Why does BLACKPINK’s pre-debut lineup once have so many members but only 4 girls debuted in the end?

If you’ve been following pre-debut groups, you can see that some of the most promising trainees failed to debut.

Trainees are subjected to harsh monthly assessments.  Thereby, the company’s leaders will evaluate them and select the debut lineup.  However, not every excellent trainee is sure to be  successful to make a debut. Recently, Sol Lee – a vocal trainer who has taught K-pop stars at companies such as CJ E&M, YG Entertainment, Kakao Entertainment… and famous former K-pop trainee Gina Maeng had interesting sharings about  this issue that happens at kpop companies.Trainees are subjected to harsh monthly assessments.  Thereby, the company’s leaders will evaluate them and select the debut lineup.  However, not every excellent trainee is sure to be  successful to make a debut. Recently, Sol Lee – a vocal trainer who has taught K-pop stars at companies such as CJ E&M, YG Entertainment, Kakao Entertainment… and famous former K-pop trainee Gina Maeng had interesting sharings about  this issue that happens at kpop companies.

Vocal trainer Sol Lee (right) and famous former K-pop trainee Gina Maeng (left)

If you regularly follow idols before debuting, you may have noticed that some highly-anticipated talented trainees end up not debuting.  For example, popular SM Rookies trainees Koeun, Hina, and Lami all unexpectedly left SM Entertainment just before aespa debuted, even though fans know how talented they are. While some trainees left the company for their own reasons, others were not chosen by the company for their debut line-up despite having enough skills, why?

Lami (left) and Koeun (right) both left SM before aespa debuted

Sol Lee shared, “You may sing well, dance well, but there are still many other important factors.”  The veteran trainer went on to reveal that you can be really good, really pretty, without any negative behavior and still end up being dropped from the trainee lineup. This may sound absurd to fans, but Sol Lee and Gina Maeng both agree that it would “make sense” in many cases.

YG Entertainment’s former “Future 2NE1” trainees left the company a few years ago

They said it all depends on the elusive “wow factor“.  Gina Maeng went on to say that if you’ve been in the industry long enough, you can tell when a trainee doesn’t really have the potential to debut. Although Sol Lee did not give a clear explanation, there are a number of reasons why a talented trainee may not seem suitable for debut, ranging from personality, working attitude to ability to handle pressure.  

BLACKPINK’s pre-debut trainee lineup was full of potential and had many members
But after all, BLACKPINK only has 4 members

Fortunately, it’s not such a bad thing that trainees at big companies get eliminated.  For example, Sol Lee said that when YG Entertainment trainees left the company, they were immediately flooded with calls from other agencies.  Therefore, it is normal for former YG Entertainment trainees to quickly debut at other companies.

Once in the debut lineup of BLACKPINK, Miyeon is now a member of (G)I-DLE, under CUBE Entertainment.  She stands out with the top visual in Kpop
2 former YG trainees Jinny and Denise have now debuted with Secret Number, signed with Vine Entertainment
Woong (AB6IX) was also a former YG trainee
CIIPHER’s Hyunbin is a similar case

Source: k14