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Road to Kingdom: Finale Recap and Ranking

Warning: This recap is not spoiler-free. Proceed at your own risk!

Past Recaps: Episode Two / Episode Three / Episode Four / Episode Five / Episode Six / Episode Seven / Finale Songs


Welcome to my last Road to Kingdom recap!

Honestly, I’m kind of glad to be done with the show, but I’m also pleased at a couple of the songs it’s given us. You can read my ranking/review of the finale songs here, though much of that will be reiterated in my final ranking below.

First off, I was so happy to see that this finale wouldn’t be the 4+ hour slog that the Produce series always insisted on. Those finales were clogged with so much filler. RTK had some too, but not nearly as much.

The opening announcement was pretty cool and suitably dramatic, though the groups had to stand awkwardly in a line for SO long while their song was being played. The lit-up catwalk reminded me of the rainbow bridge from Thor, and as nerdy as this sounds, I love the font that they used. Of course, all this badassery only reminded me of how lame most of these groups’ names actually are.

Next, we were treated to a lot of vote recapping. ONF were in first place until other votes (and views, and comeback sales) were factored in. Then, they fell to second behind The Boyz. That’s what a comparatively small fan base will do! Poor VERIVERY slipped all the way to the bottom. Again… fan base. Golden Child probably wouldn’t been higher had they still been in the competition. Just saying.

Then came a seemingly endless explanation of voting. I was only half-listening, but I did notice that Korean votes would be worth 70% while international votes were only 30%. The shade! But let’s be real here… that’s probably how it should be.

Before I get to my personal ranking and the final winner. I’ll briefly mention that vocalists from each team came together to perform BTOB’s great power ballad It’s Okay towards this episode’s climax. It was fine. I’m a big fan of the original, so anything else just comes off as a lesser copycat to me.


MY FINAL PERFORMANCE RANKINGS

If you’ve already ready my finale song reviews, not much about this is going to be a surprise.


5. PENTAGON – BASQUIAT

Cue Hui, alone in his little songwriting room. I feel like this has been a constant image with Pentagon, and it makes me feel sorry for the guy. Unfortunately, the ideas that have come from that room have been pretty uninspired throughout this series, even though Hui has created some bonafide hits in the past. But, the dark, shouty template he seems to be mired in at the moment isn’t for me.

I feel like throughout this series, Pentagon’s performances have either been angry or sad, neither of which is all that enticing from a viewer’s point of view. Basquiat has its high points (that guitar!), but too much of it feels like a slightly more bombastic rewrite of Dr. BeBe (which I didn’t care for, either).

The performance did little to improve upon this raw material. I get what they were going for, and the concept has great potential. But, I don’t think they used the stage as creatively as other groups, and the storytelling wasn’t as clear and iconic as it could have been.

4. ONEUS – COME BACK HOME

They looked a bit beaten down in the pre-performance video, didn’t they? I was happy to see that the location shooting seemed to catch them in better spirits. I’m actually surprised that RBW spent the money for such an extensive video filming – especially when it didn’t amount to much within the context of the actual performance.

Someone needs to get RTK an exorcist, because I’m sick of all these groups doing haunted Halloween concepts. There’s just nothing new to bring to them. I still think this song is mediocre, with an awful chorus. It has some great moments, too, and the same could be said about the performance. It was well-executed. I’m just exhausted with the concept. At this point, it lacks any sense of surprise. Their use of the video screen at the end was really cool, though!

3. THE BOYZ – CHECKMATE

Reading the fan comments in the pre-performance video was a fun idea, though I felt it went on a little too long. I understand that they didn’t want to spoil any of their upcoming performance tricks, though.

Speaking of tricks, whoever is in charge of staging The Boyz’ RTK performances should be overseeing every K-pop stage. They know how to draw your attention through a series of stunts and inventive transitions, and The Boyz are a great conduit for that approach.

