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X1 makes grand debut despite vote-rigging scandal

  • Published : Aug 28, 2019 - 17:13
  • Updated : Aug 28, 2019 - 17:13

Amid the ongoing vote-rigging scandal plaguing the “Produce 101” series, X1, the new act created through the show’s most recent season, made its grand debut with the first single “Flash.”

Following in the footsteps of predecessor Wanna One, the 11-member project boy band stamped its name on K-pop history in a big way by holding its first-ever media appearance and debut concert at Gocheok Sky Dome in western Seoul on Tuesday.

Formed via “Produce X 101,” the fourth season of Mnet’s popular audition program series, the group consists of the 11 finalists of the show in which viewers voted for their favorites from among 101 contestants. Signed under Swing Entertainment, the band is contracted for activities together for the next five years, the longest term in the history of the series.

(Swing Entertainment)

To much fanfare for nearly 20,000 concertgoers, X1 kicked off the two-hour show with “Stand Up,” one of the tracks from debut EP “Quantum Leap.”

“We’ve been wondering whether we would be able to fill this venue. Today marks our start and it’s so touching to see so many One Its (X1’s official fandom name) who are with us today,” said Cho Seung-youn after the opening performance. Kang Min-hee added, “This is where many renowned acts have performed, and we are so blessed and honored to be here as well.”

X1’s soaring popularity was evident from the ear-splitting screams from fans in the sold-out seats, but it was not exactly optimum timing for the act to debut. The “Produce” series has come under fire for allegedly fixing votes on the show -- for which viewers paid fees -- with police launching an investigation into the program’s production staff late last month.

(Swing Entertainment)

As if to brush aside such controversy, however, X1 made sure fans could fully celebrate its high-profile debut by filling the concert with several exciting elements. After showcasing songs like “Move,” “Like Always,” “U Got It” and “Boyness,” the band took time to connect with fans at a more intimate level with a fun-filled talk show, as well as by screening footage that chronicled the act’s trainee days.

The most anticipated moment of the event came as the act showcased “Flash,” the bombastic lead track from the album that befits the rookie group’s high energy. Mesmerized crowds were able to get one last glimpse of the group as X1 came back to the stage for an encore, performing “I’m Here for You” and “X1-Ma.”

(Swing Entertainment)

Showing gratitude for fans and their families, the bandmates wrapped up the concert by delivering personal remarks. Some became especially emotional.

“I just realized how it feels to be on stage in the name of X1. I wonder when we would be able to reciprocate all your love. I’d like to thank my bandmates for the hard work and I love you, One Its,” said Kim Yo-han. Cha Jun-ho also chimed in, “It took us two hours to get here, but we don’t feel tired at all. You guys are our vitamins and pick-me-ups. We will also become those for you.”

During a press conference that took place prior to the concert, the act showed its strong dedication to its upcoming promotions and will to move forward amid the ongoing vote-rigging scandals.

“Since we’ve been committing ourselves solely to practices and hectic schedules, we couldn’t follow the issue,” said band leader Han.

“But consequently, we just hope to showcase our best selves to our fans who’ve been waiting us and reciprocate their love. So in that way, we hope to wash away all those controversies.”

Upon its release Tuesday evening, “Flash” had topped iTunes K-pop charts in 19 countries around the globe.

By Hong Dam-young (lotus@heraldcorp.com)