Former “Produce 48” Contestant Unable to Debut Due to Vote Rigging: “I Don’t Like the Victim List Being Revealed…”

On February 21st, former After School member and “Produce 48” contestant Lee Gaeun appeared on the YouTube show Gatalk Chat. She joined an open chat room with other members of the show and there, Gaeun openly shared her feelings about suddenly dropping in the final ranking of Mnet’s survival show “Produce 48” in 2018. 


Throughout the competition, Gaeun’s ranking consistently stayed in the Top 10, and she even reached the No. 1 spot at times. 

However, she eventually plummeted to 14th place and couldn’t debut as a member of IZ*ONE. Later, an investigation revealed vote manipulation affecting the contestants’ rankings, with Gaeun being one of the victims. The truth showed she was actually ranked 5th, fully qualifying her for debut.

Gaeun expressed her pent-up emotions: “When the manipulated victim list on the rankings was disclosed, I was doing my skincare. Just finished, I got a call and was shocked. At first, I thought I did something wrong?”


“Now I can finally share my feelings. Honestly, I don’t like the victim list being disclosed. Sometimes I wish I could forget it all, but when everything unravels, I feel like the whole world is labeling me as a victim. I’m fine, but people around me look at me with pity, so I think this is really difficult.”

After hearing Gaeun’s thought, one viewer commented: “Throughout the competition, Gaeun’s rankings were 5-1-1-1-8-5-5-14 (should have been ranked 5th overall). I almost cried thinking about Gaeun. She debuted with After School then her activities were ‘frozen’ for 5 years before joining Produce 48. When I thought she finally had a chance, she was eliminated due to ranking manipulation…”

Many viewers also left messages of encouragement for Gaeun. Currently, she doesn’t have many aspirations to be active in the entertainment industry and prefers to pursue the work she enjoys.

Source: K14

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