The 31st Seoul Music Awards was held on January 23. Epex, Lee Mu Jin [soloist], Omega X ended up taking home the rookie award.
For context, the rookie award criteria is as follows, 30% online voting, 40% panelist, 30% music sale, and albums sales. To be eligible to be nominated, the music must be released from January to December 2021.
In terms of sales, among the nominees, IVE takes the lead, the rookie group’s debut song “ELEVEN” did tremendously well on Korean music charts and is still charting well. In terms of votes, the group was among the leading ones in terms of volume in online voting. As a result, many had expected IVE to walk away with a rookie award [for a group, not a soloist].
When the winners’ list was announced, fans were furious to find out that IVE didn’t take home an award, fans began trending the hashtag #SMA_RespectIVE and it became one of the trending topics on Twitter with fans expressing their displeasure with the results.
On the k-netizens side, many are also baffled by the rookie award winners, some of the comments read, ‘who are Epex and Omega X?’ ‘I know Lee Mu Jin, but who are the other two?’ ‘where is IVE?’ and more.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you think IVE should’ve taken home the rookie award?