Produce 48 is one in a long line of talent shows launched by Mnet. Just like its predecessors, the reality competition show was aimed at forming the next popular k-pop girl group. Even though the show more than lived up to its objectives, it, however, suffered from several controversies, official investigations, and allegations of vote-rigging. Although the show must have ended, there are lots of things you probably didn’t know about Produce 48 and all that you’d learn in the following paragraphs.
7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Produce 48
1. The Show was Caught Up in a Police Investigation
Several Mnet shows including Produce X 101 and Produce 48 have been the subjects of police investigations in recent years. These investigations stem from allegations that these shows are not entirely transparent but rather dependent on vote manipulations by Mnet. These claims spurred law enforcement authorities to conduct searches and seizures on some of the agencies that participated in Produce 48 and Produce 101. The actions of the police, however, divided online opinions. While some people described it as a welcome development that would curb the rigging and wrongdoings on the show, others felt that the police should let sleeping dogs lie as the finalists were fully deserving of their place.
2. Produce 48 Resulted in the Formation of IZ*ONE
The show was premised on the basis of producing the next popular girl band, and it delivered on this promise with the formation of IZ*ONE. The 12-woman band made an immediate impact in the k-pop world with their debut EP, Color*Iz, released in October 2018. The EP not only sold over 225,000 copies but also reached number two on the Gaon Album Charts. Color*Iz also fetched the band several awards including new artists of the year award at the Golden Disc Awards and Seoul Music Awards. Since this stellar debut, IZ*ONE has dropped other EPs such as Buenos Aires and Vampire. They have also sold-out concerts in Japan and Korea.
3. Their Rap Trainer Once Survived a Terrible Road Accident
You may remember that the rap trainer on Produce 48 was Cheetah. Cheetah is one of the most popular rappers in South Korea. She has initially played as a member of various hip-hop duos before making her solo debut in 2014. She has since dropped several EPs and hit singles including Flight, Stagger, Blurred Lines, Star Wars, My Number, and Expectation. In January 2007, Cheetah was hit by a bus while crossing the street. She spent some time in a coma but later made a full recovery. The rapper has since revealed the traumatic experience drove her to succeed in her career.
4. The Show Featured a Total of 96 Contestants
Produce 48 featured an astonishing 96 contestants; 57 of them were from Korea while 39 were from Japan. These contestants were not neophytes but were idols with budding careers. The aim of Produce 48 was to assemble the 12 best ladies into a group that would promote together for a year and half. After that period is up, the band would disband or forge on, depending on the success that they have recorded. The 12 members that emerged from the show are Jang Won-Young, Sakura Miyawaki, Jo Yu-ri, Choi Ye-Na, Ahn Yu-Jin, Nako Yabuki, Kwon Eun-Bi, Kang Hye-Won, Hitomi Honda, Kim Chae-Won, Kim Min-joo, and Lee Chaeyeon.
5. Their Vocal Coach is Also an Award-winning Actor
Produce 48’s vocal coach was popular singer/songwriter, Hongki. Hongki is the lead singer of South Korean rock band, F.T Island. He has also dropped some solo works including a Korean EP, FM302, and a Japanese full-length album, AM302. Asides music, Hongki is also a prolific actor. He has featured in several movies, TV series, and musical theatres. Some his notable works include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Vampire, Those Days, How to Steal a Dog, Rockin’ on Heaven’s Door, Magic Kid Masuri, Unstoppable Marriage, On Air, Style, You Are Beautiful, Melting Me Softly, Bride of the Century, My Girlfriend is a Nine Tailed Fox, and Korean Odyssey, etc.
6. Produce 48 Spurned Several Songs and Mini Albums
The show resulted in the release of several hit singles and EPs including 30 Girls 6 Concepts, Produce 48-Final, Rollin’ Rollin, To Reach You, Rumour, See You Again, 100%, I Am We Together, Yume Wo Miteiru Aida, and Suki Ni Naccchau Daro, etc.
7. The Former Trainees Have Since Moved On To Other Endeavours
In the aftermath of the show, some of the trainees re-joined their former groups while some debuted in new ones. They are Park Hae-Yoon (Cherry bullet), Hae-sol (Aqua), Kim Do-ah (Flavor), Kim Si-Hyeon and Wang Yi-ren (Everglow), Kim So-Hee & kim Su-Yun (Rocket Punch). Some of the trainees, such as Alex Christine and Miyu Takeuchi, debuted solo careers, while some of the eliminated trainees also left their agencies. They include Hwang, Kang Da-min, Ko Yu-Jin, Son Eunchae, Lee Yu-jeong, Yoon Eun-Bin, Kim Da-Yeon, Hong Ye-Ji, Kim Yu-Bin, Shin Su-Hyun.