K-pop fans are upset with the Mnet Asian Music Awards 2018 — also known as MAMA 2018 — when it comes to the results for the “Best New Female Artist” award. In a surprise upset, Iz One won the award over (G)I-dle. However, fans believe (G)I-dle should have won.
The reason behind fans being upset has to do with the online voting poll that is put up on the MAMA official website prior to the awards show.
This year, the nominees for “Best New Female Artist” are Iz One, (G)I-dle, GWSN, Fromis_9, Nature, and Loona. As shown in the screen capture of the poll below, (G)I-dle has over half of the votes. Compared to the other acts in the poll, this is clearly a landslide victory.
Unfortunately, fan popularity via vote is not the only factor that determines who wins. Mnet takes in an expert evaluation of many factors which includes album sales, music video views, and live broadcast votes. A representative from Mnet and MAMA provided a statement specifically on the matter between (G)I-dle and Iz One.
“It’s true that (G)I-dle gained many votes online, but they fell behind in album sales. There were no manipulation or [unfair] intervention in the awards.”
Ultimately, we will never truly know how Mnet’s system works. It could be something simple as a sum total of everything a K-pop act does or an elaborate algorithm to decide who wins. Nevertheless, both Iz One and (G)I-dle had amazing debut years.
Starting with the former, Iz One was formed out of Produce 48 and is a Korean and Japanese collaborative group with three of the members being from popular Japanese girl group AKB48.
Their debut song La Vie en Rose has over 39 million views while their debut album Color*Iz has sold more than 200,000 copies in both Korea and Japan altogether.
(G)I-dle is the latest girl group formed out of Cube Entertainment. Right now, they have two hit song, Latata and Hann (Alone). Both of them are very popular and have earned multiple views and sales, but nowhere near breaking the sales Iz One has.
However, if we were to include all songs (G)I-dle were a part of, Miyeon and Soyeon lent their voices for Ahri and Akali respectively for POP/STARS by K/DA. Those two through said collaboration earned (G)I-dle their first trend on Billboard.
And if we were to also take into account how successful (G)I-dle is compared to how their label, Cube Entertainment, treats their girl groups, that is amazing on its own.
For those interested in all the winners at MAMA 2018, a list of them can be found at their official site.