Choi Yena recently sat down with YouTube channel HeyNews to film one of their series of videos where popular K-Pop idols meet with their fans’ parents.
In this particular episode, Yena met with a mother whose daughter had been her fan for four years.
Yena was all smiles and laughter as she talked with the friendly mom, who read aloud her daughter’s letter to the idol.
The letter was full of lovely compliments about Yena’s dancing and how the idol helped the girl get through hard times where she lacked the motivation to keep studying.
But what surprised Yena the most was the moment when the girl had become her fan.
The mother read that her daughter became Yena’s fan when she first saw her in the “eye contact challenge.”
The challenge was about Produce 48 contestants, including Yena, getting screentime. Each contestant would get screen time to promote themselves for as long as they managed to stare at the camera without blinking.
But although the daughter became a fan of Yena because of the challenge, it wasn’t due to Yena doing well…
But actually, because the idol did so poorly. The daughter even wrote, “among all those videos, yours was very short.”
Yena had tried to boast about her eye contact skills in the video, saying that she would have a lot of screen time, but as the daughter wrote, Yena “closed [her] eyes even before finishing [her] sentence.”
Yena then confessed to the mother that it was her first attempt at trying to promote herself. And since she had done so poorly, and since the Produce series was based so heavily on the screentime of contestants since the show’s premise centered around voting, she was highly disappointed.
So even though she tried her best, because of how short her screen time was, Yena “even thought [her] life was over.”
And of course, that was far from the outcome for the idol since she not only finished 4th in Produce 48, making her debut in the immensely successful group IZ*ONE, but she is now successfully promoting her incredible solo debut, SMiLEY.
But Yena was certainly touched that that moment that felt so awful at the time was actually a reason for her to gain such a loyal and dedicated fan.
Yena finished explaining to the mother that “it’s so sweet that your daughter thought it was cute.”
You can watch the rest of the adorable interview here.