Is Ahyeon’s Absence from BABYMONSTER’s Debut a Publicity Move by YG?

The anticipation for BABYMONSTER has taken an unexpected turn with the absence of Ahyeon from the debut lineup

Speculations and conflicting opinions have flooded social media, questioning whether this is a publicity move by YG or a legitimate concern for Ahyeon’s health.

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Ahyeon, who gained attention as the potential “ace” of BABYMONSTER, was quick to capture the public’s interest with her standout visuals and impressive skills. Even before her debut, she made waves globally with a cover of Charlie Puth’s “Dangerously.” 

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However, the news broke on November 15 that Ahyeon would not be debuting with BABYMONSTER, citing health reasons.

YG’s confirmation of Ahyeon’s absence from the debut but maintaining BABYMONSTER’s 7-member lineup raised eyebrows. The company explained that Ahyeon would focus on recovering her health but reassured fans that she remained a part of the group. This stirred a mix of reactions among fans, with some feeling reassured and others expressing skepticism.

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The controversy has led many to question whether this is just another one of YG’s well-known PR stunts. YG has a history of strategic media plays. The timing of Ahyeon’s absence, just before BABYMONSTER’s debut, adds fuel to the speculation. 

When introducing BABYMONSTER through Last Evaluation, things got controversial. The initial results, where two members were eliminated, caught fans off guard. After settling on the lineup back in May without eliminating any member, YG kept delaying the group’s official debut. In the pre-debut MV, Ahyeon remained the member with the most screen time and vocal spotlight.

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In addition, some netizens even speculated about YG’s ambitions for BABYMONSTER to aim at the global market, drawing parallels with BLACKPINK’s international success.

The situation became more complicated when Ahyeon’s past video rapping the n-word surfaced in June. This, coupled with her prolonged absence from public appearances, led to rumors about her non-debut status. 

YG’s continuous media play and the ambiguity surrounding Ahyeon’s situation have left fans and netizens skeptical.

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Korean netizens’ opinions reflect a sense of concern and disappointment, with many emphasizing Ahyeon’s importance to BABYMONSTER’s success. Some expressed doubts about the other members’ ability to fill the void left by Ahyeon, comparing it to iconic girl groups like Girls’ Generation without Yoona or BLACKPINK without Jennie.

As the controversy unfolds, fans are left wondering about Ahyeon’s fate and whether YG’s promises of her return are genuine or part of a larger PR strategy. 

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BABYMONSTER’s debut at the end of this November will undoubtedly attract attention, but the shadow of Ahyeon’s absence is large, leaving fans uncertain about the group’s future success in both domestic and international markets.

Korean netizen left comments:

  • YG really dropped the ball with BABYMONSTER. Managing a rookie group and losing a key Korean member like Ahyeon shows their incompetence. Now they’re risking it all with a group full of foreigners. It’s hard to see BABYMONSTER becoming an A-list idol.
  • Apart from Ahyeon, the other members seem pretty average. Pharita is decent, but Chiquita and Rora? I’m not sure. Despite all the hype in articles, these girls don’t seem to bring anything special to the table. 
  • Honestly, without Ahyeon, it feels like BABYMONSTER won’t make it. It’s almost as serious as BLACKPINK without Jennie. Ahyeon’s likely not rejoining the group, but YG seems to be playing it up for media attention.
  • YG is in a tough spot, desperately trying to hang on as their stock drops. Even if it’s just a straw, they’re using Ahyeon’s situation for media play. 
  • We’ve seen it before with groups like Girls’ Generation without Yoona, MissA without Suzy, BLACKPINK without Jennie, and Red Velvet without Irene. If YG could delay the debut, they probably would have.
  • Ahyeon embodies the identity of BABYMONSTER as the center, visual, and popular member. If they remove her, what’s the point anymore?
  • Excluding Ahyeon might help BABYMONSTERin the international market, but domestically, she’s essential for success. It’s a tricky situation for BABYMONSTER.

Source: K14