It has been over 3 years since “Road to Kingdom” aired. And even though the season was finished, K-Pop fans couldn’t stop thinking about the next potential contestants that would be on the next potential season, and can’t wait for their dream to become reality soon.
Debuting with ‘VAMOS’ in 2021, the 11 boys took the opportunity for a 2nd chance at success, and FOR X’s (OMEGA X’s fandom name) loved their determination. In fact, OMEGA X even had a little pre-debut reality series called “LOADING – ONE MORE CHANX” on YouTube. They also got great duality skills, not just of their on-stage and off-stage personas, between latest comeback title tracks ‘Love Me Like’ and ‘Play Dumb’. OMEGA X active under a new label, promising better music and performances, whether it’s “Road to Kingdom 2”, “KINGDOM: LEGENDARY WAR”, or etc., I think it’s fair to say that OX are in for a bright future ahead.
Oh, here’s an update! They’ve not only done an interview with “Celeb Confirmed”, but they’ve also dropped a new digital single called ‘Dream’.
From C9 Entertainment, mostly seen from “Welcome 2 HOUSE”, these 8 boys have been a force to be reckoned with lately, from a powerful debut with ‘Lock Down’, to cute kitty love with ‘Do 4 Me’, along with their rebellious ‘Anthem of Teen Spirit’, and youth-filled ‘Hymn to Love’. In fact, they even won a few awards here and there. Even though they’re still growing, many ZENITHs see them growing up to be a big hit for the 4th generation group.
Oh! And here’s a bonus update: EPEX made a comeback with ‘Sunshower’, for their 5th mini album “Prelude of Love Chapter 2: Growing Pains”, on the 26th of April 2023.
I almost forgot this too, as it’s from their debut era…
If you add a 10 year trainee, a former “Produce X 101” contestant, and 5 more boys, along with a hint of Rain and Rain Company, what do you get? Ciipher! The 2021-born septet have been grabbing hearts with their youthful energy, and slick stage presence, from ‘I Like You’, to ‘Blind’, and even the 2022 release ‘Fame’. But despite their popularity, and many likes from their fans, CLUE, the group have been inactive for over 6 months, and many CLUEs have started to worry if they’re going to disband, since Rain had history with MBLAQ. However, some CLUEs (me included) remain positive in hopes of seeing them together again, especially since Keita has finished doing “Boys Planet” (ending up as 12th overall), and leader HyunBin is currently competing in “Fantasy Boys”.
There are 8 lovely visual princes in this group, originating from E Entertainment. After their debut in 2020, and since WonJun and WonHyuk participated in “Produce X 101”, many ERLINGs (fandom name) became interested in their graceful concepts, and orchestral instrumentals. In fact, their “Dark Dream” and “Creature” MVs, so far, are the only ones to surpass 10M views. As of now, 2nd-eldest member SeungYeob is on his military enlistment, and their digital single “Thrill” is also out too, so hopefully, we’ll see the OT8 gang together again sooner than later.
P.S: The photo above is from their M2 reality show “E’LAST SUPERHERO”.
From Woollim Entertainment, DRIPPIN is another 7-membered rookie group that everyone has eyes on, especially when Cha JunHo is a former X1 member, and Hwang YunSeong is a renowned former “Produce X 101” contestant, along with Kim DongYun, Lee Hyeob, Joo ChangUk, and Kim MinSeo. This septet can go from being a good guy to a bad boy in a blink of an eye, hence showing their fantastic growth too. At the moment, the youngest member Alex is on hiatus due to health reasons, but as we all wish him a speedy and healthy recovery. DRIPPIN have released their 3rd single album “SEVEN SINS” with their title track of the same name.
A quick TMI: DRIPPIN and P1Harmony debuted on the same day, which was October 28, 2020, with respective title tracks ‘Nostalgia’ and ‘Siren’. As they’re from at FNC, loads of P1eces (fandom name) have started to name them the “Hidden gems/Dark horses of the 4th gen.” They’re also fashion geniuses, upcoming variety stars, and so much more too… As they’re gaining so much more international attention than expected, especially when Soul is Japanese and KeeHo is Canadian, I think it’s safe to say that P1Harmony are on their way to being big stars.
These 6 boys were formed by Bluedot Entertainment, and debuted on the 30th of June, 2021, and have been gaining attention everywhere they go. For example, Bain is a former “Under 19” contestant, DY is a former 1THE9 member, and GeonU and JM participated in “I-LAND” too. They also won “ROAD TO MCD 4th GEN” for an “MCountdown” Special Stage, “ROAD TO KCON 3rd GEN” for a KCON Special Appearance, and even a 2022 Korea Model Award “Rising Star Award,” and all that despite not having 1 music show win (even though their debut song ‘DAMAGE’ did get nominated on “MCountdown”)!
Yep, there’s loads of content being thrown around; so much that it would be difficult for me to list them, along with how their all comeback MVs (‘TICK TOCK’, ‘RE=LOAD’, and ‘ME=’) have reached over 10M views! Not to mention that they’ve also got ASMR medicines, and great bucket lists too.
I truly can’t wait to see more from them soon!!!
