This article is a part of our series of articles about the participants of Mnet’s girl group competition show Queendom, which began airing on August 29 and will end on October 31.
When the lineup for Queendom was finally revealed on July 22 2019, it had already been more than a year since AOA had their last comeback. Nobody knew what to expect from this group who had been at the top of their game in 2015 and 2016, but had lost some of its popularity (and members) in recent years.
AOA, which stands for Ace of Angels, debuted in 2012 under FNC Entertainment as an eight-member group, consisting of Jimin, Yuna, Chanmi, Seolhyun, Hyejeong, Youkyoung, Choa and Mina. The last three girls are no longer members.
The first one to leave was Youkyung back in October of 2016, followed by Choa in June of 2017, and finally, in May of 2019 Mina decided not to renew her contract.
The girls had a very rich career – in the seven years since they debuted they released one Korean studio album, two Japanese albums and five mini albums. Additionally, they had another five single albums and five singles sprinkled throughout their career. However, their last comeback was on May 28 2018, which means that they had not released any new music in more than a year and a half.
Losing three members no doubt meant that some things had to be adjusted in order for the remaining five members to be able to continue performing, but when nothing happened for almost a year and then their first Japanese Fanmeet was canceled, some netizens started speculating that the group might disband.
Luckily, that did not happen and the girls are now finally right where they belong – up on the stage.
Mnet has recently uploaded videos of all the contestants sharing their thoughts and opinions before the first episode of Queendom was aired. These were some of the things AOA girls wanted to share with the world.
Now we are finally going to meet our fans after a long time, that’s what makes this so exciting. – Jimin
I don’t feel unsure of myself, but it seems there is a lot of pressure for us to perform well. I’m really nervous because now there’s only five of us. – Chanmi
The other three girls agreed that they feel both very excited and nervous about performing after such a long time and with only five members.
In the same video we got to see the girls brushing up on their choreo for “Miniskirt”. It seems that all of them have more or less forgotten it. Hyejeong said that she remembers the steps, but that she is afraid that chaos would ensue if they tried to change the choreography to fit five instead of seven girls. Jimin admitted that she really liked practicing for their first stage, as it reminded her of how things used to be.
We think we can all agree that their first stage went really well, considering this was their first time performing without Mina.
Before they went on stage, the girls expressed their wish for the fans to like their performance and to not think that they are just as good as they had been before. Even though they ranked fourth in the first battle, the vast majority of comments about their performance was extremely positive.
It seems this performance gave them some of their confidence back, because they absolutely slayed their second stage when they performed Mamamoo’s “Egotistic”. Their cover earned them third place in the second battle, but more importantly, it became one of the most viewed Queendom performances.
In a recent Allure interview, this is what Seolhyun had to say about their participation on the show.
There are a lot of sides to AOA that we haven’t yet been able to show [the public],” she said. “We thought, let’s use this opportunity to show a new side of the group. We decided to think of [‘Queendom’] as an opportunity for the five of us to grow and evolve as we practice together again.
We believe that what she said perfectly reflects what they have been doing over the past almost two months. AOA are well on their way to re-establish themselves as a formidable girl group. They showed the public they are not a thing of the past, people are talking about them again, their older songs have started appearing on many Korean charts again, and now they are finally going to release a new song as part of the final Queendom battle.
We sincerely hope that both AOA and FNC Entertainment will be able to use this momentum to launch the girls back to the top of K-pop.
What do you think? Do you think it is possible for AOA to come back stronger after all the group has been through? Do you think they might have some new music coming our way once Queendom stops airing? Let us know down below!
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