December 2, 2013

SM Pre-Debut Team [UPDATED]

I don't know about you, but I'm excited about SMROOKIES!
SMROOKIES is a pre-debut group that is fluid with the number of members that it holds.  It is a place where SM's top trainees can show themselves to the public and show off their talents (but mostly their looks...?) to the public and cover their sunbaes' songs.
It is interesting to point out that SM seems to only be releasing their top trainees.  From fan photos of the SMTOWN week where a video about the trainees played, there are other trainees (probably from SM Academy) who haven't been shown, and don't have their names released to the public.

My Question To SM:  Can the Rookies flunk out/drop out from SMROOKIES, or is this semi-permanent?
     Seriously, not all of these rookies can debut.  That would mean SM would have to debut 2-3 high number groups in the next few years (before they expire in the industry, age wise) and that's just the BOYS.  With EXO's immense popularity, their under promoting of their other groups in general *cough*Jino, Zhang Liyin, CSJH*cough* and SM C&C's merging with Woolim, they can't really afford to manage 2-3 more groups.  While it is high time SM releases an EXO sister group, their trainees thus far indicate they have three eligible trainees to debut:  Seulgi, Irene, and Wendy.  Lami is definitely too young to debut and we'll have to wait and see about Jeesu.  SM hasn't really showed us any true talent from the girls and a group can't just be faces.  That would be like debuting YoonA, Sunny, and Yuri.  SM trains them well so they can sing and dance, but they would be lost under the deluge of other pretty-faced groups that nobody can tell apart (Nine Muses, Dal Shabet, etc.).
      Also, with the ages of some of the Rookies, I can see some of them burning out or aging out.  The boys will all be early 20s or older when they get around to another boy group and almost running into their military service time.  Irene, if she doesn't debut, will soon age-out since it's unusual for an older girl to debut in K-Pop (though it would be refreshing, especially from SM!).  But the little kids who are 10-14, I could see burning out.  Some of them may be doing this because of their parents or because to them it's fun (right now).  But as they grow up, they may feel like they want to pursue normal lives, like U-KISS's Dongho discovered.

Now on to the stuff you actually care about! :)
I scoured the Internet for everything I can dig up about these guys.  I will update as I find more stuff and as more trainees are introduced.
Each week seems to have a theme so I have included "WILTC - What I Like To Call", or what I think the theme is.

Week 1:  December 2, 2013
WILTC:  SM's Favorites
TaeYong (태용)  --  July 1, 1995 (18)
     *Appeared in "To the Beautiful You"
Jeno (제노)  --  April 23, 2000 (13)
Seulgi (슬기)  --  February 10, 1994 (19)  --  Kang Seulgi (강슬기)  --  SM Casting System 2007
Week 2:  December 9, 2013
WILTC:  The Actors (w/ the exception of Jaehyun...?)
Irene (아이린)  --  March 29, 1991 (22)
     *Appeared in Henry's "1-4-3" MV.
Lami (라미)  --  March 2, 2003 (10)  --  Kim Sungkyung (김성경)
     *Appeared in SNSD's tour video, the drama "Five Fingers", etc.
Jaehyun (재현)  --  18 years old
Week 3:  December 16, 2013
WILTC:  The Heartbreakers
Mark (마크)  --  August 2, 1999 (14)  --  Mark Lee  --  Canada Global Audition (~2010-13)
     *Speaks English
Hansol (한솔)  --  November 21, 1994 (19)
Jisung (지성)  --  February 5, 2002 (11)  --  Park Jisung (박지성)
Week 4:  December 25, 2013
WILTC:  The Global Bunch
Johnny (쟈니)  --  February 9, 1995 (18)  --  서영호 (John Seo)  --  2007 US Global Audition
     *From Chicago;  Korean-American;  Speaks English;  Appeared in ABC's "K-Pop Boot Camp" and "To the Beautiful You"
Ten (텐)  --  February 27, 1996 (19)  --  Ten Chittaphon Leechaiyapornkul  --  2013 Thai Global Audition
     *From Thailand;  Chinese-Thai;  Speaks English and Thai;  Appeared on Teen Superstar;  was almost a member of Boyfriend - offered a contract by Starship Entertainment
Yuta (유타)  --  October 26, 1995 (18)  --  2012 Japanese Global Audition
     *From Japan;  Japanese;  Speaks Japanese
Wendy (웬디) -- February 21, 1993 (21) -- Wendy Shon (손승환) -- 2012 Canada Global Auditions
     *From Canada:  Korean-Canadian;  Speaks Korean, English;  plays the guitar, saxaphone, piano

**Rookies unveiled at SMTOWN, but not officially on SMROOKIES
- Jeesu
- Yong ju
     *Appeared in "To the Beautiful You"
- Taeil

Credit:  S.M. Rookies Facebook;  SMROOKIES International;  http://m.news1.kr/view.html?no=1465884;  http://omonatheydidnt.livejournal.com/12362737.html

Original Post(s):

So far, their Facebook page, SMROOKIES, totes this as a way to meet the "team" before debut.  Whether this is gearing up to introduce a mixed-gender group or just introducing us to the trainees they plan on debuting in the future is unknown yet.  [Thank you Konglish...]

So far, they've released photos of "Tae Yong" (male), Jeno (male), and Seulgi (female).  Jeno should not be confused with Jino of SM The Ballad - that poor dude still stuck in the SM dungeon - but Seulgi is the female trainee that was mentioned by Kyuhyun on Radio Star.

Stay tuned to SMROOKIES and this blog for the latest info on this exciting new development!

UPDATE:
SM has released more photos of Taeyong!  So I'm assuming that that's all for now, as far as adding "members."  They also added two clips of Seulgi.  In one she sings a Christmas carol and the other is just showing off her physical charms.  She actually has a decent voice.  I'm excited!

UPDATE:
SM keeps adding more!
We are now up to
Taeyong (male, 18)
Jeno (male, 13)
Seulgi (female, 19)
Lami (female, 10)
Jaehyun (male, 16)
Irene (female, 22)

Once again, SM and its lookalikes...Taeyong bears a strong resemblance to Kris and Jaejoong, Jeno looks a lot like Donghae/Amber or Taemin/Kai, Jaehyun resembles Suho and Siwon (though, while there's only one photo of him, he could also resemble Chanyeol...), Lami looks like Sulli and Tiffany/Stephanie, and Irene looks like Taeyeon and Sunday.  Seulgi is the only fresh face that I see, though she does remind me of BoA when she was new...oh SM...

[credit: S.M.ROOKIES Facebook - fan site, SMROOKIES Facebook