In an unfortunate turn of events, another idol survival program had voting errors that impacted the results. It was revealed during an audit of KBS’s The Unit that incorrectly entered votes lead to the mistake. The board concluded there was not intended favor, though that only proves that there’s really no escape from some form of mess on these voting shows.
On September 24, the Board of Audit and Inspection of Korea released their periodic audit report on KBS. According to the report, when the final episode of “The Unit” aired on February 10, 2018, the freelance writer in charge entered the pre-broadcast viewer votes from a third-party company, which altered the overall scores of the show’s contestants. According to the Board, 15 of the 18 male contestants and 13 of the 18 female contestants in the finale had scores that were different from the ones that were recorded on the show. The finale of KBS’s “The Unit” was supposed to select nine male members and nine female members to form the project groups on the basis of pre-broadcast online votes and real-time text votes sent in during the live broadcast of the final episode. The mistake occurred while tallying the online vote results. Because of this error, three members (two male, one female) who should have been eliminated ended up in the final group, while three members who should have been in the final group were eliminated. In response to the Board’s report, KBS responded, “This was a simple error that occurred in a situation where only three of the 10 internal producers were doing all the work because of a general strike at KBS that was happening during the production and broadcast of the final episode. There was no intention to favor specific contestants over others.” The Board noted that the mistake resulted in unfair results for the participants and caused damage to the public trust placed in public broadcasting networks and stated their intention to issue a warning to the KBS president and all those who were involved in the business.
The change impacted 28 contestants out of the 36, which makes sense since if it was a data entry error then it should alter results basically across the board.
Despite my cynicism about these matters, it seems probable that it was just a mistake, if nothing else because I’m honestly not sure the stakes were ever high enough to make rigging worth it. Quite frankly, I just gave KBS credit for actually going through with debuting the winners despite the ratings, something that can’t be said for YG Entertainment’s MIXNINE.
Either way, it’s unfortunate and negligent nevertheless, and I do feel bad for those who could’ve gotten another chance.
The results were as follows.