I just wish they put as much effort into the actual song. Checkmate is passable, but it certainly doesn’t feel like a winning song to me. And, there’s only so much you can do with an “okay” track. With that said, the chorus has grown on me throughout the week. It would have been stronger without all that unnecessary trap influence, and could have built to a real satisfying climax. What we get instead is something that feels underwhelming when compared to The Boyz’ performance capability. No amount of tricks can fully compensate for that.

2. VERIVERY – BEAUTIFUL-X

I’m happy to hear that they consider this kind of funk pop to be their true colors, because I agree. When it comes to sheer personality, VERIVERY are my favorite group left in the competition. I think their bright energy is an asset, and I’m glad they decided to showcase that during the pre-performance interview and in the performance itself.

Honestly, the beginning of this stage was pretty lame, and repeated the one-take gimmick of their last performance. But, once the dancers joined in and it became choreography-focused, I just loved it. I’ll always be a sucker for an army of dancers all performing in unison, and it really did showcase one of VERIVERY’s greatest strengths.

However, I would have ditched the whole school concept. It’s been done to death, and kind of cheapened the (otherwise very good) song. It would have worked much better in the context of a music video.

1. ONF – NEW WORLD

I like how MK simply stated “we make the best songs.” In the context of this finale, that is certainly true. Over the course of the week, New World has become my undisputed favorite from this final round. In fact, if they were to release it as a title track (and I hope they do!), it would probably be my second favorite in their discography, right behind the unbeatable Complete. It’s ambitious in a way that a winning song should be, but doesn’t sacrifice melody. The arrangement is complex and interesting without ever succumbing to the kind of overused EDM and trap elements we’ve been bludgeoned with over the past few years.

I like how their pre-performance video painted them as the endearing underdogs they are. It’s in my DNA to root for the underdogs, especially when they release music this great.

The performance itself was very cool. It didn’t have the flashy props of other teams, but the matching costumes and backing dancers still made it feel grand and well-synchronized. The choreography was just so satisfying, especially when the dancers seemed to form one entity together. But when it comes down to it, this stage’s success was all about the song – just as it should be.


FINAL RESULTS

So, who’s clawed their way down this road? Who’s going to Kingdom? And honestly, didn’t we all already know even before this finale aired? Didn’t we know from the very first episode?

My god, was this drawn out! First, they announced the top two teams (The Boyz and ONF), and then hemmed and hawed for ten minutes before announcing The Boyz as the final winner. Even so, it all felt weirdly canned and anticlimactic. I think it was the lack of a live audience. Instead, Jang Sungkyu just shouted as much as he could to fill the void.

And no, Sungkyu… this wasn’t a “festival for all the groups.” A festival wouldn’t have had eliminations. A festival wouldn’t have unnecessary tears and made-for-TV drama.

Still, I’m happy for The Boyz (and even happier for ONF). I hope that Kingdom dials back on the drama and opts for more of the bonding atmosphere that made Queendom so fun.

For now, I guess it’s on to I-Land

Damn you, MNET.

33 thoughts on “Road to Kingdom: Finale Recap and Ranking

  1. Could you please elaborate on what you meant by “Korean votes would be worth 70% while international votes were only 30% … that’s probably how it should be.” I was a bit confused about that.

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  2. To me the final ranking is basically acceptable. Despite their “good-girl-gone-bad” evolution (the same as Oneus, but less pretentious and better executed), they simply proved to be the best performers of the roster.
    I’m happy too for ONF, but I guess if they will be able to take full advantage of this boost of awareness they gained with RTK. Golden Child, TOO and Verivery properly planned a comeback in a few weeks; Pentagon will always be “those who played Shine” and that’s enough; Oneus have definitely lost their Valkyrie momentum with a domino-effect of poor back-to-back title tracks (and I doubt they will ever another chance to stand out); then there are ONF, who at the moment are in the middle ground between rise and fall. I really hope they will be able to have a breakthrough in terms of fanbase, sales and popularity, but it’s clear they have to capitalize RTK exposure with something “wow” as soon as possible, otherwise they’re gonna be back to their “ONF who?” routines of everlasting rookies.

