In the latest “Youth With You 3” (青春有你 3) episode that aired on March 6, THE9’s Esther Yu (虞书欣), who serves as the “Youth Tutor”, gives a pep talk to the dance group trainees after announcing their rankings. She said, “Even though I wasn’t that awesome, but each of my peers at the time were all working much harder than you all…There will be 9 people that debut in the end, but after you guys debut, how many points will this group get? Sixty five points is also a boy group, 95 points is also a boy group, but the 65 point group won’t have any more work after they debut. This is a very realistic thing. You guys also know how popular THE9 is and whichever groups that are not hot, right?”
After this part aired, Esther Yu was trending on Weibo as a lot of yxh (yingxiaohao/marketing accounts) were accusing her of shading groups like BonBon Girls 303 and S.K.Y, which debuted the same time as THE9, when she mentioned “the other groups” that were not hot. Esther Yu posted on Weibo and addressed what she said on the latest episode, “There were no intentions to shade anyone or other groups. I’m so angry. @JiangBin, I won’t trust you anymore! Didn’t you want popularity? Come, here you go.”
Jiang Bin (姜滨) is an iQiyi executive in charge of variety shows such as the “Idol Producer”, “Youth With You”, and others. He has received a lot of criticisms from fans over the years for the poor management and promotion of disbanded groups, NINE PERCENT and UNINE, that were born from “Idol Producer” and “Youth With You”, respectively.
Esther Yu had already trended earlier that day for a segment where a trainee asked her whether the first public performance was live. She responded, “Can you guys go live with your level of abilities?” Esther Yu was joking when she said this, but it still managed to trend. She posted on Weibo and said, “Help! I also need to train very well for my level to be broadcasted live. Let’s jiayou together! Lets jiayou together! There are also a lot of content for everyone to watch. Let’s all watch “Youth With You 3″. The didis (younger brothers) are all very hard working. The stages look very good!”