10 k-pop idols rejected by the “big three”

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The Big Three agencies, namely SM Entertainment, JYP Entertainment and YG Entertainment, released many artists who are now known around the world. Despite the fact that now under their wing are popular singers, once these agencies rejected the applications of those who are now also a successful idol.

See also: 9 best “presidents” of K-pop

Below are k-pop idols who were rejected by the “big three” and debuted under another label.



First on our list АйЮa singer who is one of South Korea’s best soloists and is currently advancing under Cocoa M. She was auditioning SM Entertainment and JYP Entertainmentbut it was not accepted.

Jay-Hope (BTS)


Jay-Hope widely known as the idol under leadership Big Hit Music. But before he became an intern at the current agency, he auditioned JYP Entertainment, where he failed. Well, maybe he wouldn’t have become the “hope” of the Army if he had been accepted.



Songyu – Another k-pop idol who was trying to become an intern SM, and more than once. He first auditioned in 2007, but was denied. In 2008, he auditioned again, but got the same result. He eventually joined Woollim Entertainment.

Kim Jong Un

Kim Chungha

Soloist Kim Jong Un was also rejected by one of the Big Three companies, namely YG Entertainment. During the “YG Treasure Box” in 2018, the founder YG Yang Hyun Sok told that he regretted that he missed Chonghu.

Choa (AOA)

AOA Choa

Like other artists on this list, she is a former member AOA, Choabefore you find yourself in FNC Entertainmentauditioned at several agencies, one of which was SM Entertainment. She was so confident that she listened to SM 15 times, but always refused.

Sonje (BTOB)

BTOB Sungjae

Sonje also tried to become an intern JYP Entertainment, but did not pass the selection, so it was not accepted. When Sonje asked Pak Gignon (founder of JYP), why he was denied, he replied that it may be because of his hair, as it looks “awful”.



Crush – Another popular k-pop soloist, about the loss of which Yang Hyun Sok from YG Entertainment also sorry. Although he is successful now, he was not so attractive when he auditioned for the agency.



Former participant GFRIEND Yuju – another k-pop idol, rejected JYP Entertainment. She auditioned for the reality show “K-pop Star 1”, where Pak Gignon was one of the judges who said, “You have a normal voice». Then Yuju joined the Source Music and eventually became the lead vocalist GFRIEND.

Hani (EXID)


Initially Hani sent the video to audition in JYP Entertainment and even attracted attention thanks to her skills. Unfortunately, she was not accepted. Then she found another agency, Banana Cultureto which she joined, and later debuted as a participant EXID.

Zico (BLOCK B)


The last idol in our list – Zicoto whom SM Entertainment refused at a time when he was an underground rapper. There were times when he was close to becoming an SM intern, but in the end he didn’t get that chance. He eventually joined Stardom Entertainmentwhere he debuted as a leader and lead rapper Block B.

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