How To Improve Produce 101 (?)

With recent vote-rigging scandals on Produce series, some weak points are being revealed. In this essay, we will attempt to present improvements on these shows. Side comments also included.


IZ*ONE recently suspended their comeback, which was supposed to be on November 11. X1, on the other hand, had to shy away from some engagements. Reunions of Wanna One and I.O.I are being halted.

These are happening amidst vote manipulations in Produce series, led by PD Ahn Joon Young. Producers picked talents even before actual vote began. Worse, appearances and scenes are edited to make other talents look good (which even GFRIEND’s SinB noticed when she appeared there, and Produce took her words out of context).

It led to trainees’ parents and fans to clamor for improvements, or them pressing charges against producers. While we see some fans now taking proactive approach, this revelation is definitely one of the worst events in K-Pop for this year.

To disband IZ*ONE and X1 or not, the author is strictly neutral on this. What matters for us is on how to improve these kinds of programs.

Produce series are intended to “produce” talents for K-Pop, and give fresh blood to the genre. Winning trainees are debuted for a limited time, and afterwards go back to their respective agencies.


TheBiasList made some good points on how Produce is stifling the K-Pop industry. From that point, the author will supply the blogger’s write-up with some matters to be considered.

From the title itself, the meaning is pretty obvious. At least in theory. But if the new group turns out to be so popular, it has to be given a permanent place. Not one year or five years contract. If they are intending to debut groups for a limited time, it must be given to other shows, not for Produce.

It’s unwise to “produce” groups if they are only given short lives. More than supposed profits that might be foregone if the project group disbanded, many fans will get hurt and dismayed.

As to the nature of Produce focusing more on popularity, it must develop mechanisms to emphasize talent. This must not be overlooked. Especially that we reviewers are sensing some downturn on quality of performances unlike in the past.

Finally, voting results must be vouched by a third-party, preferably auditing firms (like EY, KPMG, Grant Thornton). Aside from vouching for truthfulness of results, it verifies integrity of voting process.

It’s already apparent that Produce lacks internal control, with overrides like vote puffing, cooking show, and “nightlife” to manipulate votes.

Final Words

Prospects for Produce series point to its ultimate demise. Nevertheless, these points are very helpful for networks and agencies who want to replicate the show’s format.

It is sincerely hoped that future shows which follow Produce will learn lessons from latter. Repeating mistakes like that today is very costly and damaging.

Featured Image Credit: Soompi

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