Road to Kingdom: Episode 4- Round 2

For this episode, I had been preparing for an elimination as I knew that there would be an elimination after Round 2. To be honest, I would much prefer if the entire show didn’t have elimination at all so that the groups could really concentrate on the performances without worrying too much about rankings, like in “Queendom”. Sure, the groups who ranked low did not feel great about it, but no one getting eliminated allowed them to just really have fun and show different sides of them on stage. I know that the main announcement will happen in the next episode, and I’m ready for it, but I also know that after the next episode, which will most likely have Round 3, there will be another elimination again.


Episode 4

The challenge for this episode was called “My Song”, which means they had to pick a song that best represented the team. I thought that TOO would really be at a disadvantage for this as they do only have one album under their belt as they just debuted.

Once again, I loved how the ONF members, especially E-Tion and Wyatt, never hold back on their reactions, and it amuses me to no end. Also, I just love how Jangjun had an LED slogan with each groups’ names, including his own, during every performance.

As The Boyz won last week’s challenge, they got to decide the order of performance. So they decided to base the order based on the order of debut date, with them being the last performer.

1. Pentagon-Shine+Spring Snow 

To be honest, I don’t know how to rank this performance in the context of a competition. They started off strong with a more rock version of Shine, so that they could incorporate Spring Snow, which are two amazing songs that also encapsulates what Pentagon is. During the middle, after Shine, the members disappeared, leaving Jinho on stage, and showed a video tribute to him. They decided to surprise him and send him off to the military with this surprise because at that point in time, it would be Jinho’s last performance with them until he’s discharged. They then all came back crying, but still managed to sound amazingly stable despite all of that. As a Universe, I, too cried after watching this. I don’t think Pentagon is very stable right now, what with Cube being iffy about when Yanan is returning, and the whole thing in the past with E-Dawn, their future after they start enlisting is very much in the air, which I also feel very sad about. The boys decided to just enjoy their last performance with Jinho and make it meaningful, which is why I won’t really be able to rank this properly in the context of a competition.

2.ONF- We Must Love+ Moscow Moscow

While Complete is the song that made me a Fuse, We Must Love is what solidified it. Also, this is one of the few times that they performed it after Laun left the group last year, so I’m pretty sure it was meaningful to them. Aside from this, We Must Love and Moscow Moscow are two songs that ONF got known for last year, and its melancholy tones fit well with each other. I loved the rearrangement  adding the strings into it to make it sound even more tragic. The concept was great too- they are marionettes who fall in love with their master, but they know that it can never be. I liked the fact that Oh My Girl’s YooA featured as a special guest, playing the role of their master, because she served the role’s purpose and didn’t outshine the boys at all. Again, ONF proved that they are all rounders, and I particularly loved how prince-like J-US looked (yes, I know that he likes to call himself that); and at this point, Hyojin (my main bias the group) has now entered my ultimate Kpop male idol list. In particular, the portion in the beginning, with them moving like dolls was just amazing.

3.Golden Child- WANNABE (Sampling Paganini 24 Caprices No.24 In A Minor Op.1)

It was quite disheartening to see the boys look disappointed about last week’s ranking. I really thought that they deserved first place. For this one, they performed WANNABE with a live orchestra, which made the song even more sleek and classier than it was before. I always thought that the song was sleek and classy, and this just elevated it to a whole new level. I liked that they had Joochan do a violin solo, as it is something that fans have wanted to see as well. We’ve seen him play the violin in VLives and stuff, but never for a performance, so that was a special treat. I also loved the beginning choreo, the dance break when Joochan did his violin solo, and the ending with him reaching up to the hanging violin. For me, I like how it showed the story of someone trying to reach for their dreams or perfections, even when it feels out of reach.

4.Oneus- 가자 (“Lit”) 

I liked how both Oneus and Verivery took to heart what they needed to improve on, and it showed it both of their performances. For Oneus, they decided to perform 가자, and decided to really utilize the entire stage. This stage also showed me that these boys are really flexible performers. They actually switched up the verses (I think the rap verses) of the original song, and switched up the distribution of parts as well, but it was done so naturally that it was actually only after the performance that I realized that and remembered that Seoho (their main vocal) had an ankle injury. For this stage, they decided to base it on the drama “Kingdom”. So here, they were historical magicians, kings, and warriors who battled zombies during the song. The concept really fit the song well, and this allowed them to let Seoho be on a throne and rap, so that he didn’t have to dance. They also gave some of Seoho’s lines to Xion who pulled it off well. I loved how it felt like a festival in the end, how they expanded the song by adding more instrumentation with traditional Korean instruments, and the added drums right before the song ended gave it a nice final kick to it.

5.Verivery-Photo

Interestingly enough, Photo is a song that has grown on me quite well, ever since I first heard it. I also liked that they chose a B-side, as everyone else chose to perform a title track. As mentioned earlier, I felt that they also stepped up their game for this round, and took everything to heart, from their learnings on the show to the advice that VIXX’s Ravi, who checked up on them, gave. This resulted in a cohesive and great performance. From this stage, I can see that Verivery does have two interesting sides- fresh and upbeat with strong choreography; while the opposite is fierce, dark, and edgy, again, with sharp, in sync, powerful choreography. For this stage, they took Photo and interpreted it as someone, Kangmin, having a nightmare. This concept worked really well for the song, and pairing that with how amazingly in sync their choreography was, makes them a group to really watch out for, as long as they nail everything in a cohesive manner. And it was great that everyone got the plot twist at the end, because that’s precisely what they were aiming for. Minchan and Yongseung looked extra creepy here, and Kangmin’s acting was good here too. This performance actually made me wonder if this was an actual continuation of the storyline that’s been happening in their music videos since “Tag Tag Tag”.

6.TOO-Magnolia 

I thought that TOO would be at a huge disadvantage because of the fact that they only have one mini album under their belt to date. However, they do manage to continue to surprise me each and every time. I liked how they played up the concept of the forces of good and evil fighting against each other, what I didn’t expect was that J.You would end up playing the god of justice who keeps things in balance. I really liked the part where J. You walked between the two opposing sides with his eyes closed. This is a group with potential and I hope that Chan will never run out of ideas.

7.The Boyz-Reveal (Catching Fire) 

The rearrangment of Reveal was amazing, beautiful and haunting. I loved how they decided to continue the storyline from their previous performance. So in the previous performance Q stole back his crown, but he was dethroned. Those loyal to him lamented the loss of their king, but gained hope that they could make things right again by starting a revolution, ending with Juyeon dethroning the new fake king and reclaiming the throne. The text at the end of performance was interesting as well, as it said that the true king would be revealed in the moonlight, which makes me wonder if Juyeon is the new real king, or he’s currently taking that role first for the real king with the real king’s blessing. In any case, I loved the build up of the song, and how they were really able to turn portions of it into a ballad. The reason why The Boyz keeps on winning is because they really know how to tell a story and constantly one up themselves each and every time. And they are not afraid to really go full force with their concepts and commit to it. Although, I get a bit worried about their stunts, especially as Kevin was limping at a certain point, so I’m glad he didn’t join the final dance. So far, The Boyz has been consistent, and if they keep this up, they could really win the show.

My Ranking: 

1.The Boyz

2.Verivery

3.ONF

4.Oneus

5.Golden Child

6.TOO

7.Pentagon

Everyone, however, gave strong performances. No eliminations for this episode, but I’m bracing myself for next week’s results.

What did you think about this week’s performances? What is your personal ranking of their performances? Let me know in the comments below!

Video Source: Mnet Official Youtube

Image Source: Mnet Facebook Page

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