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Queendom: Season Two – Episode Four Recap and Ranking

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

EPISODE ONE RECAP // EPISODE TWO RECAP // EPISODE THREE RECAP


We’re back with the remaining performances of the Cover Song Battle. Apart from one big standout, last week’s stages were a bit underwhelming. Let’s see if this week can turn the tables, or if LOONA have already secured the top spot on my ranking.


ROUND TWO: COVER SONG BATTLE

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

6. Brave Girls – MVSK


See last week’s recap for my full thoughts!

5. WJSN – Navillera


See last week’s recap for my full thoughts!

4. Kep1er – Pool Party + Rollin


Kep1er have a lot of great songs to choose from, but were concerned many of them were too “adult.” I would have predicted a High Heels performance this round (Brave Girls thought so too!), but they decided on a mash-up of Pool Party and Rollin. Both great songs, of course. Covering great songs almost carries more risk than covering mediocre ones. There’s a bigger chance of screwing it up.

This was a cute performance and some of the added elements worked very well. The rap was a nice touch, melding seamlessly with the existing arrangement. I’m not sure the Rollin mash-up was as successful. Those pieces needed to be more celebratory and less fragmented. Ditto for the tempo-changing dance breakdown (though the electric guitar was awesome). In fact, I think they should have streamlined their concept and given the entire stage a guitar-fueled power pop makeover.

(Of course, MNET’s drama-hungry editing hyper-focused on all the tiny mistakes and slip-ups in the choreography – complete with slo-mo footage and digital spotlights.)

3. Hyolyn – So What


From what I can recall, Hyolyn’s behind-the-scenes package was the only one to really focus on the song’s musical production and recording. This is the kind of stuff I geek out on, and I really respect her multi-faceted talent. From what MNET is showing us, it seems she is very much in the driver’s seat of her own Queendom journey. That sense of artistic vision is so exciting. There’s a confidence and clarity that comes from over a decade in the industry. I can’t help but think this is the real power the much-lauded “girl crush” concept seeks to replicate.

As for the song itself, Hyolyn chose So What. I remember the song being somewhat divisive upon release, but I think it’s one of the stronger LOONA titles. Emerging on an airborne hoop, Hyolyn owned the stage before she had even descended upon it. As expected, she performed the hell out of the track, armed with infectious confidence. I didn’t care for the song arrangement, so that’s knocking her down a few pegs. But, she’s captivating to watch and probably deserves to be top-ranked on skill level alone.

2. VIVIZ – Unnatural


WJSN have so many great songs to choose from. VIVIZ ended up picking one I’m not too thrilled with, but Unnatural apparently carries a spirit of “reinvention.” Reinvention seems like such a prized concept these days. Have K-pop groups always been so obsessed with the idea? Few idols (or more accurately, few agencies) simply lean into and explore the strengths they already possess. But, I guess Queendom is all about pushing yourself.

Anyway… VIVIZ reinterpret Unnatural as a tango. Despite being a totally different genre, the original version has that driving tango energy so the choice makes sense. And, I think this arrangement worked quite well. I’m not always a huge fan of tempo shifts, but the transitions here were purposeful and effective. The dance breaks were great (they had a gazillion backup dancers) and the chorus really popped with the extra percussion. Overall, it was quite an exciting spectacle – the kind of dynamic stage I’d expect from shows like this.

1. LOONA – Shake It


See last week’s recap for my full thoughts!


VOTING & FINAL THOUGHTS

I’m not covering the “who voted for who” thing that Queendom insists on doing because I think it’s nonsense, but… wow my “personal bias” ranking from week one is being flipped all over the place! I feel kind of bad ranking Brave Girls at the bottom this week because I don’t think they deserve it. They just had a number of factors working against them. None were in their control, either.

Anyway, we’ve got some final rankings this week — decided by a combination of audience, global and self-assessment votes.

6. Brave Girls
5. Kep1er
4. VIVIZ
3. WJSN
2. LOONA
1. Hyolyn

Hmmm… obviously there are some things I’d switch up about this ranking, but it’s not awful. Hyolyn is basically a wall when it comes to the audience vote. This makes sense because she’s the only one trying to actively engage the studio audience. I’m sure she’s electric in that space.

Poor Brave Girls are flailing with the global vote. But, they’ve never really been marketed as a “global” group (which is one of the reasons I love them). I’ll still be waving the BG flag with pride, despite my complete and utter betrayal this week! I’ll do penance. I promise.

