When the interim Girls Planet 999 Top 9 ranking was released last week, many viewers were surprised to see a new name at the top of the pile: Kim Dayeon. Rising eight spots in just one week, Dayeon suddenly hit the overall no.2 spot on the ranking, surpassing many long-time popular contestants. If you haven’t been keeping up with her over the course of the show, here’s everything you need to know about Kim Dayeon.
18-year-old Kim Dayeon was born on March 2, 2003, in South Korea. An only child, Dayeon was raised by her parents, who run a sushi restaurant in Seoul. But while her mother and father had a more entrepreneurial mindset, there’s no doubt that Kim Dayeon was born to be a celebrity.
In fact, blessed with adorable visuals since childhood, Kim Dayeon got her start in the industry at a very young age. When she was just three years old, Dayeon appeared on the KBS2 K-Drama Famous Princesses. While she once told a fan that she never planned to become an actress as a child, Dayeon went on to play more roles in K-Dramas and movies like My Wife Got Married.
Little Kim Dayeon’s sweet face also earned her multiple CF and modeling deals for a variety of different brands in her youth.
However, it seems that what Kim Dayeon wanted more than anything was to become an idol—and despite her young age, Girls Planet 999 isn’t her first attempt at it. If you’re familiar with past Mnet survival shows, you may actually recognize her from Produce 48.
After training under CNC Entertainment for eight months, Kim Dayeon joined the Produce 48 lineup at the age of 15.
At first, she got off to a pretty good start on the show, receiving a B rank in the initial judges’ evaluations. Many viewers also found themselves charmed by her bubbly energy and her growing abilities in dancing and singing.
However, despite her talent, Dayeon’s rank gradually declined over the course of the show. While she was placed at no.60 in episode one, her rank had fallen to 70th place by episode three.
Sadly, Kim Dayeon was eventually eliminated in episode five of Produce 48 with a total of 48,458 votes.
All but one fellow trainee from CNC Entertainment was also eliminated from Produce 48 in the first round, and in December 2018, Dayeon moved to Stardium Entertainment. There, she continued training for another two years. However, it seems the company had no plans to debut a group any time soon, which may be why Kim Dayeon decided to change agencies once again.
Sometime around late 2020 to early 2021, she found a new home at Jellyfish Entertainment—the home of VIXX and VERIVERY. And, by July this year, she’d already been revealed as one of the contestants on Girls Planet 999.
From the very start of Girls Planet 999, Kim Dayeon finally began getting the recognition she deserved for her skills and stage presence. In fact, the judges ranked her no.1 out of all 33 K-Group contestants in the preliminary Signal Song Evaluation.
After performing K/DA‘s “Pop/Stars” for her Planet Demo stage, she went on to perform BLACKPINK‘s “How You Like That” for the Connect Mission. While her team didn’t win the mission, Kim Dayeon still gave the rapper position her all, catching the eye of many fans. To date, her individual fancam for the stage has over 335,000 views on YouTube.
In episode five, while Kim Dayeon’s cell ranked 9th, Dayeon herself remained in the K-Group’s Top 9 in seventh place.
Next up, for the Combination Mission, Dayeon’s team danced to BLACKPINK’s “Ice Cream.” While they lost the challenge to the team who performed Little Mix’s “Salute,” this time, Dayeon was named the team’s leader and received the song’s killing part.
Alongside her performance talents, she impressed viewers with her leadership skills and choreography input for the song. Dayeon was filled with ideas while her team practiced, leading many of her fellow members to praise her. Her individual fancam for the performance went on to reach 460,000 views in around three weeks.
In the next elimination round, Kim Dayeon rose back up the ranks of K-Group to third place—but it still wasn’t enough to earn her a spot in the overall Top 9. But now, things are changing. When the interim voting results were revealed in the ninth episode, Dayeon surprised everyone by shooting all the way to 2nd place overall. Following in the footsteps of Kawaguchi Yurina, who unexpectedly ranked 1st place in episode five, Dayeon is currently the trainee with the most sudden rise in votes.
Most recently, Kim Dayeon performed “Snake” for the Creation Mission along with current first-place contestant Shen Xiaoting, Su Ruiqi, Fu Yaning, Wen Zhe, Cai Bing, and Ezaki Hikaru. Her fancam was only released two days ago, but it’s already fast approaching 150,000 views.
According to her profiles over the years, Kim Dayeon’s hobbies are freestyle dancing, modern dancing, and listening to music while going on walks. Her specialties are dance—specifically hip-hop dancing—and playing basketball.
An ESTP (Entrepreneur type), Dayeon’s personality is said to be energetic, bold, and sociable, which is something viewers can definitely see through her screen time on the show. Currently, she’s getting ready to graduate from SOPA (School of Performing Arts Seoul), which also taught stars like BTS‘s Jungkook and BLACKPINK‘s Jisoo.
With the Girls Planet 999 finale less than two weeks away, there’s no guarantee Kim Dayeon will hold her Top 9 position long enough to debut. If she does, however, there’s no doubt she’d make a great asset to the final lineup.
Catch the next episode at 8:20 p.m. KST on Friday, October 15.