Sakamoto Mashiro is currently one of the most popular Japanese contestants on Girls Planet 999, but she was once a trainee under JYP Entertainment. In the survival show’s first episode, Mashiro revealed what it was like to watch ITZY debut while she struggled to make it in the industry.
Back when Sakamoto Mashiro was 16-years-old, she traveled to South Korea to pursue her dream: becoming a K-Pop idol. In 2016, the aspiring star competed in JYP Entertainment’s 12th audition, where she wowed everyone with her cute visuals and talents. On that fateful day, Mashiro won second place overall in the audition contest, scoring herself a trainee contract with the company.
On Girls Planet 999, Mashiro revealed to viewers that she trained under the company for two years, alongside members of ITZY. After she appeared on JYP Entertainment’s Stray Kids survival show with ITZY’s Yeji, Ryujin, Chaeryeong, and Yuna, many fans of the company expected she’d be part of the lineup for the new girl group.
However, things didn’t quite work out that way, and Mashiro ended up departing JYP Entertainment in 2018. “I wondered if that was it for me,” she lamented, recalling her past experiences. Sakamoto Mashiro says she was “thinking of giving up” at the time.
I was exhausted.
— Sakamoto Mashiro
The Girls Planet 999 contestant went on to reveal that she ended up returning to Japan and even took up part-time jobs, searching for a new occupation. However, whenever she saw her friends on stage as ITZY members, all she could think about what performing. “I was very envious,” the now 21-year-old Mashiro admitted.
Ultimately, although she thought to herself, “I’m giving up,” when she left for Japan, Sakamoto Mashiro says her “heart didn’t agree.” Now, she’s back in Korea again, training under 143 Entertainment and competing for a chance to debut in Mnet’s new girl group.
This is my last chance to try.
— Sakamoto Mashiro
Currently ranked at no.2 among the Japanese contestants on the show, Sakamoto Mashiro has been attracting attention from viewers all over the world. Her Girls Planet 999 introduction video racked up 200,000 views, with many enamored by her voice. Watch her perform (G)I-DLE‘s “DUMDi DUMDi” on the show’s first episode here: