TWICE was formed through a survival reality program called SIXTEEN in which each of the 16 contestants was judged by their singing and dancing skills as well as their charisma and popularity.
In the final episode, there were 7 remaining contestants who would become the fixed members of TWICE. However, Tzuyu and Momo were selected from the group of eliminated contestants and added as additional members of TWICE, sparking controversy over the argument that the program was biased.
Tzuyu was selected as an “extra” member after the final 7 were confirmed due to the fact that “she had been the most loved by viewers and was the contestant who improved the most“.
Momo was chosen for her dancing skills as well as her hard-working personality, acknowledged by the staff and J.Y. Park himself.
In regards to Momo, there are conspiracy theories that claim that they had decided to add Momo as a final member of TWICE before eliminating her. Because Momo had already clearly proven her skills, they assumed there would be no objections when she was added back into the final debut group.
Judging by the expression on Momo’s face when it was announced that she would be added, however, it seems most likely that Momo was not aware of the fact. Nonetheless, some continue to believe that the SIXTEEN staff had decided this plan without telling Momo beforehand.
Another conspiracy theory claims that the final members of TWICE had been determined before the show began. During the press conference before the airing of episode 1, all 9 members of the current TWICE happened to be gathered in the center.
Some claim that the contestants gathered in the center were those that the SIXTEEN staff or J.Y. Park supported or thought of as having the most potential. The program SIXTEEN was also criticized in general for the criteria on judging the contestants as there seemed to be a lack of objective judgment on the contestants.
Members were eliminated despite having shown incredible skills and talent. On the other hand, other members whose singing and rap skills were considered still needing improvement, maintained on the top of the ranks due to their respective fandoms.
It has been clarified, however, that the purpose of the program was not to judge the skills of the trainees, but rather to create a fandom for the group TWICE. Therefore, the criteria for judging the members was, in essence, their ability to create a fandom.
Despite these conspiracy theories, which have not been verified in any way, the goal of the series turned out to be a great success considering TWICE now has the biggest fandom among girl groups!