Mnet SUPERSTAR K is definitely one of the first audition programs that was aired on TV. It is often compared to the hit audition program, “American Idol” in the U.S. In a series of auditions and challenge rounds, the contestants perform in front of famous artist judges and win votes to become the ultimate winner. Well, among the millions of applicants, we’re able to find some of our favorite K-Pop idols.
Here are 6 K-Pop idols that you never anticipated to have participated in the audition program!
1. Suzy- Miss A
Suzy actually passed the local audition for the main audition of Superstar K1 but was casted by JYP employee on the site. She chose JYP over Superstar K1 and soon became the member of Miss A.
2. Hoya- INFINITE
Hoya passed the preliminary round and survived until the Super Week round of Superstar K1. His current agency, Woollim Entertainment, reached him throughout the program but Hoya did not reply back until he was eliminated during the Super Week. After elimination, he immediately signed a contract with his current agency.
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3. Kang SeungYoon – WINNER
The current leader of WINNER, Kang SeungYoon was the fourth runner up of Superstar K2. There is no change to his amazing voice from Superstar K.
4. SeungHee – Oh My Girl
Even though she was very young when she auditioned in Superstar K2, SeungHee was eliminated at the final 11 of Superstar K2. She showed great potential even at that young age before her official debut!
5. JungKook – BTS
After the preliminary round of Superstar K3, JungKook received numerous love calls from entertainment agencies. He did eventually debut as one of the members of the BTS, but sadly there is no footage of him in Superstar K3.
By My Side
6. EunWoo – PRISTIN
Ever the person to challenge herself, EunWoo is a veteran at audition survival programs. She appeared on “Superstar K4” in 2012, and she continued on to “The Voice Kids” in 2013 and “Produce 101” in 2015 – until she finally debuted as a member of PRISTIN in 2016!
It’s not the 90’s anymore! There are more than just company auditions and street castings to get started on your career path. One of the main trends for the past couple of years have been the rise of survival audition programs. When you were watching them a few years back, you probably didn’t know that you were looking at a future super K-Pop star!
Here are 10 K-Pop idols who had auditioned for a survival audition program before they hit it big with an agency!
1. YuJu – GFriend
We’re sure JYP is banging his head on the wall for this one! GFriend’s main singer, YuJu auditioned for Kpop Star 1 back when she was 15 years old! JYP turned her down, saying that her voice lacked special qualities… but that’s not a problem! YuJu proved her skills to the world when she debuted as GFriend and is now knocking JYP artists off the charts.
2. SeungYoon – WINNER
This baby faced rocker stole the hearts of many noonas when he auditioned for Superstar K2. He also caught the eye of YG Entertainment! SeungYoon even placed in the TOP 10, but was ultimately eliminated. It was a blessing in disguise, because YG saw his potential and added him to the lineup of their TEAM A in the making.
3. SeungHoon – WINNER
SeungYoon isn’t the only audition program alumni in WINNER. SeungHoon also auditioned on a show, but for Kpop Star 1. There, he caught the eye of Papa YG who just knew how perfect he would fit with SeungYoon’s team in the making – the future WINNER.
4. ParkJangHyun – VROMANCE
Although he may still be fresh rookie, we believe he’ll be going places. VROMANCE’s Park JangHyun auditioned for Superstar K3, where he caught the interest of Yoon JongShin. He wasn’t able to win the competition, but he did win an audition ticket to Rainbow Bridge World, where he finally debuted as the quartet brothers of MAMAMOO.
5. ParkJiMin – 15&
We believe every K-Pop fan already knows this one. Park JiMin made global headlines (literally) with her appearance on Kpop Star 1. She blew the judges away during each challenge, and ended up even winning the whole show! Now she’s 1/2 of JYP’s 15&, and more recently a solo artist.
6. JunHoe – iKON
Our handsome man, JunHoe had a completely different image back when he auditioned for Kpop Star 1. Before all the swag, JunHoe caught the eye of Papa YG. Although JunHoe was unable to make it very far in the show, Yang HyunSeok decided to give him a chance to try out for Team B (a.k.a iKON)!
7. SeungHee – Oh My Girl
SeungHee had the dream to be a singer since she was tiny. Just look at her auditioning for Superstar K2, when she’s not even fully grown. With her big dreams, she didn’t let her elimination set her back. She debuted with Oh My Girl, and started writing history through JTBC’s “Girl Spirit”!
8. Park JaeHyung – DAY6
DAY6’s member, JaeHyung, was found by Park JinYoung when he auditioned for Kpop Star 1. He even made it to TOP 10, which solidified JYP’s decision to cast the idol for his new boy band.
9. Park NaRae – SPICA
This beautiful singer of SPICA first tried her hand as a solo singer on Superstar K1. The idol was able to land an impressive score, until she was eliminated. She was given multiple audition calls, and eventually signed on with B2M Entertainment.
10. Hoya – INFINITE
Did you know? Before Hoya hit major stardom, he had auditioned for the Busan region of Superstar K 1! He made it to Super Week, before he was ultimately eliminated. But thanks to his appearance, Hoya received an audition call from Woollim Entertainment, where he then went on to make K-Pop history.
