K-Pop has truly become a global phenomenon. With its big-budget music videos, intricate choreography, and songs influenced by various genres around the world, it's not hard to see why millions of fans can't get enough. K-Pop idols' charming visuals and personalities especially make it fun to choose an individual group or soloist to follow. After joining a fandom, the first thing someone does is learn their bias' backstory. K-Pop audition videos are a great introduction into an artist's history because they offer a look at them before fame.
As fans know from watching celebrities' earliest videos, it takes a lot of work behind the scenes in order to debut as a K-Pop idol. Many of the most-loved performers in the industry trained for over a decade before finally getting their big break. Due to the rigorous training process, stars debut looking like absolute pros on stage, regardless of their age or time in the spotlight. In order to see how far idols have come in their individual journeys, fans use K-Pop audition videos to compare their growth over time.
Whether you've been a K-Pop fan for one or 10 years, these throwback clips won't fail to make you nostalgic.
1. TWICE's Nayeon
If this clip is from 2010, that means Nayeon was 14 years old when this audition took place. No matter how much time passes, Nayeon radiates that same sweetness we see in her today.
2. BLACKPINK's Jennie
Before Jennie debuted with BLACKPINK in 2016, YG Entertainment gave fans their first glimpse of the star in 2012. You could tell Jennie had so much potential from the beginning because she oozed confidence and talent. Check out that flow!
3. BTS' Jungkook
Jungkook's sweet, angelic voice and his exceptional range are two of the many reasons ARMYs love him. Since he's so confident on stage now, it's hard to believe he was once shy about performing in front of others. Fans must be so proud of how far he's come.
4. BTS' J-Hope
As you can see from the audition video above, before J-Hope hit it big, he tried out to join JYP as a trainee. He didn't make it, but that didn't stop him from chasing his dreams. Over time, he continued to perfect his craft and eventually, he signed with Big Hit Entertainment and became one-seventh of the global phenomenon BTS.
5. ITZY's Ryujin
Ryujin's dance cover of Taylor Swift's "Look What You Made Me Do" will forever remain iconic. Her effortless moves and fierce stares were a sign she was born to be on stage.
6. Stray Kids' Seungmin
Seungmin's angelic vocals echoing in the audition room sounded so beautiful.
7. SEVENTEEN's Hoshi
In his short time trying to impress the judges, Hoshi really tried connecting with those listening. Now, he does the same while traveling the world as a member of SEVENTEEN.
8. SEVENTEEN's Wonwoo
This clip of Wonwoo singing a ballad will definitely wow CARATs, especially because he's known today for being one of SEVENTEEN's rappers.
9. SEVENTEEN's Woozi
Woozi picking Justin Bieber's "Boyfriend" as his audition song gave him the perfect opportunity to showcase both his vocal and rap skills. (You can watch his audition beginning at the 6:40 mark in the video above.)
10. GOT7's Jinyoung
Jinyoung has been a cutie since day one. Now, he's not only popular for being a singer and songwriter, but an actor as well.
11. GOT7's JB
It takes a lot of confidence to freestyle moves, and, although he had a minor slip-up in the middle of his break-dancing audition, JB kept going, showing his dedication and perseverance. It's no wonder he made it through.
12. Super Junior's Heechul
Right from the start, Heechul's star quality shined as he made an impression with his big vocals. Now, Heechul is known as a huge star in the K-Pop world. Apart from being a member of Super Junior, he's made a name for himself as an actor and television host.
From her audition video, it's not hard to see why IU has become one of Korea's top singers: Her powerhouse vocals were always there pulling at people's heartstrings.
14. ATEEZ's Yeosang
Before debuting with ATEEZ in 2018, Yeosang appeared on the competition show Mix Nine. He didn't make it through to the end, but his time on the program likely gave him some much-needed experience and a leg up when he eventually joined ATEEZ.
15. EXO's Xiumin
Similar to other idols' audition stories, Xiumin didn't make the cut to join JYP. However, he didn't let rejection get in the way of pursuing his goal of becoming a pro and ended up making it through to become an SM trainee. Now he's a member of one of the biggest K-Pop bands in the world!
Look at Chung Ha go! Her moves hold so much power and it's clear she practiced for so long in order to get the routine just right.
17. 2NE1's Park Bom
Bom had so much control of her voice even as a trainee, and she's only gotten better and better over time.
18. EXID's Hani
Hani's talent was evident in her audition for JYP. Her gradual build up to the song's climax was a nice touch, showcasing her ability to cover different vocal ranges.
19. APINK's Chorong
Chorong also got turned down from JYP. In the end, it all worked out, because she became the leader of the mega-talented Cube Entertainment group APINK.
20. Girls' Generations' Seohyun
Seohyun's audition would forever change her life. In 2007, she debuted in Girls' Generation, which has become recognized as one of K-Pop's most successful groups of all time.
It's nice to look back and see where idols came from. Their audition videos were the start of their epic careers. Even though some initially got rejected, they didn't let a single "no" get them down. Instead, they persevered and became today's biggest K-Pop stars.