9 KPop Idols Rejected SM Entertainment’s Trainee Offer

The opportunity that presents itself to become a trainee at SM Entertainment and so accomplish one’s dream of becoming a K-pop star is one that should not be passed up. There are a lot of folks that don’t want to blow this chance. In the entertainment business, the agency is also well-known for having worked with a number of successful groups over the years.

Despite this, quite a few people hold alternative opinions and explanations. They were happy with their choice not to become trainees at the agency and did not come to second guess it. Are you curious to know who is meant? Let’s have a peek!

1. Lee Hyori

In 2010, as part of the Legend of Idol Years programme, the former manager of H.O.T said that she had pursued Lee Hyori with the intention of recruiting her to SM Entertainment. As soon as he laid eyes on Hyori, he developed an interest in her and promptly brought her to the agency. Regrettably, the soloist managed to escape.

After being brought to the classroom, Hyori immediately fled the scene. She departed after learning that the agency intended to recruit fresh trainees to debut in the planned girl group project, and once she was aware of this, she decided to leave. Even so, she chose to work for FIN.K.L. in the end, even though a competing company had offered her a job.


Jisoo has stated that SM Entertainment did in fact extend an invitation to her in 2017 to participate in the Radio Star programme as a trainee. She was discovered by a manager while attending a concert put on by YG Entertainment. He was extended an invitation to join the roster of SM Entertainment artists.

Jisoo did not accept the offer because she had already signed with YG Entertainment at the time. She expressed her regret and explained in an honest manner that she had already begun her training at another organisation. Since he wasn’t a trainee who had been formally introduced, he couldn’t say what agency he worked for at that time.

3. Jessi

According to Koreaboo’s reports, Jessi was almost signed to SM Entertainment as a trainee. She tried out for the acting agency, but after being rejected, she decided against joining the company.

Regardless, he was content with the choice he had made. Jessi has succeeded in establishing herself as one of the most well-known female rappers in South Korea. In addition to that, she offers words of encouragement to her juniors who are following in her footsteps.

4. Seunghyun ex FT ISLAND

In 2014, while participating in the Beatles Code 3D programme, Seunghyun revealed that he had been offered the chance to try out for SM Entertainment at a festival. Two different people approached him, each handing him a business card and asking to take his picture.

Despite this, Seunghyun ultimately decided against joining the group. The reason for this is that he read the clause in the contract that stated he would lose all rights to his body, and he felt this was an unacceptable risk. Shindong Super Junior later explained that the purpose of the deal, which he had already said, was for the agency to take care of the rights to his name and image.

5. Minji NewJeans

According to allkpop’s reports, Lee Soo Man, the founder of SM Entertainment, sent a personal invitation to Minji in the past to become a member of the agency. Not only did she join the training programme, but a new girl group also proposed having her start out there as the group’s core.

According to the report, the agency made the offer to her on multiple occasions. Because Lee Soo Man was so determined for Minji to be a part of the organisation, he got in touch with her parents. Minji, on the other hand, turned down the offer and continued her training at Source Music.

6. Park Hyung Sik ZE:A

In 2013, when he appeared as a guest star on the Hwashin programme, Park Hyung Sik mentioned that SM Entertainment and YG Entertainment had extended invitations to him to join as a trainee. After triumphing in a competition involving band vocalists, he was presented with the offer.

He had only entered the competition out of a general interest in music and not with the intention of pursuing a career as a singer at the time, so he declined the offer. At that point in time, he didn’t even know the first thing about agencies. After he decided that he wanted to pursue a career in the arts, he finally agreed to accept the offer made by another agency, which led to his debut.

7. Jin BTS

According to Koreaboo’s report, Jin acknowledged that he had tried out for a role at SM Entertainment. He had just turned 15 years old at the time.

After Jin had his audition, the agency got in touch with him and requested that he come in once more. Because he was still terrified at the moment, he decided not to come, which was really unfortunate.

8. Jaekyung, a former member of Rainbow

During an episode of Full House that aired in 2014, Jaekyung revealed that SM Entertainment had gotten in touch with her and extended an invitation to join the company. The invitation was turned down by Jaekyung.

Two months later, SNSD made its debut. If she decides to take up an offer from SM Entertainment, there is a chance that she may make her debut with the girl group SNSD.

9. Gary

Gary disclosed, in the course of the Strong Heart programme that took place in the year 2011, that after taking part in a dancing competition, he had tried out for a role at SM Entertainment. Following that, Lee Soo Man personally extended a contract offer to him, as well as Jang Woo Hyuk and Moon Hee Jun.

However, given that Gary was required to enter college at that time, he had little choice but to decline the offer. After waiting another year, he was able to witness Jang Woo Hyuk and Moon Hee Jun make their debut with H.O.T.

Although SM Entertainment is a well-known agency, this does not mean that working with them is required in order to be successful. The success of the K-pop idols mentioned above shows that it is possible for them to keep a large fan base even if they choose to start their careers with different management companies. 

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