Mnet‘s Idol School has been revealed to have manipulated the trainees’ rankings a total of 233 times over the course of the show.
According to the 12th Subcommittee to Broadcast Deliberation’s meeting notes which were released on September 28 KST, it was revealed by Jeong Kyung Shik the extent of Idol School’s trainee ranking manipulation.
In a survival style music show that is selecting girl group members, from episodes 2 to 11, the rankings were manipulated 233 times in total.
When the 4th eliminations were announced, 10 trainees who were subject to elimination remained in the competition while 10 trainees who were supposed to stay in the competition were unfairly eliminated.
— Jeong Kyung Shik
It was also shared that chief producer “Kim”, who was sentenced to one year in prison and fined ₩10.0 million KRW (about $8,420 USD), has reached a settlement with those who were affected by the manipulation, including Lee Haein. It was revealed earlier that Lee Haein was originally ranked in first place, but her rank was manipulated as the producers felt like she didn’t match the image of the group.
Members of the committee shared that these type of audition programs have great social impact, as they cause lots of public interest and also affect the contestants’ future. Those who attempt to do things such as changing the rankings are intentionally cheating individuals from a fair competition. The final level of sanctions for Idol School are expected to decided at a future date.