Many trainees have succeeded thanks to the experiences they gained from failures on audition programs.
Following the success of Wanna One and IZ*ONE, many groups have been introduced through audition programs, such as Zerobaseone and Fantasy Boys. Apart from the joy of the winners, those who failed to seize the debut opportunity on the show had to find new ways to pursue their dreams.
Lee Hae In ranked No.17 in the first season of Mnet’s “Produce 101” (2016) and failed to become a member of IZ*ONE. However, she received huge support from the public after the show and carried out activities as a member of a project group called I.B.I. Later, Lee Hae In participated in KBS 2TV’s 2017 program “Idol School” but still couldn’t make it to the final group as she only ranked No.11.
However, a ranking manipulation was confirmed to have happened on “Idol School”. Accordingly, Lee Hae In was supposed to rank 1st but she was placed 11th due to the manipulation, drawing regrets from viewers.
After trying many ways to become a singer, Lee Hae In ended up transforming into a creative director. She started producing an idol group by herself. Joining hands with S2 Entertainment, Lee Hae In participated in all aspects of the new girl group Kiss Of Life’s debut project, including planning and album production.
Kiss Of Life will release their debut album on July 5th. Lee Hae In recently posted on her SNS a supportive message to the group, saying “Kiss Of Life, who helped me make my first step as a creative director. We’ve been working hard together for several years since our first meeting. Please show lots of support for these friends, who are excited about everything”, adding “Natty (a member of Kiss Of Life) is the best dancer I’ve ever seen”.
Jung Se Woon ranked 12th in Mnet’s 2017 program “Produce 101” Season 2 and failed to debut as a member of Wanna One. Throughout multiple ranking announcements on the show, he only managed to enter the debut lineup once in the last place but couldn’t secure it until the end. Jung Se Woon consistently stayed just below the debut cutoff line, at around No.10, No.17, No.15 and No.13, before ranking 12th in the last competition.
However, Jung Se Woon made his debut as a solo singer in September of the same year the audition program ended. During the program, he actually gained huge popularity thanks to his cute appearance and sweet voice. The male singer decided to become an acoustic-style musician rather than an idol, pioneering the path of a “singer-songwriter idol”. In fact, Jung Se Woon has showcased his talent as a solo musician since before. Back in 2013, he joined SBS’s “K-Pop Star” Season 3 when he was still a high school student with nine self-composed songs and made it into the Top 10.
Since his solo debut, Jung Se Woon has expanded his talents in various fields, including album activities, OSTs, musicals, variety show appearances, and radio hosting. He performed at the Seoul Jazz Festival 2023 and he showcased diverse instrument and emotional live performances. In particular, Jung Se Woon has gained recognition as an artist optimized for festivals and is considered a top choice for various festival invitations.
The boy group WEi, who released their sixth mini-album “Love Pt.3: Eternally” on June 20th, has all members with experiences of audition programs. WEi is like a re-debut for most of them.
Jang Dae Hyun participated in “Produce 101” Season 2. After the show, he debuted as a member of a seven-member group called Rainz, but they disbanded in 2018. Kim Dong Han ranked No.29 in the final evaluation on Mnet’s “Produce 101” Season 2 and formed a group called JBJ with other trainees. Yoo Yong Ha participated in KBS2’s “The Unit” in 2017 but got eliminated. The following year, he took an audition again on MBC’s “Under 19” with Kim Jun Seo, and debuted as a member of 1THE9. In addition, Kim Yo-han appeared on “Produce X 101”, while Kang Seok Hwa participated in YG Entertainment’s survival program “YG Treasure Box” and “Produce X 101”.
Despite facing the “misfortune” of failing audition programs, those idols have gained valuable experiences to find other ways to succeed. As these individuals are steadily pursuing their dreams as singers, idols, or producers, their journeys are truly inspiring and deserve support.