37 thoughts on “Queendom: Season Two – Episode Four Recap and Ranking

  1. Only watched the clips. I rewatched all of them in order to be sure of my opinions of the stages.

    6.WJSN
    Kinda went in on them last recap post, so I’m gonna be brief. Least favorite arrangement, EXY’s rap was handled badly, I wasn’t all that engaged, but I did enjoy yeoreum’s dance break. Witch concept was cool, not the right song or arrangement for it though

    5.Kep1er
    I loved their concept and I enjoyed the performance until the chorus. They didn’t need to put Rollin’ as a part of it. I also feel like the dance break starts off a little awkwardly. In general, the transitions could’ve been better . Did they include the wadada riff too? Some of the decisions made really took away from what could’ve been a standout performance

    4.Viviz
    I like their performance the more I see it. I think the arrangement was unexpected but suited the song well. I wish the Latin inspiration translated to the dance more but I’m happy with what I got. The mirror sequence was cool, it had an exciting end, and the ladies felt more convincing this time around. I still feel a little bit of awkwardness from them here and there. Also they sing well, but if Yuju was there she’d kill those high notes. I think more vocal power could benefit Viviz.

    3.Brave Girls
    They elevated MVSK for me. I loved their vocals this time and around and they showed a lot of charisma. I loved the disappearing moves they did and the dance break. I didn’t mind how simple it was, but I do wonder what more they could’ve done with the concept

    2.Hyolyn
    She’s honestly on a mission to eat all the competition and shit them out. I believe her when she says “I’m so bad”. Cat woman concept was so much fun. She just kills, it’s amazing how she’s performing alone yet sings live and gives so much charisma. The one negative I had was with the arrangement, I felt like it should’ve been fuller in some places, but that’s about it.

    1.Loona
    Really got to appreciate the members’ tones here, which is a strength of Loona imo. Loved the arrangement; it fit the vibe of the original. Dancing was improved by the musical theatre aspect. A fantastic performance. However, a small nitpick….the move with Kim lip’s foot was a lil awkward. I would’ve expect her to go higher, just sayin’. Ultimately this beats Hyolyn for me just because it’s a vibe (and song) that I much prefer.

    honestly 4 and 5 as well as 1 and 2 are very close

    Liked by 4 people

    • My first three are fixed, but, yeah, I originally had Kep1er in fourth place with WJSN/VIVIZ in fifth and sixth, but I dropped Kep1er into last place out of respect for the other two groups. While I enjoyed Kep1er’s performance, their singing was a little too helium for me. Had they dropped it down an octave, they could’ve easily had taken third with me.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yeah they can be a bit too sugary for me with their vocal performance which is saying something since I don’t usually mind it. Comparing them to the others reminds me that I don’t prefer it even though I can tolerate it

        Liked by 3 people

  2. My assessment, thus far…

    Brave Girls: So far, they’ve lived up to the dread I felt when I heard they were going to be on this season. I truly like them but their current image doesn’t mesh well with this type of show. The past couple of years, they’ve been developing a mature laid-back image and there’s nothing wrong with that, but this show requires bombast and showmanship, which the girls could tap into with earlier BG releases, but alas…

    Brave Girls “Nowadays You” (2012)
    Ref (BG:NY): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rgk-wTlJNMU
    Brave Girls “High Heals” (2016)
    Ref (BG:HH): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gF2Pg5dbYN4

    WJSN/VIVIZ: Both groups haven’t wow’ed me yet and I’m a big fan of both. Both seem a little rudderless as if they’re afloat, but not sure which direction to go. That could leave either of them circling the drain, or sailing off into the sunset with a win. Time will tell.

    Kep1er: The initial dewy-eyed “deer in the headlights” image was enough to get their foot in the door, but they need to step up at this point. They’ve got the energy and the charm to do it, but “it” is usually something that takes a couple of years to develop; meaning, they’re too new to be acting like seasoned professionals. So, they should stop trying to Hyolin the stage and focus only on being what they are; an energetic group of young girls that can pull off trendy current gen dance moves and modern glitz.

    Hyolin: Hyolin is what Park Bom wasn’t. I am a life-long Bommie fan, but I felt her appearance on Q1 was a mistake from the start. Miss Park is a true legend with a unique voice, but she is not an effortless performer. There’s a lot of scaffolding around her work. I don’t think she’s ever been lead dancer material and while her voice makes me swoon, I know it’s a major process of multiple studio takes and some minor wizardry needed to push her through the speakers. Miss Kim, on the other hand, is the opposite. Hyolin thrives on the boards. It’s almost unfair to have her on the stage with the other acts. While she is this seasons solo act, she is less like Park Bom, and more like Q1s mamamoo. Meaning, a performer that was going to be hard to compete against simply because she arrived already on a pedastal.

    LOOΠΔ: Yes, I’m an orbit. I’m also a Bae, a Na.V, a Ujung, a Fearless, and an aspiring Kep1ian. But in the interest of putting all cards on the table, yes, I’m rooting to LOOΠΔ to win the whole shebang. Do others deserve to win? Sure, but I’m still rooting for these girls. That doesn’t mean I have blinders on. I recognize that having to pass on round one set them back significantly and the phone-in performance of “PTT” was a lesser version of OMGs Q1 performance of “Destiny”. I really, really loved their “Shake It” stage, but that is less about of me being a fanboi and more about my love of that type of production. Can they ultimately win? I don’t know. The next challenge is pairings. Strategically, if they can’t bag Hyolin as a partner, then the next best combo would be.. ..Chuu with Yeonjung (WJSN)? Kim Lip with Yujin (Kep1er)? I don’t know. I do know they’re holding off on using “Butterfly” until a final stage scenario, so there’s that to look forward to.

    As far as my rankings for the second challenge (listed first to last):
    LOOΠΔ > Hyolin > Brave Girls > WJSN > VIVIZ > Kep1er

    Liked by 3 people

    • I just love the way to talk. I could never be so eloquent.You’re spot on with a lot of those takes. initially, I was nervous for Hyolyn because of how badly Bom did on the show (results-wise, I really enjoyed seeing her on the show). She really brings the superstar energy, dances more, and I think her vocals are easier for the average person to digest.

      Liked by 3 people

    • OMG you took the words right out of my mouth! BG’s image doesn’t mesh with Queendom 2’s and it shows. It breaks my heart whenever I see their faces when their announced to be close to/in last place. WJSN/Viviz are what I refer to as “floaters”. They aren’t first and aren’t in last place either. Their Queendom performances so far lack the special spark that I’ve seen from them outside the show. Hyolyn always knocks it out of the park and I wouldn’t be surprised if she won. I also found Loona’s performance to be the best and I REALLY wish they won since it was such a fun and charming performance.

      If Kepler never made the decision to remix Rollin with Pool Party I feel like they could have succeeded. That chorus was awfully executed. I feel like they had one of those ideas that sounds good in the moment but just didn’t work in the long run. The choreography was adorable and I’m glad Xiaoting didn’t hit her head while flipping over on that pole thing during the dance break because I was scared to death when I saw that. Also I give major props to Dayeon for being super professional despite falling of the stage during the last segment.

      It truly does take years to develop that professional “it” factor which is why I was disappointed with their casting. They’re a good group but they literally just debuted in January and still have a long way to go.

      Also unrelated but it truly IRKS me whenever MNet implies that Bahiyyih is a foreigner despite being born in SK. Yeah she might be half-white but she’s still Korean nonetheless.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey, I really appreciate your honesty with brave girls. I’m sure they’ll be fired up like Loona and blow us away next time. I really didn’t expect them to be doing so badly at this point

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I was also really hoping for high heels by brave girls. It seems they’re copying the format of the first season so maybe High heels will be the fandora’s box song?

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Warning: Massive comment ahead, I apologize

    Poor Brave Girls can’t catch a break, can they? 😢 They don’t have the support from the Korean live audience nor the global fans. I’m terrified they’re going to place 6th next round and be eliminated, as much as I think Mnet created the rule just for drama and also do not actually want any eliminations. I would love for them to triumphantly bounce back with an absolutely stellar performance, but I’m worried that won’t even be enough the way the rankings seem to be kinda locked in.

    “Hyolyn is basically a wall when it comes to the audience vote. This makes sense because she’s the only one trying to actively engage the studio audience. I’m sure she’s electric in that space.” Total facts. I have no idea why the other groups are not catering to the live audience more given that they make up a whole 60% of the points. Everyone else is doing a lot of close-up camerawork stuff, which looks nice for our screens watching on YT, but I imagine a live audience member wouldn’t love seeing the backs of the camera dudes blocking the actual girls on stage. No surprise then why Hyolyn in comparison would feel even more thrilling than she already naturally is.

    Anyways as for the performances, I’ve watched this weeks performances and rewatched last weeks, and a (very) tentative ranking:

    Loona > Hyolyn > Viviz > WJSN > Brave Girls > Kep1er

    To be honest, the only performance that I liked right off the bat was Loona’s, and Hyolyn’s to an extent. But after rewatching I ended up appreciating most of them more, though the last 4 could really go any way.

    Definitely found Kep1er’s performance a big improvement to their last round’s – fun concept and props, and I think Pool Party was a good choice. I don’t think Rollin was needed at all, and I kinda groaned hearing that chorus yet again. Almost felt desperate in a way – “look!! we added Rollin again, what a popular song!! don’t you just love it???” Dayeon’s mistake was quite unfortunate, though I commend her professionalism in sliding back into the final position.

    I thought about it again, and I ended up putting Brave Girls’ performance here. I really wanted to like it, but unfortunately I just can’t get into it as much as I wanted to. Although I found that their re-interpretation of the song really made it feel like their own, the performance didn’t really captivate me. I thought the concept was cool, but again I feel like they could have done more with it. However, I totally see why other people would enjoy it (I see them at 3rd in a lot of people’s lists), and despite my personal opinions, I definitely think they deserved a lot better than 6th.

