Never has a show been shadowed by so much drama, controversy, and corruption like Produce X 101. The boy group survival reality show, which is a brainchild of Mnet, was recently in the news as the Korea Communications Standards Commission announced plans to fine Mnet 30 million won for breaking rules. Produce X 101 is the 4th season of the Produce 101 franchise. Produce 101 is popular with airings in South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka. It has featured hundreds of K-pop hopefuls competing for places in audience-voted groups. The series enabled the formation of I.O.I., Wanna One, and IZ*ONE.
The format is unique for having no panel of judges but instead employs audience participation. The public, referred to as “national producers,” votes via mobile phones for 11 members to form a band from 101 trainees in various Entertainment Companies. The finale was held on the 19th of July, 2019, and was broadcast live. Lee Dong-wook, the MC of the show, announced the boy group’s name, X1 and the famous girl group IZ*ONE performed at the finale.
7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Produce X 101
1. X1’s debut EP titled Emergency: Quantum Leap was announced on the 1st of August, 2019 and released on the 27th of the same month. Concept images featuring each of the members were released from August 9 to August 19. On the 8th, 9th and 10th episodes of Produce X 101, the 31 remaining trainees were split into five teams and given five new songs from different producers, with different genres. The concept was named 31 Boys 5 Concepts. Tracks like U Got It and Move were hugely popular.
2. Mnet’s production of the Produce series has recently come under scrutiny for allegedly altering vote counts, and there is currently an ongoing investigation in South Korea into the results of Produce X 101 as well as prior seasons. On the 20th of August, 2019, a search warrant was issued on CJ E&M offices and a text voting company by the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency. Several brands canceled their endorsement deals with X1 or put them on hold. The police also investigated several agencies involved in Produce 48, the previous season. Despite the allegations, X1’s lineup debuted, and the companies behind Produce X 101‘s finalists agreed to the group moving forward as is.
3. Lee Jin-hyuk, better known by his stage name Wei, competed on Produce X 101 before eventually joining UP10TION under TOP Media in September 2015. Although Lee Jin-hyuk did not make the lineup of the Produce X 101 project group X1, his popularity received a boost after he competed on the show. He appeared as a guest of the celebrity talk show Radio Star and opened up about his experiences after the finale of Produce X 101. He revealed for the first time publicly that he has a heart condition.
4. Cho Seung-youn, who goes by the stage name WOODZ finished in fifth place in Produce X 101 to join the project group X1. He debuted under Swing Entertainment but had begun his musical career by signing under YG Entertainment as a trainee in Team C. In 2014 he was the main rapper and sub-vocalist of South Korean-Chinese boy band UNIQ. In addition to his talents, he wrote and produced songs for K-pop, C-pop and K-R&B artists. Cho Seung-youn
5. Kim Woo-seok, also known by the stage name Wooshin, is a South Korean singer who debuted as a member of South Korean band UP10TION in 2015. Wooshin was accused of sexually assaulting South Korean singer Jeon So-mi, also known as Somi, and was continuously bombarded with hate comments as a result. The incident happened in 2016 when Wooshin and Somi were hosts of SBS’s The Show. The scandal began after a backstage video surfaced in which Wooshin appeared to be waving his hand intentionally to touch Somi’s chest.
At the time, she was 15 and Wooshin was labeled a pedophile for this and his agency at, TOP Media, made an official announcement, stating that he was going through mental stress at the time. He went on a hiatus shortly after and returned to the group nine months later. He joined his members with the release of their first full album, Invitation. In 2019, he rose to prominence after finishing second on Produce X 101, which made him a member of X1.
6. Before signing up for Produce X 101, South Korean rapper Nam Do Hyon who goes by the stage name Dohyon, was signed under MBK Entertainment. He was seen on Under Nineteen, another survival television show for trainees under the age of 19 but didn’t make the cut. However, he steadily amassed a good number of fans through the show. The singer who was only fourteen years old at the time, finished eighth in Produce X 101, becoming a member of the project group X1.
7. Produce X 101’s X1 had its debut show at Gocheok Sky Dome on the 22nd of August, 2019. The band won their first-ever music trophy on SBS MTV’s The Show on the 3rd of September. They went on to receive eleven wins for their debut song FLASH, receiving their last win on M Countdown on the 19th of September.