When it comes to finding new trainees, most K-Pop companies host auditions both in Korea and sometimes worldwide in order to find new talent. Usually this process allows them to narrow down their top picks from a huge group of people, and it often works pretty well! However, sometimes casting staff from companies try to recruit people from the public, either by seeing them performing live or online, or even just something as random as seeing the future trainees shopping or hanging out around school!

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SEVENTEEN is unique in that nearly all of their members were actually casted instead of chosen through auditions! In fact, only 3 of their 13 members auditioned for Pledis Entertainment. Here is how all of the current members were discovered!

1. S.Coups

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S.Coups was actually noticed by Pledis Entertainment’s staff while shopping in 2010, if you can believe it! Additionally, he was also cast as a vocalist at first, though he ended up being the leader of the hip hop unit and is one of their main rappers. He trained for about 6 years before debuting.

2. Jeonghan

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Similarly to S.Coups, Jeonghan was also noticed by a staff member while he was at a shopping center! He was asked to perform for the company in order to become a trainee, and the rest is history. He trained for about 2 years and 2 months before debuting.

3. Joshua

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While living in the United States, Joshua once attended an event in Koreatown, where he played his guitar. Already a talented singer and musician, an agent at Pledis Entertainment discovered him this way and ended up inviting him to join the company! He trained for 2 years and 2 months as well.

4. Jun

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Jun was hanging out with his friends in front of a convenience store in China when he was spotted by a Pledis Entertainment staff member. Since he and his friends were already interested in K-Pop, he decided to accept the opportunity. Before this, he actually worked as an actor when he was younger! He trained for 2 years and 7 months before debuting.

5. Hoshi

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Hoshi once formed a dance crew at called Deep Blue, and also won first place at a dance competition in Namyangju, his hometown. This allowed him to enter a province-wide competition, where he was noticed by a Pledis Entertainment casting member and invited to join the company in 2011. He trained for a total of 4 years before he debuted with SEVENTEEN.

6. Wonwoo

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Wonwoo was one of the three members that actually auditioned to join Pledis Entertainment! He successfully passed the audition and joined the company in 2011. Wonwoo trained for 4 years before he debuted.

7. Woozi

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Woozi was another member of SEVENTEEN that joined the company through an audition. He had been studying classical music for a while and even knew how to play several instruments, and was accepted to the company through his singing skills even though he didn’t think he was good enough. It’s great that he was proved wrong! Woozi trained for a total of 5 years before he debuted with the group.

8. DK

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DK is the last member of SEVENTEEN that auditioned to join the company! He’d been taking vocal lessons for a while, and he was able to get an audition with Pledis Entertainment through a mutual contact. He didn’t actually expect to be accepted, but of course he was with his beautiful voice! He ended up training for 2 years and 7 months before he debuted with SEVENTEEN.

9. Mingyu

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Mingyu was casted purely because of his visuals! He was apparently discovered while going home from school one day, and asked to audition. He says that he thinks he was only chosen because the group still needed a visual member, but he’s definitely become a talented rapper! He trained for 4 years before he was able to debut.

10. The8

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The8 took dance classes at Beijing Contemporary Music Academy, where he learned skills in dancing and breakdancing. It was here was he was discovered by a Pledis Entertainment scout while he was breakdancing! He trained for just a year and 5 months before debuting, giving him the shortest training period of anyone in SEVENTEEN.

11.  Seungkwan

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Seungkwan was actually discovered online. He took part in a singing contest while living on Jeju Island, and his teacher at the time filmed the video and uploaded it. Pledis Entertainment’s staff discovered the video, and sent him a private invitation to audition. Seungkwan trained for 3 years and 2 months before he debuted with the group.

12. Vernon

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Vernon was apparently casted while he was hanging out at the subway station in front of his school. Interestingly, he actually joined the company as a vocalist but later became a rapper instead. He trained for 3 years and 3 months before he debuted.

13. Dino

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Both of Dino’s parents were dancers, so he was able to train and show great skill as a dancer since he was young. Pledis Entertainment discovered him at a dance competition, and the rest is history! Dino trained for 3 years before he debuted with SEVENTEEN.