Why KARA’s Gyuri Is “Envious” Of HYBE Trainees

“I felt envious while thinking back at my own trainee days.”

K-Pop fans may remember Gyuri, the charismatic leader of KARA, one of the pioneering girl groups that helped put K-Pop on the global map. Recently, Gyuri has been making waves with her honest and heartfelt insights while serving as a judge on HYBE‘s new survival show R U Next.

Her latest revelation? A sense of envy towards the meticulous care and attention that HYBE’s trainees are receiving. Gyuri’s comments offer a significant perspective on the evolution of idol training over the years and the changes that have swept across the K-Pop industry.

Gyuri at “R U Next” press event.

Gyuri’s insights shine a spotlight on the stark differences in training approaches then and now. As a former member of KARA — who debuted under DSP Media in 2007 — Gyuri’s trainee experience was likely steeped in the survival-of-the-fittest mentality, a common theme in the earlier years of the industry.

When I was a trainee, I didn’t receive as much care as trainees do now.

— KARA’s Gyuri

KARA in their debut days. | DSP Media

However, witnessing HYBE’s comprehensive approach to trainee development, Gyuri acknowledged a newfound admiration for the careful nurturing and guidance that the current trainees receive. These sentiments also underscore her understanding of the ever-increasing expectations that come with being an idol in the modern K-Pop landscape.

When I saw HYBE’s trainees, I saw that they received systematic care from beginning to end. I felt envious while thinking back at my own trainee days.

— KARA’s Gyuri

| DSP Media

The image Gyuri painted of her trainee days — “We were really raised like wild horses,” she shared — contrasts sharply with her observations of today’s trainees who, in her words, are “much more polished” and “have raised the bar.” This highlights how management companies have evolved their practices to adapt to the changing demands of the global K-Pop market. The systematic care, guidance, and training the current generation of trainees receive is a testament to this shift in approach.

KARA’s most recent comeback. | DSP Media


The KARA star’s words hold considerable weight in the K-Pop industry, given her extensive experience and journey as an idol. Gyuri’s candid reflections have sparked conversations around the progression of idol training, the intensifying competition within the industry, and the ever-increasing standards and expectations for aspiring K-Pop idols.

As the public’s expectations continue to rise, so does the industry’s commitment to nurturing highly polished, world-class talent. Despite the intense competition and high stakes, one thing remains clear: the K-Pop industry’s dedication to growth and excellence remains unflinching, and the evolution of its trainee system is a testament to that commitment.

Source: No Cut News