K-pop What If’s: “What If TWICE Had A 10th Member?”

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SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - JANUARY 23: Girl group TWICE performs on stage during the 8th Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards on January 23, 2019 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

I got around to watching Mnet’s reality show, in collaboration with JYP Entertainment, which focused on searching for the members that will debut in JYPE‘s newest girl group back in 2015. As we all know by now, that show was titled SIXTEEN and that girl group became the legendary TWICE.

I came into this show with a very open mind. I wanted to be as objective as possible, considering I’m a ONCE myself. My train of thought was, “watch this show as if it was happening right now” and I did just that. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that all nine members chosen to be a part of TWICE was the absolute right decision. And, that’s exactly what I’m about to tell you. The “Why” of it all as well as a realization that struck me after watching the show.

Why It Was The Right Decision

The “unnies” of TWICE JeongyeonNayeon, and, eventual leader Jihyo brought the “ready to go” talent and experience to steady the ship and anchor this whole group going forward. The “J-Line” of MomoSana, and Mina brought something very special. Momo with her unmatched skill in dancing. Sana with her charisma and Mina with her elegance and a charm you just can’t explain.

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – JANUARY 23: Members of girl group TWICE attend the 8th Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards on January 23, 2019 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Han Myung-Gu/WireImage)

Not to be outdone, the “Maknae Line” brought us DahyunChaeyoung, and, Tzuyu. Dahyun and Chaeyoung, affectionately known as DubChaeng, brought the entertainment factor and style that we have loved for years and years now. While Tzuyu provided us with intangibles you just can’t teach with her wit, beauty, and, overall endearing quality, she solidified this 9-piece girl group that would, and is, taking the world by storm.

I cannot imagine one without the other in any way, shape, or, form. These are just one of those things that were a “perfect storm”, so to speak. And, six amazing years later, they’re still very much ruling over the landscape of K-pop as we know it.

The Realization And Subject In Question

Now, you might ask yourself the question “then what are we here for?” or “we love TWICE, you said it yourself. So, that’s the end of the story, right?”. A thought came to me. In a hypothetical universe wherein events changed ever so slightly What if, much like the addition of Momo due to overwhelming support of JYP Entertainment in making her part of TWICE, JYP thought to himself he should add one more member? The nine members, in it of themselves, are absolutely perfect. There is no weakness in their group dynamic whatsoever. However, hypothetically and as I watched the show there were four girls that stood out. And, it made me think “Huh if she was added back in 2015 that could’ve been interesting”. These four girls are SomiNattyChaeryeong, and, Minyoung.

Yes, as we all know now, those very same four were part of the finale and were the last ones to get eliminated from the competition. Somi herself even placed second in fan voting only behind Tzuyu. I thought to myself, it could’ve been an interesting prospect, again in a hypothetical and not literal sense, what if one of them got added into the lineup back in 2015? And, that’s what I’m about to do. Analyze the reasons why they could’ve been a good fit and why that didn’t come to fruition, mostly for the betterment of all involved.

The Four That Almost Made It

The Dancers

I want to bundle them up by two’s and explain away. Let’s start with Natty and Chaeryeong. Natty was an amazing dancer, not only for her age but in general. JYP himself, as well as a handful of star judges, stated that she has that “feel” you just can’t teach. The same goes for Chaeryeong, she exhibited a skill and talent well beyond her performing years. However, at this point in time, Natty needed to improve her singing as well as she was more of an interpretative dancer than a downright performer of Momo’s caliber. Chaeryeong is very interesting because she can dance in multiple disciplines.

But, again, Momo already had that aspect locked down and was a more confident performer in 2015. Chaeryeong ultimately needed a bit more time to hone her craft. In the end, it all worked out for the best, as Natty made her soloist debut in 2020 and Chaeryeong became the main dancer of one of the hottest and fastest rising stars in existence today ITZY.

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – FEBRUARY 22: The girl group TWICE attends the 6th Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards on February 22, 2017 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Han Myung-Gu/WireImage)

The Singers

These two intrigued me most of all as the show progressed throughout its 10-episode run. Let’s start with Minyoung. Arguably the best singer in the competition at that time, this girl sang as if it was her last song each and every time. Her voice and control of it were second to none in the competition. Minyoung’s vocal range was outstanding. However, JYP, in one of the few things that I agreed with him absolutely, Minyoung was more of a singer than an idol. That is not a knock on her or her talent. But, being an idol and singer are two different things. Her confidence was shaken despite her amazing talent.

Recently, she came back into the limelight posting on her Youtube channel. She stated that she was in a very rough place when the show started. It might’ve been a blessing in disguise because if she was chosen she would’ve been launched into an unforgiving world of stardom that will not do her any better. She has not debuted since the show, which produced 87.5% in debut rate from all the competitors that competed. Personally, I hope she finds her love in music again because she’s absolutely amazing.

The Queen Of THEBLACKLABEL

This girl needs no introduction but I will try my best. Somi, or now known as “The Queen of THEBLACKLABEL” Jeon Somi. With her unique look and unmatched energy, every time Somi was put on that stage she had the audience in the palm of her hands. She was charming with a lot of, at the time, untapped talent. My favorite performance of the whole competition was when she sang lead vocals for the, now popular TWICE song, Going Crazy. She was absolutely charming in her vocals which spawned this whole piece in the first place. Somi needed that time to further build up her confidence and be the megastar that she is today.

Would she have fit into TWICE? Absolutely. However, this is just a case of the universe taking its natural course. It doesn’t necessarily mean she was a good fit and her not being able to be a part of TWICE made it a “missed opportunity” scenario. Somi was supposed to be in ITZY too, but if she did? She wouldn’t have been one of the top K-pop soloists today. On top of that, MIDZY wouldn’t have the darling and talented Yuna. Again, everything worked out for the best.

Conclusion

I want to conclude this as concisely as possible. TWICE is perfect. ITZY is absolutely amazing. Jeon Somi is an absolute performer. And, everyone who competed that made their debut or not came out of that unforgiving competition better for it. In this case, Less is enough and enough is absolutely perfect. It’s just one of those “What If’s?” that is very interesting to ponder and analyze. TWICE as it is now, all the nine members that were chosen, made the group what it is today; Korea’s biggest girl group ever.

TWICE “SCIENTIST” M/V

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