Just days before the finale of Mnet‘s girl group survival show, Girls Planet 999, fans have finally learned which agency popular contestant Huening Bahiyyih is signed to—but not everyone is happy about it.
Initially best known as the youngest sister of TXT‘s maknae Hueningkai, 17-year-old Bahiyyih Jaleh Huening (also known as Huening Bahiyyih) rose to fame in her own right this year as a contestant on Girls Planet 999. That said, although Bahiyyih was known to many K-Pop fans before joining the show, little was known about her career trajectory so far—until now.
After Bahiyyih was confirmed as a Girls Planet 999 contestant, Hueningkai was full of support for his youngest sister. In a live broadcast, he revealed, “She went through a lot too though, being a trainee for different places and all.” Of course, that only lead fans to wonder more about where she had trained.
I hope [Bahiyyih] can debut via this opportunity and that I get to see her.
— TXT’s Hueningkai
In early 2020, her dance academy posted a social media update announcing that Bahiyyih had passed the first round of auditions for YG Entertainment. However, her older sister Lea Huening later confirmed that Bahiyyih had not joined the agency.
Not long after her YG Entertainment audition, Bahiyyih’s academy also revealed she had passed an audition for BE:LIFT LAB—a co-label under HYBE alongside her brother’s agency, Big Hit Music. After hearing the news, many even believed that Bahiyyih may appear on the upcoming female version of I-LAND, the survival show that formed BE:LIFT LAB’s boy group ENHYPEN.
Against all expectations, Huening Bahiyyih eventually joined Girls Planet 999 instead—but as an independent trainee. Typically, independent trainees are those who currently have no agency backing them. However, it now turns out she is signed to a company—and a rather well-known one at that.
Yesterday, Play M Entertainment sent out a social media update asking followers to vote for Huening Bahiyyih in the Girls Planet 999 finale, indirectly indicating that she’s currently a trainee under the company! Play M Entertainment is the agency behind Apink and Weeekly as well as VICTON and rock band Bandage.
— 플레이엠, Play M (@PlayM_Official) October 19, 2021
Interestingly, rumors had already been circulating since August that Bahiyyih may be a Play M Entertainment trainee—likely because she performed Apink’s iconic hit “Mr. Chu” for her first stage on Girls Planet 999.
Upon learning that Bahiyyih is signed to Play M Entertainment, fans have responded with mixed opinions. Some say that it’s a great place to be considering artists under the agency are known for their talents and great music.
playm doesnt have the best promotion but their artists quality are great actually if you look at apink victon and weeekly https://t.co/7Lf5F3Qfvy
— nao (@huekist) October 19, 2021
However, others are concerned about the company’s reputation for poor promotion and management, especially given that Play M Entertainment has not promoted Bahiyyih on Girls Planet 999 until now. That said, it’s unclear how long Bahiyyih has been signed to Play M Entertainment; despite the earlier rumors, it is possible that she only recently joined the agency.
everyone thinking this girl was an individual trainee throughout a whole survival show bc her company never promoted her… welcome to play m huening bahiyyih fans! https://t.co/KUyTESIiUr
— bia (@biastal) October 19, 2021
The news has also raised another concern for several Bahiyyih fans: Play M Entertainment debuted its latest girl group, Weeekly, just last year. As such, it’s highly unlikely they’ll be forming a new group any time soon. This means that if Huening Bahiyyih doesn’t make it into the Girls Planet 999 lineup, it will likely be a long time until fans get to see her debut.
Of course, it’s possible viewers who love Bahiyyih may have nothing to worry about. When the show’s interim ranking was released this week, it was revealed that she has already climbed eight places and now sits at no.5 in the Top 9. If her position stays steady, there’s every chance she’ll debut in the new girl group formed by Girls Planet 999. And, presuming the group is temporary (as with previous Produce groups), Bahiyyih’s contract would likely end right just in time for Play M Entertainment to debut a new girl group.
In other news, many fans have been concerned about reported unfair treatment towards Huening Bahiyyih over the course of the show.