[Maeil Business Newspaper Park Se-yeon]

Mnet’s “Produce X 101′” failed to overcome suspicions of vote-rigging and has requested police to investigate the case, causing confusion. This has cast dark clouds over the future of X1 who was selected as the debut group, but each agency is trying to make a dramatic reversal by supporting X1’s activities.

According to multiple K-pop officials, the heads of the agency of the 20-member trainees who advanced to final live broadcasts of the “Produce X” held an emergency meeting around Seoul to discuss the future direction of the trainees’ activities on the 29th.

At the meeting, the heads of the agency agreed to proceed with X1’s debut as scheduled on the 27th August. As the controversy over the manipulation of the “Produce X” vote has enlarged to a police investigation, the incident bode for a long-term, but they have decided to proceed with the debut project as scheduled for the cause and further for the dreams of trainees.

An official said, “It is true that there was a meeting between management agencies today (29th).” “They agreed to proceed as scheduled.”

An X1 official said to Maeil Business Newspaper “14 agencies with 20 members of Mnet’s ‘Produce X 101’ decided to support X1’s debut at the meeting”. “The 11-member group will debut without any changes in its members. the debut will also take place as scheduled on 27th Aug”. They added.

In a live broadcast of the final episode, Kim Yo-han, Kim Woo-suk, Han Seung-woo, Song Hyung-joon, Cho Seung-yeon, Son Dong-pyo, Lee Han-gil, Nam Do-hyun, Cha Jun-ho, Kang Min-hee, and Lee Eun-sang were confirmed as a new boy group, X1, members.

However, the suspicion of vote-rigging was raised in the way that the difference in the number of votes among trainees ware repeated consistently in the final vote count data released by Mnet after the broadcast. The suspicion was fueled by the analysis that the number of votes from the top to the top 20 is all described as a multiple of a specific number, ‘7494.442’.

While some netizens set up a truth committee for the “Produce X” to file complaints against the producers, Ha Tae-kyung, a lawmaker of the Bareunmirae Party, said, “’Produce X’s rigging accident is a kind of employment irregularity and job fraud.” And the controversy has grown.

According to an explanation released by “Produce X” in 5 days, the production team admitted their faults but the suspicions not resolved at all. And Mnet eventually said, “We conducted our own investigation after the controversy broke out, but we will ask a credible investigative agency to investigate the case because we believe there is a limit to finding out the facts,”

Despite the chaotic atmosphere, each agency seems to get direction about X1 debut project. However, it is heard that the plan to launch the By9, a derivative group that was scheduled to consist of nine members who failed to join the debut group, will be discussed later.

psyon@mk.co.kr

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