As one of South Korea’s “Big 3” entertainment agencies, S.M. Entertainment naturally has a rigorous standard and audition process for taking on new talent. Their infamous “Saturday Auditions” are a perfect example of this as SM holds weekly auditions every Saturday in South Korea, yet only 5 currently active idols were able to make it through the audition and debut! Although they may be open to anyone, these auditions are known to be some of the hardest to succeed in.
These are the five idols who have passed these auditions and are active artists under SM Entertainment:
1. NCT’s Jungwoo
The newest member of the elite five who have passed the dreaded Saturday auditions, Jungwoo was an undisclosed SM Rookie until April 2017.
He made his first public appearance in Super Junior Yesung’s M/V Paper Umbrella. On January 30, 2018 it was announced that he would debut in NCT as part of their sub-unit NCT U.
There has been a lot of buzz surrounding him because of his strong visuals.
And a lot of people have been saying he looks like Taemin and a young Jo Sungmo.
Now, with NCT U’s new track “Boss”, Jungwoo has made his official debut!
2. Girls’ Generation’s YoonA
YoonA became a trainee back in 2002 and then spent 5 years training under S.M. Entertainment. She appeared in acting roles, music videos, and advertising projects all before becoming an official member of Girls’ Generation in 2007.
3. Super Junior’s Heechul
Super Junior Heechul’s SM audition is legendary. He came to Seoul when he was 20 and it is said that he showed up late to the auditions but SM still let him perform because of his visuals. Most people find his audition embarrassing because he sang the national anthem and danced so awkwardly.
4. SHINee’s Taemin
SHINee Taemin is said to have auditioned simply because he didn’t want to go to an after-school academy. He was 13 years old at the time of his audition.
5. Red Velvet’s Seulgi
Red Velvet Seulgi passed her audition in 2007. On an episode of Idol Party, Seulgi talked about her audition: when she first greeted the judges, one of them jokingly told her she seemed to have no passion. She then started to sing and the judges loved her voice. They immediately wanted to sign her!