Back on May 13, LE SSERAFIM scored a controversial win on KBS‘s Music Bank over popular singer Lim Young Woong. The controversy was primarily over his broadcast score being zero, which led to fan outrage and then Dispatch investigating and finding evidence that he deserved something in that category. However, with allegations of rigging ongoing, Music Bank offered their own explanations for the apparent oddity.
As “Music Bank” rankings are determined 60 percent by digital scores, 20 percent by broadcast scores, 10 percent by viewer panel surveys, 5 percent by physical album sales, and 5 percent by social media scores, Lim Young Woong’s fan club demanded that KBS explain how a song that was overwhelmingly in the lead based on digital scores could fall to second place due solely to its broadcast score. Initially, “Music Bank” responded to the complaints by explaining that “If We Ever Meet Again” received a broadcast score of 0 points because it was not played on any KBS TV programs, radio programs, or digital content during the tracking week of May 2 to 8. However, Dispatch soon published a report pointing out that Lim Young Woong’s “If We Ever Meet Again” had, in fact, been played multiple times on KBS radio stations during that tracking week. In response to Dispatch’s report, “Music Bank” stated, “The radio broadcast score is calculated using only seven KBS Cool FM radio programs. Aside from these seven programs, other [KBS radio] programs do not factor into our scores.”
Obviously nothing would surprise me at all in terms of rigging, as it’s far from the first questionable result on these programs.
Either way, Lim Young Woong’s dedicated older fandom are taking action. A complaint was filed against Music Bank for the alleged rigging (fraud, I guess) and now police are investigating.
As allegations of rigging continued to grow, a civilian eventually filed a complaint with South Korea’s Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission accusing “Music Bank” of tampering with Lim Young Woong’s broadcast score. On May 29, the police confirmed that the Yeongdeungpo Police Station in Seoul had received the complaint and had begun investigating the case. “As the allegations have not yet been confirmed, we currently plan to investigate by speaking to the complainants and more,” stated the police. “If the allegations of manipulation are found to be true, we will switch to a full-scale investigation.”
While I understand that these wins still seem to mean something to people in the industry, it’s a great time to point out that they are effectively meaningless in terms of validating the popularity of an artist. Whether he gets this or not, people love the guy and his star has already arrived. Certainly no dumb win on a niche show that gets like 0.1% ratings is gonna change that or matter in the big picture.