“Moving” Star Lee Jung Ha’s Idol Audition That Left Rain, HyunA, And SHINee’s Taemin Shook

It went against every known survival show trope.

Actor Lee Jung Ha has won hearts across the globe with his impressive performance in Disney+‘s latest K-Drama Moving. His portrayal of Kim Bong Seok, a pure-hearted student with extraordinary abilities, has earned him a considerable following.

Lee Jung Ha (right) with his “Moving” co-star Go Yoon Jung (left) | @jungha.km/Instagram

But many of these fans might be unaware that Lee started out in the entertainment industry as an idol hopeful! He even appeared on KBS 2TV’s Idol Rebooting Project: The Unit as a trainee. He performed B1A4’s song “What’s Happening” during the evaluation round, surprising the judges, including idols like Rain, HyunA, and SHINee‘s Taemin.

During his introduction, Lee mentioned he was a rookie actor from the popular agency Namoo Actors. But, he added, that his childhood dream was to be an idol. He even got scouted by JYP Entertainment as a middle-schooler while hanging out at the beach.

The story then took a hilarious turn as Lee explained that despite being cast so quickly, he soon realized his skills were lacking, so he ran away from JYP. The then-19-year-old Lee’s innocent charm immediately captured the judges’ attention, who couldn’t help smiling wide upon hearing his story.

When he finally took the stage, Lee delivered the entire performance with a pure smile on his face. But his vocals and dance skills were not adequate. However, the reaction from the audience and the judges was unexpected.

The audience was so endeared with his cuteness throughout his performance that they didn’t mind the poor singing or dancing as much. Even the judges were left grinning widely at Lee’s childlike enthusiasm.

Rain said, “For the first time ever, I’m pleased despite the lack of talent.” He couldn’t hide his fondness as he added, “Your singing is a bit lacking. I don’t think your dancing skills need to be mentioned. But why do I like your performance?”

Rapper San E agreed, saying that Lee’s aura is covering up for all the skills he is lacking. HyunA said, “While he was performing, I was watching the audience’s expressions. I thought I was the only one who was happy, but everyone was smiling.”

Judge Jo Hyun Ah complimented Lee Jungha for his ability to make people smile when they looked at him as the judges’ panel broke into another round of broad smiles.

Rain then came down to the stage and tried teaching him how to do a body wave properly. While Lee couldn’t execute the move well, his cute antics won over the audience, and the judges decided to give in to the popular opinion.

Ultimately Lee earned him four out of six votes to progress in the competition. All the judges made it clear that his skills weren’t enough to qualify, but they were curious to see how far he could improve based on his passion alone.

On the show, he made it to the third unit announcement and then made his acting debut. From being a runaway trainee to becoming one of the most popular K-Drama actors worldwide in 2023, Lee Jung Ha has undoubtedly come a long way!


You can watch the full audition here: