I can’t believe that we have finally reached the end of the road in Road to Kingdom (yes, pun intended). While I am still not happy with Mnet and their editing to create more drama, all I can say to the seven groups that were on this show is that they all did well, and I hope that they get more recognized by the public now. I am pretty sure that they did, and I do know that these groups also gained new fans in the process as well. I also liked that we were also able to see the individual unique characteristics of each group, no matter how long or short they were in the competition.
So, before I actually delve into the episode, the performances, the rankings, the winner, and my thoughts, I’d just like to warn everyone that this post will be very spoiler heavy.
Episode 8- Round 4
The episode started off with VCRs of each individual team, which was followed by each team being the in the spotlight while their song played for a few seconds. For Verivery, the song that was played was Photo; for Oneus, they played 가자 (LIT); for The Boyz, it was Reveal; for ONF it was We Must Love; and for Pentagon, they played Dr. Bebe.
They then did a recap of the points from the previous round, and then unveiled new rankings based on the online views.
Episode 7 Rankings:
2.The Boyz-30,765 points
New Ranking w/Online Views
1.The Boyz-60,765 points
Afterwards, each team performed their comeback songs which were released around a week prior to the finale.
I’ll be talking about those performances now, my overall thoughts of how they performed during the entire competition, and I’ll talk a little bit about what each group had to say about each other as well.
1. Come Back Home by Oneus
It’s kind of interesting that Oneus keeps on performing first, but that’s okay. I was very much distracted by the background being projected in the background, but I think that’s my only major criticism of their performance. The song was great! It was very Oneus, and I love how it was part of a story arc of some sort. In fact, after the performance, I wanted to know more about the story, and wondered if it was also connected to their previous releases of Valkyrie and Twilight. The performance was spot on- Seoho amazed me by doing those four consecutive notes, and the use of the LED screen before that was well done. I love how detailed Oneus is with their performances, and that part with RAVN and Leedo dancing in tandem as if they were each other’s shadows was just genius.
I don’t think that Oneus got a lot of screen time (thanks, Mnet), but I love how they stuck to their guns and followed Mamamoo’s Moonbyul’s advice of staying “true to their own colors”.
According to the orther teams, Oneus have movie like performances, are good actors, and put depth into their interpretations. These are all true, and I hope that they keep sticking to their guns no matter what.
2. Beautiful-X by Verivery
As soon as I heard Beautiful-X, I was immediately reminded of their first two title tracks- Ring Ring Ring and From Now. This performance was a burst of fresh and colorful energy, and I loved how they maximized the stage. I like how they went for the theme of graduation, because even though I’m proud of all the groups, and I think that they all grew and learned while being on the show, I think that this group really grew up a lot on the show. I felt quite proud of them, in a way. I also loved that they didn’t forget to put an awesome dance break, complete with cheerleaders and a routine that needed a basketball as a prop. I loved that they put so much thought into the performance as a gift to fans, because not only was Beautiful-X revealed to be Verrer (fandom name), there was also a moment in which Kangmin and Yeonho actually signed “I love you, our heart will never change.” Also, these sneaky boys were actually giving away spoilers for their upcoming comeback on July 1. If you look closely, Dongheon drawing lightning has something to do with their concept trailer, and the flip book of the hands he was flipping through was also released as a teaser recently.
Dongheon impressed me a lot as a leader during the show. I already knew that he was a good leader and strict when it comes to practice time, but what really impressed me was how he actually managed to lead not only his team, but the entire group of TOO during the collaboration performance.
The other teams look towards Verivery in terms of synchronized dancing, but what I also saw from them was that they are not afraid to take risks in terms of concepts, and they have a very interesting duality to them. It’s either they do bright, fresh and energetic concepts; or they can go in a totally opposite direction and go edgy, fierce, and yes, creepy. (I mean, what did you expect of the younger brothers of VIXX?)
3. Checkmate by The Boyz
I looked forward to The Boyz’s stage the most as they have never failed to impress me over and over again, and this was no exception. The song itself was good and interesting, and something that I really could imagine seeing on one of their albums. I loved how they actually did a recap of their little storyline before going into the song intself, and it amazes me that scaredy cat Sunwoo who doesn’t like heights always ends up doing something related to it.
I loved every single detail they put into the performance-from their costumes being black and white like chess pieces; how the stage floor turned into a chess board room where Juyeon and Hyunjae fought, the fencing scene between Jacob and Eric, and their choreography. The Boyz really know how to tell a story in a performance and they proved it here again.
