. Thus, while it was undoubtedly important to survive until the end of the program, Jake admitted that they were more invested in perfecting their routines.
I feel like to the viewers that watched the show, it might seem like that but we had this feeling that we all had to do well and make good performances.
Jay added that several members were already like brothers prior to the start of the program, making it harder to change their perspectives from friends to rivals. He said, “I had trained with Heeseung for about four years, it already feels like he’s family.”
From competing against each other to standing on the world stage—ENHYPEN has come a long way!