I’m sure you all have heard of Netflix’s hit show Physical: 100.
Whether it’s from scrolling through social media at work or hearing about it at every lunch break, the show has been dominating mainstream media for the past few months.
Recently, however, the show was accused of rigging its results.
Here’s what happened.
What is Physical: 100 and Who Are These People?
Physical: 100, a show recently rampant in Netflix categories and TikTok highlights, is a South Korean fitness reality show that premiered in January 2023.
The competition is hosted by Korean-American television personality Eric Nam, with fitness trainers leading the physically gifted contestants through rigorous training sessions.
So far, the show has gained widespread popularity for its unique format and intense challenges. Viewers tuned in weekly to watch their favourite players win and emerge as the ultimate champion of the competition.
The show ended on 21 February 2023, with Olympic Cyclist Jung Hae Min and CrossFit Athlete Woo Jin Young facing each other in a finals showdown for a prize of 300 million won (S$306,000).
Though it ended just a week ago, allegations of rigging have arisen. The highly-anticipated finals of Physical: 100 have been rocked by allegations of rigging and controversy surrounding one of the contestants and the production team.
According to leaked sources, the showdown between both contestants was not as fair as it seemed.
Rigging and Controversy
Reports indicate that there were behind-the-scenes dealings that may have affected the outcome of the competition. Allegations of preferential treatment have surfaced, leading to questions about the legitimacy of the finals.
When questioned by media outlets, Woo Jin Young, the winner, refused to comment on the issue.
On the other hand, Jung Hae Min mentioned that he initially wanted to keep quiet and accept the final game’s result. However, when he saw that the show had claimed last Sunday that no rematch was held during the filming in August 2022, he began to reconsider his stance.
Viewers have pointed out that in the game of tug-of-war, Woo Jin Young’s rope appears to be much easier to pull. Rumours of the final quest being played three times were also mentioned. Viewers complained that rematches could’ve affected the game by making it a test of endurance instead of raw physical strength and speed.
These claims note that Jung Hae Min, the widely favoured contestant to be the victor, was winning in the first round. However, Woo Jin Young stopped the round mid-game, stating an issue regarding his equipment. After the production staff checked it and found no problems, the competition was restarted. Lubrication was added, which altered the game’s difficulty level.
Jung Hae Min was also favoured to win in the second round. However, just as he was about to win, there were audio issues, and the staff requested to move to a different location. This resulted in yet another rematch.
“Coerced” into a Rematch
Jung recalled in an interview on Tuesday with South Korean media outlet Ilyo: “When I thought to myself ‘this is the end’, the production team called to stop the match again, but I kept pulling on the rope first to end the match.”
He recounted being told that there was an audio problem with the match, so the video footage couldn’t be used for the show.
“As long as you’re okay with a rematch, we will shorten your rope and start again.”
Jung then mentioned refusing this. “I kept repeating that I’ve used up all my strength and can’t do it again.”
The production team proceeded to coerce the contestant into another round with the shortened rope length despite Jung’s complaints about having no strength to continue. This ultimately resulted in his loss in the third round.
He had succumbed to pressure as the alternative was for hundreds of crew to return to reshoot the next day.
“Back then, I felt some pressure and felt that the rematch had to be done, even though I continued to say no. My head was filled with the thought, ‘Am I not allowed to win this?'” said Jung.
Wanted an Accurate Picture of What Happened
Jung wanted to clarify that his motive for speaking out was not for a rematch or another chance at the prize money. He simply wanted the editing of the finale to accurately reflect how the events played out.
He has also mentioned that he wished netizens to refrain from attacking Woo, who has been quiet post-allegations so far.
Netflix’s Response To The Situation
“We confirmed with the production team at MBC that there were no technical issues with the game equipment. We’d also like to confirm Jung Hae Min did not request a rematch,” quoted Netflix Korea in an official statement on 28 February 2023.
As fans of Physical: 100 eagerly await official word on the controversy, many are left wondering what this means for the future of the stars and further production of the widely successful competition. Will there be an investigation into the alleged rigging?
Only time will tell, but one thing is certain.
The rigging between Jung Hae Min and Woo Jin Young will become one of the most controversial endings in Korean reality competitions.
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