Police To Investigate Controversial “Music Bank” Score That Led To LE SSERAFIM’s Win Over Lim Young Woong

The police has confirmed that they have begun investigating whether KBS’s “Music Bank” manipulated Lim Young Woong’s controversial broadcast score that ultimately led to his loss.

Earlier this month, “Music Bank” was swept up in controversy when the music show gave Lim Young Woong a broadcast score of 0 points on its May 13 episode. The candidates for first place were Lim Young Woong’s “If We Ever Meet Again” and LE SSERAFIM’s “FEARLESS,” and while Lim Young Woong’s song outperformed LE SSERAFIM’s by far in terms of digital performance and album sales, LE SSERAFIM ultimately took the win due to the huge gap in their broadcast scores.

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.”

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.”

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