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Idols who signed after appearing on audition shows

  • Published : Jul 20, 2018 - 12:32
  • Updated : Jul 20, 2018 - 12:32

There are many audition shows that give trainees the chance to join K-pop groups these days.

One of the most well-known is “Produce 101,” which features 101 trainees competing to debut with an 11-piece group; I.O.I and Wanna One were made up of winners of the past two seasons.

There are also smaller scale shows like “Sixteen,” which formed JYP Entertainment’s Twice, and “WIN: Who is Next,” which inspired the creation of Winner and iKON under YG Entertainment.

Plenty of idols got their big break from such shows without having been trainees prior. These are the stars who went from being nobodies to celebrities thanks to a single television program.


1. Jimin Park (“K-pop Star”)

Park, who lived in Thailand while attending an international school, became the winner of “K-pop Star Season 1” in 2012.

As the winner, she received a brand new car, over 300 million won ($250,000), a role in a drama, and opportunities to be a commercial model, along with the option to sign with any of Korea’s three major talent agencies.

She is now a former member of 15&, co-host for “After School Club” on Arirang TV, and a JYP Entertainment solo artist with songs like “Try” and “Hopeless Love.”


2. Eric Nam (“Birth of a Great Star 2”)

Eric Nam was raised in Atlanta, Georgia, and graduated from Boston College in 2011.

Upon graduating, Korean network MBC invited him to compete in “Birth of a Great Star 2.”

Nam was among the top five contestants and was offered a contract under B2M Entertainment in 2012. In 2016, he released his first US single “Into you,” which led to a 2017 tour with three sold-out shows.

Today, Nam appears frequently on Korean variety shows and has been recognized as GQ Korean Man of the Year as well as on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.


3. Park Bo-Ram (“Superstar K 2”)

Although Park finished in eighth place on Mnet’s “Superstar K 2,” she was offered a contract with Jellyfish Entertainment in 2010.

Her father died in 2010 and her mother died in 2017. Nevertheless, she forged her own way through the industry and was named artist of the year at the fourth Gaon Chart K-pop Award in the same year as her debut.

Park is best known for her debut single “Beautiful,” which was a collaboration with rapper Zico.


4. Dara (“Star Circle Quest”)

In 2004, Dara competed in the Philippines’ “Star Circle Quest” show and placed second, which launched her to fame.

She signed a contract in the Philippines and became a well-rounded entertainer. Her album “Sandara” is the only album by a Korean artist to be certified platinum by the Philippine Association of the Record Industry.

Upon returning to Korea in 2007, she signed with YG Entertainment and debuted with the iconic group 2NE1 two years later.

By Serena Soh, Intern reporter (sjsoh@heraldcorp.com)