Last weekend on July 19th, the Produce x 101 program finally met its season finale and 11 members were chosen to debut as the group X1. Although there's no question that the 11 finalists are exemplary choices as X1 members, fans are doubting whether the process of selection was fair.
So many evidences are spotted! Fans are furiously demanding for an explanation.
The show Produce x 101, now on its 4th season, is one of the most popular Korean reality shows. In the show, 101 K-pop idol trainees compete for their places to debut in the 11 member idol group, X1. And over the last two months, 101 trainees were tested in vocals, dance skills, stage performance, among other attributes necessary to become a K-pop idol. Those who don't make the cut in evaluation or who failed to get enough votes from the viewers were consequently eliminated.
So far, the show has debuted talented and eligible trainees without a problem, but for this season, the selection process of the debut members are under suspicion of being rigged.
In the last episode, only 20 among 101 have survived the brutal process of evaluation and elimination. Among them, only 11 debut members were supposed to be chosen to debut by the viewers' votes.
From 1st to 11th place, their places are marked by the number of viewer votes. It was here where the viewers couldn't help but notice something peculiar.
Here are the vote counts from 1st place to 10th place.
Do you see that something is off too?
Let's look at it a little more closely.
The 1st and 2nd place votes differ by 29,978 votes.
And again, 2nd and 3rd votes differ by 29,978 votes as well.
That's not all the number 29,978 is repeated 3 more times. between 6th and 7th place, 7th and 8th place, 10th and 11th place, the vote counts all differ by 29,978.
Can this be brushed off as a mere coincidence?
Maybe. But there's more.
The votes of 8th place, Nam Do Hyun, and 9th place, Cha Jun Ho differ by 7,494. Strangely the number 7494 is repeated multiple times. Look at the number color-coded in yellow. The difference between the votes oddly repeat 7,494 or 7,495. Even the number 29,978 (highlighted in blue) is multiple of the number 7494.5 This seems like too big of a coincidence to ignore.
How can the vote counts have such a consistent difference? There would be a very slim chance that this all happened naturally.
Fans are angrily demanding for an explanation from Mnet, the broadcasting company of the show. Viewers are furious at the possibility of the votes being rigged and their votes not being taken into account. Their anger is even fueled by the fact that it costs the viewers 100 KRW to cast a vote.
Fans even issued a signed statement demanding Mnet give clarity to this situation and to reveal the raw data and exact numbers. Below is the signed statement demanding Mnet for a truthful explanation of the situation.
These trainees who participated in the program all came with the same hope that they would be guaranteed the equal opportunity to debut. They asked for so little, nothing but a fair game to achieve their life-long dreams. It would truly be a tragedy if Mnet had planted false hope in the innocent trainees' minds and tampered with the program's results to sabotage anyone's chance for a debut.
By Yeonseung Kim and Bongbong firstname.lastname@example.org
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