On January 22nd 2016, Eunbin was introduced to the public as a contestant on a Mnet reality girl group survival show, Produce 101. The purpose of Produce 101 was for the public to 'produce' a girl group from a pool of 101 female trainees from 46 different companies.
Eunbin came to represent Cube Entertainment along with two other trainees, Lee Youn Seo (Produce 101's youngest contestant, eliminated in the second round of Produce 101) and Jeon Soyeon (Eliminated in the last round of Produce 101, later became a contestant on Unpretty Rapstar 3 and ended up as second runner up.)
In the first episode, all the trainees performed a prepared performance with their label mates and were sorted into levels by a panel of trainers (A being the highest and F being the lowest.) However, the rankings were done individually and trainees from the same company were not necessarily put in the same level. The Cube Entertainment trainees received a lot of attention and screen-time due to their confidence and also the fact that they were part of a big company. Eunbin's fellow trainee Jeon Soyeon remarked confidently during an interview- "Kids from our agency... our talents, the look in our eyes, I think these are things that set us apart. We're going to get first, second and third place!"
The Cube Entertainment trainees performed 'Crazy' by former Cube Entertainment girl group '4 Minute.' The girls received a lot of attention during the performance due to their strong skills. Eunbin's fellow Cube trainee Jeon Soyeon (now also signed with Cube Entertainment as an artist) was praised for her rap skills and she and Eunbin were sorted into the highest level, 'A.'
In the second episode, the trainees had to practice a song 'Pick Me.' Eunbin was shown to struggle with the vocal training, her voice cracking in front of teacher JeA, who instructed her to drink some water. In the third episode, the trainees had to individually prepare a video of themselves singing and dancing to the song for a panel of trainers who had taught them. The trainers then watched the videos and evaluated them so that there was a chance to re-adjust the levels and more accurately reflect the skill levels of the trainees. Eunbin struggled with her video and was visibly upset with her performance afterwards. "Eunbin made lot of mistakes," Jellyfish trainee Kim Nayoung said. "She should not have made it obvious, but she did." Upon watching Eunbin's video, the trainers were left unimpressed. "Her signing..." trainee JeA remarked, "it lacks any trace of vocal talent." Teacher Bae Yoonjung added, "her dance too." After being re-evaluated, Eunbin was moved down to D group. On entering the D group practice room, she said, "nobody was applauding. It was honestly a scary situation."
In episode three, trainees were split into teams to perform girl group covers. Eunbin was selected to perform Apink's "I don't know." Pledis's Pinky was chosen as centre for the group, as multiple members stated right away that it was only natural for her to automatically become the centre due to her good looks. Eunbin was visibly disappointed, and she expressed her discontent and internal desire to be centre during an interview. "From the start, the atmosphere was that Pinky was the centre," she said. On stage the team lost to their opponents, and Eunbin garnered a lot of attention for her good looks.
During episode five, Eunbin ranked 16th out of 61 trainees that were accepted in the next round. She also was ranked the eighth most beautiful contestant by her fellow trainees during that same episode. After she was announced to be 16th place, Eunbin tearfully thanked her fans. "I have yet to really show anything," she said, "but I promise to work harder and I will aim to sit on the high ranking seats. Thank you."
During episode seven, Eunbin competed in the song "Bang Bang" and she received a lot of attention for the eye-patch that she wore. After the performance, many funny photo-shopped pictures came up on the internet. Eunbin later explained, "I had a puffy eye that day and I was really upset about it. I cried the day beforehand and so the staff made me a pretty eye-patch. A lot of photo-shopped pictures popped up after that. I remember I used to collect all the photos and send them to Seunghee via email."
In episode 8, she ranked 25th out of the 35 successful trainees. She went on to join the song "Fingertips" for the concept evaluation, but was later removed from the team due to there being too many members. "Eunbin is doing the same part as me," Ng Sze Kai said as she explained why she voted Eunbin out of the group. "And I really want to be here so I chose Eunbin, I'm sorry." After being kicked out of "Fingertips," Eunbin went on to join the song "Don't matter," where she assumed a rapping position. Despite showing a good performance, Eunbin was eventually eliminated in the second last episode, placing last out of all of the remaining trainees.
Throughout the course of the show, Eunbin was constantly praised for her overwhelming beauty and was said to be the eighth prettiest contestant out of the one hundred and one girls.
Debut with CLC
There was a slight controversy surrounding Eunbin's debut with CLC, as Cube announced that Eunbin would debut with the group while she was shooting Produce 101. Produce 101 was a show for trainees hoping to debut in a girl group, so it was considered unfair that Eunbin was guaranteed debut even if she eliminated, and many pointed out that if she were to debut with the final group at the end of the program, she would be in two groups at once and would therefore be taking a spot away from somebody else. Many believe that the announcement of Eunbin's debut during the voting period jeopardized Eunbin's chances of succeeding in Produce 101. The addition of Eunbin and Elkie to CLC was announced whilst Eunbin was under her Produce 101 contract with Mnet, meaning that she was forbidden from participating in CLC's high heels comeback activities with Elkie and the other members. Eunbin joined the group for their comeback 'No oh oh.'
During a V-Live in which the CLC members were officially encouraging their viewers to become fans, the other members asked Eunbin what had changed in her life after competing in produce 101. In response, Eunbin jokingly replied that she had received a strawberry smoothie from a store that was closing due to her fame. After that she added more seriously, "I think Produce 101 was a huge opportunity for me. It helped me a lot in getting more stage experience. I was able to experience a lot and mature in many ways. So I'm very thankful that I appeared on it."
Eunbin announced that as a new member of CLC, she wanted to follow in the footsteps of the older members and create a good atmosphere as the youngest.
Personality and relationships with other members
When questioned about what CLC meant to her after joining, Eunbin said that she thought of CLC as her "new family."
Speaking of the other members, Eunbin said, "I feel the closest to Seunghee. She's the eldest so she's always telling me how to do things. When I was a trainee, I was a huge fan of Seungyeon. I can talk easily with Yujin, and Yeeun and I have similar tastes in food."
- Eunbin likes comic books and Captain America.
- Eunbin likes others to accompany her to the bathroom and always asks the other members if they want to come to the bathroom with her
- Her father is a reporter for a news channel
- Eunbin was a student at Oryu High school
- Eunbin was a trainee for two years before debuting with CLC
- Eunbin's hobbies are shopping and playing the guitar