Just months after SM Entertainment confirmed that the company’s new girl group would be debuting this year, rumor has it that two of the longest-standing SM Rookies girls have quit.
Back at the end of January, new pre-debut pictures surfaced of Koeun (Ko Eun) and Lami (Kim Sungkyung).
20-year-old Koeun was the oldest of the girls in SM Rookies, expected to be the group’s leader and a member of the vocal line.
Lami, aged 16, was the maknae of SM Rookies, thought to be the upcoming group’s visual and actress.
SM Entertainment is very strict about keeping their trainees under wraps to prevent overexposure and ensure they feel new and fresh to the public upon debut. As such, the company only lets pre-debut pictures hit the press in two situations: when the group is close to debut, or when trainees leave the company.
Initially, fans who have been following SM Rookies assumed the former was the case, and that the new girl group’s debut was even closer than expected. However, alleged insider netizens are now claiming that Koeun and Lami are actually no longer trainees under SM Entertainment.
One alleged insider (who was able to prove contact with the girls’ friends) claimed that Koeun has been searching for a part-time job since the end of 2019. Another seemed to confirm the rumor, adding that Lami is no longer under SM Entertainment either.
It'd be my first & last time to post these, which had been discussed over weeks on K-sites. However, I'd only translated those who'd proved they rly contacted girls' friends (ex.posted recent photos).
Still for reference ONLY.
Koeun, Lami: left
Hina, Ningning, Jimin: still in SM pic.twitter.com/nlXqVO5AgH
— missFeuille (@miss_feuille) February 11, 2020
This is further supported by Lami opening her own Instagram account. Social media is forbidden for SM Entertainment trainees, so if Lami has her own account, it’s very likely that she’s left the company. One of the insiders also said that Koeun has her own Instagram account now too.
LAMI Instagram (bible_030303) update…
Our Lami's with short hair😭
I'll respect your choices and keep supporting you. pic.twitter.com/erhQ55YVep
— missFeuille (@miss_feuille) February 12, 2020
Before allegedly leaving the company, Koeun had been a trainee for a staggering 10 years and an official SM Rookie for 6 years. Lami was not far behind, training for 8 years and announced as part of SM Rookies not long after joining.
As of right now, nothing has been confirmed by SM Entertainment. However, if the rumors are true, that means only two SM Rookies are left: Hina (a trainee for 9 years) and Ningning (a trainee for 5 years). Several other female trainees left the company over recent years, including Yiyang and Herin. There are also a few known trainees who haven’t joined SM Rookies.
With the SM Entertainment shareholder meeting coming up in March 2020, fans are hoping that the company will have good news to share about the new girl group.