5+ Female K-Pop Idols Who Originally Trained To Debut With A Different Group

They each had an impressive journey to their debut!

It’s well-known that K-Pop trainees aren’t guaranteed to debut or remain with the same company during their training period. Trainees often make strategic moves for better or, at times, faster debut opportunities. These six female idols are beloved soloists or members of their respective current or former groups, but they almost had different debut plans.

Here are six female idols that originally trained to debut with a different group!

1. (G)I-DLE’s Miyeon

Before Miyeon was a member of Cube Entertainment‘s group (G)I-DLE, she was a trainee with YG Entertainment.

(G)I-DLE’s Miyeon | @noodle.zip/Instagram

According to a YG Entertainment insider, the company’s 3rd-gen girl group was originally meant to be a nine-member group. For a reason unknown to the affiliate, the group was then cut down to four members and became BLACKPINK.

Of the additional five trainees that were preparing to debut with the group was (G)I-DLE’s Miyeon.

(From left to right) Pre-debut BLACKPINK’s Jennie, Rosé, (G)I-DLE’s Miyeon, BLACKPINK’s Jisoo and Lisa
Pre-debut BLACKPINK with (G)I-DLE’s Miyeon

Miyeon left YG Entertainment in 2015, joining Cube Entertainment and fatefully becoming a beloved member of (G)I-DLE!

(From left to right) (G)I-DLE’s Minnie, Miyeon, Soyeon, Yuqi, and Shuhua | @official_g_idle/Instagram

2. Somi

Soloist Somi trained at JYP Entertainment from 2014-2018 before leaving to join YG Entertainment’s subsidiary label, THE BLACK LABEL.

Somi | @somsomi0309/Instagram

While Somi trained with JYP Entertainment, she joined the idol survival show SIXTEEN, where sixteen talented trainees competed to join TWICE‘s debut line-up.

Somi was eliminated from the show in the final episode, and her final ranking was 11th place.

Natty, Somi, and TWICE’s Mina on “SIXTEEN”

The following year, Somi competed on Produce 101 and successfully ranked first during the show’s finale, earning a spot in the group I.O.I.

After the group disbanded at the end of their contract period, Somi made her solo debut under THE BLACK LABEL and remains active in the industry.

| @somsomi0309/Instagram

3. Chaeyeon and ITZY’s Chaeryeong

Chaeryeong and Chaeyeon are talented sisters who both began their entertainment careers on the competition show K-Pop Star 3 in 2013 before competing on SIXTEEN in 2015.

Chaeyeon (left) and ITZY’s Chaeryeong (right)

Although the sisters were unable to make TWICE’s final line-up, they both went on to find success after the show.

Before becoming a soloist, Chaeyeon competed on Produce 48 and debuted in IZ*ONE, promoting with the group until it disbanded at the end of their contract.

Chaeyeon made her long-awaited debut as a soloist in October 2022 and has already announced a comeback with a new album on April 12.

Chaeyeon | @chaestival_/Instagram

Chaeryeong remained with JYP Entertainment and debuted as a beloved member of ITZY in 2019.

(From left to right) ITZY’s Yeji, Lia, Ryujin, Chaeryeong, and Yuna | @ITZYofficial/Instagram

4. Former SISTAR’s Soyou

Talented vocalist Soyou debuted as a member of SISTAR in 2010, but before that, she trained with CUBE Entertainment.

Soyou was a licensed hairstylist, so she would help the members of 4MINUTE and Highlight (formerly known as BEAST) do their hair for their monthly trainee evaluations.

SISTAR’s Soyou (silver dress) with 4MINUTE.

Not only did she help the 4MINUTE members before their debut, but she also revealed in 2011 that she was originally meant to debut as the group’s maknae. She shared that she was lacking in certain areas at the time, so the company ultimately told her she would debut in the next group instead.

Instead, she auditioned for Starship Entertainment, which was how she debuted with SISTAR.

| @soooo_you/Instagram

After a successful career, SISTAR disbanded in 2017, remaining on good terms. Soyou is now a content creator and has continued her singing career as a soloist.

(From left to right) SISTAR’s Soyou, Bora, Hyolyn, and Dasom before a reunion performance in 2022 | @xhyolynx/Instagram

5. Chanmi SNSD

In the 13 years since her debut, Huh Chanmi (also known as Heo Chanmi) was in three groups, competed on idol survival programs, and almost debuted in one of K-Pop’s top girl groups.

In 2004, Huh Chanmi joined SM Entertainment as a trainee at 12 years old. Despite her young age, her talent spoke for itself, and she nearly became the tenth member of Girls’ Generation.

Huh Chanmi (left) with the Girls’ Generation members in a pre-debut photo.

Due to her young age, it was decided that Girls’ Generation would instead move forward with debuting nine members instead of 10.

Huh Chanmi left SM Entertainment and joined MBK Entertainment (formerly Core Contents Media), where she debuted with Coed School in 2010.

Coed School | Core Content Media

Coed School split into two sub-units, and Huh Chanmi was part of the female members’ sub-unit F-VE Dolls until she left the company and group in 2012.

After leaving, she trained with Pledis Entertainment and Duble Kick Entertainment, participating in survival programs Produce 101 and MIXNINE.

Huh Chanmi in a photo for “Produce 101”

She was eliminated from both shows but made her solo debut in 2020 under FirstOne Entertainment.

In February 2023, Huh Chanmi confirmed that she had left FirstOne Entertainment. She remains active on social media and recently began uploading vocal covers on her YouTube channel.

Huh Chanmi | @chanmiii_h/Instagram

6. Former T-ARA Soyeon

Former T-ARA‘s Soyeon was also nearly a member of Girls’ Generation, but the reason why she didn’t debut with the group was completely different from Huh Chanmi’s.

Soyeon (bottom row, far left) with Girls’ Generation in a pre-debut photo.

Soyeon withdrew from the group six months before their debut due to personal circumstances and joined MBK Entertainment to try one more time to debut as an idol.

She successfully debuted in T-ARA in 2009, after two former members left the group, and remained with T-ARA until her contract ended in 2017.

(From left to right) T-ARA’s Hyomin, Qri, Boram, Soyeon, Jiyeon, and Eunjung in 2017.

Soyeon has since signed with Think Entertainment and married soccer player Cho Yumin in 2022.

Cho Yumin and Soyeon | @melodysoyani/Instagram

Check out male K-Pop idols who almost debuted in a different group in the article below!

8 Male K-Pop Idols That Originally Trained To Debut With A Completely Different Group

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