They may be living the high life with all the riches and fame now, but before they hit it off big time, our favorite idols were regular people too. The one thing that set them apart was their undying dream to become the next K-Pop stars. Although they faced challenges, trials, backlash and suffering, these idols made it, because they grit their teeth and worked hard for their success. Their challenges didn’t start after debuting; it started with getting discovered through multiple auditions!
For those of you dreaming to become a K-Pop idol, we hope this compilation gives you some motivation and hope! These K-Pop idols didn’t make it big with one audition, some took years! Good luck!! 😀
IU is a history maker of ups and downs. IU auditioned 20 times, but continuously failed or was scammed by a fake company. Amidst those auditions were auditions for JYP, which was ultimately unable to commit to IU. She trained at Good Entertainment, before the company failed. But she finally found success by auditioning for LOEN Entertainment. Way to work for your dreams, girl!
2. Suga of BTS
Although he may be stealing girls’ hearts left and right today, Suga started off as a budding K-Pop dreamer. Before he was found by Big Hit Entertainment, he was producing his own rap songs by himself. However, they didn’t get noticed by the public. But that’s ok, because he had auditioned for Big Hit and was luckily casted. He’s now the main producing member of the K-Pop powerhouse called, BTS!
3. Park Bom of 2NE1
2NE1’s main power vocalist wasn’t welcomed into YG with open arms at first try. Bom actually had to auditioned again and again until she was finally given a chance by Papa YG. Yang HyunSeokeven admitted that when they first saw Bom, they thought that she was pretty, but her vocal skills didn’t match their standards. But Bom didn’t give up! She auditioned continuously for 2 years. After seeing her dedication and continuous improvements, YG eventually got lost in her charms and welcomed her in.
4. SeungYoon of WINNER
SeungYoon’s story is motivational to say the least. After getting betrayed by people he thought were friends during middle school, SeungYoon suffered from depression. He never left his room and didn’t even attend school. After watching his mother (who raised him by herself) crying for his suffering, SeungYoon decided get his head on straight and audition for SuperStar K2. The stars were definitely aligned for him as he placed fourth and was casted by YG. However, that wasn’t his last audition. He had to undergo another competitive and challenging audition process called “WIN” to finally debut as the leader of WINNER!
5. ChoRong of APink
APink’s ChoRong didn’t become the leader of one of the hottest K-Pop girl groups by chance. She had auditioned for JYP back in 2009, but had ultimately debuted under Cube Entertainment. Although Cube is not affiliated with JYP, Cube was co-founded by JYPE’s former president. This makes us wonder if he had an eye on ChoRong’s talent since back in 2009!
6. JunHoe of iKON
iKON’s dancing machine, JunHoe, was also an alumni of JYP auditions. JunHoe had actually gotten to the final round of JYP Entertainment, but it remains unsure if he ever joined the company. We know the end result was that JYP and JunHoe weren’t destined, but JunHoe continued to audition through various ways. He auditioned to appear on the show “Star King”, he auditioned through the reality program “K-Pop Star”, and finally auditioned through two of YG’s boy group televised auditions, “WIN” and “MIX & MATCH”.
7. NaYeon of TWICE
NaYeon has a different story than the rest. She secretly auditioned for JYP Entertainment back in 2010, and was actually casted! She continue to train as a part of a small group called 6Mix, but the group failed to go through with their plans to debut. She stuck on with JYP through the change, and eventually participated in the televised audition for JYP’s new girl group, TWICE.
8. Xiumin of EXO
Before he debuted as the fake-oldest-member of EXO, Xiumin had auditioned for JYP. Although his plans for JYP fell through, Xiumin didn’t give up. He participated in SM Entertainment’s SM Everysing Contest, and placed second. With his win, he was cast into the company and eventually debuted as the mandoo oppa of EXO!
9. HaNi of EXID
Before she found her big break through her fancam, she had to become a member of EXID. Before she became a member of EXID, she had to audition for Yedang Entertainment. Before she auditioned for Yedang, she was a member of a potential group from JYP. HaNi had actually auditioned for JYP and made it into their training program. She, along with other well known K-Pop idols, were a part of a planned girl group in JYP. However, once plans fell through, HaNi was cut from the company for her ‘lack of potential’. It’s all good though, because she found her lucky streak through Yedang and Banana Culture!
10. JR of GOT7
Before he got the name JR for having the same name as his CEO, he had to actually had to have a CEO. JR auditioned for JYP during an open audition. JB and he tied for first place, believe it or not! His entrance didn’t mean the end. He had to audition for his various acting roles and prove himself through JJ Project to finally debut as a member of GOT7!
NCT’s first unit debuted just last week and were welcomed by the K-Pop audience with open arms. Just as SM Entertainment artists do, NCT U has yet to disappoint in delighting our K-Pop senses. Both talented and very-very-easy-on-the-eyes, the members were a big success in their debut stage last week on Music Bank. Although they have become this super-rookies-in-training, you may be wondering how NCT even came to be. How did SM find just the right guys for the right group?