    This premised, now I’m (veri)very curious about the roster of Kingdom itself. What boy groups could be eligible to compete in the main show?
    I try to name some:
    * Monsta X
    * Nu’Est
    * Ateez
    * iKON
    * Victon
    * Astro
    (I guess we won’t have any SM group, even if NCT 127 could be interesting, and I would be surprised to find GOT7 and/or Seventeen, who are *too* popular for this kind of show like italian bigs who refuse to compete in Sanremo Song Contest)

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    • I never thought of iKon. A show like this would definitely be good for them, provided it doesn’t feature eliminations. However, don’t YG and Mnet have a beef with each other?

      I’m thinking the only one of the Big 3 that would send a group is JYP, who seem closer to Mnet, and that band will be Stray Kids. I mean, I think they have nothing to lose. GOT7, I think, is a group that’s both comfy and on the way down already. Too settled already to gain anything from this.

      If SM gets practical they could send WayV to this though. Boys will make a hell of a show and they certainly need the exposure. Besides SM seems more intent on promoting them in Korea and perhaps the mystical land of Waeguk now than CHina.

      Starship and Mnet are thick as thieves, so I feel my safest bets are on seeing Monsta X here, same as ATEEZ. Perhaps Astro.

      Also, given the way corona has messed with international touring and such, and with SF9 winning a music show since then, FNC might reconsider sending them to Kingdom.

      Since Big Hit and Mnet are being chummy now, perhaps Big Hit could send their newer boys TXT (again provided the show doesn’t feature eliminations) and then send one of the Pledis groups. However, I always doubted Nu’est would be keen on going to another survival show, while Seventeen are huge already. Big Hit can force them at Mnet’s behest though, for rating.

      Now Victon? I’d like to see them. Fresh off Produce X though?

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    • I highly doubt Victon will be considered given that they sell less than The Boyz did. I was honestly really hoping they’d be on RtK but I’d never want to set foot in another Mnet show if I was any of them.

      I wonder if they’re going to try having a soloist on again like they did Bom?
      If a big 3 group went I’d think Stray Kids would be the most likely.
      Maybe TXT since Big Hit and Mnet are doing their show together and seem okay with each other.

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  3. i’m a the boyz fan and i didn’t find the boyz winning predictable – mnet always hated them. if the boyz pulled out one bad stage out of all the rounds i bet mnet will use that to capitalise on pentagon and/or onf winning instead. the fans worked so hard to ensure checkmate ranked the highest on the music charts and i felt like mnet was resigned about the boyz winnng. if the streams of checkmate fluttered below another group’s song, i bet mnet will jump on that.

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    • Yes , we know but this show was made for The Boyz and not only that I have seen so many ppl tell That MNET hated ONF or Pentagon. If it wasn’t for ONF being in a small fandom then ONF would have easily won

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  4. Mnet will continue to make shows that will anger me and I will continue to watch them which will only fuel my hatred for mnet more and yet I still watch their shows…

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  5. I’m gonna have to disagree on #5 and #1. I thought this was Pentagon’s singular decent stage throughout the entire show (too little too late, though) and ONF’s worst. Pentagon finally managed to put on a stage that felt impactful enough to be considered a special performance after weeks and weeks of “Am I just watching Mcountdown right now?”

    ONF just felt much less grandiose than everyone else’s, which unfortunately is what this show is about. I barely remember their stage this time. They have the second best song to me, though.

    The Boyz finally managed to bore me, but I guess it doesn’t matter since they already had it in the bag by this point. Their song is painfully meandering imo.

    Verivery were fun and i wish they’d embraced this side of themselves earlier on, but since Jelpi gave them a concept switch at the beginning of this year, I’m guessing they wanted the group to work within that instead of returning to their roots. Beautiful-x is my favorite of the songs and I’m looking forward to their comeback.

    I can’t really think of anything to say about ONEUS – another group that I expected to do much better on this show. Although I like ONEUS’s music and Hwanwoong is an absolute beast, I rather wish Golden Child had made it this far in their place. T.O.P is still one of the best stages from this show.

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  6. The only reason why ONF lost to The Boyz was they had a much smaller fandom than The Boyz. That is all. There was zero suspense in the winner right from the start.

    Anything else, ONF >>>>>>> The Boyz. At the end of day, this is a popularity contest and a competition to see who can create the flashiest and jawdropping stages with money and stunts. I’m kind of glad that GolCha was not in the finale so that they would not have to be humiliated unnecessarily again by not having a in-your-face performance and a smaller fandom. The only good thing this show achieved would be letting the likes of ONF, GolCha, ONEUS and TOO show people how talented they are.

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    • I remember ranting to my internet friends about how the boyz won and how it doesn’t sit well with me. I think they disagreed but at least somebody agrees with me. It is hugely ironic how a group won from their big fandom when the goal of the show is to showcase groups with smaller fandoms. (Btw I did like the boyz performances.)

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      • If I could do so, I would still place The Boyz and ONF as the final two as they were the most consistent performers throughout the competition, but have ONF emerge as the winner. You see, that’s the problem with such shows. Once you include popularity/fandom voting, or views as a significant component of the total score, there is no doubt as to who would emerge as the winner. It said a lot when ONF had a look of resignation on their faces when awaiting the MCs to announce the winner, they probably knew the result even before the finale when they saw how much their YT views were lagging behind.

        I do think The Boyz are good performers, but to me – synchronised dancing, stunts and visually popping stages are commonplace in Kpop, on the other hand – good, memorable songs that people keep going back to are dime in a dozen and that’s why ONF left the deepest impression on me. I started watching the show having zero clue who these groups were, save Pentagon whose Shine was the only song I heard of. By the 4th/5th episode, I was looking forward to what kind of song arrangements ONF would come up with. Other groups had flashy, colorful stages with impeccable dancing and animated facial expressions or dangerous stunts, they were impressive, but were they memorable? only ONF had by far the most interesting and outstanding song arrangements.

        I wouldn’t count Everybody as one of their best, but it was a teaser as to how well they could re-interpret songs that were not their own, and laid the foundation to the amazingness that was The We Must Love and It’s Raining. The We Must Love sounded better than the original, a difficult feat in itself, and you would realise how well the rearrangement complemented the desperateness of the lyrics. It’s Raining built on that momentum and totally transformed the Rain song into a song that could have very well been an original song – that takes the most skill out of all the stuff I have seen on the show. For these two performances alone, ONF fully deserved to move onto Kingdom. Sure, Danger/Reveal were good, but did it make me keep going back and think “damn, this rivals/is even better than the original”? Not at all.

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        • Spot on. The boyz were great of course but the performances are what I expected from me. Onf shocked me every time. It sucks that people don’t take in the song arrangement and only look at the visuals and dancing as a whole. Hell, why should the song matter when the idols can flip and dance to it? Anyways, I fully agree with your comment.

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    • Agreed tbh. ONF was def my winner personally. But it’s a popularity contest as you said. But I’m curious, the show didn’t show people how talented VERIVERY is too? Lol wtf 😅 not sure why you excluded them. They’re super unknown as well.

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      • I didn’t include Verivery because while I’m sure the show would boost their popularity, I’m not sure whether they impressed me in terms of the talent that they showed on the show as much as ONEUS/ONF/GolCha did. I do think they have a lot of potential though, and appreciate that they are one of the very few boy groups today tackling the bright, fun concepts that Kpop is severely missing….(other than 2019 TXT).

        I’m more surprised you didn’t mention that I missed out Pentagon! I left them out because they were the only group that disappointed me. Mnet pretty much set up The Boyz and Pentagon to be the two groups leading the competition at the start, only for Pentagon to surprisingly come up with mediocre stuff one after another. They probably didn’t anticipate ONF to spoil their plan by coming out with such strong performances.

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  7. 5. I have to put Oneus in last place. I don’t know, the concept given isn’t new to me, because so many previous stage from many groups did this kind of scary/dark concept. and a lot of things happened on the stage. Beside that, I didn’t really like the song. But at the bridge part, the stagw visuals are very cool.

    4. Just like Oneus, the concept presented by The Boyz is not new, for me, it almost resembles the concept of their stage in rounds 1 and 2. But this one is not as interesting as their stage in the previous round.

    ~ I like these three performances below because their stage is more focused on the song, rather than focus on some attraction.

    3. I like pentagon stage. I like the anger and emotions that are delivered on the stage, I like the whole stage which looks so magnificent.

    2. I really like the futuristic concept like this, the best concept on the final round. ONF successfully offers a unique and different concept in each round. And what I like the most is that they know their song is really good so their performance only focuses to the song and the dance performance made this song more cool. And the pre-performance video is wow, the sound and visual are amazing.

    1. I like verivery stage the best. Most enjoyable stage in final. This stage and concept fit them the most. The stage was very fun from start until the end, their dance was very good and sync, and the dancers are really energetic. They already have a good final song, and with that performance, they make the song sounds 2 times better

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  8. I don’t think we knew after the first episode who will be the winner. I’m pretty sure that Mnet went for Pentagon but The Boyz were the first to take advantage of the fact there was no public. It was smart from them, they use the camera work to make their choreo. When the other groups tried to do it, they couldn’t make it the same.

    For the final songs, I didn’t like any of them. I didn’t find any of them reallycompletely good, verses, chorus or instrumental, there always was one lacking. The performances weren’t great, it looked they all used the same theme except VERIVERY.

    I think The Boyz deserved to win, my favourite stages were The Reveal, Heroine and It’s raining. So 2 by them.

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  9. Ah, i already wrote my opinion of the songs so…..gonna adds them up with the performances:

    5. Pentagon – Basquiat

    Liked the song, the choreography is easily the worst out of the 5 tho. Just a bunch of tough guy swinging their arms style.

    4. Oneus – Come back home

    It was relatively unimpressive, the video screen is awesome tho. Although, i don’t know why there’s picture of wolf when they’re supposed to be vampires?

    3. ONF – New World

    Straightforward performance with the best songs in these groups. I don’t think there’s much peaks to be had on this performances.

    2. The Boyz – Checkmate

    At first i thought it was gonna be a fine only performance with the boyz for once and, holy shit. When they raised the cube and fought inside and then the chess pieces throwing that stabbed the crown…..they truly are the best at blockbuster performances out of them all.

    1. Verivery – Beautiful-x

    The successor to lovelyz “cameo” stage. I love how upbeat the whole thing is and the wave choreo at “for you and me” is the kind of hook choreography i loved, instantly memorable.

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  10. Performance Ranking:

    5. Pentagon-Basquiat
    3. ONF-New World/ Oneus-Come Back Home
    2. Verivery-Beautiful-X
    1.The Boyz-Checkmate

    Song Ranking:

    5.Basquiat
    4.Checkmate
    3.Beautiful-X
    2.Come Back Home
    1.New World

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  11. Road to Kingdom is over. It was torturously slow yet also somehow flew by, I can’t believe its actually over. It brought us one amazing stage after the other and some incredibly human moments, even if the overall interaction rate wasn’t quite what I had wanted. Overall, I am done ranking these groups, as Sunwoo said subjective rankings will not determine their worth. Besides, they are all incredibly worthy and they don’t need anyone else to tell them that. Instead I’m just going to leave a final commentary on each group.

    THE BOYZ- They were road to kingdoms final victor, and no one can deny that they earned every single inch of their victory. On a personal level it took me awhile to resonate with The Boyz but they have earned my respect and admiration. More often than not their stages weren’t my favorite but regardless of my personal taste I couldn’t help but be left in awe of their strength and sheer gutsiness on stage. Before RTK I was a very casual listener of The Boyz and I must admit none of their discography that I was familiar with lead me to believe that they had this in them. Yet clearly, they had far more in them than their discography had let them show. Now if only their future title tracks can match the level of epicness they are obviously capable of. All I can say is regardless of seniority or popularity whatever groups join them on Kingdom better watch out, The Boyz are truly no joke.

    ONF- Coming into Kingdom I had heard of ONF and I knew exactly one of their songs. I also knew they suffered from poor promotions and an unfortunate stint on MIXNINE. I even saw several people commenting that they had never heard of ONF before the show started. So, before even the 90 second intro started, I prayed they would make it to the finale because out of all of these groups I truly thought an early elimination would hurt them the most. So, watching them not only make it to the end but thrive was enormously satisfying, and my biggest regret about all of Kingdom is that they didn’t get to move on with The Boyz. However, in every other way they won. They won recognition, friends, and fans, including me. Out of all the groups on this show that I wasn’t already a true fan of, ONF is the only group that won me over completely. They were also the only group that managed to override my personal bias group in my own rankings, a true accomplishment. They are ridiculously talented and hilarious, not to mention their discography is truly unique. They truly feel ahead of their time and I’ll tell you when they drop their next comeback, I will be there. WM do not waste this momentum, get on it!

    PENTAGON- While on every level I acknowledge their hard work and skill this show really showed me that Pentagon is not for me. I wish them the best, I really do, and seriously somebody give them their first win already, but they are just not for me. It also didn’t help that by the end they were the only group where I still couldn’t pick apart all of the members. I’m sorry about that I really tried, but it didn’t help that they all had black hair the whole time. Except Wooseok who changed his about five times over the course of the show. Hui is an absolute gem of a human though; he gave Pentagon his everything and now I demand that he get some sleep. I hope they find further success in the future; I will certainly be happy when they do.

    VERIVERY- Out of the top five I feel like Verivery still has a lot to learn but that’s ok everyone moves at their own pace. They remind me of Vixx’s early days, it took them awhile to find their footing too. All that being said I absolutely adore the members themselves and there is no denying their talent. Kangmin is already a freaking national treasure and Dongheon thoroughly impressed me throughout the show. I mean corralling sixteen people who had never worked together before into a unit (in two weeks) is downright commendable. He is already a great leader. I’ll admit their brighter fare is kind of hit or miss for me, I really liked their debut (Ring Ring Ring), but beautiful-X wasn’t really for me. Either way I am definitely looking forward to their July comeback.

    GOLDEN CHILD- They were absolutely robbed of a proper chance to show themselves on this show and I’ll never forgive mnet for it. How I wish they could have been there at the end. I can just imagine Jangjun piling in on the group hugs. Regardless of mnet’s robbery Golcha really live up to their name they are truly a golden group with vocals and charisma to spare. Their Shinwa cover will definitely go down as one of my favorite stages of the show. Their comeback is in less than a week and I am counting the days.

    TOO- 2019 was awash in monster rookies and in my mind after their time on this show TOO is the first debut of 2020 that I would gladly give that title too. I really am glad they made it as far as they did, in only two months they grew tremendously. They may really become one of the big ones in a few years, what a sight that would be.

    ONEUS- Ah my dear Oneus every time I think I couldn’t possibly love you any more you prove me wrong. Its funny before I found my top three groups (Shinee, NCT ot 21, and Oneus) I never really understood what it was to completely love an artist. Before kpop I’d take five songs from this western artist and two songs from this one, but I had never fallen in love with an artist before. Kpop is dangerous, they know how to hook people, and what can I say I’m hooked. Oneus continues to amaze me every day and bring me more Joy than I ever knew a group of celebrities living on the other side of the world from me could. In the final promo for episode 8 mnet labeled Oneus “The Masters of Fighting back,” and that may very well be the one and only time I 100% agreed with mnet. Oneus was continually underappreciated and lacked screentime (even non to Moons noticed) yet they never let it phase them. They remained remarkably positive and did their utmost to learn everything they could from the experience. As a massive fan I am so proud but more than anything else I sincerely hope they are proud of themselves, because as Moonbyul suggested they were utterly true to who they are, and who they will continue to be.

