K-pop idols who almost didn't debut at all, from BTS' Jimin and Twice's Tzuyu and Momo, to Red Velvet's Seulgi, Super Junior's Heechul and Got7's BamBam

“National girl group” Twice, left Tzuyu and Momo out, BamBam, Seulgi from Red Velvet, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Could you ever imagine BTS without Jimin? What about Twice without Momo? You may be shocked to learn that these members almost did not debut with their groups at all.

The K-pop industry is a competitive one to say the least, and would-be idols aren’t guaranteed a spot in the final group line-up despite years of training. The decision behind an idol’s debut ultimately lies with the entertainment agency, and many world-famous stars were once at risk of being removed from the equation altogether.

Here are some K-pop stars who almost didn’t make the cut …

BTS’ Jimin

“National girl group” Twice, left Tzuyu and Momo out, BamBam, Seulgi from Red Velvet, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

It’s hard to imagine BTS without Jimin – but it nearly didn’t happen. Photo: @bts.bighitofficial/Instagram

Despite being a dance graduate of the prestigious Busan Arts High School, Jimin of BTS almost didn’t debut. In an appearance on JTBC’s Please Take Care of My Refrigerator, Jimin revealed that the group’s agency, Big Hit Entertainment, frequently questioned whether he was a good fit.

The reason? Jimin’s expertise is in modern dance, which is completely different from the type of dancing that’s usually required for idols to succeed. But he was eventually able to prove himself to the agency and debuted with the other six members as a main dancer.

Twice’s Tzuyu and Momo

“National girl group” Twice, left Tzuyu and Momo out, BamBam, Seulgi from Red Velvet, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Twice’s Tzuyu and Momo almost didn’t debut with the group. Photo: @twicetagram/Instagram

“National girl group” Twice was originally meant to be a seven-member group. The members were chosen through a televised reality show called Sixteen, and the show results originally left Tzuyu and Momo out of the line-up.

“National girl group” Twice, left Tzuyu and Momo out, BamBam, Seulgi from Red Velvet, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

JYP Entertainment initially only wanted seven girls to be part of Twice, but added Tzuyu and Momo after seeing how popular they were. Photo: @twicetagram/Instagram

However, Park Jin-young, the founder of JYP Entertainment, decided to add the two to the group thanks to their immense popularity and talent.

Got7’s BamBam

“National girl group” Twice, left Tzuyu and Momo out, BamBam, Seulgi from Red Velvet, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

BamBam’s talent won out despite JYP Entertainment’s concerns that he was too young for Got7. Photo: @bambam1a/Instagram

Boy band Got7 almost launched as Got6, because BamBam was not supposed to debut with his group members due to the fact that he was so young at the time. (He joined – and passed – JYP’s World Tour Audition in Thailand when he was 13.)

On the Today Show in Thailand, BamBam revealed that he was originally going to debut with a younger boy group managed by JYP Entertainment. However, Park changed his mind when BamBam proved his talent in a dance battle against YG Entertainment trainees on the reality survival show Win: Who is Next? in 2013 at age 16.

Super Junior’s Heechul

“National girl group” Twice, left Tzuyu and Momo out, BamBam, Seulgi from Red Velvet, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Heechul had a bad attitude during his trainee years, and was kicked out of SM Entertainment for failing to apologise for it. Photo: @jojo830710/Instagram

Heechul might be one of the most famous second generation idols now, but he almost did not become famous at all. In fact, SM Entertainment kicked him out of the company as a trainee, because he talked back to a trainer and refused to write an apology letter for his behaviour.

However, he was eventually allowed to rejoin SM Entertainment and debuted as one of the members of Super Junior.

Red Velvet’s Seulgi

“National girl group” Twice, left Tzuyu and Momo out, BamBam, Seulgi from Red Velvet, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Seulgi almost gave up on her dream of becoming an idol after spending so long in training. Photo: @hi_sseulgi/Instagram

Whereas other idols on this list were almost cut out by their agencies, it was the opposite for Seulgi from Red Velvet, as it was her who almost walked away from her big debut.

Out of all the Red Velvet members, Seulgi trained for the longest – for seven years. In an episode of Idol Party, Seulgi said that after around three to four years of being a trainee, she came close to giving up her on her dream of becoming a star. Thankfully, her mother pushed her to continue pursuing her dream, and she eventually became a member of Red Velvet.

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