    Same stuff I said last week about WJSN – weird mismatch in concept and song, and I didn’t like the new segments they added in, particularly Exy’s rap which landed kinda badly for me. However, I enjoyed all the other segments, so perhaps its Navillera itself carrying this for me.

    I really wasn’t into Viviz’s performance on first listen, but rewatches made me appreciate it more. I think they had the most creative concept and ideas with the tango inspiration, and I think it worked well with the song. Also, this isn’t really their fault, but I’m really missing Yuju’s voice here, as Guntherstewart pointed out above. All 3 of their voices are quite similarly soft – a powerful voice could have really shaken it up.

    Hyolyn slayed, as usual. She’s undoubtedly miles ahead of everyone in terms of just sheer talent and charisma. The hoop intro was crazy and she killed the vocals in this song. Unfortunately, I also just didn’t really enjoy the arrangement all that much, and in comparison to all the stuff that was going on in her Round 1 performance, I think she was missing something a little more for the staging. Overall though, she’s just killing these performances, and with another perfect score for this round under her belt, she’s on a roll.

    Still love Loona’s performance. Crazy fun, love the musical concept, song choice was great, engaging throughout and easy to follow storytelling, great dancing, more outfit changes!! It was just an amazing performance.

    Looking forward to the 3rd round!

    Liked by 5 people

    • My one sentence comments on your comments:

      Brave Girls: The magic tricks were cheesy/unnecessary/distracting, but they still delivered a good show.

      Hyolin: Great performance that would’ve been cleaner and better focused with half of the dancers.

      LOOΠΔ: There were one or two questionable choreo/staging moments, but ultimately perfect in my eyes.

      Kep1er: I’m fine with the “Rollin'” inclusion, but they need to work on transitions and continuity.

      WJSN: More light and airy presentations (like “Secret”/”I Wish”), less dark and brooding witchcraft.

      VIVIZ: If you’re going to bank on GFRIEND’s discography, then bring the pixie dust and drop the sledgehammer.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Random other thoughts in a separate comment because why not:

    -Whoever choreographed Kep1er’s performance and decided Bahiyyih should awkwardly pose at the edge of the frame for a whole 15 seconds at 2:17…why?

    -Is that the same sample in SKZ’s Venom I hear at the end of Kep1er’s dance break? 3:39

    -Have they mentioned yet that BG’s Eunji was Bom’s dance unit replacement in QD1? Feels like just the kind of cool full-circle moment thing that Mnet would love to keep using as editing material

    -Loona and Kep1er both had outfit changes this round…WJSN’s opening performance starting a trend? Not that I mind, they’re always cool to watch

    -This round’s rankings ended up just being the pairs in order of how they were chosen 👀…kinda solidifying the thought that Brave Girls and Kep1er kinda got screwed over with each others songs

    -I wonder if this time around, Hyolyn will join both the vocal and dance unit? She certainly has the talent for both. If she does end up just choosing one, I’m curious who her stand-in will be, and for which unit.

    -Saw someone mention that a possible reason that the groups can’t seem to relax this time around is because there’s expectations now for what the show can do for them, and they really don’t want to mess up potentially getting the Oh My Girl post-Queendom treatment. This makes some sense, but I’m hoping they can shake the awkwardness with each other in the upcoming collab rounds and fluff episode.

    -Hyolyn seems to be a total lock for the win at this point, but from what I remember from the previous seasons the final episode is weighted pretty heavily, and its basically all digitals/live voting for that, which totally favours fandom power – there could be a big mix-up right at the end
    (and on another note, I never went and looked at the final Kingdom point breakdowns, and oh wow did Stray Kids dominate…I didn’t expect the gap to be that large)

    Liked by 3 people

    • Now that I know that this show can boost the groups’ career it really makes me want to see them do well. Many of these acts are less established than the ones from season 1

      Liked by 3 people

      • For sure. I know that the lineup was greatly anticipated this time around because fandoms everywhere really wanted their faves to be on the show to get the boost for their careers, seeing what happened in season 1. All the participants this time around have a lot to gain here, so I’m rooting for them all to get that bump in recognition post-show.

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  7. I remembered Eunji standing in for Bommie’s dance stage. I recently went back and watched the Q1 dance unit for unrelated reasons and it clicked when I saw her in with the other five group dancers. That was a very strange moment during Q1. I recently commented on the fact that Brave Entertainment doesn’t give their best music to their own in-house groups. I’ve always viewed that agency as a “full service” support group for other agencies.

    BE will write the songs and ask for a production fee, a vocal nod in the opening moments, and royalty recompense. They’ll also provide dancers, choreo, etc.. All of the males/females under their roof are primarily dancers, but with some vocal chops. While he took some of the dancers and created “Brave Brothers” and “Brave Girls”, I don’t think he really wanted either to be that successful. It costs a lot of money to fully back a group’s release, versus the easy money to made from production.

