It drives me crazy how little accurate pre-debut information there is about the members of Block B. When was the exact date that they joined Brand New Stardom? Was Zico ever really a trainee at SM Entertainment?
Let’s look at some facts to make a more accurate decision on the matter!
Right now I find a lot of people believe that rumor because somebody decided to add it to a wiki page, (which I cannot find so I can’t check their source. I think it was since deleted since it just linked to another fan site or had no source at all).
When I first heard that rumor, it was just acknowledged as a rumor. Zico was asked about it he said, “Please don’t believe that rumor. For now,” which just sounds like some trolling to get him more attention.
But now, about a year later, when I look up the rumor, I see a lot of search results irresponsibly claiming it’s true…!
It looks like someone got really excited over the possibility of Zico being in SHINee and spread the rumor like wildfire.
Let’s look at some of the more accepted facts.
A lot of sources say Zico was promoting underground in Japan between 2006 – 2009. (Not to mention the time he spent in Canada and the United States that I can’t find the dates for.)
SHINee debuted in 2008.
SHINee group members were recruited between 2005/2006, so if Zico auditioned during that time too, he must have been rejected since he hung out in Japan doing underground work. Zico obviously wasn’t a true trainee at that time since he was in Japan being “Scribble” and supposedly studying in school.
That leaves the possibility of Zico auditioning close to SHINee’s debut, (SM Entertainment has been doing global auditions for a long time, so he could have auditioned at any time. Though I’m pretty certain SM Entertainment’s trainee program is intense and probably would not have allow him to stay in Japan like he had been doing).
In any case, SM Entertainment does not play around.
If SHINee was close to debuting, they would be focusing on their best trainees… not someone who just auditioned, right? If Zico auditioned close to SHINee’s debut, he could not have debuted so quickly with them.
In 2009, Zico and Kyung released “The Letter” under their duo name Harmonics. Cho PD heard it and recruited them into Block B, which seems to be the reason why Zico came back to Korea.
I think it’s fairly obvious that he was a trainee at Brand New Stardom for a little over a year or so between the release of that song in 2009 and Block B’s official debut in 2011.
So yes, as talented as Zico is, he would definitely need some kind of training before debuting in a group. Considering SHINee is big on dancing and Zico was not a dancer, there is no possible way that Zico could have just suddenly joined SHINee right after auditioning without proper training.
After looking at these facts, I think it’s safe to conclude that unless SM Entertainment was being uncharacteristically lenient, while Zico may have auditioned, he was never really a trainee at SM Entertainment, and was definitely never seriously considered for SHINee when they wouldn’t even accept him as a trainee.
They don’t choose who will be in the group until it’s close to debuting.
What do you think? Sound reasonable?
Here is a link from back in 2011 from MTV Korea’s “Let Me Show“, where Zico himself said that while he auditioned, he was definitely never a candidate for SHINee. I really have no idea why people are still so sure about it now, a year later, when he said so himself!
He also says he went through the casting and camera testing process. This is probably where some confusion sets in since I guess it’s not clear enough in this article whether that’s an audition protocol or a trainee thing.
However, Zico’s full quote, (which I mentioned in part before when he says not to believe the rumor about him being in SHINee “for now”), goes:
“Zico: I wasn’t an SM Entertainment trainee. When they first begin planning a group, they put you through casting and a bunch of camera tests for a few months. While going through that process, there were a lot of times where I almost was a member and almost wasn’t.” [source]
It’s certainly very clear now, with easy evidence and Zico’s own words.
Since SHINee was the only SM group to debut, it’s not surprising that people take the liberty of saying he was about to replace Minho as rapper, however, just imagine how many guys “almost” made it into SHINee before it was even “SHINee” at all.
I feel it’s a bit of an exaggeration to say Zico was close to being a SHINee member. It’s almost the same as saying IU was almost a member of Miss A since she auditioned for JYP.