Here’s What The “Produce 101 Season 2” Vote Manipulation Victims Are Doing Now
In 2017, 101 trainees participated in Produce 101 Season 2 for a chance of making it into the boy group Wanna One. While the final lineup was supposed to be decided by viewers, two years later, it was revealed that Mnet had falsified votes and rankings to manipulate the show’s trajectory. Three years later, the courts finally revealed the names of the contestants who were unfairly eliminated by Mnet’s vote manipulation—here’s what they’re doing now.
1. Seong Hyunwoo (AM)
Seong Hyunwoo joined Produce 101 as a trainee under The Vibe Label. In episode five, he ranked 61st, missing the cut-off for the second round by just one place. In 2020, the courts revealed that Seong Hyunwoo’s votes had actually been manipulated and he was unfairly eliminated from the show.
After the show, Hyunwoo went on to sign with a new company: ONO Entertainment. By late 2017, he was gearing up to release a song with labelmate and fellow Produce 101 Season 2 contestant Jang Moonbok (who ranked 27th overall).
Then, in 2019, he was finally able to make his boy group debut in ONO Entertainment’s LIMITLESS. Under the stage name AM (short for AstruM), he became the leader, main rapper, main dancer, and vocalist of the group, which debuted with “Dream Play.”
Sadly, however, after just one more single—”Wish Wish”—LIMITLESS ceased releases and promotions. Fellow member Heeseok left the group in May 2020 due to depression, anxiety disorder, and panic disorder, and ONO Entertainment has now reportedly shut down. Though the group hasn’t official disbanded, member Raychan debuted as Hwichan in Omega X this year.
2. Kang Dongho (Baekho)
After consistently ranking well on Produce 101 Season 2, Kang Dongho ranked 13th in the show’s finale, missing a spot in Wanna One by two places. While his real rank is still unknown, the courts revealed he was unfairly eliminated from the show, meaning he should have debuted in the final lineup. The producers involved in the scandal claimed Kang Dongho wanted to be eliminated from the show due to his anxiety disorder, but the courts went on to confirm that he had no knowledge of his manipulated rank.
Thankfully, Kang Dongho already had a bright idol career as NU’EST‘s Baekho, making his debut long before Produce 101 in 2012. After his elimination from the show, he returned to NU’EST along with fellow members and contestants JR (who ranked 14th) and Ren (who ranked 20th). Since Minhyun, another NU’EST member, was able to make it into Wanna One, the rest of NU’EST formed a subunit in his absence—NU’EST W, the “W” standing for “wait.”
Following NU’EST W’s last release with Wake, N in 2018, the group is back together as five members, and Baekho’s career continues to rise. Last year, he enrolled in a Practical Music degree at Hanyang University Institute for Future Talents and became a model for The Wood hair care.
This year, he went on to make his acting debut in the musical Midnight Sun, playing male lead Ha Ram.