Mnet promises impartiality in new audition program with Big Hit Entertainment

Cable channel Mnet promised Wednesday to be fair in picking winners for its new audition program “I-LAND,” made with Big Hit Entertainment that represents K-pop titan BTS.


mnet audition

Mnet has been mired in a vote-fixing scandal since last year after Ahn Joon-young ― the director of all four seasons of popular audition show “Produce 101” ― was accused of manipulating results in favor of certain contestants. Ahn was given a two-year prison term and fined 37 million won ($30,000) at his first trial in May. “We have endeavored to ensure impartiality this time by deciding to conduct the vote on external platform Weverse,” Mnet official Jung Hyung-jin said during an online press conference. Weverse is an online/mobile fan community launched by Big Hit.

IU into the iland


“We will also invite outside observers, who will keep their eyes on the vote counting,” Jung said. I-LAND is a competition show for 23 male idol trainees who are training at Belift Lab, a joint venture established last March by Big Hit and Mnet’s operator CJ ENM. The contenders will vie to debut as a K-pop boy band under Belift. Big Hit’s founder and chairman Bang Si-hyuk will work as a producer for the group.

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The trainees will spend 113 days in a colossal oval-shaped building specifically constructed for the program. The three-story edifice offers a stage, bedrooms, and a living room, among others, to provide contestants the space to prepare for the competition. Unlike other audition shows, I-LAND will have its own “worldview” and center on storytelling. “I have been producing singers for more than 20 years, but this is my first time featuring in a program like this,” Bang Si-hyuk, who serves as general producer for the show, said. “It is not merely about competition and accomplishing the missions ― the participants have to make choices on their own and seek ways for self-development. I will give my help to them.”

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mnet BigHit

The mastermind behind BTS also disclosed how he would evaluate the trainees. “I am planning to assess them based on three criteria,” he said. “First, I would see how much contribution a trainee makes to his group and also check whether he is a self-starter or not. Lastly, I will look for those with potential.” But further details ― such as the number of final winners and the exact selection process ― have been kept under wraps. I-LAND will premiere on June 26 (KST). Singer-actor Rain, also known as Jung Ji-hoon, and rapper-cum-producer Zico appear as producers/judges.

Source: The Korea Times

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