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Queendom: Season Two – Episode Three Recap and Ranking

Queendom Season 2Warning: This recap is not spoiler-free. Proceed at your own risk!

EPISODE ONE RECAP // EPISODE TWO RECAP


This week’s episode took quite awhile to get to its performances. First, we had reaction and fallout from last week’s voting results. Then, we moved into a lengthy series of mini games where the groups could win chances to see spoilers of their competitors’ rehearsals (choreo, song choice, wardrobe, etc). None of this amounted to much beyond behind-the-scenes fluff, but it filled the first thirty minutes of the episode.


ROUND TWO: COVER SONG BATTLE

Round two involves the contestants pairing up and covering each others’ songs. Obviously, some acts have a much deeper catalog to pull from than others, making the pairings themselves pretty important. As usual, this round will be split between episodes, so I’ll rank the three we saw this week and combine them with next week’s for a final verdict.

Disclaimer: I’m watching the full show, not just clips on YouTube. So, the editing of each performances may inadvertently factor into my rankings. But, I’ll be embedding the full YouTube performances in these posts.


MY RANKINGS

3. Brave Girls – MVSK


Brave Girls drew the short end of the stick… not that they had any choice in the matter. While other groups had years of songs to choose from, they were stuck with the newly-debuted Kep1er’s handful of tracks. Luckily, they opted for b-side MVSK, the group’s strongest song yet. Still, it sucks that their competition got to deliver these big, instantly-recognizable hits and Brave Girls were dealt a b-side that many viewers have never even heard before. On the positive side, I guess this gives them the chance to make it their own?

Poor Minyoung’s post-Covid symptoms seemed to be the star of the behind-the-scenes package this week. You better believe MNET amplified and lingered on every single cough. It was honestly uncomfortable to watch. I just wanted to reach through the screen and tell her it’s okay to rest. Please, take care of your health!

Brave Girls were working under a lot of constraints for this performance, and I think it showed. MVSK just didn’t match the ambition of tonight’s other stages, and I don’t think that’s their fault at all. I’d happily watch them perform anything, and this was a very slick effort. I loved the dance break, but I wish they did more with the song during the rest of the performance.

2. WJSN – Navillera


WJSN wisely choose a GFriend song rather than the lone single VIVIZ have released as a trio. And, they picked my absolute favorite GFriend song! I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Navillera covered before, and this can end up being a tricky proposition. Even before WJSN’s performance began, I knew I’d picky about any changes they made to the arrangement. Navillera runs on pure propulsion, and it’s hard to improve upon that.

With those expectations, I wasn’t crazy about this version of the song. The staging was very on-brand for WJSN and I think it’s cool when artists totally switch up a well-known track, but this was all over the place. However, WJSN’s performance was solid and they nailed the power notes. Even when the track itself meandered (that post-chorus instrumental break was not for me), they filled the stage with energy and kept things engaging. It was a mixed bag, but it should have been a knockout.

1. LOONA – Shake It


LOONA are ready to throw down the gauntlet after being sidelined last round. They had a lot of great songs to choose from – both Sistar’s hits and Hyolyn’s solo work. They ended up going with one of my favorite Sistar songs: the summer classic Shake It. This is definitely not the sound I’d expect from LOONA, though of course they’re ready to reinvent the track to fit their own style and Queendom’s “bigger is better” sentiment.

They received a choreography lesson from Hyolyn herself, which seems like an odd advantage in this competitive atmosphere. But, Hyolyn is quickly proving herself the ‘cool unnie’ that everyone loves. Her confidence is infectious.

As for the performance? I loved everything about it. It was so much fun to watch, filled with smart stagecraft and great dancing and engaging energy. The brassy, movie musical arrangement took the song in a completely unexpected direction, yet never strayed from the elements that make the original version so great. This is such a hard balance to pull off, but LOONA did it with flair. For as many ideas as they moved through, the performance never felt fragmented. I loved the momentum of the storytelling, I loved the costuming, and I loved the positive vibe. I’m very impressed. This is going to be a difficult stage to beat.

106 thoughts on “Queendom: Season Two – Episode Three Recap and Ranking

  1. Oooh, I was definitely speculating hard how Nick’s ranking was going to be this week. I ended up landing on WJSN < LOONA < BG but I was very wrong haha.

    I'll save most of my opinions when everything's been but LOONA was the standout and I enjoyed BG's over WJSN, simply because I didn't really enjoy WJSN's that much. I was confused by the stage and song of WJSN, and I thought Brave Girls had a really thought out performance even despite their reluctance to dance a lot.

    It's pretty hard to judge the vocals in these performance because again, leaks have revealed that certain groups had rougher vocals live. Another voice crack was very talked about after the Round 2 filming, but you wouldn't know it's from WJSN if you didn't hear about it. They edit the vocals pretty largely and it really does cause certain groups to be seen more favorably simply because the show doesn't show these flaws to provide a cleaner performance. I also think LOONA suffered from a loud crowd that seemed to be edited out too, I've heard bits of their leaks and it sounded much better vocally there.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks for your insights on the vocals, its frustrating how little we can trust the vocals on these performances knowing how much major editing can be done. I didn’t even consider that Loona’s vocals could have been negatively impacted by the editing. I want to commend WJSN and Yeonjung in particular for their live singing, given that at least a voice crack indicates attempts at singing live.

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      • Now that I got to listen to a WJSN leaks, they sound pretty good, some of their notes weren’t as good, but they were definitely live singing and one high note (from Yeonjung I think?) was particularly impressive. I do think every group was probably live singing and that should be commended but I do think editing will make it difficult to have any kind of objective analysis on the vocals.

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    • The whole audio is just off. Whoever is in charge of audio production needs a re-assignment.

      I usually start with the idea that all Queendom/Kingdom stages are prerecorded and lipsynced, because in the past they always have been. Also post-production polish even on live stages is the norm, even with shows like Immortal Songs and Masked Singer and Yu Hee Yeol’s songbook. For the record, based upon watching too much Forestella, KBS does the best live show audio engineering.

      I found all three performances to have lousy mic quality, regardless if it was live live with/without post-production polish, or pre-recorded with/without post-production polish. Seriously the audio sounds like a fan cam from aging cell phone with the quality set low to conserve space. (Because old phone) WJSN suffers the worse because it comes off as screaming not singing, especially the high notes.

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      • I sometimes wonder if they’re editing exclusively for the cell phone crowd. I imagine them being in a fancy studio replete with slides and knobs and the machine that goes “BING!”, but it all feeds into a wall of cell phones when they want to listen to the finished product.

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      • Thank you. The audio was ridiculously bad. I think it bugged me on BG’s stage the most since they were mostly singing live and whoever the audio engineer was kept being late on switching their mics. It’s ridiculous that agencies have to pay so much to put these performances together while Mnet puts in the bare minimum on their side.

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  2. Opted to watch the performances on YT before the episode again, so I haven’t seen all the behind-the-scenes context for each performance. I think I largely agree with your ranking and points made.

    Loona’s performance was crazy fun, loved the musical-like arrangement and great use of props and acting. Obviously the song choice was great too, Shake It is just great. Overall just a really fun, cohesive stage that I totally imagine went down well with the live audience too.

    I also found WJSN’s remix very confusing – in particular the transition from that dark intro to the first verse was very jarring. I just didn’t particularly enjoy the new sections they added, particularly Exy’s rap, which I felt like it could have been a lot better (also it was very distracting how much she clashed with the backing track…which I guess its nice to know she was attempting to sing live?). I did enjoy most of it though, and it kept my attention throughout – just a little bit all over the place, as you said.

    I felt bad for Brave Girls too, getting stuck with Kep1er. This is exactly where Kep1er’s inclusion in the lineup becomes questionable – such a small discography to choose from, its impossible not to feel like whoever gets them is being given a disadvantage. You’re right that being able to pick a recognizable hit like Shake It or Navillera is just always gonna stick out over a B-side from a rookie (though I don’t know if the familiarity with Navillera worked in WJSN’s favour this time, seeing how polarized opinions on it have been), even if I really love MVSK, and I thought that Brave Girls managed to pull it off with their reinvention. I really wanted to like this performance, and I did overall, but unfortunately after watching it a few times I have to admit it didn’t stick out to me that much.

    I would comment on each of the groups’ vocals, but…as Phloxinvar pointed above its hard to do that knowing just how much editing could be done between the performance and the official broadcast version. I want to say WJSN sounded a lot better than Round 1 live singing wise and Yeonjung slayed the high notes, but who knows how much editing was done? On the other end, I could barely pick up any live singing from Loona, though now I also realize that they instead could have suffered from the editing done.

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    • I wouldn’t have known about the editing of the vocals if it wasn’t for you and a few others. So thank you for bringing that to my attention. I also agree that kep1er being on the show (even though the girls themselves probably don’t have much say) was very problematic for the reason stated. It’s almost like mnet wanted a performance done of one of their b sides.

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    • I have to agree about Exy’s rap not matching with the backing track. I wished a lot of KPop groups would understand this type of problem. I’ve even heard this type dissonance from Soyeon in some of (G)I-dle’s live performances. As for Loona’s performance, it was really good. Not a Goddess-tier cover like OMG’s cover of “Destiny,” but REALLY good. Is Kep1er now expected to do a Brave Girl’s song cover? That could be really interesting. Probably about as interesting as MNet’s editing on that particular cover. If that is the case, I’m really hoping for a cover of the 3rd greatest City Pop track ever, “After We Ride.”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d put BG’s MVSK cover above Navillera one simply because the arrangement of WJSN’s cover was kind of not my thing. Did we need that trap rap part really? That did not sound good unfortunately.

    LOONA was fun tho!

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  4. Brave Girls “MVSK”: I really feel for these ladies. Two of the best known instances of reverse-charting are EXID and Brave Girls. The former took that initial momentum and became iconic. The latter, BG, well.. the issue is how well Brave Brothers (Kang Dong-chul) backs them up. I remember when I first encountered Brave Girls. At the time, Dong-chul, was one of the best known producers in the industry creating songs for artists from every agency. You’d think he’d give his best material to his own in-house acts, but that wasn’t the case. While the charts were alit with songs produced by Brave Entertainment, it was other groups getting the laurels, not the agencies own Brave Girls. So.. ..yeah.. ..not a lot of love for Brave Girls from their own company. I still followed them for years and met each release with “yeah”, “meh”, and “nah” assessments, but I always wished them great success. However, when I heard they were going to bank their current success on a ticket to Queendom 2, I winced a bit. Their performances, thus far, are the reason why. I seriously hope they can turn things around with the show. Time will tell.

    WJSN “Navillera”: This season of Queendom is a little grating. Part of that is the attitudes from some of the participants. Whether it’s evil editing or the actual personalities of the girls, the tough bitch “We’re not friends, this is a competition” spiel was old from the start. Two of the biggest offenders are SinB and Exy. As such, both are causing me to think less of their associated groups. It didn’t help when MNET created that whole “Luda said what?”/”SinB said what to Yeoreum?” crap; which cast additional negative energy between VIVIZ and WJSN. Moving past that, I think WJSN’s true charm is in their more ethereal songs like “Secret” or “Dreams Come True”. In second place, their peppy releases really shine, such as “Happy” and “Boogie Up”. In last place, their crush efforts such as “Unnatural”. I like songs from WJSN that span all three types, but their dreamy releases take the highest slots with me. That said, I think they should’ve chosen “Love Whisper”, “Summer Rain”, or even “Time for the Moon Night” and given it the “Secret” treatment (e.g., harpsichord’ish/music box elements, sliding synths, poppy beats, etc.).