    It’s kind of like the old business adage, “A quick nickel is better than a slow dime.”, which basically means, it is easier and less risky to earn two nickels versus one dime. If one of the nickels fails, you still break even. If the dime fails, you’ve lost everything. So, earn less by being a only producer, but be twice as busy with half the risk.

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  8. I’m shocked that WJSN placed 3rd. I’m a huge fan of them, but didn’t absolutely love their performance, and neither did most people, yet they placed 3rd overall with the live voters. It was disgusting to see all of the toxic comments in the previous thread basically trashing on them (for ONE bad performance at that). Even Reddit seemed more polite with their critique of their performance, which is shocking. Just hope this thread remains more civil.

    Unrelated, but I’m glad most people agree that Brave Girl’s didn’t deserve last place.

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  9. Here are my full thoughts on Round 2:

    I didn’t enjoy most of WJSN’s performance. I think the main chorus and the bridge + dance break are perfectly fine arrangement-wise, the rest need a lot more work, but incongruent in concept. The outfits clash with the stage design which clash with the arrangement and so on. It’s disjointed stage truth be told. The rainbow into the galaxy and then the blinding white screens sticks out a lot, and super unimpressive when compared to the graphics of every other team. It says a lot when I can vividly state the color identity of each group’s Round 2 performance except WJSN’s. Is it red and black like their outfits? Prismatic rainbow like the chorus? Black and white? These things need to considered otherwise it feels like no consideration was put into the cohesive of everything. The choreography was fine, but it felt a little awkward with the strong version of Navillera they made.

    LOONA, awesome performance. Light on the vocals but I’ve heard the Zoom version of their performance and it sounds perfectly fine there so I blame Mnet editing. Really smart choices all around. A musical-esque brass-heavy jazz Shake It, set in a classy bar? They set themselves up for success big time, with really punctuated moments. Whether it’s the intro bit, the back and forth between the nerdy group and the suited girl, Chuu riding the table, Hyunjin’s quick change, or the bright red curtains. Transitioning from their own choreography to the original at the end really works so well. Just very fun.

    Brave Girls. MVSK is a hard song to do right especially since it places it self very well into that EDM style very solidly. Adjusting it into this jazzy, sparkly song set in a casino heist is incredibly well done. I think the performance is very much trying to limit the dance and the tempo changes felt like it reduced impact rather than make it cooler. The EDM breakdown was absolutely fun, though I think Brave Girls having the masks might have worked better, and the final confetti scene might’ve been cooler had they gone to the front stage. Still COVID might’ve reduced the impact that could’ve been elevated the performance further

    Thought VIVIZ’ whole performance was very clean. not a standout by any means, but very well-thought out. The arrangement with the tango-esque big band + string sound is honestly perfect. They did justice to UNNATURAL better than WJSN’s did to their song. Even with the drastic genre change, I felt that this served the song without ruining the song with unnecessary additions like MVSK, Shake It or So What. Ironically, I think SinB made the rap even cooler with her tone. Exy’s voice tends to be very straightforward, but here they make the rap fit the song with the sultry delivery. The performance flowed incredibly well, except for some of the solo parts that felt too simple. Plus while I think the mirror effect is somewhat cool, it’s very slow.

    Kep1er, I don’t think the Rollin mashup was super successful but I think the chorus sounds fine. It’s enjoyable even if it’s just putting what’s popular just because it’s popular. I’m annoyed at the raps especially in comparison to the actual rap in the song itself. Too disjointed and representative of the weak rapping that usually plagues certain girl group songs. Hikaru’s vocal fries made the rap much weaker and too fragmented and the second rap part was even worse with the trap beat and lack of flow. The stage was also really low budget and it feels bad knowing the Kep1er can’t really do anything against the whims of their executives. The performance was mostly good vibes all around though, even the weird dance break had a cool water-y vibe. The girls are talented that’s for sure, even with the mistakes.

    HYOLYN’s stage was really bare to be honest. Aside from the ring, there’s not a lot of choreography that HYOLYN does, though that’s personal preference perhaps. The audience probably engaged with it a lot more than that and her vocals strike hard. Still, I feel like that staging could been executed better, it’s a little plain in the graphics aside from the nice cityscape. The arrangement also feels a bit plain. Still she’s got a huge presence and no wonder she got first even if I think her stage was weaker than I first thought.

    Ranking goes LOONA > HYOLYN > Brave Girls > VIVIZ > Kep1er > WJSN.

    At first I thought HYOLYN might inevitably win but then I realized the final round is mostly live text voting and oh boy HYOLYN doesn’t have that fanbase to get that, and it’s the most weighted round of them all. Kep1er is struggling internally, and Brave Girls are not doing well competition-wise too. At this point it might be a battle between VIVIZ, WJSN and LOONA although LOONA has a huge point disadvantage compared to the rest so maybe they’re out too. I think those 3 and HYOLYN (who knows how GP goes) are in the running for the crown and I have doubts on both BG and Kep1er though that certainly won’t stop them from performing as best as they can.

