K-pop, Korean entertainment/culture, Korean fans/netizens [2014~]

SM's trainee system?

Pann: SM's trainee system - debut

The trainees are constantly checked with video evaluation and performance. If a trainee doesn't work hard or goes against the rules, (SNS, dating within the company, etc) they're likely to get kicked out. Mostly, they become trainees by casting. They start practicing out of curiosity and interest, but a lot of them find it tough and leave.

None of them is confident just because they have a good visual. Sulli was very stressed when she was a trainee because she was too untalented. Controversial Taeyong had also practiced hard. Anecdotes of Taemin, Kai, and Luna's hardwork are well-known. Of course, it's all about visuals when they debut but to debut, visuals aren't everything. As a trainee, their talent and hardwork are what make them noticed by the trainers.

When SM forms a debut group, they try to make a lot of different groups with different trainees. NCT system is similar to forming a debut group of trainees. It's common to make a group, even record songs, but have the group cancelled at the end. Say you've been a trainee for 4~5 years and you're very close to debut. One day, a new trainee joins the company and his image and vocal match the debut group more than you. Then you can't debut and you'll have to practice for 2~3 more years. They're merciless and it doesn't matter how popular and promoted you are as a trainee when they're forming a debut group.


1. [+154, -2] EXO's main vocals are Baekhyun and Jongdae who were trainees for 7 months, SM really is merciless. There must've been others that had been trainees for years.

2. [+126, -1] I think it's true. Jino promoted with sunbaes as SM The Ballad, it's clear that he was one of the most promoted trainees by SM. He still didn't get to debut in EXO. EXO's main vocals are Baekhyun and Chen who were trainees for a year. They're merciless to make the best ones.

3. [+99, -3] TVXQ is the answer. Yunho came from the countryside and slept outside to audition. He got into SM and there were 100 other trainees. Changmin got cast while playing badminton at school and at the audition, he clapped. They told him that they'd contact him in 3 weeks. But they called him in 3 days and asked him to come with his parents to sign a contract. Of course, Changmin's singing is god's work. SM was always merciless.

4. [+69, -0] Jino and DO had similar characteristics and vocals. They ended up choosing DO who joined the company later.

5. [+59, -0] Kim Moon Kyu was also in the debut group for EXO, but his spot was taken by Baekhyun

6. [+48, -0] EXO has Suho who was a trainee for 7 years and Chen & Baekhyun who were trainees for 7 months. It's true.

7. [+44, -0] Just look at how Johnny was eliminated and Baekhyun and Chen got to debut ㅋㅋㅋ

8. [+43, -1] I was shocked at what TVXQ said. Yunho was cold to Changmin at first because Yunho used to be very close to other trainees, but a lot of them got kicked out. It was hard for him to be attached to them.

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