3 Questions about Produce 101
Kim Sohye has been at the center of the controversy since "Produce 101" began to air. She's not a good singer and dancer at all, but the camera followed her everywhere. That's why the program and Sohye are taking criticism, and some say Sohye's agency has a special bond with Mnet.
Well, before the broadcast, there were concerns over the program. Among the kpop managers, there was a rumor that the TOP 11 has already been chosen by Mnet and Mnet will try to highlight the 11 trainees through the program. In this situation, Mnet wanted to remove this kind of concerns, and needed the Cinderella who can go against people's expectation. Sohye, a young trainee from a small agency, who is not good at singing and dancing but cute and pretty, is the Cinderella chosen by Mnet. Yeah, Mnet and "Produce 101' are just using Sohye.
All the trainees of "Produce 101" seem very desperate. Then, do you think they really want to rank in the top 11? Yes, maybe, but one thing is certain that their agencies don't.
If a trainee ranks in the top 11 and debuts, she has to be active as a member of Mnet's 11-member girl group for 10 months. That's the terms of a contract. 10 months is a long time, right? Kpop agencies think it's a wast of time that their trainees devoted themselves to Mnet for a long time. The 11 trainees have to begin to prepare for their debut again after the disbanding of the temporary girl group.
As you know, various kpop agencies participated in "Produce 101." However, the top 2 agencies SM and YG Entertainment didn't. Do you know why? In short, they don't need to.
SM and YG have their own systems for promoting their rookie artists. SM has been putting efforts into "SM Rookies" project, while YG has promoted its artists through various survival programs such as "WIN: Who Is Next?" and "Mix & Match." On the other hand, small agencies have neither system nor money to promote their trainees, which means "Produce 101" might be a good chance for small agencies.
And one more thing. Big agencies such as SM and YG don't need to cringe to Mnet. SM and YG have the ascendancy over broadcasting companies. Some of kpop agencies who participated in "Produce 101" also didn't want to join the program. However, they had to make their trainees appear in the program because they were afraid of any possible unfair disadvantage. You know, Mnet has a popular music chart show "M Countdown" and many other music programs. The agencies had to bite the bullet and backed down on Mnet's demand.