A 14-Year Tradition: SM Entertainment Rookie Groups Have Something Subtle In Common

It’s almost a rite of passage.

Most SM Entertainment rookie groups seem to have one thing in common!

On September 4, the company’s newest boy group, RIIZE, made their debut with “Get a Guitar.” Like other rookies, they introduced themselves and their songs in front of fans and press through a debut showcase.


It was hosted by none other than Leeteuk, the leader of Super Junior and one of the oldest seniors in the company.

Super Junior’s Leeteuk

Fans noticed that it is a long-standing tradition for him to MC a showcase of the then-youngest groups in the company. Learn more about it below!

1. f(x) – 2009

First up, f(x) was the girl group to debut in the company after Girls’ Generation. They held their much-awaited showcase on September 2, 2009, doing covers of songs such as Britney Spears‘ “Womanizer” and Sam Sparrow‘s “Black and Gold” as well as performing their own title track “LA cHA tA.”

Leeteuk and Girls’ Generation’s Sunny were asked to be the MCs of the night.

2. EXO – 2012

EXO made a splash of a debut over a decade ago, holding a Korean showcase on March 31, 2012 in front of excited fans and reporters. Leeteuk donned a suit and hosted the whole thing from start to finish.

3. NCT – 2018

Moreover, Leeteuk was the only one who was not from an NCT unit during their VLIVE which was broadcasted on February 6, 2018. It was a special event which brought together all NCT members from across their various units that year.

The senior idol used his years of experience to help bring out the best out of all 18 members.

4. aespa – 2021

Rather than a debut event, aespa tapped Leeteuk for their comeback showcase, the ‘Next Level’ Press Showcase. The male idol guided the girls in their discussions about their songs and growth half a year into their careers.

5. RIIZE – 2023

Finally, RIIZE is the newest group to debut under SM Entertainment. They held their showcase on September 4, 2023, and Leeteuk was of course present!

They made sure to take pictures and videos afterwards to commemorate the event.

Fans joked that Leeteuk isn’t just the leader of Super Junior, but of the entire company!