I heard that the live broadcast of this episode was a long one. The one that I saw, however, on Viu, was also pretty long was it did run for two whole hours!
For this episode, they finally revealed the actual rankings from Round 1 and Round 2 as well as the combined score from both these rounds. They also showed a current ranking at the end of the episode, which I feel is the ranking including the scores from the rap and performance/dance battles that happened during this episode.
There were a total of four performances for this particular episode, featuring the rap and dance/performance collaboration units that were formed. The teams, for those who don’t know, consisted of Team Mayfly (Ateez, Stray Kids, BTOB) and Team It’s One (SF9, The Boyz, iKON).
Now, from here on out, you know the drill- there will be spoilers!
The entire episode began with MC Changmin revealing the final rankings from Round 1 & 2 and the final combined scores of those rounds. They also released some rankings at the very end of the episode, but I really think that that ranking has the scores of the result of the dance and rap battle, so I’ll just be putting it at the end of this recap.
|Round 1||Round 2||Combined|
|1. Stray Kids||SF9||Stray Kids|
|3. The Boyz||Ateez||BTOB|
|5. iKON||Stray Kids||SF9|
|6. SF9||The Boyz||BTOB|
|Round 1||Round 2||Combined|
|1. Ateez||The Boyz||The Boyz|
|2. The Boyz||iKON||Ateez|
|5. Stray Kids||BTOB||iKON|
|6. iKON||Stray Kids||Stray Kids|
Regarding my rankings and the performance of the groups so far based on Round 1 & 2, one of the reasons I ranked Stray Kids low is that I feel that they haven’t found their sweet spot on this show yet, or they haven’t yet blown me away with a performance except for the Introduction round. I don’t know if I’m being hard on them, but based on the great performances that the others have been given, and as I know that they can do more…well, that’s how I feel.
To be honest, I think a part of me has been a bit bothered by the fact that I was expecting every single performance to every single round to blow me away because, as someone who followed Road to Kingdom, I was literally blown away by almost every single performance. However, it also may be the fault of Kingdom itself, as there is too many things that make up the scores for a single round, and the fact that there is no set criteria as to what the judges are looking for in terms of their stages per round. This would have cleared up a lot of confusion for the groups themselves and for the fans who are watching.
Before both Team Mayfly and Team It’s One began their performances, the audience and the groups were informed that there would be no group evaluation or online streaming evaluation for this round. Instead, a total of 33 special judges were invited to evaluate the stages. These included Super Junior’s Donghae and Shindong; producers Shinsadong Tiger and Monotree; choreographer Lia Kim; music critic Kim Young Dae; Rigend Film MV director Jang Dong Ju; and junior artists Weekly, Mirae, TR.IBE and BDC.
So for this round, the winners of each round will earn 5,000 points which will be divided into three.
Team It’s One (The Boyz, SF9, iKON)- Full DaSH
What’s interesting about this team is that all three of them have done rap survival shows. Sunwoo was in “High School Rapper”, Hwiyoung was in “High School Rapper 2”, and Bobby is very famous for having been on “Show Me The Money”. Sunwoo is a huge fan of Bobby’s, so this was a dream come true for him, especially as they ended up filming their first meeting scenes during his birthday. Both Hwiyoung and Sunwoo met Bobby at YG Entertainment, and they were very much in awe of the building, it’s cafeteria and the convenience store inside. Hwiyoung also gifted the two white sneakers, and Sunwoo and Bobby returned the favor in kind. For Sunwoo, he felt that this was a chance for him to show fans his original dream- to get the chance to do something in a more hiphop style, a style that people aren’t used to seeing from him. For Hwiyoung, he hasn’t had an opportunity to do something like this since High School Rapper 2, so he was very excited to do this. Meanwhile, Bobby mentioned that he could see a little bit of himself in Sunwoo and Hwiyoung,and in particular, that thirst to do a rap performance. He also mentioned that they should just have fun, although Hwiyoung wanted to win. Bobby made a good hook to start off the song writing process, and from there, the three wrote their particular verses. Afterwards, they met at YG to record. Later on, they also showed the audience that they wrote each other’s fandom names on their sneakers- Hwiyoung had The B on his, Sunwoo had Ikonic on his, while Bobby had Fantasy on his sneakers. During their practice sessions, they also decided to have freer movements instead of choreography so that they just can have fun.
The performance was really fun, and didn’t really have that much set pieces except for the finale with the paint guns in the end. To be honest, it was almost like watching an actual rap performance on a rap survival show like “Show Me the Money”! The three were very relaxed, and it really showcased their strengths as rappers. For me, I feel that these rounds should showcase the groups’ combined strengths with a huge focus on the particular form whether it be rap, vocals or performance/dance, and because I think this way, I think that this performance did just that. Bobby, Hwiyoung and Sunwoo are phenomenal rappers and their rap survival show experience is really shown here. This was a pure rap performance, in my books.