    Liked by 2 people

    • “It says a lot when I can vividly state the color identity of each group’s Round 2 performance except WJSN’s.” Wow I’ve never thought about it like that, you’re right.

      Same thoughts about who might win. I think a lot of people think that Hyolyn’s got it in the bag right now because she’s sweeping these rounds despite the initial worries about fandom sizes, but the parts where fandoms really matter haven’t even happened yet. Getting a perfect score through the first 3 rounds would definitely help though. Before the show started people were thinking Loona and Kep1er would dominate any views/voting related things, but Kep1er actually doesn’t seem to be doing as well as expected on that front – heard there’s some internal issues in the fandom? Loona on the other hand missed the first round too, so it all just seems like a big toss-up between Hyolyn/Loona/Viviz/WJSN. Totally different from QD1 and Kingdom where Mamamoo and SKZ seemed like a lock-in pretty quickly.

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  10. I’m such a big fan of Gfriend (and Viviz too of course) but none of Viviz performance on Queendom wowed me. After watching all their performances, I can say that Yuju really hard carried Gfriend discography all these years and elevate the quality of their music. Don’t be wrong, Eunha is good but only good enough for a lead vocal. She can never take any hard part without sounding shaky. For the performance this time, I think Unnatural is not really a good choice, even Wjsn struggle to sing this song because of how high the song is. Better choice imo would be Secret, Save Me Save You (would love to see them cover this song), or Dream Comes True.

    For other acts, only Loona and maybe BG had a memorable performance. Kep1er performance was straight up boring. WJSN was bad I don’t know how they ranked 3. Hyolyn, while being good, is not memorable enough for me. Maybe because So What is so bad that even a performer like Hyolyn can’t save it.

    I do think Queendom S2 is not as good as S1. There is no Destiny, Egotistic, and Lion here and it is such a shame. We are already in 2nd round but still no outstanding performance to write home about. Honestly, I don’t expect the next Oh My Girl effect coming from this season

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  11. here to share some thoughts of mine. somehow i just keep falling for these shows and expecting a lot out of it.. even though it comes from mnet out of all people…

    my ranking goes: loona > viviz > hyolyn > kep1er > brave girls > wjsn.

    for this round. never commented one on the previous round but oh well.. no time like the present!

    loona – the arrangement has recognizable parts of the original song while remaining new enough. the signature shake it sound but done in.. brass? i dont know. it was just good. it fits the concept they choose too, and the musical theme is honestly so fun here? the choreography and outfit changes and everything are also well-done. rather than the stiff expressions of some members (not all) in ptt performance, everyone smiles or tries to smile or fit the mood of the song this time. it also proves that sistar songs are singable by non-hyolyn. for me, vocal standouts in this arrangements are kim lip, jinsoul and chuu in particular. everything really keeps you engaged with the performance, although the mixing definitely could do with louder vocals.

    viviz – the song choice is a bit too high for them and it shows, definitely. but the arrangement utilizes the song’s good points and also sheds a new light on it. again, something i find important. their performance was also the cleanest, i think? the tango concept is good too! the usage of the laser thing during sinb’s red and the dance breaks were also cool. i just liked it all around, although i did think it was a bit </3 (not sure what adjective to use, hence an emoji) because they do sound like they're struggling with the key. but it was good, the camera direction was also controlled and all around, from one transition and angle to another, making non-studio viewers appreciate how much thought was put in the performance. it was just.. good? i'm really not sure why they ranked so low and like sure, it isn't aoa's egoistic or oh my girl's destiny but i still feel a bit like some people expected way too much out of them. it's true that they're viviz now, not gfriend. different identities and styles, but they have their own ways to put good performances, i think.

    hyolyn – completely agree that the live audience probably enjoyed her stage the most. hyolyn has charisma and she engages with them, so it's really no surprise. through a camera though, it just doesn't feel as good compared to her previous performance. it's more disorganized, the most memorable thing is that.. circle hoop thing in the intro. the arrangement was okay, although so bad is kind of a difficult song to work with, i think. the concept itself was good though. her vocals are good as always, but again, it just felt messy to me. i will admit that the high standards really came from how much round 1 hyolyn blew me away. i appreciate it all still though, she really has a lot of skills and talents and isn't at all in a disadvantaged position in this show.

    kep1er – this kind of concept suits their whole youthful energy well. i was surprised by the song choice. the remix attempt with rollin could've been a good idea, but the execution was just.. too ambitious? it ended up kind of canceling the focus on pool party. like an interference or something. the stage actually had a lot of props in a way, but also not? it just felt really empty and bare and i'm starting to think their company is just bad with this kind of thing, the first round's performance was also kinda devoid of any props or anything like that. the camera angle at the begining was really weird.. yeseo looked a bit confused too? not sure if that's an mnet thing or because kep1er's staff/company didn't direct the camera team well enough.. it wasn't super memorable but i enjoyed it well enough. they did well too.

    brave girls – debated on putting wjsn or brave girls last and eventually decided i like brave girls' stage more. i think the thing they lack is.. a punch? if that makes sense. when i was watching the previous ep with my partner, i thought they'd literally be gone by the end of the song. like vanished from the stage. of course, that would have its pros and cons too, but in a way, it'd create a dramatic effect and fits the whole thief theme. mvsk is a good song choice in my opinion, as y'know, that's my favorite kep1er song so far. sad over the fact that the build up in the original song is a bit flattened, as well as the tempo is slower, i think? but it does fit brave girls' music style more. the whole arrangement is pleasant enough to listen to without watching the performance, i think. not anything special, but it works. minyoung's voice is the highlight here. in terms of other stage-related things.. well, they used a lot of props. but again, not impactful enough? the part in the dance break or something also lacked visibility a bit, i think. there's no neon pole from round 1, but the masks aren't super fluorescent too.. but yeah, that's from me.

    wjsn – i really, really liked the intro. i also really wanted to like the song. but i just couldn't? there's just a disconnect in the concept and the song. it makes it worse that i was super obsessed with navillera, so this one doesn't hold up by a long shot. i liked yeonjung and soobin's voices in this and from the high note/climax part until the end, it was nice. but the instrumental break and the like butterfly parts in the middle were weird. the changed up parts of the second verse was weird at first, but it's fine by now. exy's rap though.. at first i thought the inclusion of rap would be wjsn's strength this round, but i was disappointed. and the.. contrast of the intro sound to how the song actually started was also jarring. the song choice just didn't make a lot of sense for this concept or vice versa, the concept didn't make a lot of sense for the song choice, even if the concept does fit wjsn's general image. that aside, yeoreum did really well in the solo dance part! it's one of the performance highlights for me. there are a lot of other things i just felt were weird, but i'm not quite sure how to word them properly before i sound picky. this isn't meant to trash on wjsn, or any specific groups either.. in fact, it's probably that i enjoyed their first round performance a lot that i was sorely disappointed this time. on a more random note, i do wish they can bring secret or save me save you for the next stages.

    anyway, thanks for this discussion platform. was interesting to read other people's comments and see where our opinions differ and why. :] hope the comment doesn't come across as "hating" because i'm, like, a casual listener of everyone in the show. the competitive vibe of this season really hurts though. i thought it'd be more chill than kingdom, but boy was i wrong. they really should just banish the whole "above you, below you" system, but they're probably using exactly that to cash in rabid fans' arguments over on blue bird app right now. free promo, whatnot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your comment came across as the opposite of “hating”, so don’t worry about that! I love reading everyone’s thoughts here and seeing what we agreed/disagreed on.

      Ironically, Kingdom’s in-show vibe felt pretty chill, with all the participants seeming very friendly with each other and no significant drama as far as I can remember, but it was actual war out in the fandoms – did they take the “legendary war” tagline too seriously? Too bad screaming fans don’t really seem legendary, just lame. I’m not really on stan twitter so I can’t tell what the fandom war situation is like in comparison this time around, but yeah, I’m sick of the competitive vibe in-show too. I theorized above that a possible reason that the groups can’t seem to chill this time around, especially compared to Season 1 where the groups were all super relaxed and cheering each other on, is because they all have expectations now for what the show can do for them, and they don’t want to mess up potentially getting the Oh My Girl post-show treatment. Obviously, the “one level below” self-eval format and Mnet’s drama-loving editing is not helping either.

      Like

      • agree! oh my girl’s post-qd treatment definitely fired everyone up by quite a lot. and yeah, the editing really doesn’t help.

        didn’t know the fandoms were also bad back during kingdom! i only kept a bit up to date with some btob accounts though back then, and their fans have always been on the more chill side. nowadays, i get recommended so many fan war tweets (and i’m also not on stan twt) it gets tiring. i’ve just decided to block more freely for a peace of mind. though i think, the artists being more tense this time around definitely contributes even more to the whole mess on blue bird site, sadly.

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  12. I was hoping that wjsn would cover “mago,” viviz would cover “save me, save you,” kep1er would cover “after we ride,” and that loona would cover “9lives.” just in general i think i wanted less upbeat performances (i was also hoping that hyolyn would cover a pre-debut loona song, but i knew that was too much to ask for and probably wouldn’t even be allowed)

    re: the actual performances, I honestly wish wjsn would’ve placed last. I don’t mean this in a hateful way, since wjsn is my ult group and i want them to win the most, but i feel like if they had placed sixth it would’ve been painful to watch the ranking announcement, but they definitely would’ve been more likely to step up in the next round and make an even better performance. however, i feel like now that they’ve placed third they’ll keep doing the same thing that they’ve been doing since the very beginning of the show. If anyone needs “reinvention,” it’s definitely them. But anyway, I’m looking forward to hearing more of yeonjung’s vocals in the next round.

