When NCT DREAM‘s change from a rotational system to a fixed one was confirmed earlier this year, many NCTzens rejoiced for it meant not having to part with any one of the current members. However, it seems that SM Entertainment has been trying to push the rotational concept on groups for the longest time, since the 90s! Here are all the groups that SM Entertainment tried it on.

1. NCT DREAM

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| SM Entertainment

NCT DREAM was the most recent conception, with the original theme being a group for youths, and anyone over the legal age in South Korea would “graduate” from the group. The only member to actually graduate however, was Mark back when he turned 19 in Korea. In 2019, 4 of the members, Jaemin, Jeno, Renjun and Haechan turned 19 and were meant to graduate too. However, this never happened, likely both because fans loved them so much, as well as that it would mean only two members would be left. In 2020, it was announced they would be a fixed group, with member Mark returning.

2. Super Junior

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| SM Entertainment

Did you guys know Super Junior was also a rotational concept group? In 2005, before Super Junior debuted, Lee Soo Man announced that he would be creating a group with a concept similar to Morning Musume, a rotational J-Pop group, in order to keep the group always young and all-rounded. The group started off with 12 members, later adding Kyuhyun. After the success of their second comeback, “Miracle”, however, they dropped the rotational concept, making Kyuhyun the last to join.

3. H.O.T

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| SM Entertainment

H.O.T, one of the OG K-Pop groups from the first generation, was supposed to have had a “graduation” concept as well! They had the same concept as NCT DREAM, where the members would graduate after coming of age in South Korea. However, this was naturally refuted by fans as they were so immensely popular!

The reason for the failure of the rotational concept is always the same – these groups ended up way too popular! Talk about a happy concern. Perhaps SM Entertainment will try again with future groups!