SOUTH KOREA - A South Korean model reality contest on Friday denied allegations that it had intentionally instigated a quarrel between two of its contestants to boost its ratings.
"We paired up Hwang Hyeon-ju and Jung Ha-eun (the two contestants of the show) as roommates hoping that they would reconcile, being in unfamiliar surroundings and all," said an official from "Challenge: Supermodel Korea," a TV show in which contestants vie for a chance at a modeling career. "We never meant for them to get in a fight."
In Thursday's episode, Hwang and Jung -- who had a history of bad blood between them -- shared a hotel room while visiting Busan to carry out one of the missions in the show. The two, however, got into a fierce war of words in their room.
Jung accused Hwang of being a goody-two-shoes while Hwang retaliated by a calling Jung "pretentious." Profanities and much more shouting followed before Jung finally stormed out of the room.
After the episode was aired, many expressed suspicion that the producers of the "Challenge: Supermodel Korea" intentionally placed the two rivals in close quarters to egg on a quarrel and grab viewers' attention. The fact that the catfight was not edited out also fueled such speculation.
The show denied the allegations and said it was "regretful" such allegations are being thrown at them.
"The programme shows the natural behaviour of the contestants, which is why Jeong's profanities were aired."