    Disclaimer: Alright, y’all know I love me some LOOΠΔ and that I perpetually orbit these girls. That said, I’m going to try to EQ out the fanboi part of me. ..a bit. ..to the extent that I’m able to. ..dammit.

    LOOΠΔ “Shake It”: When I first learned that LOOΠΔ was going to tackle Hyolin, my immediate thought was “Oh, God, please let them do a Broadway version of “Give It To Me” with Bob Fosse’esque choreo and thick lean into sultry jazz.”. Think more “cabaret”, less “burlesque”. Then I tried to truly envision that (LOOΠΔ’s ability to pull it off) and I was no longer sure about it. Maybe.. ..I don’t know. Regardless, they chose “Shake It” and I froze for a second. Really? “Shake It”? No, really? Not “I Like That”, or “Shady Girl”, or “I Swear”? But.. ..”Shake It”? Oh well, prepare for what is to come. Then I saw the final stage performance. Jaw: slacked. Eyes: bulged. Heart: fluttering. They went Broadway!!! Hell yes!!! Look. I said I was going to “try” to filter out the fanboi and assess fairly, but come on.. ..even in full impartial mode, that stage was FIRE! I eat that stuff up like candy and the girls did not fail to impress. Charm. Energy. Pizzaz. It had it all. Even the little bits of acting going on in the background. Check out the other members during the performance when they aren’t the focus of the main camera. Magical!

    P.S. You know.. ..it’s harder to filter out “fanboi” mode than you’d think. Just saying…

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    • I’m totally with you on being over the whole dramatic competitive atmosphere, though personally I think most of this is Mnet’s doing – especially with the self evaluating being a “pick someone one level lower than you” thing, it was so incredibly awkward and just itching for bad blood between the participants. If I was picked by 3 other groups as a group that did worse than them, I might also have gone “fuck all of y’all, we’ll show you” and gone all competitive. On the other hand, I didn’t find the SinB/Yeoreum moment in Ep 1 all that negative – if anything, Mnet’s desperate attempt to sell it as the fight of the century – what with the cut-in reactions from other girls and the dramatic music and the flashback – when both of them were trying not to laugh was hilarious to me. I actually think Viviz and WJSN have the closest relationship on this show by far, which is a little upsetting in another sense because the members were friends going into the show – I want to see new friendships form!

      As for SinB being the worst offender of this competitive vibe – I think she’s self-aware of how easily Mnet can use her facial expressions and sarcastic humour for drama and evil editing, and she may even just be thinking “might as well give them a show” and going all in and playing that kind of role. Whether I like this or not, or whether I blame this on her or Mnet forcing her…I don’t know. I also don’t really want to pinpoint the atmosphere on just a few people – I think the group lineup in general is just very awkward around each other, which obviously isn’t helped by Mnet’s shenanigans. A group like BTOB on Kingdom being very openly relaxed, casual, and outgoing could help break the ice (I didn’t watch Queendom, but again I heard the atmosphere was very lighthearted, so whatever happened there it turned out great), but I don’t know if there’s a participant like that this time around.

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      • yeah I agree, the atmosphere in the show’s likely not as negative as the editing and framing makes them seem.

        Apparently SinB’s going viral in Korea for her RBF and hamming up the drama (in such a way that’s obvious to the viewers that she’s creating drama for the sake of spicing up the show), which is absolutely delightful to see.

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        • As a BUDDY, I’m very familiar with her leaning into the image of being smarmy. How many YouTube videos exist where she’s making “eyerolls” and looks of disgust behind the other members’ backs? The girl is an imp and she has provided me with boatloads of chuckles as a result. That said, it’s one thing to go tongue-in-cheek with the group when you’re making fan or bts vids, it’s another to try and present yourself as the Cruella de Vil of Queendom. SinB shouldn’t play into that trap by feeding the MNET bears exactly what they want. It can easily backfire because many may not know she’s playing. I like her a lot and it’s already getting on my nerves.

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      • –I mean, everybody’s going to react differently and whatever, if you’re not a fan of manufactured drama or silliness then that’s fine. I find it entertaining, I know others may not. But saying it makes you actually think less of the girls/the groups is really out of left field to me.

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  5. I didn’t watch the episodes, just the performances. I genuinely don’t think I’m missing out based on past Mnet shows and Nick’s openings to these recaps.

    So I would’ve ranked them:
    3.WJSN
    2.Brave Girls
    1.Loona

    Cosmic girls just aren’t doing it for me, despite being one of the groups I was very excited to see compete. The arrangement was exactly what I hoped they wouldn’t do. Exy’s rap break flopped because they had the backing track with her shouting over it. No hate to EXY, it’s perfectly fine for her to get shouty when she’s doing all those moves, the backing track just shouldn’t have been there(it made it look like she can’t rap). They hit the high notes, but as far as the rest of the singing I’m realizing that WJSN really doesn’t have very recognizable voices (I can only figure out who’s who because I listen to their songs). It didn’t really matter who sang what. I also didn’t get the concept at all (Yes, I would know if I watched the episode…..but is your concept really that good if you can’t tell what it is from the performance itself?). My favorite part was Yeoreum’s dance break and besides the beginning it was the only time I was enjoying myself.

    Brave girls definitely didn’t have a lot going on in their performance, but I enjoyed how simple it was (not common for this series). The dance break was great (wish the stage didn’t end so quickly after) and the vocals sounded so much better than their round 1 performance. Yujeong’s in particular was quite satisfying. Although it felt a little on the nose, I actually think I got the concept Brave girls were going for (at least I got something at all) and they felt like veterans this time around. Really glad to see things improving, I hope they aren’t gonna be underestimated in this competition.

    Loona, a group that also has a lot of members, but there are more distinct tones in Loona in comparison to WJSN. Watching them back to back makes this very apparent. Anyways, this is my favorite song out of the three and I’m glad they went with a concept and arrangement that worked well with the original. I had a smile this entire performance, they fit so much in there! If I was unaware of the context of the stage and the original I would’ve assumed this was just their song. there is one nit-pick I have… I think the arrangement could’ve had more of the concept defining parts in when the girls are singing. Hopefully, y’all will know what I mean. All that said, I thought this was fantastic. I wasn’t a fan of their first performance but I appreciate the indulgence Loona is serving up so far.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I watched the whole episode and I don’t think I can tell anymore than you can what wjsn’s stage was supposed to be about. They were like, “we’ll use the hourglass issue to make a cooler story” and then it was like they just had a bunch of stuff out on a table and the hourglass was also there and supposedly there was some color changing sand in water. That aspect of it was weird, the arrangement was weird, the whole thing was weird… Yorm’s dance break was cool.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Is it weird that this show is making me dislike WJSN? I’m starting to feel like their songs are good because it’s just good material and the girls aren’t adding much to them. Yeonjung is a good vocalist, but I just don’t find myself really giving a crap now. This is such an uncomfortable feeling. Going from longing for comebacks and getting great songs that get put on repeat and the shower playlist to “Yeah, y’all can disband”. This is not the effect I think Starship is hoping for.

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    • Holy shit I don’t want to say it but I’m starting to feel the same way, and I hate it. I really wanted to get to know them better coming into this show and I’m walking out of it feeling indifferent about them so far, it’s frustrating. In Kingdom I was only familiar with Stray Kids, and I walked out of the show liking all of the groups a lot more, at least as idols/people if not music wise. I was glad that I got to know all of the groups through watching the show, so I was excited this time around to get to know WJSN, who I only cared about previously discography-wise, and now I’m wondering if I ever needed to care about anything else. This is not even a dig at their talent or anything, it’s just what I’ve seen of them on the show hasn’t really made me like them all that much.

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      • When WJSN first emerged, I watched all the variety shows, fan vids, etc., trying to get a better understanding of the members. Initially, the casual male fans were all going gaga over Cheng Xiao’s tatas. Then there were the rainbow brigades making 1,001 snippet vids over all the girl on girl innuendo that Eunseo brought to the mix. Moving past all of that, it was fun getting to know all the members. As per usual with new groups, part of their charm was the “deer in the headlights” innocence; which is now long gone.

        The 3 Chinese members are still officially listed as members, but, umm, yeah. Good luck prying Cheng Xiao, Meiqi, and Xuanyi from buckets of yuan they’re making back home. While my initial bias was Yeoreum, I have shifted between her, Eunseo and Dawon a couple of times. Luda is also charmer. I never really got into Soobin and Dayoung that much, not through faults with either. That leaves Exy, Bona, Seola, and Yeonjung; which brought significant attention to the group, but never really rang any bells for me. I recognize all of their contributions to the group, but still…

        What I have noticed, and not just from Queendom 2, is a shift in attitudes within the group. Maybe it’s fatigue, or frustration, or a general malaise with being unable to reach the top tier in the industry. Either way, some of them lost a little charm with me. Almost like, they’re not growing old gracefully. I don’t know. Not trying to mosh on the girls. Just throwing out thoughts.

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      • No, not an exaggeration. I don’t wish for their disbandment, but if they did I wouldn’t care. That’s how I feel and there’s nothing wrong with that. Go get an attitude with someone else.

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    • I like WJSN as a group and I was excited to see them on the show, but as things progress I have a feeling their gonna end up like Lovelyz from last season. This Navillera performance is REALLY polarizing (Sixth Sense anyone…) and unless they can come back with a knockout performance next round…idk if we’ll see them benefit much from this show. Also doesn’t help they got their juniors, IVE, killing the kpop world rn.

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      • That’s a good point. IVE could definitely over shadow WJSN. I don’t wish anything bad for the girls I just need that knockout performance myself.

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      • You had to bring up “Sixth Sense?” I’ve been trying to forget that performance. Lovelyz I think understood the assignment, but whoever “composed” the vocal and musical performance did not. It felt so empty and tepid compared to the original.

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  7. I’d rank them:

    1. LOONA
    2. Brave Girls
    3. WJSN

    Brave Girls performance was ok but as you said it lacked the overall ambition of a “Queendom” stage to me. WJSN’s on the other hand, had that but it just didn’t work out imo. I get the appeal of changing a song up and subverting expectations but going the dark route with an early GFRIEND song not to mention adding a rap to it is a BIT much imo.

    THEN THERE’S LOONA.

    I consider myself an orbit and given I’m pretty tapped in with Loona Island, I’ve been able to watch the fandom react to this performance all week and it’s wonderful to see. Personally, I didn’t care for their first round effort but this is easily the best performance of the show so far. There was just much packed into it’s 5 minute frame and each moment was as fun and charming as the last. Also major props to the girls I feel they did a great job. Especially Yves and Heejin.

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    • Agree, agree, agree. Oh, and I hate to be “that” guy, but would it kill them to give ViVi some more screen time? It’s getting to the point where I want to plagiarize Saturday Night Live’s Cowbell skit and submit it to SNL Korea. Even get Christopher Walken in there to exclaim to Will Ferrell, “I got a fever, and the only prescription, is more ViVi!”

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      • When I was watching the performance for the first time, during the part where they’re like “shake it for me”, i could’ve sworn vivi popping out from behind jinsoul was the first time I had saw her the whole performance.

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  8. Confession: I haven’t really bothered with Queendom. Mostly out of pettiness because I wanted Dreamcatcher there, but also because GP999 kinda left a bad taste in my mouth (Yurina >> Bahiyyih, I’m not gonna drop this) and my love for Yujin and CLC is the only thing that really made me bother with Kep1er. Their debut is just okay.

    Admittedly these recaps pique my interest briefly, but yeah, watching the clips I just feel I dodged a bullet, as this season is shaping up to be pretty ugly. (And fuck Mnet for focusing on Minyoung’s cough. Just vile.) Thanks for your service and covering this anyways, Nick.

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    • I’m with you on the whole Yurina issue. Although she may be better off not making the group. (Not hating on Kep1er. I just think she has a ton of talent that can be utilized better as a soloist. Plus, is she not an actress also?)

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    • OT: I really feel like all the GP999 voting stuff would’ve went down easier if Mnet didn’t implement that K/C/J voting system the whole way thru. It lead to a false narrative on who was safe and who wasn’t. So when it got switched to true one-pick right before the end, everyone who was percieved as popular because they were fillers for korean voters plummeted.

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  9. I think it’s too negative to call WJSN’s navillera their six sense moment because while there were conceptual mismatches with the song arrangement, it was still well performed.

    Similarly, phrases alluding to them “aging ungracefully” is 🤨 suspect and really turns one away from reading this comment section in future queendom reviews lmao.

    otherwise, loona’s performance was great fun, brave girl’s simple but effectively presented with the concept, and wjsn’s an unfortunate choice of song or arrangement. I look forward to the rest of the performances, but probably not the discourse.

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    • Yeah, let’s not bring that kind of energy into the table. WJSN is fine and just competitive even if I do like a very happy and friendly show. Editing changes how you view people, if my experience as an RPDR fan has taught me anything.

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      • I agree, as someone who was part of the WJSN comment thread, I wanted to clarify my comment wasn’t meant to be a dig against them at all, it was mainly frustration that the way the show was presenting them wasn’t making me like them, because I really wanted to like them. I apologize if my comment seemed to be in bad faith or contributed to that sort of energy. Mnet’s editing for sure plays a huge role in how the groups are viewed, and its important to keep in mind at all times that everything you see on screen isnt necessarily at all whats actually happening.

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      • THANK YOU I agree. Hilariously, a producer for queendom said that there isn’t “evil editing” in the show because viewers were more sophisticated + better at telling when the show’s playing up the tension (heavily paraphrased).

        Apparently there’s a phrase on korean social media for situations where the editing’s so obvious that viewers “watch while picking their nose”, which is very funny too

        I would also prefer a show with more interactions + funny and wholesome moments, or scenes that show the artistry and control the participants have in their stages.

        But it is what it is 😔 there’s no mood making group like mamamoo on queendom 2. I wonder if Apink participating as a senior group (similar to MMM and BTOB) would’ve changed the dynamics? but anyway, the time has passed for hypotheticals — I’m just watching the show with a meta-awareness that the members are friends behind the scenes and are deliberately hamming it up for entertainment haha

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        • Heyyy I was thinking the same thing! re: Apink being on the show as a hypothetical perhaps changing the atmosphere

          No evil editing my ass, sure it might not be working all the time but they’re still trying their hardest to create drama.

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          • 😭😭 definitely. I’m still trying to find a space to discuss the show where the discourse’s not tiring. Viviz’s sinb’s also getting heat for her expressions in another online space i participate in, so im 😩

            As thorough as the moderating in the Queendom reddit gets, there are a few too many posts about kep1er, even as someone who was strongly against them joining (my thoughts are: they’re on the show ultimately as a participant, so we should just contain the thinkpieces to the rant thread)

            but yeah, Apink’s hilarious and chill and while there were apparently scheduling conflicts, I would’ve loved to see them :(( They’re at that perfect level of seniority + accomplishments to relax and sit on their laurels and joke around lmao

            Liked by 1 person

    • As someone who made the sixth sense comparison, I will say it stemmed less from the actual quality of the stage. (Unpopular opinion, i didn’t even think the Sixth Sense was that bad) and more from the reception of the whole thing. WJSN are talented and I expect them to bounce back but for now I feel like their gonna be on the recieving end of a lot of criticism.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Thank you! As a major fan of Brown Eyed Girls (BEG), I very much enjoyed the Lovelyz performance. Did they completely pull it off? Eh!?, but credit where credit is due for having the brass to go that route. As far as I’m concerned, BEG haven’t received nearly enough recognition for the incredible discography they’ve gifted the world. Sure, people are still raving about “Abracadabra” (and justly so), but I’ve almost two dozen of their tracks that still pop up in my playlists.

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      • yeahhh I think that there were largely negative responses about wjsn’s stage in the queendom reddit, which is unfortunate because I thought that the stage was fine, as badly planned as it was.

        but on the bright side, it looks like the korean viewers’ reception isn’t as overwhelmingly negative as for six sense! (which is great imo, lovelyz got so much underserved hate and online bullying 😬).

        Judging from what I’ve read, it looks like most comments were that there was a concept mismatch for wjsn’s witch concept + navillera’s bright vibe, but WJSN ultimately performed well (and praise for yeonjung’s vocals).

        So it’s a relief that the criticism’s not getting as bad as how it got for poor lovelyz :”D

        Liked by 2 people

    • I have stated numerous times that I’m a WJSN fan and have been since pre-debut. However, being a fan doesn’t mean having a “gag order” when you develop a peeve. Anyone that is a true fan will call out things when they experience them. Otherwise, there’s no growth for the group and the fan/member relationship is a sham. Do you have any idea how many times I’ve had to read less than stellar words about groups I really like? Well, considering I’m a fan of the majority of groups in the entire industry, that happens a LOT and in many ways.

      So, “yeah”, I think there’s some negative attitude slipping through the cracks lately with “some” of the members. Maybe they need to work on that? ..or not? I’ll stick with them either way, though I may not appreciate some members as much as I use to.

      …and I’m not sorry for anything I’ve written here. I have thoughts and opinions and I’m entitled to share them; just as you’re entitled to yours. Welcome to being a member of a large society of different thinking people.

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      • Of course you’re entitled to your own beliefs about a group you’re a fan of, and I’m glad that you agree that I’m also entitled to expressing my concerns about potentially ageist and sexist commentary.

        The condescension was unneeded, but I guess this is the interwebs!

        Liked by 2 people

        • You thought I was being “ageist” and/or “sexist”? You aren’t very familiar with my contributions to this site, are you? More specifically, about the fits of hyperbole I meander off on when trying to make even simple points.

          Oh, well; tomato tomato.

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          • I’ve been reading this site since 2016, so yeah I’m familiar with your metaphors and imagery and all that jazz haha, so it’s unfortunate that our first conversation’s tone is this. (the end of year school scenarios were funny for what it’s worth, even though you stopped writing them)

            If you didn’t mean what you alluded re: “almost like, (the WJSN members)’re not growing old gracefully” and that it’s a poorly framed joke (?), I apologise for reading it without its intended meaning.

            But I hope that you also see how that statement comes off ageist and sexist, especially in an industry that shames older female idols for what they do (Mamdol’s terrible framing 😭)? and how it can be disconcerting to see a statement like that in the comment section, especially when conversations here largely tend towards respectful :/

            Liked by 2 people

            • Considering that the eldest is only 27, do you really think I was labelling them as old ladies? ..or that I was inferring that they are long in the tooth? For the record, the “not growing old gracefully” remark was meant as they’re appearing to be turning a little cantankerous, which is usually used when describing someone that has become hardened and jaded through a series of bad experiences and “yes”, is getting on in years; ergo, a curmudgeon.

              I was describing a phenomenon that happens to old people but applying it to young individuals. Perhaps I should’ve wrote, “They’re too young to be acting like someone that has spent decades in a tortured existence”. I understand their frustration, but……

              You know what? This is stupid. I made a statement. It got taken the wrong way. I’d have thought it was obvious I wasn’t calling a group of girls in their 20’s old ladies, but this is the internet and people have thin skins and transrational reasoning. So.. ..shame on me.

              Liked by 1 person

        • I want internet justice. You took something I wrote here and inferred that I must be “ageist” and/or “sexist” without first looking for clarification or gaining an understanding of the intent. You became indignant over an imaginary slight and attacked my character. As such, I would like both an apology and a corrective statement from you.

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          • I was initially going to leave our exchange at my earlier comment because I didn’t think that there was more to be said, but fine.

            > They’re too young to be acting like someone that has spent decades in a tortured existence”
            This would’ve been a perfectly fine statement to make, and I’m sorry for not reading what you wrote as this/ its intended meaning, as I’ve already apologised for in my previous comment.

            However, if you don’t think that ‘aging ungracefully’ is a gendered statement, especially in the context of this industry, I think we don’t have more to talk on this issue and we should chalk this disagreement down to a difference in opinions on the state of this industry.

            Not to Xeno specifically, but I’m sorry to Nick for derailing the comment section for something I intended to be a brief cover about the issue. And to the other reply in this chain, it’s off putting to see the word “feminazi” unironically used in 2022, and especially in this space which has largely been a site for measured discussions.

            Liked by 2 people

            • Dropping in like a deus ex machina to declare this exchange officially over.

              Let’s dust off our shoulders and focus on the music. Let’s assume the best intentions about others until proven otherwise. And Xeno, people make inferences about me every day. The things I’ve been called and accused of… I never thought this would be part of the K-pop blogger gig, but here we are.

              Hell, you and I had a lengthy exchange about this very thing a few months ago regarding a Weki Meki review!

              Shin… you’ve been following this little ol’ site since 2016?!? My god, how have you endured my ramblings and rants for so long??? Haha just kidding. But seriously, that’s endurance reading me bitch and moan for six years!

              Liked by 1 person

              • Understood o7!

                I’m regretful that this exchange got on for as long as it did, but I’m glad that we both ultimately managed to say our piece in a way that didn’t get too messy (?) (or at least that how I’ve been understanding the responses)

                > My god, how have you endured my ramblings and rants for so long??? Haha just kidding. But seriously, that’s endurance reading me bitch and moan for six years!
                that’s easy, especially when your write ups have been as enjoyable to read and full of imagery as they are! Reading this blog really is a part of my morning routine and I appreciate how you’re able to put the experience of listening to music down to words.

                As time went on, your diatribes started influencing my tastes in turn + willingness to listen to new songs too — I don’t think I would’ve given some a listen (nature’s allegro cantibile in particular) if not for your vv passionate and positive reviews!

                Liked by 1 person

            • You see, that’s the thing with cancel culture. Everything is a tripwire. Every post is a potential minefield of ill-intent. As self-proclaimed templars of righteous activism, you feel honor bound to ferret out all those dastardly windmills and joust them with your poison pens. So quick to wave your pitchforks and torches; but not quick enough to to recognize that you, yourself, are the one spreading harm and negativity by attacking and branding people with marks of shame. Hmm.. ..wasn’t that a thing that happened before in the dark history of humanity?

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          • Also, a correction: I wasn’t (and am not) indignant and didn’t comment with an intention of attacking your character. I’m sorry if that was how my words were perceived.

            I didn’t expect a condescending reply, and if you had replied by clarifying the use of the phrase, I would’ve immediately apologised (like how I did earlier)

            But it is what it is. After paragraphs of text, I think we’ve both clarified out points and there isn’t further to be said on this matter

            Liked by 2 people

  10. I think mine would be the opposite. I actually enjoyed Brave Girls the most since they seemed to try different things but still stuck to their sound. They also felt more cohesive conceptually here with the style actually matching the song (unlike their first week performance where the outfits didn’t really tie with the song). WJSN is in the middle because I’m biased toward the group. It wasn’t a bad remix, but I think it was clunky at times and they should have either leaned in further with the vampire and dark theme in the music or make it straight up tango. LOONA was the bottom for me. They did a good job but it felt more like a glorified music show performance than something more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • …Gloried music show performance? Is it because of the musical theatre acting of their performance? Or is it because it’s not dramatic or elegant but rather more playful in nature?

      I’m not saying that you need to like LOONA’s stage, but trying to compare it akin to something on a music show is very odd. You mean to say the props, the set split groups in costume, backup dancers, the outfit changes, the acting, the Chuu slide and broadway-esque remix of Shake It is of the same quality as something you see on a weekly music show where budget is conserved for various outfits and small stage? The criticism definitely feels like an understatement of what was there.

      Sorry by the way. I’m just tired of seeing this kind of criticism made a lot. Music show stages are far less impressive than any of the performances shown in Queendom so far so I can’t see why it’s such a common complaint.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Haha no problem. I do appreciate that they tried something different because they are a talented group but thinking about it some more it might be the remix itself. I felt like how it was mixed comes off like a lot of the recent “covers” of songs that have been on music shows where it is too polished and glossy in terms of the vocal performance. Certainly not their fault, but just blunted my enjoyment somewhat.

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        • Fair, though the glossiness of the vocals is likely attributed to Mnet’s editing of the official version. I can’t say why they make it like that, but it definitely smoothed over some of the vocals from the leaks of LOONA’s stage that I’ve heard.

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      • Haha touche! I didn’t quite know how to explain it, just how it was presented didn’t connect with me I guess. Maybe this series has become more of try to be as grand as possible, it just felt like something was missing although it was a nice twist.

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  11. Taking audio aside (see my comment above), my ranking based upon the performance:

    1) Loona – did the obligatory Queendom/Kingdom movie musical style staging, and it worked out really well. They also had the benefit of good song choice – its an easy song to sell.
    2) Brave Girls – sold the shit out of a mediocre song, and pulled it off as well as could be.
    3) WjSN – Navillera just did not work out for them. They suffered the most from the really bad audio production. And, mho, I think the song is too big and polished for their usual style of performance. They came across as young and inexperienced, when they are not.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Made me wonder why wjsn decided to choose navillera if they want to go with a witch concept. Gfriend literally had Apple which lyrics literally about witches *facepalm*

    Liked by 2 people

      • Well.. ..spiritual practitioners? The crystal ball.. ..the alchemy.. ..the manipulation of time. Either way, not a stretch from mystical arts. Though they failed to ensorcell me. Had they went with “Apple”? Hmm.. ..yeah.. ..that could have really been huge for them.

        Liked by 1 person

    • You know.. ..that’s a brilliant suggestion. It wouldn’t have been that far a stretch to take the mysticism that WJSN gave us in the “Secret” MV and channeled into a presentation of “Apple”. In fact, it could’ve been a showstopper for them. Major kudos for thinking of that.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Easy. It’s GFRIEND’s most popular song that isn’t Rough or Time for the Moonnight, songs that were already done.

      A song that is easily recognizable for the Korean GP, something Brave Girls wasn’t given a chance at. Clearly they thought they could overcome the challenge of covering a classic, but they didn’t get it right, nor did they consider an alternative that would’ve fit the concept they wanted.

      Liked by 1 person

      • And that’s the problem with having Viviz on Queendom. They aren’t showing why they deserve people to invest in them now, since it’s GFriend’s discography that’s being used. While it’s fair for them and the other groups to use it, it has the downside of just making you nostalgic for GFriend instead of proving why Viviz deserves to both be on Queendom and for people to support them as their own separate group.

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          • Hmm, you’re so quick to go after Jan, but let’s take a deep look at what you’re doing behind the scenes, Marcia!

            Everyone knows you deliberately ran into the path of that errant football. You’ve been trying to find a way for years to get Brady’s Bros out of the house and it is as plain as the misshaped playdough nose on your face. You’ve always considered the boys as an obstacle of your masterplan to recruit Jan and Cindy into your harem. You’re not fooling anybody!

            CONFESS!!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Sure, I’d prefer Hyolyn’s solo material to be chosen, but I understand why it isn’t. The difference I see is that Hyolyn, regardless of the song, is doing a great job marketing and present herself as a soloist instead of leaning in to nostalgia and the absence of her group members. Viviz’s entire first round performance was about pulling the heartstrings of everyone that misses GFriend. Hyolyn also has an advantage in that Sistar disbanded over 4 years ago which has allowed her to cement her own style and sound as a soloist. But what is Viviz’s unique color and sound? With just one release under their belt less than a year after GFriend disbanded, it’s too soon to say, which is the same problem Kepler has. I’m not trying to pick on them. I just think it’s too early in their careers to make an impact on Queendom by making other songs their own because we don’t know what their own is… and that is showing in the rankings.

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  13. I like the LOONA’s stage but the whole performance was kinda like a flat line, without a big moment and 5minutes were long. But they owned the song what WJSN couldn’t do with Navillera. It was too similar and worse than the original.

    I didn’t know the Kepler’s song, so I can’t judge Brave Girls’s performance.

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  14. wjsn is one of my favorite groups so it’s kind of depressing to see the amount of criticism being directed towards them but honestly, everyone else does have a point. in my opinion, their attitude and vibes on the show are great & i want them to win this show so badly and get the recognition they deserve, but if things continue like this that’s probably not going to happen. I feel like this time around they were too focused on just making sure their props don’t break so i’m just really crossing my fingers that they’ll step up with their performance for the next round.

    As for the other performances, I actually really loved brave girls’ performance of mvsk. They figured out how their round 1 performance needed to be improved and it’s clear that they implemented those changes in round 2. The rearrangement of this song is actually a lot better than the original (now, if only their actual comebacks sounded like this…)

    The best performance though was loona’s. It was adorable and definitely put a smile on my face. If it gets any lower than 2nd place I’ll probably just stop watching queendom entirely lol

    Liked by 2 people

  15. WJSN is definitely gonna get Lovelyz’d which is also fair imo since they haven’t released a good song since 2020 so a comeuppance was necessary 🤷‍♂️. Dawon not being present also gives me like no reason to care and this whole season is just confirmation that contract renewals are not happening in 2023.

    Loona’s performance was pretty good but I wish they’d lay off the Shein clothing and cut down a few of the more crunchy members.

