Fans of global musical sensation BTS know how precious each member of the septet is and the band seems incomplete without even a single one. Each member has an interesting story about how he finally became a part of the group that has now achieved global stardom. More so because almost none of them seemed like a natural fit into hip hop act that Big Hit Entertainment was trying to form in 2012-13.
One of the members who had a hard time securing his place in the band was Park Jimin, who was studying contemporary dance at Busan High School of Arts and was a top student in the modern dance department. He was naturally talented, but his dance style was very different from that which is performed by K-pop stars. Jimin had a hard time moulding himself into that dance form during his trainee days, and was rejected 8 times before he was finalized as a member.
During BTS’ comeback showcase to promote Love Yourself: Her, a special video showed the BTS members sharing their stories of how they joined BTS. Jimin revealed he was almost kicked off the team over 8 times, because several people in the agency didn’t think he would do well in BTS.
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Despite being a talented dance major who placed first in his entrance exam for Busan Arts High School, it was his dancing skills that nearly cost him his chance to debut. “I was in danger of not debuting because I didn’t dance well enough. My major was modern dance. Because idol choreography is so different from what I was used to, I found it difficult,” Jimin explained during a broadcast that same year.
During BTS’ ‘You Quiz on the Block’ appearance in March this year, Jimin had said, “I was the latest of the members to arrive as a trainee. I went in with such high hopes. But when I went to the dorm, there were shoes all the way to the kitchen. I wasn’t in the dorm with the status of a ‘BTS member,’ and I didn’t live in Seoul, so I was always apprehensive about when I’d have to leave.”
He also explained how he pushed himself to do better. Jimin explained how he would sleep for two hours only in a day in order to practice more. “I slept at 4 am and woke up at 6 am. I repeated that cycle for a while. I called my dad and he said, ‘Even if you don’t make it, just don’t get disappointed in yourself.’ The members filled in what I lacked. I got a lot of help from them.”
Today Jimin is one of the three main dancers in BTS, and probably one of the most skilled one among all idols in South Korea. He is popular for his graceful moves owing to his training in contemporary dance, and always stands out beside J-Hope and Jungkook, the other two main dancers.
Jimin also suffered from other insecurities, like body image issues, because of his cute baby face, and lack of confidence in his own voice because he wasn’t a trained singer. Today, he has a fandom of his own owing to his charming looks and melodious voice.
Under BTS, Jimin has released three solo songs: Lie, Serendipity, and Filter. Serendipity and Lie both surpassed fifty million streams on Spotify in 2018. In May 2019, Jimin became the first BTS member to have a solo music video achieve 100 million views on YouTube with Serendipity. In February 2020, Filter set a record for the biggest streaming debut among all Korean songs on Spotify with over 2.2 million streams in its first 24 hours of release.
With his hard work and talent, Jimin has proved that it was the right decision to let him debut as part of Bangtan Sonyeodan in 2013, and that the group would have missed out on a skilled performer if he did really go back to Busan.