How BTS, Blackpink, Twice, and more K-pop idols struggled as trainees: RM had nine roommates.

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Becoming a vast K-pop idol doesn’t happen in a day – it takes years of training and thousands of hours of practice. Even record-breaking bands like BTS speak of their short trainee days when they were squeezed together into a tiny shared flat, a far cry from the enormous and lavish homes they now live in.
Today we look back at some bitter, old memories that idols can now recall with a laugh.

In a March episode of You Quiz on the Block, BTS’ RM shared that he used to live together with up to nine other people at one time, with around 30 different trainees moving in and out over that period. It definitely must have been hectic, and RM added that they would share clothes along with a single bathroom and computer. Sometimes RM even had to go to the public bathroom outside or run to the toilet at nearby shops.

Even after their debut, BTS is known for going through harsh early years in their career when the seven members moved from place to place, with one living space being a remodeled office, according to The Korea Economic Daily.

Besides sharing a room, Blackpink had some uninvited guests at their place as well. On the fifth episode of the reality show 24/365 with Blackpink, the girls looked back on the times when they lived together … in a room with cockroaches and centipedes.

Jisoo said that they would trap one creepy-crawly inside a cup, but they would see another creeping by as soon as they did that. The girls remembered that Lisa was the brave one who would catch giant centipedes with her bare hands!

Jennie said, “It was a hard time for us,” adding they were disadvantaged as trainees and would usually buy just eggs and strawberry jam with their limited budget. Scrambled eggs with jam was their go-to daily dish.

Weight checks were another tricky step that K-pop trainees had to go through, and Twice was no exception. In their April V Live broadcast, they said that they couldn’t find a place to eat while training as if they were caught snacking in the practice room, they would be sent to the gym to work off the calories.

The place they decided on? Jeongyeon revealed that the girls went to the restroom as a hideaway spot and ate a lot there as trainees. Although Nayeon commented that it was a clean and good place to eat, Jihyo said it was smelly, with Tzuyu added that the toilets were often clogged up. Here’s hoping Twice can enjoy snacks in more hygienic conditions these days.

The restroom seems to be a standard fixture in K-pop stars’ good old days. The OG iconic girl group, Girls’ Generation, shared that, as trainees, they had to clean the bathroom, the training room, windows, and the cafeteria.

K-pop performances are famous for their coordinated dance moves paired with stellar vocals, and that all comes down to long, long hours of practice.

Luna from f(x) shared in Human Documentary People is Good that she practiced up to 20 hours a day and many times stayed up all night. Jimin from BTS said something similar on You Quiz on the Block – that he practiced until 4 am and woke up at 6:30 am.

It seems that most successful K-pop groups have had to bend over backward for their training, as the Blackpink girls revealed in Netflix documentary Blackpink: Light Up the Sky that they practiced every day for 14 hours to perfect their performances and keep them consistent.
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