There are many idols who used to be trainees under SM Entertainment but then debuted under a different agency and was successful in their career as an idol.
Among those idols, there are familiar names such as Choa (AOA), Sunggyu (INFINITE), Jinho (PENTAGON)… They were trained under SM for a period of time and was even a part of major projects, like how PENTAGON Jinho was planned to debut in EXO before he decided to leave SM and joined CUBE Entertainment.
There are many reasons why many talented trainees decided to say goodbye to SM.
Firstly, SM is a major entertainment agency, and they always search for not only the best people with extraordinary quality but also the most suitable ones for their development strategy.
Secondly, it’s possible that those idols’ music taste didn’t go well with SM’s training programs. For instance, Had G-Dragon, a hiphop artist, joined SM, it would have never worked out for him.
And the third reason, probably from the dominance of external factors, is health. K-pop fans must all have known that Soyeon (T-Ara) had to retreat from SNSD debut project due to health problems.
Although not debuting in a big company like SM, idols like ChoA, Jinho or Sunggyu … still can be proud of themselves as their effort has been paid off. Before leaving AOA, ChoA was a highly rated vocalist and a “fan-attract” member along with Seolhyun. As for Jinho, he has also achieved a lot of success with PENTAGON and is appreciated for his powerful vocals. Sunggyu as well, has been through the golden era of his career with INFINITE.
Hopefully, every effort can make a dream come true, just like how it happened to the idols above.