1. Lee Jong Suk
In his early years, this A-List actor trained to be a rapper! His stage name was Real.
2. NCT‘s Johnny
In 2008, 14-year-old Johnny joined SM Entertainment. Given the timing, he could have debuted as part of EXO. He even used to train with Chanyeol!
3. Red Velvet‘s Seulgi
Seulgi joined SM Entertainment in 2007. If SM hadn’t decided to add two other ’94 liners, Krystal and Sulli, to f(x) there is a chance that Seulgi might have been included! Seulgi ended up training for another 5 years to become part of Red Velvet instead.
4. SPICA‘s Bohyung
During an episode of tvN‘s Taxi Bohyung revealed that she nearly became part of 2NE1. After she was cut from the prospective line-up, Bohyung joined SPICA instead.
5. Park Bo Gum
This actor is one of the prettiest faces in K-Drama land, and has a lovely singing voice too. As such, there have been many rumours about Park Bo Gum being a former trainee. The actor did use to dream of becoming a singer, and went to auditions, but he never officially signed on with a label.
6. Lee Yeon Hee
Actress Lee Yeon Hee used to be an SM Entertainment trainee and was on her way to becoming a Girls’ Generation member but she didn’t quite make the cut.
7. BIGBANG‘s G-Dragon
It’s hard to imagine G-Dragon being in any group but BIGBANG, but he spent five years honing his dance skills with SM Entertainment. After finding his passion for rap, he moved to YG Entertainment and eventually became part of BIGBANG.
In 2006, Hyunseung was a contestant on the same survival show as the BIGBANG members. If he had made the final cut, Hyunseung would have debuted as part of BIGBANG instead.
9. Honey Lee
The beautiful Miss Korea model and actress trained with YG Entertainment during high school. She dreamed of becoming a singer, but after a year of trainee life she decided to go back to school and focus on her studies.
10. Boy’s Republic‘s Suwoong
Suwoong was nearly part of BTS. He trained at Big Hit Entertainment, became part of its debut team, recorded songs, and even posed for the album cover photo shoot. After that debut team was dismantled, he joined Universal Music and eventually debuted with Boy’s Republic.
11. Wanna One‘s Jihoon
Jihoon trained at SM Entertainment and Fantagio before entering his Produce 101 agency, Maroo Entertainment. Given the timeframe, Jihoon could have become part of SM’s NCT or Fantagio’s ASTRO.
12. WINNER‘s Mino
Before he was an idol, Mino was an active part of the underground rap scene and collaborated with other future idols, like Block B’s Zico, Kyung, and P.O. In fact, he nearly debuted in Block B himself! Instead, Mino became part of BoM, under the stage name Tagoon. After BoM disbanded, he joined WINNER.
13. EXID‘s Jeonghwa
Jeonghwa used to be a trainee at JYP Entertainment. If she had stayed at JYP, she might have become part of TWICE. She was 16 at the time of her debut, which made her in the ideal age range for the group!
14. KARD‘s Somin
Somin originally debuted with APRIL as a lead vocalist but left within a year to begin training for KARD.
15. BTS’s Jin
Jin was once scouted by an SM representative for his good-looks. If Jin had decided to join SM, he might have become part of EXO, who debuted not long before BTS.
16. EXO’s Chen and Baekhyun
These two were last-minute EXO additions. If they hadn’t been added, there’s a good chance that they would have been assigned to NCT instead!