TWICE is now one of the most successful girl groups in K-Pop, but there were times when the members weren’t sure if they would even debut, let alone become stars. Here are 7 of the many hardships TWICE faced as trainees.
1. Jihyo’s 10 year struggle to debut
TWICE’s leader is living proof that hard work, dedication, and perseverance can make dreams come true. It took Jihyo 10 whole years to debut, and she overcame plenty of obstacles along the way.
Before TWICE, Jihyo was given the opportunity to debut with a JYP Entertainment girl group that never came to be: 6mix. Nayeon and Jeongyeon were also rumoured to be part of the lineup. Unfortunately, 6mix’s debut was canceled after former JYP Entertainment trainee Lena dropped out of the group and left the company.
After so many years of training and the disappointment of 6mix’s canceled debut, Jihyo had yet another challenge to face: SIXTEEN. Thankfully, Jihyo made it through this survival reality show and was finally able to debut with TWICE.
2. Momo’s extreme weight loss
Momo revealed that she lost 7kg (15 lbs) in one week. She claims her company said that she absolutely must lose 7 kg in order to be able to go up on stage for their showcase. To achieve this rapid weight loss, Momo didn’t eat anything besides a single piece of ice during that one-week period.
She even spat frequently in the hopes that it would help her weight go down. Momo confessed that when she lay down to sleep, she was afraid that she might not wake up in the morning and that terrible thought made her want to cry.
3. Jeongyeon’s bakery ambitions
During her travels with TWICE to Vietnam, Jeongyeon confessed that she once wanted to quit being a trainee because of the hardships she faced. The pressures she faced as a young trainee made her wonder if she should choose a different career path instead, such as working in a bakery.
During her pre-TWICE days, Jeongyeon loved her part-time bakery job so much that she considered quitting trainee life to do it full time.
“To be honest, I almost quit being a trainee in the past. I wanted to work at a bakery. Working at the bakery matched with me very well. I almost thought about making my own bakery!”
4. Trading in their school days for trainee life
Several TWICE members have discussed one of the hardest decisions trainees are forced to make: choosing between their idol dreams and a normal adolescence. On JTBC’s travel show Carefree Travelers, TWICE discussed many of the struggles they faced as trainees, including this one.
Jihyo revealed that she had no time to go on family trips when she was a trainee and has no memories from her school days. After school, she would go directly to the agency rather than hang out with friends. She revealed that, looking back, she envies her friends who were able to go out for meals and karaoke together.
Like Jihyo, Chaeyoung said that she had missed out on school trips and similar excursions, due to her busy trainee schedule.
5. Jihyo’s body shaming
While on SIXTEEN, Jihyo faced criticism about her weight. During a photo shoot, one photographer even went so far as to call Jihyo “fat” in front of all who were present.
Even so, Jihyo did not give up. She powered through SIXTEEN and the criticism she faced there to debut as TWICE’s beloved leader.
6. Sana, Mina, Momo, and Tzuyu’s learning curve
In addition to all the typical struggles many trainees face, TWICE’s Japanese line and Taiwanese princess also had to move to a foreign country and learn a new language.
Sana, Mina, Tzuyu, and Momo all worked incredibly hard to adjust to life in Korea and become fluent in Korean.
7. Nayeon’s confession
During TWICELAND – The Opening Nayeon and Jihyo both opened up about their struggles as trainees. Nayeon told fans that it hasn’t always been a happy journey for TWICE. While preparing for SIXTEEN, there were times when she would cry all day long while holding Jeongyeon’s hand. She would even cry while walking down the street at night because she had no idea how SIXTEEN would end for her and her friends.