Former “Produce 101” Contestant Kathy Lee Reveals The Strict Daily Routine Of A Trainee Idol

Everything was controlled!

Former Produce 101 contestant Kathy Lee (Katherine Lee) recently sat down with Buzzfeed and spoke all about her life as a K-Pop star, being a contestant on Produce 101, and the culture shock after moving to Korea.

| Mnet

During the interview, Kathy described her daily routine, particularly in the lead-up to Produce 101. 

She explained how tough her company was regarding training schedules and how much time trainees were meant to practice.

They basically set a rule where we couldn’t leave the studio until after 4 a.m. We had to text in the company group chat saying ‘I arrived!’ or ‘I left!’ so they could track you down.

— Kathy Lee

| Mnet

To start the day, the trainees would have to do stamina training by jumping rope and lose weight. Kathy added that, even in the summer, they had to wear parkas to help cut down their weight.

If that wasn’t enough, they had several classes during the day, which aimed to help them prepare for the tough life of an idol.

During the busy time, we also had other classes. Vocal classes, rap classes, we also had Pilates classes. At some point, the company also hired a camera director [who] trained us on how to act and what to do in front of a camera.

— Kathy Lee


Kathy and some of the Produce 101 contestants | Buzzfeed

Kathy even explained how the company had such tough restrictions and controls over the trainees, whether through texts or security cameras, that they would have to sneak and find somewhere to rest.

There are security cameras in the studio, so the company can see what we’re doing. Sometimes we would take naps in the changing rooms because that was the only place without cameras.

— Kathy Lee

It is no secret that the life of a K-Pop trainee is not easy, and Kathy explained that there was a philosophy in the training room which was ‘It doesn’t matter; just train, train, train.

After returning to America, Kathy is now back as a full-time student and, although it was a toxic experience, she learned how to be independent and be herself.

Source: Buzzfeed and FI