'Road to Max': Mnet drop 8 nominated K-pop groups, fans surprised: 'Oh they being fair'

'Road to Max': Mnet drop 8 nominated K-pop groups, fans surprised: 'Oh they being fair'
Secret Number, DKZ, Billlie, Weki Meki are nominated (@5ecretNumber, @dkz_dy, @Billlieofficial, @WekiMeki/Twitter)

While ‘Road To Max’ might have had a rocky start, it is quickly exceeding expectations. Mnet’s newest survival show is a chance for underrated K-pop groups to finally get the recognition they deserve. However, when it was first introduced, Mnet shared that fans could compete to get their favorite K-pop groups to promote on music shows, KCON and perform at award shows. With the possibility of big fandoms winning like that of BTS or Blackpink who were already invited to these events, fans did not understand the concept of the show and felt that it would instead instigate fanwars.

But Mnet finally gave more details on the show and the criteria. Fans could only nominate those K-pop groups who have a debut album and have not won on Mnet’s music show ‘M Countdown’. Fans have been more enthusiastic and have taken to nominating less popular K-pop groups who they feel should get a chance to get invited at MAMA, KCON and get special stages on ‘M Countdown’. We saw fans of groups like Blackswan, KARD, Everglow, DKZ, Secret Number and more voting for their favorites.

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GWSN, MCND, Purple Kiss and Weeekly are nominated (@official_GWSN, @McndOfficial_, @RBW_PURPLEKISS, @_Weeekly/Twitter)

Mnet announces first eight nominees

But not winning on ‘M Countdown’ does not always equate to being underrated as we have popular rookies like aespa, Enhypen and NMIXX. Some fans took to nominating SM’s rookies aespa who have already made it big from performing at Coachella to becoming the first K-pop girl group to be selected as TIME’s ‘Next Generation Leaders’. HYBE’s rookie boy group Enhypen is also doing pretty well as they became the fastest and youngest million-sellers. And so fans were pleasantly surprised when Mnet announced the first eight nominated K-pop groups for ‘Road To Max’ who could benefit from the show.

The eight nominated K-pop groups are:
Billlie - They debuted in 2021 and turned heads for including Suyeon of ‘Girls Planet 999’ fame, Astro Moonbin’s sister Moon Sua while Tsuki went viral for her facial expressions.
DKZ (Dongkiz) - The 2019 group are seeing a chart reversal after Jaechan’s BL K-drama ‘Semantic Error’ was the most-watched web drama surpassing even Netflix shows in South Korea.
GWSN - They debuted in 2018, have a dynamic discography and are known to be exceptional dancers from members learning choreography in 30 minutes to training for a decade.
MCND - MCND debuted in 2020 with ‘Ice Age’ and are already on their first world tour which began in April.
Purple Kiss - Purple Kiss was one of the rookie groups to keep an eye on in 2021 as their single ‘Zombie’ was high on the charts and broke the highest-first day sales at that time for a female rookie act to debut in 2021.
Secret Number - Having debuted in 2020, they went viral for their first-ever OST (original soundtrack) which was for the hit K-drama 'Business Proposal’.
Weeekly - Weeekly is another popular rookie group that had taken South Korea by storm with their single ‘After School’ which reached 100 million YouTube views in only six months.
Weki Meki - They are the oldest group having debuted in 2017. They have members that had joined the iconic project group I.O.I after winning ‘Produce 101’.



In the first round of 'Road To Max', the top three teams with the most votes will get to perform on ‘M Countdown’ for the segment 'Road to M Countdown'. Fans can vote for two artists in a day. The voting period for round 1 is from May 13 to May 25 at 3 pm KST (2 am ET). The winners of round 1 will be announced on ‘M Countdown’ on May 26. Fans can start voting on mnet.world.

‘Cheer up’

Some fans were upset at KARD and Blackswan not making it, “Again excluding KARD? nothing new, but thank you very much hidden for voting for them and thanks to all who supported, now it's better time to focus on the 1st Win 😇, cheer up!!!” and “No blackswan?? definitely racially motivated. im highly upset. BLACKSWAN were on about 3 articles for groups that fans really wanted to see.. yet they're not up here.” One fan added, “Yeah i was right this show for nugu groups who needs both international and national exposure.” Another commented, “Oh they being fair fair.”





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