Insiders Discuss Why Some Agencies Have Concerns About Mnet’s “Road To Kingdom” And “Kingdom”

According to a report by Ilgan Sports, there’s been some disapproval and concern within the industry about the upcoming Mnet show “Kingdom” and its prequel show “Road to Kingdom.”

Ilgan Sports reported on March 17 that ahead of the late April premiere of “Road to Kingdom,” the producers have held pre-show meetings and are wrapping up the casting of seven to eight groups. The groups who will be competing on the show will be unveiled to each other during the first recording on March 20.

The winner of “Road to Kingdom” will then go on to take part in “Kingdom.” The show is the boy group version of last year’s “Queendom,” which featured competitors Lovelyz, MAMAMOO, Park Bom, Oh My Girl, AOA, and (G)I-DLE. The show’s format features artists going head to head as they perform a variety of different concepts, and they also face off by releasing music on streaming sites simultaneously.

Ilgan Sports reports that the show “Kingdom” is planning to air in late July or August. Since idol groups often have tight schedules including overseas tours, the producers have been approaching some groups since last year and have planned out their lineup. Ilgan Sports writes that an issue came up during this process. According to an insider, some groups that were positively in talks to appear on the show decided not to take part, which has shaken up the original plan for “Kingdom” to feature only groups that have won on a music show. The “Road to Kingdom” program was therefore started.

The production team has reportedly asked everyone to keep things quiet as they carry out the casting process for “Kingdom” and “Road to Kingdom.” Nevertheless, such secrets usually come out. People therefore have been talking about who belongs on “Kingdom” and who belongs on “Road to Kingdom,” due to the discrimination based on popularity ingrained in the program, which is evident even in the shows’ titles.

The fact that the winner of “Road to Kingdom” will be appearing on “Kingdom” is also an issue for some agencies. It would be difficult for anyone to just take the tactic of “We may have lost, but we put up a good fight” since not coming in first would mean losing the chance to appear on “Kingdom.” At the same time, the winner of “Road to Kingdom” will have to devote time to appearing on “Kingdom” too, meaning the group spends more than half a year essentially tied up with an Mnet audition program.

A source in the music industry stated, “It was said that the groups could just prepare for it lightly as though it were a music show, but everyone found out through ‘Queendom’ that it’s actually a fierce competition. There could be a lot of pressure on the artists because their skills are revealed as is. From the agency’s perspective, they may have to make new plans for their album release based on the results of the show, so it’s not necessarily just a great competition either.”

While reports have been shared about the artists allegedly going on “Road to Kingdom,” Mnet has declined to confirm its lineup before the groups meet each other at the first filming. It has been confirmed that “Queendom” hosts Lee Da Hee and Jang Sung Kyu will be hosting the “Road to Kingdom” competition.

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