It’s hard to imagine BTS including anyone besides the 7 talented members that are currently in the group. Fans have gotten to know each member so well over the years, it’s nearly impossible to think that they could have ended up any other way.
Before BigHit Entertainment debuted the now heavily successful group, however, they had a number of other trainees in the company that were almost included in BTS!
Here’s a list of ten trainees that almost made it into BTS’s final lineup, why they didn’t debut, and where they are now.
RM and Iron, along with another almost-BTS member, i11evn, were once part of a group called DNH Crew. While he was reported to initially be an original member of BTS and placed second on season 3 of Show Me the Money, Iron never did debut, and the reason isn’t entirely clear. There are claims that he and other members quit because they no longer liked the direction the music style was going. Iron passed away in January 2021.
As with Iron, i11evn was also in DNH Crew with RM, and one of the original members of BTS along with J-Hope, Suga, RM, and three others. Of course, i11evn and the three other members never debuted and were replaced with Jin, Jimin, V, and Jungkook, with a potential reason being that i11evn is nearly a decade older than some of the now-members. He’s known now to be an underground rapper with FactoryBoi.
A-Tom has been in a number of groups, starting with his trainee days for BTS. Instead of joining them, however, he decided to debut instead with Xeno-T (Topp Dogg), and then moved on to JBJ, which sadly disbanded in 2018.
4. Supreme Boi
Another member of DNH Crew and a trainee for BTS before their debut, he now reportedly works as a producer for BigHit Entertainment and has even worked with BTS on several of their songs, including “Cypher PT. 3.”
Reports say that Kidoh trained with BTS for a year and nearly debuted with them, but like A-Tom, debuted with Topp Dogg instead, although he remained close with RM and Jin. He left that group in 2015.
Suwoong trained with BTS for about a year and a half, but instead decided to debut with the group Boy’s Republic under Universal Music. Unfortunately, they have been on indefinite hiatus since 2018.
Reddy apparently was never accepted into the final cut of BTS trainees, but he did audition to be in the group. He has since been on Show Me the Money and Tribe of Hip Hop.
Like Reddy, Loco reportedly auditioned for BTS but was cut out of the program early on. The now K-Pop rapper did, however, win the first season of Show Me the Money in 2012.
Basick’s history with BTS is a little hazier, but reports say that he was offered a spot in BTS – which may have originally been designed to have 9 to 10 members, including him – and turned it down.
Beenzino’s story is pretty much the same as Basick’s – reportedly offered a spot into a 9- to 10-member BTS, but turned it down and is now working under Illionaire Records.