34th Golden Disc Awards Explains How Winners Were Chosen + Why X1 And IZ*ONE Were Excluded

The 34th Golden Disc Awards has explained the process by which it selected this year’s winners.

The first day of this year’s Golden Disc Awards, which focused on digital releases, took place on January 4 at the Gocheok Sky Dome. The second day of the awards show, which will honor achievements by physical album releases, will take place on January 5.

Only songs released between October 2018 and October 2019 were eligible for this year’s digital awards, and the Golden Disc Awards gathered sales and usage data from Gaon Chart until December. The winners were determined according to the song’s usage data (60 percent) and an evaluation by a panel of experts (40 percent).

The 50-percent panel of experts consisted of six members of the Golden Disc Awards Executive Committee (which is made up of music industry experts including critics and distributors), 10 music show producing directors (PDs), four music critics, and 30 pop-culture reporters. The number of experts on the panel was increased by 20 this year in order to add a wider variety of voices and achieve more objective judgment. Additionally, in light of recent mistrust of digital music charts, the weight of the expert panel’s opinion in choosing this year’s award winners was increased by 10 percent.

After a strict evaluation following the process described above, BTS’s “Boy With Luv” was chosen as the Digital Song of the Year (Daesang). BTS received a score of 97.7 out of 100, and the group took home the Grand Prize for the first day of this year’s Golden Disc Awards. 25 out of the 50 experts on this year’s panel wrote “Boy with Luv” as their answer to the question of who should win this year’s Digital Song of the Year (Daesang).

Music critic and Golden Disc Awards Executive Committee member Im Jin Mo remarked, “BTS was the icon of 2019. Based on a comprehensive review of their musical achievements and impact, they deserve to receive the digital Daesang.” A source from one of Korea’s top three music distributors agreed, “Without any hesitation, this year’s Daesang winner is BTS.”

The artist who received the next highest score after BTS was Paul Kim, who won a Bonsang (Main Award) for his hit “Me After You.” He earned a total score of 77.7 and one vote from the expert panel’s Daesang short-answer question. Following Paul Kim, the next highest score went to AKMU’s “How Can I Love the Heartbreak, You’re the One I Love,” which recorded 70.34 points. 13 experts named AKMU as their choice for this year’s Daesang.

Other artists who received expert votes for this year’s Daesang included Chungha (3 votes); ITZY, Jannabi, and Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon (2 votes each); and TWICE (1 vote).

ITZY and TXT won Rookie of the Year, and this award was also calculated using song and album sales (60 percent) and the expert panel’s evaluations (40 percent). Panelists had to choose two teams out of the list of nominees, and ITZY received the most votes with 47 votes, while TXT received 28 votes. As a result, ITZY scored 67.6 points while TXT recorded 32.79 points, and the two groups took home the Rookie of the Year award.

X1 and IZ*ONE, who were previously included in this year’s list of nominees, were excluded from the first and second rounds of the Executive Committee’s evaluations after multiple Mnet staff members were indicted for rigging the “Produce X 101” and “Produce 48” contestants’ rankings.

The Golden Disc Executive Committee commented, “The nominees were chosen based on rankings from quantitative assessment. However, we decided that in a situation where the production staff of the ‘Produce’ series is on trial after being indicted by the prosecution, it wasn’t right to judge teams that were unlawfully formed as nominees, so X1 and IZ*ONE were excluded from the list.”

You can check out the full list of winners from Day 1 of the Golden Disc Awards here, as well as the performances from the awards show here.

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