It seems strange to think about idols in anything other than the groups that K-Pop fans have grown used to seeing them in. However, a lot of K-Pop stars have come close to being in more than one group. Thinking about how things may have turned out differently if some of them had ended up somewhere different from where they are today can be interesting. So, let’s look at ten such idols who were scouted for another band or company.
1. J-Hope – BTS
Born as Jung Ho-Seok, he is known by his stage name J-Hope. He is a South Korean singer, songwriter, rapper, and dancer. He is part of the popular South Korean boy band BTS. He debuted with the band in 2013, under Big Hit Entertainment. He released “Hope World” his solo mixtape, in 2018. Before J-Hope joined Big Hit Entertainment, he auditioned for JYP Entertainment to become a trainee there but he was rejected by them. If he was not rejected then he could have debuted as a member of GOT7. But destiny had some other plans for him and he ended up in Big Hit Entertainment as a BTS member. Army couldn’t be more graceful for it.
2. Jisoo – BLACKPINK
Kim Ji-Soo, known professionally as Jisoo, is a South Korean singer and actress. She is a member of the girl group BLACKPINK. She debuted with the group in 2016 under YG Entertainment. She made her solo debut in 2023, with the album “Me.” She is lead vocalist and visuals of BLACKPINK. When Jisoo was a trainee with YG Entertainment, she went to attend a concert with the company, there she was spotted by SM Entertainment and was offered to join them. If she would have accepted the offer then we would have known a whole different Jisoo today. She would have debuted as a Red Velvet member.
3. Taemin – SHINee
Lee Tae-Min known by his stage name Taemin, is a South Korean singer, dancer, and actor. He is a member of the boy band SHINee and debuted with them in May 2008 under SM Entertainment. He has been labelled as the “Idol’s Idol” because many other idols look up to him for inspiration. He made his solo debut in 2014 with the Extended Play (EP) Ace. He has also expressed that he wondered how his career could have changed if he had debuted with EXO, who are closer to his age. As the youngest member of SHINee, he had some worry and hesitation debuting with a "younger boyfriend" notion.
4. Jin – BTS
Kim Seok-Jin, also known by his stage name Jin, is a South Korean singer, songwriter. He is a member of the boy band BTS. He has co-written songs for the band such as, “Awake” in 2016 and “Epiphany” in 2018. He officially debuted as solo artist in October 2022, with the single “The Astronaut.” When Jin was still in middle, he was scouted by a manager of SM Entertainment. He could have ended up as a member of the boy band EXO but Jin then thought that it was a scam so he didn’t accept the offer.
5. Wendy – Red Velvet
Shon Seung Wan, known professionally as Wendy, is a South Korean singer. She is a member of the girl group Red Velvet. Wendy made her solo debut in 2022, with the Extended Play (EP) Like Water. She gave her first audition for Korean entertainment in 2010 with Cube Entertainment, and although being one of the 15 finalists out of 5,000 applicants, she didn't end up winning and didn't sign on with Cube Entertainment. She joined SM Entertainment later and debuted with Red Velvet.
6. Shownu - MONSTA X
Son Hyun-woo, known professionally as Shownu, is a South Korean singer, actor, and dancer. He is a member and leader of the boy band MONSTA X. He debuted with band in 2015, under Starship Entertainment. Before signing Starship Entertainment, he worked as a trainee at JYP Entertainment, where he trained next to the GOT7 members. Due to absences from training, he ultimately had to leave the company, but he is still good friends with GOT7 today.
7. Coups – SEVENTEEN
Choi Seung Cheol known by his stage name S.Coups, is a South Korean rapper, singer, and songwriter. The S in his name stands for Seventeen. He spent sex long years as a trainee with the Pledis Entertainment. he was supposed to debut with the band NU’EST in 2012 under the same entertainment agency but it couldn’t happen due to line up change.
8. Mino – WINNER
Song Min-Ho, known professionally as Mino, is a South Korean singer, rapper, actor, and songwriter. He debuted in 2014 with the boy band WINNER. Mino was supposed to debut with the band Block B but it couldn’t formulate due to contract issue. Later he joined YG Entertainment and finally debuted with the band WINNER.
9. Jinho – PENTAGON
Jo Jin-Ho known by his stage name Jinho, is a South Korean singer, dancer, and composer. He is a member of boy band PENTAGON under Cube Entertainment. He was almost chosen to be a member of boy band EXO. He was a trainee with SM Entertainment and when the company decided that EXO would be a twelve-member group instead of thirteen Jinho left the agency as it would have taken a longer time for him to debut in SM Entertainment. He went on to join Cube Entertainment and debut with PENTAGON.
10. Subin – Victon
Jung Su-Bin known professionally as Subin, is a South Korean rapper, singer, and actor. He is a former member of the boy band VICTON. He was once a trainee in JYP Entertainment and Cube Entertainment, respectively. He actually had the opportunity to make his PENTAGON debut at the latter, but he ultimately decided to leave the company and ended up at VICTON.