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SM idols had many different ways to get in the company, become trainees and debut. But the hardest one is probably through the company's Saturday Auditions.
Starting in the late 90s, every Saturday, SM Entertainment holds a public audition. Since this is an open audition run every week, a lot of people attend with the hope of becoming an SM trainee. Therefore, compared to online casting or global auditions, the Saturday Auditions are said to have the lowest pass rate. The truth is, 20 years have passed and so far only 6 idols who passed the Saturday Auditions have debuted at SM.
Heechul (Super Junior) - Passed an audition in 2002
Heechul came to Seoul with his friends and participated in an SM's Saturday Audition. He was 30 minutes late and almost failed to take the audition. But at that time, the curator was interested in Heechul's looks and gave him a chance. Heechul sang the national anthem and was accepted into SM. After 3 years of training, Heechul officially debuted in Super Junior in 2005.
Yoona (SNSD) - Passed an audition in 2002
When she attended the audition in 2002, YoonA was immediately received a high score. She sang Wax's 'Please' and danced impromptuly to Britney Spears's 'Oops!… I Did It Again'. YoonA's audition video has long been very popular as everyone believed it would have been wrong if SM hadn't chosen her. After debuting with SNSD, YoonA quickly became famous with her outstanding looks. Not only working in the field of singing, our SNSD's center is also an actress and a model that represents many famous brands.
Taemin (SHINee) - Passed an audition in 2005
When he attended SM's Saturday Audition, Taemin was still an elementary student. However, thanks to his excellent dancing ability, he was accepted as a trainee at the company. 3 years later, Taemin debuted as SHINee's maknae and continuously made fans proud of his relentless efforts to achieve great progress in his career. Taemin's voice has improved a lot since his debut, and it helped him solidify his position as a solo artist.
Seulgi (Red Velvet) - Passed an audition in 2006
In 2016, while in her 6th grade, Seulgi attended SM's Saturday Audition and sang Lee Ji Hoon's song 'Doll' . After being accepted, she became a trainee of SM in 2007 and spent 7 years training before debuting with Red Velvet in 2014. She was the first member of Red Velvet to be introduced to the audience. Before the group's debut, Seulgi received a lot of attention while in SM Rookies thanks to her unique looks and talent. She is considered an all-rounder with good singing and dancing, being the main dancer and lead vocalist of Red Velvet.
Haechan (NCT) - Passed an audition in 2013
Haechan sang Justin Bieber's 'Baby' and danced to SHINee's 'Sherlock' during an open audition in 2013. It is known that when watching Haechan's performance, the curators had to say, "A genius has appeared". At the age of 13, Haechan joined SM Rookies and debuted with NCT in 2016. Currently, Haechan is a member of NCT 127 and NCT Dream. With an attractive voice color, Haechan is expected to grow more and become a famous vocalist of SM.
Jungwoo (NCT) - Passed an audition in 2014
At a Saturday Audition in 2014, Jungwoo attended with his friends, but in the end, only he was accepted into the company. Like Heechul, Jungwoo sang the national anthem during the audition and made it to SM. After passing the audition, Jungwoo was introduced as a trainee in 2017. In 2018, he debuted with NCT U when the group came back with the song 'Boss'. Jungwoo was then added to NCT 127 and quickly became one of the members with the highest popularity in the group.