KUALA LUMPUR, May 5 ― The frontrunner for China’s popular entertainment survival show Youth With You 3 has been hit by controversy surrounding the show’s frontrunner Tony Yu Jingtian,
Following allegations of prostitution, drugs and his nationality, Yu has announced he will be leaving the show.
Quoting a statement from Yu's agency Astro Music, Sina.com reported that Yu was withdrawing due to “health issues”.
The agency's statement came in the wake of an instruction from Beijing Municipal Radio and Television Bureau yesterday which ordered the network in iQiyi to suspend its recording for the final.
While the bureau did not state the reasons for ordering the suspension, Yu had been trending on Weibo for the wrong reasons.
His family was initially accused of running a karaoke business that engaged in illegal activities including prostituion and drugs.
As his mother came out to dispel the rumours, Chinese social media started circulating a fresh rumour that Yu had dual citizenship, which is frowned upon in China as it is against the law.
Oriental Daily reported that some followers of the show meanwhile have voiced out against Yu's decision saying that his move may affect the other finalists.
Youth With You 3 is a show that brings 119 trainees from different entertainment agencies across China, and several trainees from around the world to form a 9-member male group through global viewers' votes.
Season three went on air on February 18 with its final to go on air this Saturday, May 8.
The cast for this season is headed by mentors in music industry heavyweights such Li Yuchun, Li Ronghao, Will Pan and Lisa from KPop girl group, Blackpink.
Malaysian Liu Jun, from Seremban, is one of the show's remaining 19 finalists.