Team Mayfly (Ateez, Stray Kids, BTOB)- Colours
While Sunwoo, Hwiyoung and Bobby met at YG, Team Mayfly met at JYP Entertainment. Team Mayfly’s rap team included 3RACHA (Bang Chan, Han & Changbin), Minhyuk and Hong Joong. Minhyuk mentioned that since BTOB is mostly a vocally oriented group, he wanted to show that they can rap as well. Hong Joong, on the other hand, wanted to showcase what rap to Ateez is. While at JYP, Hong Joong and Minhyuk got treated not only to JYP’s cafe’s offerings, but also got to eat at the cafeteria, which is known for serving organic food. They began working on the song in 3RACHA’s studio. Changbin wanted a performance and a song with the concept of paint and colours, like how one has different layers of paint to make a painting, the same goes with creating a song. They also mentioned that they can relate this to the message of how skin color is different and that’s beautiful. Bang Chan then came up with an interesting hook/beat, and all of them had the same thought for the chorus as the hook. During the interviews, Bang Chan looked touched and extra pleased with himself every time Minhyuk patted him on the head, which was really cute. Hong Joong mentioned that he got worried that they would clash because of creative differences, but he was happy that everyone meshed well together. It was also quite different for Hong Joon as he is used to working alone as compared to with a group when it comes to making rap.
I thought that this was a really fun and cohesive performance in terms of performance value. I know that Minhyuk is a rapper but I think I’m more used to seeing and hearing Peniel rap more than Minhyuk. Each one really was able to showcase their skills well. However, I did feel that it was a little bit more of 3RACHA feat. Minhyuk and Hong Joong while I thought Full DaSH sounded more like a better collaboration. However, given that “Colours” has good and strong performance value, I thought that the special judges would go with this one. I thought that they did well, though.
Team It’s One (The Boyz, SF9, iKON)- Ju.Tae.Hyuk’s King & Queen
For Team It’s One, the groups decided to send out one representative each again, making a unit of three for the dance/performance portion. The Boyz sent out Juyeon, iKON sent out Donghyuk, while SF9 sent out Taeyang. The three met at Cre.ker, and what was really cute was the fact that Juyeon ended up becoming the maknae as he was the youngest in age. First off, they decided to watch the special little introductory performance that all the teams’ main dancers did which was shown on Mcountdown. It was mentioned that Taeyang and Juyeon have elegant dance moves, while Donghyuk mentioned that he actually choreographed his portion himself and it was hard for him to do. They then decided to play up each other’s strengths in a performance that would be cohesive yet showcase their individual skills, and would showcase Korean beauty. Taeyang also came up with their team name JuTaeHyuk, which basically means big shiny pillar. Their concept was to portray the tragedy of a Korean king who lost his queen or mother, and each of them would portray a particular “ego” of the king. It would start with Taeyang portraying a tyrant king, then Juyeon portraying a king that seeks pleasure, while Donghyuk would portray a king that went insane.
I thought that JuTaeHyuk’s decision to actually do a more contemporary purely dance performance really showcased their technical skills and the pure art form of dance and performance in itself. The entire piece was compelling, as it clearly told the story while showcasing their individual strengths. Taeyang was graceful yet powerful, Juyeon’s table flip will go down in history and his mastery of facial expressions really showed, and Donghyuk’s movements plus his facial expressions made him perfect for the ego he wanted to portray. It was stunning, beautiful and very artistic.
Team Mayfly (Ateez, Stray Kids, BTOB)- Wolf
Team Mayfly on the other hand, chose to showcase a great performance taking advantage of a large group. This team consisted of Lee Know, Felix, I.N., Peniel, San, Seonghwa, Wooyoung, Yunho and Yeosang. Most of Ateez was in this unit. They met at KQ Entertainment, and immediately decided that Peniel should be the leader for this unit, and even suggested that Peniel do some Krumping. He did manage to do it, but he was a little bit hesitant given the fact that that it had been around two years since he last did Krumping. The teamwork of this unit was very cohesive and great, and there was a lot of trust between the members, especially as there were a lot of difficult moves that were executed as a pair. During the rehearsals, Peniel bought ice cream for everyone. While they took a break, they called their vocal unit who was recording at that moment. The two units cheered each other on, and afterwards, Eunkwang decided to buy ice cream for his unit as well. As they wanted a strong concept, they went with EXO’s “Wolf”, a choice that I found to be very surprising and bold as well. They arranged it by mixing in “Niggas in Paris” by JayZ in order to give the song a more hip hop flare.
Everyone did anticipate Peniel’s krumping, and it was definitely worth the wait. This performance was strong with powerful moves, which was pulled off by everyone well. The facial expressions were on point, and the difficult moves, especially Felix running and jumping on top of Wooyoung was done well, which really showcases the strength of this units teamwork. As Donghyuk said, their performance and this performance was very different from each other. Theirs was a contemporary piece, while this definitely ticked off all the boxes for a good and strong performance.
If you ask me though, I’d pick Team It’s One over Team Mayfly for these two performances as I felt that Team It’s One really showcased great performances that really honed in on their given performance aspect- rap and dance.
The judges choice, however, was not revealed in this episode, and will be revealed in Episode 8.
Here are the current rankings as flashed on the screen after the episode:
|1. Stray Kids||9066.024|
|5. The Boyz||5676.288|
One thing to note as well with all the scores that were shown to us in this episode, it can be seen that there are some groups whose scores are pretty close to one another.
Anyway, what did you think of the performances? Which one did you like more? Team Mayfly’s or Team It’s One? Let me know in the comments below!