Survival shows provide an avenue for both trainees and unsuccessful K-Pop idols to debut and achieve their dreams of stardom. Survival shows show how much trainees want to debut and how hard-working they are to reach their goal. Sometimes, it works. Sometimes, it doesn’t. Here are some of the most heart-wrenching moments in survival shows.

1. Felix’s being eliminated from Stray Kids

In Episode 8 of Stray Kids, Park Jin Young eliminated Felix from the team, saying that his Korean wasn’t good enough and that it affected his raps. The members couldn’t help but burst into tears. Leader Chan was especially affected and he blames himself for the elimination.

Even when you were really struggling, I should have been there. I’m so sorry.

— Bang Chan

Felix was eventually brought back due to getting a second chance, and proved his skills worthy for debut with Stray Kids.

2. I.M. being ignored and dislikes by the other members of NO MERCY

I.M. was not part of the original trainee line-up for NO MERCY. Instead, he was added to the show in Episode 8, right after Minkyun got eliminated. Many of the contestants saw him as a replacement for Minkyun and resented I.M. for it. There was obvious dislike towards I.M. — the other contestants didn’t want to talk or even acknowledge I.M.’s presence.

Joohoney, who is now in MONSTA X with I.M., had taken the initiative to talk to I.M. and talk about why the members are like that. I.M. was understanding, but he couldn’t help but shed tears as they talked.

To be honest, it’s been very hard and lonely for me. I just got so emotional, but I became hopeful that that I can approach the other guys. I’m sure if I offer my hand first, they will take it at some point.

— Joohoney

3. Momo being announced as a member of TWICE

In Episode 6 of SIXTEEN, Momo was up for elimination since her group received the least amount of audience votes. Though JYP had told her that her performance doesn’t deserve elimination and that she performed well, she was eliminated since her singing skills were not up to par with her dancing skills.

However, in the final, Park Jin Young announced that instead of having a 7-member group like he initially planned, TWICE would be 9-member group. With the addition of Tzuyu, Park Jin Young announced that Momo would be joining the final line-up despite being eliminated. She was chosen by the Trainers and the A&R Team for her exceptional dance skills.

Momo was unaware of the news and immediately started bawling when she heard she would be debuting. Mina and Sana also cried upon hearing the news as the three Japanese members had promised that they would debut together, and now it was really happening.

4. Minhyun crying when none of the other NU’EST members joined him as a member of Wanna One

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After the debut line-up was announced, viewers noticed how Minhyun was quietly shedding tears while everyone was celebrating. Though people had suspected that he was upset because none of his fellow NU’EST members got into Wanna One, he confirmed it himself when Wanna One visited KBS 2TV’s “Happy Together“. He said,

I thought at least one member from NU’EST would debut with me in Wanna One. But in the end I was the only one chosen and I could see my members across from me smiling. I felt so sorry and thought back to all of our difficult times, so I started crying.

— Minhyun

5. Sakura breaking down when Chaeyeon was called as the last member of IZ*ONE

When Miyawaki Sakura won 2nd place in Produce 48, she was asked if she wanted to give a message to anyone. She decided to say something to Lee Chaeyeon, who she had bonded with throughout the competition. Though her message is short, fans could feel her sincerity through her voice and the tears in her eyes.

Chaeyeon. Thank you for always doing your best. I hope we can debut together.

— Miyawaki Sakura

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When Chaeyeon was called as the final member for IZ*ONE, Sakura couldn’t help but burst into tears. All of the panic she felt was let out as she cried.

6. Lee Midam leaving YG Entertainment in YG Treasure Box

Many fans were excited to see Lee Midam in YG Treasure Box, especially after his appearance on JYP’s Stray Kids. However, in Episode 3, Lee Midam suddenly left the dorm in the middle of the night. This caused issues with the group practice and in the end, he chose to leave YG Entertainment.

This is a burden and since I’m getting older, I’m starting to wonder if this path is right for me. I think because I wasn’t able to deal with my problems and just kept piling them up, it just became an even bigger problem. You guys know that I was frustrated and I kept causing you guys harm, I should leave.

— Lee Midam

The members and him started to shed tears. Fellow team member Choi Hyunsuk said,

I wish you held on just a little longer. This is our last evaluation as Team A. The last one.

— Choi Hyunsuk

Though Midam felt apologetic to his members, he still decided to leave the competition and the company.

Which survival show moment made you shed a tear?