This is a group that have been long coming and a debut that’s been expected since they were first introduced as Team B back in 2013. I know that YG threatened to disband them, but we all knew he wouldn’t. Now after having gone through not one, but two, gruesome survival shows, iKON are finally here, standing tall and defiant against the world. I predict that they’ll be one of the absolute most successful debuts of the year, for sure.
I’ve struggled with finalizing the ranking of this group a whole lot, but I finally think I’m there. So let’s do this.
Birth name: Jung Chan Woo
Stage name: Chanwoo
Birthday: January 26, 1998
Official height: 180 cm
Position: Vocalist, Maknae
Comment: Chanwoo was the member that was added last year through Mix & Match, and since we haven’t quite as much time with him yet; it’s only natural that he hasn’t become quite as special to me just yet. And in the three singles they’ve so far released, he got next to no lines. So I’ve yet to get a strong impression of Chanwoo, the debuted kpop star.
Chanwoo hasn’t been under the inspired leadership of B.I quite as long as the others yet, and there is still a certain awkwardness to him. I don’t think he looks quite up to par with the others in the dance department (the others are all amazing though, so I can’t blame him) and his vocal skills aren’t super strong yet, which leads to the lack of lines. I’m looking forward to seeing him improve, which I’m sure he will. I can definitely see him pulling a Seungri.
By the way, random tidbit: did you know he was the mini Changmin in the music video for ”Balloons”? Well now you do.
Birth name: Kim Dong Hyuk
Stage name: Donghyuk
Birthday: January 3, 1997
Official height: 175 cm
Comment: When I watched Who Is Next: Win I actually thought of Donghyuk as bias material, so it’s surprising to me that he’s dropped this far down. Back then I just thought he was super cute, and that was good enough. Personally I don’t find him quite as attractive anymore, and I’m not a huge fan of his voice. It’s very high-pitched and not in the way I like. I don’t see what I used to in him, and therefore he’s had to move down to make room. I still like the dude though, of course. And his dancing is on point.
Birth name: Song Yun Hyeong
Stage name: Yunhyeong
Birthday: February 8, 1995
Official height: 177 cm
Comment: When I watched Who Is Next: Win I never paid much attention to Yunhyeong. He was definitely the member of Team B, and out of all the guys to be honest, that I didn’t care much about. The one I’d forget when trying to name them all. But since iKON’s debut he has really impressed me. I really like the way his voice has been sounding, and he looks better to me than he ever did before. Yunhyeong is a dangerous climber, and he definitely has the potential to rise another position.
Birth name: Kim Jin Hwan
Stage name: Jinhwan
Birthday: February 7, 1994
Official height: 165 cm
Position: Main Vocalist
Comment: Jinhwan is a super sweet guy and even though his vocal color isn’t exactly my personal cup of tea; I will bow in respect to his skills. He’s a great singer, and perfectly capable of being the vocal anchor of their songs. Thing is, I don’t feel like I love Jinhwan because of his own merits, even though he has plenty of them. I adore Jinhwan because Double B adore him. I trust their judgment, and since they seem to love Jinhwan so damn much; I’ve grown increasingly fond of him. It makes no sense and plenty of sense all at once.
I love that Jinhwan is so unapologetically tiny. Not that most short kpop stars apologize for it or anything, but there’s something about Jinhwan that’s daring you to point it out, but you never will. I can’t explain it, but it’s awesome.
Birth name: Goo Jun Hoe
Stage name: Junhoe
Birthday: March 31, 1997
Official height: 182 cm
Position: Lead Vocalist
Comment: According to everyone’s official heights there should be other members of the group that are basically the same size as him, but nonetheless he looks like a giant next to them on stage. I don’t know if that’s just because of unrealistic faked official heights, or what’s going on, but it’s strangely awesome. He looks out of place, but in a good way.
I’ve liked Junhoe since the very start, and did for a short while consider him for the position of bias. He has a very intense personality, my personal favorite voice in the group, and a distinctly masculine and rough look that works in every way. He’s a fine member, and one who my affection for will not be easily overcome.
The Clash of the Titans
While it wasn’t the only struggle I had to deal with during the final stage of this ranking; the main struggle still was the battle of Double B. After having finished watching Who Is Next: Win I was quite sure that B.I was my bias. But then Bobby won SMTM3 and started doing some absolutely flawless featurings. And I was blown away. So suddenly I was extremely close to switching my bias to Bobby, And then I watched Mix & Match. It reaffirmed that I absolutely love B.I, but it in no way erased the new love I had for Bobby. I will now try to walk you through the three main battle grounds that these boys fought on, and eventually reveal the result that I’ve come to.
Battle 1: Talent
During Who Is Next: Win I considered B.I and Bobby as being fairly equal when it came to rap skills. But after Bobby’s win and everything he went on to do, that idea was shook to the core. I was forced to go back and really look at the rapping they do and I came to this conclusion: they’re both great rappers, with very different styles, but Bobby is better. At least in my opinion. He has a harder flow and a rougher voice, which is just what I like. B.I has plenty of talent and skill, but he’s no Bobby.
Battle 2: Looks
B.I and Bobby are both very attractive dudes, and I found that my preference shifted depending on how they were styled on the specific occasion. B.I is the more classically handsome of the two, and lately I have come to the conclusion that on most occasions he is the one I find more physically attractive. But Bobby is not far behind.
Battle 3: Personality
B.I and Bobby may be close friends, but their personalities are like night and day. B.I is intense, dedicated and burdened by the pressure of being a prodigy and a young leader. Booby is carefree, cheerful and according to some these days: arrogant. I love how seriously B.I calculates and prepares every move he makes, but Bobby makes me smile. B.I touches me and inspires both me and his members, but Bobby’s stage charisma takes my breath away. I love both of their personalities, and I think they balance each other out in the most excellent way. Maybe that’s why they work so well as friends.
I find Bobby’s rapping to be superior but B.I’s the more attractive one. And I appreciate both of their personalities. So, in the end I had to go with what my heart wanted. Who was I the most excited to see in the debut videos? Who did I feel the most for when I watched the lives?
It was B.I. I’ve built up a relationship to that boy that not even the whirlwind that is Bobby could completely blow away. So I will keep Bobby as second place, as someone I’ll probably cheat with from time to time. But when it truly comes down to it, my heart belongs to B.I.
I finally did it. You amazing person in the comments that said you were looking forward to this post as much as you did to their debut; I hope you’re happy now! I finally managed to figure it out.