    This whole season is just a big “ahhh I see” of why Nick isn’t into girl groups much and I totally agree. They can be really dramatic and the music starts to plummet when you start trying to target female audiences just cause they’ll buy any album if a member wears a suit and bites her lip

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      • Ah, so you’re one of those “feminists”, I presume? Cringe. No need to bring politics into this. Anyway, at least with boy groups you can feel that they’re interested in the music and they aren’t just there to stand and look pretty and get paid.

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      • Uh-oh, the Thought Police are here. Everyone scatter while I distract them with a soapbox exposition on “The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism”.

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        • Man, can you chill out a little with this type of comment? Like, I know you are a huge frequenter of this comment section and I have never minded hearing from you before, but I never asked to hear your opinions on feminism and I really have heard all I wanted to.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Sorry. I guess I get a little defensive when I’m here to discuss K-Pop, and my posts start getting picked apart and I’m attacked for being ageist and/or sexist from people that have no fucking clue who I am, how I think or feel, or what my philosophies are about gender, societal norms versus idyllic societal goals, the roles of individuals in any given collective, and every other topic of currently heated debates.

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          • …and by the way, that wasn’t a comment on feminism, it was a derisive comment directed at individuals that try to hijack unrelated blogs and forums to hunt down and call out “perpetrators”.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I’m not personally enamored with “cancel culture” or whatever we want to call it, but the comment you made up-thread was a response to someone criticizing a different person… who made really several very nasty unwarranted comments about girl groups AND female fans (so just, like, women in general)… and who elsewhere in these comments has already called us all feminazis. So we (The Women Of Nick’s Comments Section lol) really are quite justified in pointing out that this person’s comments are sexist. It’s hardly a witch-hunt.

              And I don’t think that anybody upthread (that I have seen) is willfully misinterpreting *your* comments, Xeno; they are just honestly expressing how it made them feel to read those things. (They didn’t even reply to you directly!) I think it is natural to feel badly and to get defensive when this happens, because most of us on earth are good people and we don’t want to feel that we have hurt another person! But unfortunately our defensiveness usually does not help this situation.

              In general it is helpful to try and recognize when you are getting defensive and take a step back in the moment. Nobody likes to feel that they are being misunderstood, but sometimes the best thing is to try and see things from the other person’s perspective and look at how you may have come off a certain way unintentionally. And then you can clarify that this was not your intention while also being respectful of their feelings and everyone can walk away feeling better. I always think there is no harm in trying to be nicer on the internet 🙂

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  16. I appreciate WJSN to make Navillera their own song, but it detach what we know and love about the original. Added rap and instrumental breaks don’t help at all. Luckily once they come back to the chorus, they sound amazing.

    For Loona, even though I’m mesmerized by the performance (and Hyunjin has many screen times!), I can’t help it to think that (1) why I always find they a bit awkward in big performances like this? Like parents watching high school play kind of thing, and (2) Shake It can be both limiting and exciting to cover. Limiting in terms of never-ending bridge structure which doesn’t give this song sense of climax until the very end, but exciting because you can do whatever in the between to fill those bridges.

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  17. Short Reviews…
    1. Brave Girls – They were the only group that made the song their own, even if the song they were forced to choose lacks impact. The audio engineering and late mic switches from Mnet were annoying as hell.

    3 (tie). WJSN – I love the original Navillera so much that I knew any changes would be tough for me to swallow. I wasn’t a fan of their remix. I also think they need to stop relying on power high notes (that are obviously retouched) to carry their performances.

    3 (tie). LOONA – Sistar and Hyolyn have such strong songs that I was a bit upset LOONA picked the exact same song Hyolyn did for the 1st round. In the future I hope they don’t allow duplicates like this. This could have been cute and it was to an extent. I just hate that whole “take off the glasses and they are beautiful!” Princess Diaries trope that their performance was based on.

    OVERALL THOUGHTS: With three acts (Viviz, LOONA, Hyolyn) who have two separate discographies as a group and solo artist(s) or two groups, I think there should be a slight point reduction if they pick something from their older material. The issue I keep having with this season is that some artists (for me, it’s Viviz the most) are not showing what makes them special and worth investing in and rooting for NOW so much as they are making me nostalgic for the original songs and groups that released them.

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    • Touch my Body is not Shake It? I’m just clarifying here, HYOLYN did Touch My Body for Round 1 and LOONA did Shake It for Round 2. They kind of sound similar, but not really.

      If you are wondering about LOONA’s concept, it’s basically the MV of Shake It, but modernized. I do think the glasses thing is a little ridiculous, but musical theatre just is weird like that that I can handwave it a little.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lol whoops. I don’t know why I was thinking Hyolyn did Shake It for the first round, but it still doesn’t change my opinion on the rankings… I’m kind of surprised I didn’t make more mistakes since I just had surgery a few days ago and am ridiculously high on pain killers. 😹 Thanks for the correction!

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    • Shake It and Touch My Body are very similar-sounding songs in my opinion, but not similar enough that I’d get confused enough to write a comment about it with this indignant tone. No offense but this mistake is very funny to me. “In the future I hope they don’t allow duplicates like this.” Hahaha. I am having fun imagining you as a music reviewer when Shake It dropped in 2015. You would have been livid!!! “This song already came out last year,” you would say. “Why is no one talking about this? This is a DUPLICATE!!!!”

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      • 😹 I was around then. Sorry for the confusion. As I said in my reply above… I’m really high on painkillers from a surgery a few days ago. I know LOONA wanted to go for one of the bigger, brighter hits, but I still would have loved it if they either covered something from Hyolyn’s discography, Sistar19, or Sistar’s earlier songs like Alone or So Cool. Maybe I can trip them doing it in my imagination. Also, sorry if the post came across as indignant. I didn’t intend it to. LOONA is going to be at a disadvantage for me this round just because I can’t stand musical theater. 🤢 And on the LOONA front in general, I’m just hoping everything works out with Chuu more than anything.

        Liked by 1 person

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