Our 9 BRANDNEW MUSIC boys are also a potentially awesome candidate too. From refreshing school vibes with ‘1 of 9’, to Hip-Hop-ish ‘AVIATOR’ (don’t forget to check out the “Part Switch ver.”, and “Hanbok ver.”), even being ‘Bad Cupids’. They also participated in “KPOP Maker”, in which YOUNIZ (fandom name) created their fan showcase through different votings, (and that we also got to see a bit of variety from them, a bit like this).
P.S: They made their comeback with title track ‘WATERFALL’ yesterday, 17th of May.
Reaching their 1st Anniversary, 10-membered 2022-debuted rookies, NINE.i, are slowly growing in popularity, ever since fellow members Winnie, JiHo, and Seo Won appeared on Mnet’s “Boys Planet”. In fact, they won an official vote for “ROAD TO MCD 8th Gen”, which earned them a Special Stage on “MCountdown”, and a ticket for “ROAD TO KCON” too. They’re also very talented in variety, make-up, sports, and even producing/arranging(both music and choreo); in fact, Seo Won and JiHo did a newly arranged version of ‘Attention’ in “Boys Planet”.
It’s time for us to zoom in our interest for TRENDZ, and be their FRIENDZ (fandom name) too! This lovely visual septet debuted on January 5, 2022, with ‘TNT (Truth & Trust)’ as their title track, and it was then followed by ‘WHO’, ‘VAGABOND’, and ‘NEW DAYZ’. They also a popular performance video of their B-Side ‘Villain’ too, which truly suits their voice colours and includes lovely ribbon-like choreography, so be sure to check that out as well. And I honestly leave out their ability to be comedic either.
I truly wish the best for them.
From WUZO Entertainment, BLITZERS are on the horizon to being one of the hidden gems of K-Pop, after making their debut with ‘Breathe Again’, and showcasing the beauty of Pakistan in their ‘Hit The Bass’ MV too. They also took part in the well-loved JTBC survival show “Peak Time”, finishing at 14th place, after doing covers of NCT DREAM, BTS, and their original song of ‘SODA’. Oldest member, GO_U (older brother of NINE.i’s JiHo), is currently on hiatus for health reasons. As we pray for his speedy recovery, be sure to check out their new title track ‘MACARENA’, and stan them too.
This is a group that exemplifies how Korean media plays with large agency (such as YG, JYP, SM, and HYBE) groups and small agency groups. They have such amazing songs, such as ‘Higher’, ‘Undercover’, and ‘Favourite Boys’, and yet still haven’t won a single music show win. Plus, all the members have entered their enlistment, and showed support for the LGBTQ+ community too. If you want to get to know them, then check this out, and pretty please stan them too, and help them get their 1st win too (if you don’t mind, of course).
MLD Entertainment’s fantastic boy group, TFN (formerly T1419), is another diamond in the rough for the K-Pop world. Not only are they filled with brilliant songs (such as ‘FLEX’, ‘Dracula’, and ‘Edelweiss’), they’re really talented with variety skills, lyrics in other languages, (in fact, they released a song in full Spanish), novice-like acting, and keeping promises too.
Formed and managed by POCKETDOL Studio, BAE173 debuted on November 19, 2020, with their first EP “Intersection: Spark”; Prior to that, HanGyul and DoHyon were former X1 members, and a duo unit too. They also participated in “Peak Time”, where they finished at 5th place overall. And along with that, they won a Special Stage on “MCountdown” with “ROAD TO MAX” for their “DaSH” comeback, thanks to the assistance of ELSE. Unfortunately, as of now, youngest member DoHyon is on a health hiatus, and also in a contract dispute with his agency. Let’s wish him and the rest of the members more luck for years to come.
From Choi YeNa to EVERGLOW, and from ZEROBASEONE’s Ricky, Han YuJin, Kim GyuVin, and Zhang Hao to “Boys Planet”’s Brian, Ollie, Ji YunSeo, and Yoo SeungEon, Yuehua Entertainment has never failed in presenting us beautiful, but deadly talent. Yep, these 7 trouble-makers with their super, hype-filled MVs of ‘Bad News’, ‘Can’t Stop Shining’, ‘Dragon’ (in which they got their 1st win AND performed on MAMA 2022 with), and even ‘Dangerous’, unlimited confidence, and ability to be hilarious (Evidence 1, Evidence 2) too, are a hot topic in the rookie area.
From Brave Entertainment, DKB made their debut on February 3rd, 2020. They haven’t been promoted yet after their appearance on JTBC’s “Peak Time”, and despite finishing the show in 4th, their audition with ATEEZ’s ‘The Real’ went viral. I’m only a baby fan for them now, so I apologize for the lack of recommendations I’m giving you, but for now, please take a look at ‘Coco Colada’, ‘Work Hard’, ‘Still’, ‘Rollercoaster’, and ‘Turning Point’, because we might be watching their rebirth.
Oh wait, and I couldn’t leave out their fun-filled interview with Edward Avila either!!!
The final nominee that I’m going to disclose about is TOP Media’s MCND; however, since I knew them the least, I can only give you my current knowledge. Hence, I give my early sorries. They’re mostly known for their carefree vibes with ‘#MOOD’, and ‘Crush’. They also have lovely vlogs (this is one of them).
With that being said, and I apologize for this article’s length too, I would like to advise you to really look out for these boy groups, and even if “Road to Kingdom 2” never comes, let’s wish the absolute best for them too.
If you had a different boy group in mind, then be sure to leave it in the comments below.
If not, then I hope you enjoy the rest of your day, and more.