Chinese reality television show Youth With You 3 has been suspended on the eve of its finale over a scandal involving its contestant Yu Jingtian, who also announced he is quitting the show.
Yu, 18, who also performed under the name Tony, was engulfed in controversy last week after his parents were accused in an online post last week of running a KTV lounge involved in drugs and prostitution.
Yu's mother then took to social media to clarify that the KTV lounge had already been sold and they are no longer involved in its operation.
The nationality of Yu, who was previously a contestant on South Korean reality show Produce X 101 in 2019, has also come under question.
He described himself as Canadian in Produce X 101, but said he was a Chinese citizen in Youth With You 3. China does not recognise dual citizenship.
Early on Wednesday (May 5), the production team of Youth With You 3 said on Weibo that it is complying with the orders of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Radio and Television to suspend recording of the show.
Yu's agency also announced in a statement that he is leaving the show due to "health reasons".
In the iQiyi survival reality programme, 119 trainees from different entertainment agencies compete to form a nine-member boyband based on the number of votes from the viewers.
Yu has been one of the most popular contestants, ranking consistently at the top.
The show is hosted by Chinese singer Li Yuchun, with Chinese singer Li Ronghao, Taiwanese-American singer Will Pan and Thai singer Lisa of K-pop girl group Blackpink serving as mentors.
The finale was originally scheduled to be held on Saturday, but it is uncertain now whether it will be postponed or cancelled. - The Straits Times/Asia News Network