    I thought that kep1er’s performance was cute but not very noteworthy. It seemed just like loona’s performance but without anything that made loona’s performance memorable, but I still liked the rearrangement and actually thought that adding Rollin’ made it slightly better. Either way, it seems like mnet wants to dwell on every single mistake in every single performance, despite the fact that literally no one watching the show (other than the live audience, possibly) even noticed it. Dayeon’s professionalism is impressive though. I feel like if IZ*ONE was still active they could’ve replaced kep1er and they would’ve done great on this show.

    Brave girls definitely did not deserve last place, and I’m crossing my fingers that they won’t place last in the next round. I’m not sure why so many people in the audience didn’t vote for them despite basically being given fake money, which was the closest thing to audience interaction in the entire show so far (other than Hyolyn’s performances, of course)

    Either way, my personal ranking is as follows:

    6. WJSN
    5. Kep1er
    4. Brave Girls
    3. Viviz
    2. Hyolyn
    1. LOONA

    As a side note, I’m not quite sure why i keep seeing people all over the internet saying queendom 2 has a toxic environment, that all of the contestants are rivals, or that mnet is trying to create drama? Like is there something i’m missing? Because like, the viviz and wjsn members are pretty good friends, eunseo and exy are hikaru superfans, and all of the groups seem comfortable enough to joke around and video-call each other. heck, hyolyn is even in a group chat with the loona members, so while I know that the “choose someone who’s one level below you” thing is just for the sake of drama, i’m pretty sure all of the fans and contestants are aware of that and to me it honestly seems like all of the contestants are pretty friendly with each other, so i don’t think there’s any hostility. I’m not sure, i might just be missing something.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have a theory that the down-votes are not chosen by the contestants but the PD herself. They are trying to create some sort of drama between the “rivals”. Brave Girls vs VIVIZ, WJSN vs Loona…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh how I badly wish Kepler chose After We Ride. I can hear Chaehyun’s vocals in the chorus! I do feel like BG felt kind of betrayed since the audience got all that money and the girls hoped they could help them in terms of voting. From seeing the rankings here, a lot of people also think that Loona should’ve gotten 1st and I really wish they did. I didn’t mind Hyolyn winning but I was hoping Loona would.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Last place for the producer. The audio truly is crap. The lights are basic and functional. The camera is doing their best to make moments, but wind up just following everyone around the stage.

    Second to last place for the audience. What are doing there? As far as I can see, just sitting quietly, like it a dull lecture. Then when the performance is over, there is no wild cheer, just little polite clap clap which are over before all the glamour still shots are complete. I mean, what the hell, audience.

    I have no opinions on ranking, other than some were more helium than others and that drives me nuts. Also, a lot of shouting not singing too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • To be fair for the audience, there are two factors as to why they seem so quiet – 1) I think at the time it was filmed, Korea still had a no-cheering rule for audiences for Covid reasons, and 2) the audience ignored this for some performances and cheered anyways, but the audio was edited to make them quieter, presumably so you can hear the singing better? Anyways, the no-cheering rule makes some sense but it’s so awkward haha…I think they’re removing it now though.

      Liked by 1 person

    • For that second point, I believe it is edited out. I only have LOONA’s zoom version, but here is their performance in all its glory, audience and unedited vocals.

      https://streamable.com/fmapig

      I believe at the time crowds aren’t supposed to be this loud but the audience forewent it. There’s some screaming in the middle and a big applause at the end of it. The vocals are interesting, there’s points where someone is clearly singing, and others where I have a feeling someone wasn’t singing at all (this is a day after Round 1 recording, COVID was still very much a factor here), but yeah, editing.

      Like

      • The producer gets an extra minus one point for muting out the audience, and is now in negative territory. Boo!
        Noisy audience > no audience >> quiet audience

        They looking like sitting ducks in that vast open middle of the stage.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I mean.. ..SERIOUSLY! How can you just sit there in the pit acting like rigor mortis is setting in while “some” of those acts were performing? No, really, how?? If I were there, I’d be floundering, flailing and flapping like a fish out of water; with accompanying boisterous ballyhooing!

          Liked by 1 person

  14. I don’t really wanna get into the group-by-group nitty-gritty, partly because I feel like the quality of performances was a lot closer than last time. However… entering the show, I said that I’ve been a fan of Loona’s music, but have trouble getting into their “entertainment/lore” side. This week’s performance alone was enough for me to become a fan of theirs. Maybe I’ll actually be able to successfully identify all 12 by name, soon (bad face memory and being a kpop fan are unfortunate traits to have overlap in one person.)

    Liked by 2 people

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