Produce48 has officially come to an end with the final 12 members and their new group name, IZONE. However, fans have noticed something that has taken away some of the excitement they felt over the finale.
The members of IZONE were determined by a combination of text voting during the live show and online votes. While the votes were supposed to go up to the very last episode, a Twitter post has been raising some red flags.
The post was made by an account that sells flight information of celebrities. Its post sold information about the final members’ trip to Japan. While there’s nothing super suspicious about that info, fans noticed that they successfully named 6 of the 12 members of IZONE 3 full days before the final episode.
— KTK536 (@KTK536) August 28, 2018
The post specifically mentions Ahn Yujin, Kwon Eunbi, Kang Hyewon, Kim Minju, Lee Chaeyeon, and Jo Yuri.
Prior to finding this tweet, fans were already questioning the final lineup because of sudden changes in a few of the girls’ rankings, but there was a reasonable explanation for how rankings could change so much. Each text was counted as seven votes, with only one text counted from each phone number.
I will explain why changed the position of #PD48.
The reason is that many students participated in the SMS voting and the SMS voting's weight was high.
— GKangel (@GkMcangel) August 31, 2018
But that still didn’t explain how that Twitter account was able to identify half of the members of IZONE before voting ended. Fans have once again raised the possibility that the voting was rigged.
This wouldn’t be the first time that Mnet was accused of doing this. In June, netizens began questioning the vote counts that were shown on-screen after the stage performances during the 3rd episode. According to those who actually attended the recording, the number of audience members had been a lot less than the alleged vote counts.
For example, after doing some calculations for the results of “Love Whisper”, those who were on-site said there were only about 400 attendees while the sum on screen came out to be 822.
Whether it was fortune telling or pure luck, the account did not respond to how they were able to point out 6 of the debut members. Mnet has also yet to respond to any of the accusations of vote-rigging.