    I can’t exactly say Road to Kingdom was fun but it sure as hell was entertaining, and I attribute 100% of that to the groups themselves. However, what was fun was seeing all these groups grow together. Interestingly enough so many groups in kpop now seem to blend together to the point where they’re indistinguishable yet watching these groups everyone did seem to have their own vibe and style. Even if that style isn’t super distinguishable in all of their discographies (I wish it was), watching them for eight weeks made me feel like I was witnessing the reveal of each group’s unique sides and skills. These groups were overflowing with not just talent and hard work but with a massive amount of heart as well. Kpop is a cutthroat landscape and with all my heart I hope there is room enough for all of them to succeed within it for as long as this is what they choose to do.

    Next comes the so-called real Kingdom and let me tell you if any of my other favs are on it I am going to lose it, my heart can only take so much. Either way I’ll probably still watch it all. Who knows when that will start but for The Boyz sake I hope it’s at least a month or more away.

    P.S Mnet everyone still hates you, just saying.

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  12. I found most of these performances really dull. Maybe its because it was actually live this time? I was actually bored during Onf’s but that might be because we went through everyone else and they didn’t feel like a grand finale after Hui was screaming for his life. The muffled applause from only like 40 people being in the studio was lowkey hysterical too.

    I’m actually kind of mad they didn’t rig it for two groups going. Come on!!! Onf is so interesting (most of the time).

    5. Pentagon – Actually liked this Imagine Dragons song but the performance…yeah…
    Also also 2. Onf – I’m bored. I liked their song the best so I’m disappointed. That’s what happens when you’re actually the best. Congrats on getting fans! The views and comeback sales were a damn set up LOL.
    Also 2. Verivery – High School auditorium musical aesthetic – Hoping this song is what their next comeback sounds like.
    2. Oneus – I’m biased towards you so you sit here. Shout out for being 4th. You did it! I wanted to watch this and take a shot for every time you got actual screen time but then I wouldn’t get drunk and that just made me depressed.
    1. The Boyz – Well that was dramatic but the dance was interesting I guess? There’s an edge of desperation to everything they’ve done on the show that I like. Dance for your life, kids. They genuinely seem to want to permanently maim Sunwoo with all the flinging around they do with him. Covering Taemin was really the best thing they could have done because it’s carried my opinion of them all the way here. Shout out to New messing up their mention and Sunwoo threatening to beat his ass at the dorm later. Best part of the night.

    Kingdom is going to be a whole mess with how people are acting online. Always knew I could count on boy group stans to be as messy as possible.

    Biggest winners:
    TOO – people actually know they exist now! Mnet trying to make up for completely smothering their competition show in wake of them being outed as smarmy fucks. Well it worked so thanks, I guess.
    Onf – international fans actually know they exist now!

    Biggest losers:
    TBZ – congrats on winning, enjoy having every single scandalous thing you’ve ever done dragged out on the internet
    Pentagon – Oh honey.

    Biggest waste of their time:
    Golcha – I don’t even need to explain this shit
    Oneus – Oh kids. If only you came prepared that first week!

    I’m wondering how I-land is going to go? I just realized they won’t have the live audience aspect of Produce so I have no idea how it’ll go. I’m going to watch the first episode and see if I can determine the final line up based on screen time because I bet they’ve already chosen who they ACTUALLY want in the group.

    Anyway I’m going to go watch The We Must Love for the 10th time.

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  13. There’s so much that could be said about this entire series, but… end of the day, I’m just so damn proud of ONF. They really were underdogs throughout this, and shone all the brighter for it. ‘New World’ is a triumph, and my fingers are crossed for an Oh My Girl-style surge in popularity for their future work.

    … or maybe not, if it’s going to result in a ‘Nonstop’. Yikes.

