Last week, Pledis Entertainment announced Pristin’s official disbandment after a year of radio silence. Fans expected this to happen, but the finality by which the company hit the last nail in the coffin surprised many—especially given its waffling on another, similarly-fated girl group.
Released in May 2018, Get It was Pristin’s last release, and even that comes with an asterisk; this song was performed by a subunit under the moniker Pristin V. At face value, the spinoff group makes sense; Get It has a vastly different aural and visual aesthetic from Pristin’s prior releases, like Wee Woo and We Like. But what’s the point of a spinoff group if the main group never makes another comeback?
Pristin arrived two years ago with some of the biggest hype of the year behind them, filled with names from the hit show Produce 101 and some long-awaited trainees whom fans had been waiting for years to debut. Pledis pushed this group hard, at least in the early going, releasing a steady stream of pre-debut cover videos and other bites of media to keep the hype machine steady. Pristin even won Best New Female Artist at the 2017 Mnet Asian Music Awards.
So where did it all go wrong? One could point to Kyla’s hiatus, or their second album’s relatively disappointing sales, or perhaps something else. But I’m personally waiting for the inevitable tell-all behind this group’s sudden disappearance into the ether and the surprisingly final tone in which Pledis closed the book on their potential return.