Regarding how this song wraps everything up, I think that Younghoon, Juyeon and Hyunjae are major players in this struggle; and it is clear that there are two sides. One side is with Q and another is Juyeon. Hyunjae is definitely a general, probably working for Q, and I think that Sunwoo is also another king, and that this entire performance was basically a nightmare reminding him that the game never ends. The song isn’t about winning, but about putting your enemy in check, which is what this king needs to remember, and in a way, The Boyz did keep everyone in check during the whole show.
The other teams mentioned that The Boyz’s strength is definitely their creativity in creating well-crafted performances that keep you guessing what they will do next, are the ones that wrote the textbook on concepts,that they are great dancers, and it also helps that every single member is a visual. I think that a lot can be said about their teamwork, especially as they are eleven in the group.
4. Basquiat by Pentagon
I absolutely loved Basquiat when I first heard it, and watching their performance, which they insisted to do LIVE, was that THIS IS THE PENTAGON I WAS WAITING FOR THE ENTIRE TIME. Last week’s Follow and this was what I’ve been waiting for in the last two rounds. The song and the performance literally screams Pentagon. The song is a fantastic anthem, with a great and powerful performance to boot. If they were only as consistent as this for the last two rounds, I personally would have ranked them higher.
Also, it’s no joke to perform this LIVE. It was a risk that they were willing to take, and it made me proud of being a Universe.
The other teams called Pentagon an “electric shock”, that they are a group full of charisma and confidence that’s always intriguing, and really know how to express emotions on stage well. All of which I definitely agree with.
5. New World by ONF
From the get go, I knew that ONF’s New World was going to be my favorite performance as it was my favorite among all the comeback songs, and they didn’t disappoint at all!
First off, the song in itself is a journey. Props to Monotree and MK for that! The song basically talks about going on a journey to a New World, and the various moments of the songs made you feel the right emotions as it took you along that journey; and that was supplemented by the strong performance itself.
I love that this song connects to their music videos, and following the android theme, I think there was a part where you could “see” them being made by the back up dancers. Organic idols indeed!
If you notice, there’s a part where it slows down, while MK is singing, while they get their own individual keys to open the cube to take them to the new world. And then, as each turns their key, the music builds, until it reaches that climax in which the door has been opened, and we are treated to some electric guitar which reminded me of an anime opening, before going back into the main melody again. This once again proves that they just cannot ever have a bad song.
The other teams mentioned that ONF has amazing songs and can make songs into their own; but more than that, they have a bright and positive energy around them. Its amazing how they were able to turn the tables on their rankings, and its no surprise that they gained many friends during the course of the show.
Now, before I talk about my final rankings and the show’s rankings, I’d like to talk a bit about Golden Child and TOO.
I thought that both groups did well on the show. I thought that putting such a fresh group such as TOO was a mistake, but I’m glad that they were able to show me that they are full of potential, and that they are, at the moment, the 2020 rookie to beat.
As for Golden Child, I felt that they were robbed of an opportunity to showcase themselves more, but I feel that they showed that they can pull off powerful performances that are timeless, with that wonderful rendition of Shinhwa’s T.O.P. They also showed how warm and caring they are towards the other teams, and that (plus Jangjun) is the reason why they gained so many new fans as well.
I hope that many will support the upcoming comebacks of some of these groups, and the comebacks to come, and let’s work hard to give them the recognition and music show wins (especially for Pentagon and ONF) they deserve!
My Round 4 Ranking:
My Overall Ranking:
Show’s Final Ranking:
To be honest, I was hoping that there would be two teams to enter the kingdom instead of one. I did watch the live broadcast and I voted as well (but dear Lord, the Whosfan app kept on crashing! Only two of my votes were able to go through.) But looking at ONF’s faces and seeing how happy they were, even if they were second place, was enough for me.
I really do think that The Boyz deserved the win, and I’m really happy for them. I felt that ONF and The Boyz were the most consistent performers throughout the show, but I felt that The Boyz’s performances really suited the show better.
Now there are many rumors that are circulating about the line-up for Kingdom, but one thing is for sure, all these groups need some time to rest, and if my favorite groups are once again on the show come August 27, I’ll be watching and recapping the episodes again here.
See you in August!
Video Source: Mnet Official Youtube
Image Source: Mnet Facebook Page