Putting the Spotlight on EXO!

EXO were shockingly beat out by NU’EST in the poll for the last spotlight, but this time they were back with a vengeance. With a massive 50% of the votes, this spotlight, this highlighting of this massively powerful group, truly belongs to them. 


The name EXO comes from the term exoplanet, which means a planet in another solar system. EXO was at the time of their debut a twelve-member group (eight Korean members, four Chinese), and they debuted under powerhouse SM Entertainment in a long stretched-out fashion that spanned from late 2011 to April 2012. They were designed to be split into two sub-groups, EXO-K and EXO-M, that would sing the same songs in Korean and Mandarin, respectively.

EXO, as a group from one of the Big Three companies, made a splash right from the get-go. But their truly big success started with the release of their third (or fifth, depending on if you count the prologue singles or not) single ”Growl” in the summer of 2013. It was a huge commercial success, and after that EXO have been one of the absolute leading kpop groups. They are one of the most popular groups active right now, for sure.

But it hasn’t been all sun and roses for EXO. In May of 2014 Kris, the leader of sub-group EXO-M, filed a lawsuit to terminate his contract and cited violation of basic human rights as a reason. Five months later Luhan, one of the most popular members, followed suit, citing health issues and discrimination against him and the other Chinese members of the group. This summer a third of the originally four Chinese members, Tao, filed his own lawsuit, and EXO currently has nine members, with only one Chinese member remaining.


One strength that EXO was successfully designed to have is their multi-lingualism. Even though only one Chinese members remains to them, it seems that they will keep releasing double versions of all their singles and albums, in Korean and Mandarin. This allows them to reach a broader audience directly, and gives us, in a way, double the material.

This may not be the case for everyone, but I love large groups. Yes, they’re an absolute pain to learn all the names of, but there’s always someone perfect for you hidden in there. The chances of finding your flawless bias is higher in a group with many members, simply because of math alone.

This can be said for many SM groups, but EXO are superb dancers. Their large numbers make formations cooler and the fact that they can stay that in sync even though there’s that many of them is a big strength.


As is the case with most large groups, there are some members of EXO that are not so vocally talented. That’s not to say that they aren’t useful in other ways, but when it comes to winning people over, this is definitely a weakness for EXO. Terms like ”useless” or ”decoration” can definitely be heard from time to time.

Time of the Bias

EXO literally has a thousand members, so getting them all figured out and, oh dear lord no, figuring out a bias ranking are no easy tasks. But I’m here to help.



He’s the leader of the group.

Lead Vocalist

In the middle height-wise.

Second-oldest in the group, 91-liner together with Lay.

Known as the second Siwon, because of his wealthy family background.

He pushes for peaceful solutions to disputes, and tries to be a very supportive leader.

When she goes all swag on us he is known as Swagmyeon.



Lead vocalist and lead dancer.

Among the shorter in the group.

The oldest in the group, a 90-liner. (together with former members Kris and Luhan)

Believes himself to be a good cook, and sometimes cooks for the members.

Said to be the neatest, strongest and cleanest member in the original EXO-M.

Says he’s not good at expressing his emotions.



The only remaining Chinese member.

Main dancer and vocalist.

In the middle height-wise.

Third-oldest in the group, a 91-liner together with Suho.

Worked on SHINee’s 2010 tour as Jonghyun’s dance replacement when Jonghyun was injured.

There’s a running joke among EXO fans that Lay is perpetually high, because he sometimes seems dazed and confused.

Was very close to former-member Luhan, and still is even after Luhan’s departure.



Main vocalist.

In the middle height-wise.

In the middle age-wise, a 92-liner together with Chen and Chanyeol.

He has a bright and cheerfully loud personality and is sometimes considered obnoxious, by fans and members alike.

Was asked to join SM right in front of the gates.

Supposedly yelps like a dog before falling asleep.



Main vocalist.

In the middle height-wise.

In the middle age-wise, 92-liner together with Baekhyun and Chanyeol.

He had the shortest training period, having joined SM eleven months before debut.

He has a humorous, playful and fairly loud personality.

Specialises in singing high-notes.



Main rapper and vocalist.

Tallest in the group.

In the middle age-wise, 92-liner with Baekhyun and Chen.

He envies Sehun’s hair.

If he can’t fall asleep, he’ll bug someone else so that they can’t fall asleep either, to make them stay up with him.

He’s a shopaholic and if he can’t find shoes in his own size, he’ll buy them in a smaller size and give to one of the other members.



Main vocalist.

Shortest in the group.

Third-youngest, a 93-liner born early in the year.

He’s very quiet, and there’s a running joke among fans that this is because he’s evil and planning his next evil plan. Which is probably to assassinate Baekhyun.

Whenever the dorm is dirty, he’s the member that takes the time to clean it all up.

He like s cactuses and has named all his cactuses after the EXO members.




Main dancer, vocalist and lead rapper.

Among the taller in the group.

Second-youngest, a 94-liner together with Sehun though born early in the year.

He’s a very close friend to SHINee’s Taemin. Before when Taemin had long hair, Kai would jokingly introduce him as his girlfriend.

He sleeps very deeply, supposedly he wouldn’t even notice if you threw him off the balcony.

He likes to sleep naked.


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Lead dancer, rapper and sub-vocalist.

Among the taller in the group.

Youngest in the group, 94-liner together with Kai.

He’s a former ulzzang.

He loves bubble tea, to the point where it’s pretty much an addiction.

He’s said that Kai’s skin is so dark because he likes chocolate, and that his is so white because he drinks a lot of milk.


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