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    • I went into this show for Verivery and ONF (especially the latter since ONF is my number two group that I follow) and to be honest, I’m disappointed that The Boyz won. The singular reason stood out the most during the vocal line performance: they have no exceptional vocalists.

      A group this big and you’d think they’d have at least two vocalists who are *killer* but… They don’t at all? That made me care little for them from the beginning.

      That said, when I saw their sales I knew they were shoe in for the winner. I wish ONF had gotten into the Kingdom because they all song SO well and have the most interesting musical tones but that would be too much like right.

      I actually was really surprised that Verivery didn’t go with their Beautiful X concept from jump because that’s exactly what I expected. Beautiful X itself reminds me of the energy of their b-sides like Get Ready and Alright! but much more polished. It’s the most repeat friendly of the songs.

      ONF’s song was GREAT and MK’s voice was perfectly paired with that carnival sounding bridge. Easily my favorite part of the song and I like that they did something their own style instead of doing stadium anthems like everyone else aside from Verivery.

      Like

      • Same, I really liked Beautiful-x but this competition seems allergic to bright/fun concepts for some reason.

        I was surprised they sent Hyunjae for the vocal performance since he is a lead vocalist, whereas the others sent their main vocalists. At the same time, you could see why he wasn’t a main vocalist – other than Yeonho arguably, Seoho/Hui/Hyojin outshined him during the performance.

        Anyway, The Boyz has always been known more for their dance and performances, not so much for their vocals, but its still expected that they would have at least two great singers within such a large group – other groups their size did, such as K.R.Y, D.O/Baek/Chen and Seungkwan/DK. The premise of RtK is an advantage for them precisely because its so performance-based.

        Like

  14. Road To Kingdom in a nutshell:

    Pentagon = (G)I-DLE

    BRING ALL DA PROPS AND DANCERS AND HORROR OVERLOAD KABOOOOOM

    ONF = Oh My Girl

    No one cared about them at the start, but ends the show at 2nd place.

    ONEUS = AOA

    Good stages. But their ranks suck.

    The Boyz = Mamamoo

    You know they’re 1st before the show even barely started.

    Like

  15. .

    Damn, one screen-free weekend and I am very late to the party.
    One comment: that BTOB cover. Not good. More flat notes than not. oof, doof.

    Like

  16. I started watch this show because of ONF I recognized them from Mixnine (group from small company, Hyojin is a great singer). During the first episode The Boyz stood out of all group, so my favorite was these 2 teams until collaboration stage. Dark and shouting template was too annoying me, I want to skip while I watch this show. Some group make me feel annoying from this kind of song and same concept. The Boyz performance is the only group that I can enjoy re-watching it. The last stage of ONF seem so weak like they’re lose hope to win or they might be overconfident in their song compare to other stage. I love ONF 2nd stage the most. On final I voted for The Boyz because I want to see more performance from them unlike some group which seem not improve at all. I am not the real fan of K song but The Boyz deserve it and I want to see an unexpected performance again.
    I think this show is an opportunity to show different charm of their group to gain more fan and to me The Boyz is the most success on this. Pentagon is the most disappointed group for me, if their style was good enough then they should had a lot of fandom, which is not. They should evaluate the result during the show and improve it to gain more fan. Oneus performance on this stage is getting better and more excited, I wish they able to get the kingdom ticket for 1st winning on last stage. Oneus is improving a lot during this show. Anyway I don’t agree with your ranking but this is our own taste.

    Like

  17. Never a fan of countless survival/variety/reality shows, but gotta thank Mnet for showcasing ONF’s talents. To think they could do sci-fi/post-apocalyptic concept for a finale (and able to do this well !!), ONF is nothing, but a supremely creative/innovative group with equally great music to boot. My hats off to them (and Hwang Hyun and Freemind).

    Pentagon. The boys are burnt out, plain and simple. They either need rest, or a magic touch from someone else.

    The Boyz, Oneus — nothing against them, but they really bored me. I’m just picky, that’s all.

    Like

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