About a day before the concept evaluation stages took place last week, some of the trainees were instructed to stand out in the streets, mostly nearby subway station entrances and exits, to see if people would recognize them by name. If approaching passersby could not say the name of the trainee standing there, they had to advertise themselves by doing some sort of PR whether it was dance, singing, etc.
Netizens took photos of the trainees who were spotted standing on the bustling streets, wearing casual, matching clothing provided by 'Produce 101'. According to those who spotted some of the trainees in person, many of them lacked proper bodyguards, creating the potential for dangerous situations, both for the trainees as well as for fans and others in the surrounding area.
Fans of MMO's Yoon Ji Sung claimed that his area was so overcrowded and hectic, the trainee wasn't able to perform any sort of PR, just constantly apologizing and asking people not to get too close or push.
Netizens criticized Mnet's method of testing the trainees' popularity, pointing out that the event was "belittling the low-ranking trainees" more than anything. Comments included, "How could they do this to boys who have to practice for their stages the next day", "This is ridiculous", "Are the boys your toys or something?", "If you're bored, go work on some better editing", "I feel so bad for them... why is this necessary", and more.
It seems that only trainees who were part of the group performing "Showtime" were spotted on this particular day. It's uncertain if trainees from other groups will be doing this mission in the future.
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