As most people heard by now, Youth With You 3 has been officially canceled. None of the trainees are debuting, there will be no final live broadcast. There are numerous scandals that got them to this point but I think all of this is a product of greed taking over rationale. The first thing is the duration of this show.
Survival shows love dragging their shows, prolonging their duration to make money. However what they don’t account for is that the longer you make your show, the more your trainees become a liability because that gives anti-fans time to hunt for dirt or create their own. These survival shows love milking the shows, only showing small portions per week. This actually makes these shows rather unenjoyable as by the time the next week comes, many already forgot what happened before.
To give you an idea, Youth With You started at the exact same time as Chuang 2021 but Chuang ended their show a few weeks ago (April 24th) already with a new group. Youth With You was scheduled for their live finale this week.
I think it’s a tradition for trainees to get dragged through the mud especially during the last stretches of these shows. It happens pretty much every year as people try to dig for dirt or fabricate when they don’t find anything incriminating. This time, there was controversy starting from the beginning. Under some extreme circumstances, Chinese netizens can be very unforgiving and in this case, forcing Tony Yu out of the competition entirely. Had they been faster with this show, he could have debuted before all of this came out.
While the rumors and scandal would still happen, he’d be under contract and can have a larger platform to defend himself. In addition to his rumors, many other contestants have had their scandals. They’ve mostly been forgotten because they happened towards the beginning or middle of the show. As far as the rumors go, because this has happened multiple times, I’m choosing to take it with a grain of salt.
Regardless of what Tony Yu’s family used to do, it shouldn’t be a reflection on his hard work. As for the cheating rumors, I feel like it’s irrelevant towards performance. As long as none of the trainees has every engaged in sexual assault and other non-consensual behavior, I personally don’t care. No one is perfect, especially the people trying to create scandals. It’s dumb to try to drag someone for something they didn’t do or something that happened over five years.
FOOD WASTE SCANDAL
Regarding the milk incident. For those that don’t know, the main sponsor of this show is a beverage brand called Zhen Guo Li. Basically, when you buy a Zhen Guo Li milk bottle, you get a code from inside the bottle cap that allows you to cast votes for your favorite trainee. This is a very smart way of marketing and increasing sales for the sponsor. The problem was that fans bought in bulk and tossed the milk afterward causing a whole controversy on food waste. This is where I think the sponsors got a little over their head and short-sighted.
There are multiple marketing strategies that could have created a very positive outcome
- The first is to put the code outside of the bottle but conceal it, much like the way McDonald’s did its monopoly game. That way you can purchase milk but access the code without opening it which preserves the shelf life. This would make them easier to transport or give away. While China has done a lot of work to lower the poverty line by a huge margin, there are still many that live in poverty as any other country.
- Zhen Guo Li could have made this into an opportunity for charity. A strategy they could use is instead of purchasing actual bottles of milk, donate milk bottles and redeem codes digitally. I’m partly glad that the government hammered down on them. This is not only food waste but enormous environmental waste which I know the Chinese government has been working really hard on so this goes against their agenda. (I also heard there are laws against food waste)
- Zhen Guo Li could have also marketed ways you can repurpose milk. For example, you can use milk to make ice cream, many types of pastries, pies, puddings, etc.. They could have created a whole series of the trainees using their milk to create desserts and dishes. This could inspire the fans to repurpose the milk whilst preventing food waste.
The reality is most people throw away stuff they don’t need especially perishables like milk. A good marketing team would have thought about this as a hollistic system and come up with a strategy to address food waste.
People do the same exact thing with K-pop albums all the time. They buy a bunch for photocards or fansigns and toss the albums. Many of them try selling them without photocards. However K-pop albums create mostly create environmental waste with no addition of food waste.
The producers of this show and fans need to apologize to all the trainees. They spent so many months just working hard for a dream in which none are fulfilled by the end of the show. From what I heard, many rumors are started by fans trying to drag one trainee down in order to boost their favorite. I definitely believe this as Tony Yu was ranked #1 and therefore had the largest target on his back. And if this holds true, then the fans shot themselves in the feet because none of their idols are debuting at this time.
I hope Tony Yu finds the strength to reinvent himself. I think if he puts his focus on artistry instead of the idolism portion of his career, he can make it big. I also hold enormous sympathies for Jun Liu. He had lost his father during the show and couldn’t make it back to Malaysia for a proper farewell. Perhaps had he been able to debut, it would have been a great honor, but now he’s left as part of the unfortunate semi-final nine that will never debut together. The silver lining is that he’s a genius dancer and choreographer so will do well anywhere.