Few aspiring trainees are able to join the ranks of the “Big 3” K-Pop companies: SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment, or JYP Entertainment. These eight stars, however, were once cast by all three.
1. Dahyun (TWICE)
Before Dahyun debuted in TWICE, she originally auditioned for all the “Big 3” agencies at once. While most aspiring stars could only dream of getting accepted by one of these companies, Dahyun’s talents secured her acceptances from all three. Ultimately, she decided JYP Entertainment was the best fit for her.
2. Jaehyuk (TREASURE)
Today, everyone knows Jaehyuk as one of the stars of YG Entertainment’s new boy group, TREASURE. However, things could’ve turned out differently. Alongside being street-casted by YG Entertainment, Jaehyuk also revealed on YG Treasure Box that he received offers from SM Entertainment and JYP Entertainment (along with four other well-known companies like Cube Entertainment).
3. Doha (BAE173)
BAE173’s Doha began his career in the actor industry at just four years old, first appearing in television commercials before graduating to popular dramas and movies like Reply 1994. With his adorable looks and talents, Doha managed to receive casting offers from a staggering 10 agencies by the age of eight, including SM Entertainment and Big Hit Music. On top of that, he later went on to pass auditions for YG Entertainment and JYP Entertainment. Now, he’s signed to PocketDol Studio.
4. DK (iKON)
iKON’s DK certainly had impressive performance skills even before he joined YG Entertainment because the rest of the “Big 3” wanted him just as much. Alongside passing an audition for SM Entertainment, DK won JYP Entertainment’s “Trainee Search” competition back in 2012.
5. Oh Hyuk (Hyukoh)
Oh Hyuk chose the indie artist path for his career, debuting in Hyukoh around seven years ago, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t have joined a big company. In fact, he received offers from SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment, and JYP Entertainment after auditioning for all three companies. However, he’d never listened to their music and he had no intention of dancing, so Oh Hyuk decided that the companies’ colors didn’t match his own.
6. Park Bo Gum
These days, singing comes secondary to Park Bo Gum’s career as an actor, but his original dream was to become an idol. After submitting his audition tape to all of the “Big 3” companies, all three wanted to cast him. But those weren’t the only agencies he auditioned for, and he vowed to go with the first one he heard back from. That agency—presumably Sidus HQ—recommended he try acting, and the rest is history.
7. Yoon Sun Young
Given her beauty, perhaps it should be no surprise that SM Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, and YG Entertainment all wanted to sign model Yoon Sun Young. It was all in vain, however, because Yoon wanted to stay true to her modeling roots.
Sibling duo AKMU (also known as Akdong Musician) got their start on the second season of K-Pop Star. When they were crowned the winners, they had the choice of debuting with any of the “Big 3” companies. In the end, they chose YG Entertainment because the company gave them the most freedom and didn’t try to train them at all.