Super Junior's Shindong recently claimed that he saw aespa's Karina before SM Entertainment scouted her.
During the October 23 episode of the Korean variety show, "Knowing Brothers," Shindong revealed how he discovered aespa's Karina before SM Entertainment did.
According to the 36-year-old K-pop idol, he was serving the military when he spotted Karina in a middle school.
"As soon as saw Karina, I wanted to cast her at SM Entertainment. However, I was a soldier, so there was no way to contact the company," he said.
Karina reportedly attended a military event where the idol happened to be doing his service. The aespa member also asked him if she could take a photo with him.
The female idol eventually joined SM Entertainment shortly after her first meeting with Shindong. After years of training, she became the leader of aespa.
In the same episode, Karina shared Shindong was the first celebrity she ever saw.
How SM Entertainment Scouted Karina, Other aespa Members
On 1TheK Originals' YouTube channel, Karina, alongside the other members of aespa, disclosed how they were scouted by one of the K-pop industry's Big 3.
All four members reportedly thought they were getting scammed when someone from the agency approached them, telling them it wanted to scout the girls.
In the YouTube video, their profile said that all members - except Giselle - got contacted by the company.
"I've joined numerous singing programs in China prior to joining my company. The agency saw my video and I received a call from them. To be honest, I thought it was a scam at first," NingNing said.
Meanwhile, Winter was on a dance festival when staff asked her if she wanted to become an idol. The staff reportedly did not mention what company they came from, causing the member to think it was only a fraud. Eventually, her doubts went away after seeing the official business card and finally going inside the company building.
As for Karina, she served as an ulzzang who gained attention for her visuals online. She experienced the same event as Winter and became part of the agency.
In addition, she once appeared on SHINee's Taemin "Want," where she did a solo dance part.