Warning: This recap is not spoiler-free. Proceed at your own risk!
EPISODE ONE RECAP // EPISODE TWO RECAP // EPISODE THREE RECAP // EPISODE FOUR RECAP
We’re in between rounds at the start of this episode, which means a lot of behind-the-scenes footage and a fair amount of filler. It’s entertaining to watch, but there’s not much for a blog like this to write about.
The third round will consist of two parts: Position Unit Battle (vocal and dance units) and Fantastic Queendom (fan-selected songs).
POSITION UNIT BATTLE
First up is the Position Unit Battle. A large chunk of this episode involved the groups choosing who to send to each unit. Being the only soloist in the competition, Hyolyn could participate in either or both. Like the boss she is, she chose both.
Watching members arrive at the dance and vocal camps was pretty fun. I love seeing the awkward interactions. I don’t know why this is so entertaining, but I could watch a weekly show consisting solely of idols entering rooms and awkwardly interacting. It’s so relatable!
DANCE UNIT SELECTION
Unlike the first season of Queendom, the dance units will be performing original songs. They listen to previews to get the vibe of the choreography. None of the songs sound all that great to me, but the dances themselves are pretty different in style.
The girls choose their units Produce 101-style, with the lowest vote-getter choosing first and the highest vote-getter having the option to bump them out. Though this makes for good TV, I’ve always thought it was an unfair way to pick songs. It further punishes contestants who are already in need of a boost.
Weirdly, all members of the same group have to pick the same song, preventing this challenge from being the complete mix-and-match it should be and rendering the units very uneven when it comes to the number of performers in each.
After some shuffling around, this is how the units ended up:
Members from: Hyolyn, WJSN
(Hyolyn, Eunseo, Yeoreum)
Greedy / Tell Me Now
Members from: Brave Girls, LOONA
(Eunji, HeeJin, Choerry, Yves, Olivia Hye)
Members from: VIVIZ, Kep1er
(SinB, Unji, Xiaoting, Kim Dayeon, Hikaru)
I’m curious what the ladies saw in each different dance – especially since they got to watch a full minute of it before choosing. To me, all three songs sounded “meh” and the dances seemed like they’d either hit or miss depending on what the performers brought to them.
VOCAL UNIT SELECTION
Unlike the dance units, the vocal team gets to put forth their own choices for songs they’d like to cover. Baekhyun, 15&, Taeyeon, Chen, Ailee, BOL4 and Nu’est are all invoked as options. It’s interesting that some of the girls mentioned not preferring “high pitched” songs. Are you listening, K-pop producers? I’m not the only one who wants to hear them sing in a comfortable register!
Selection is done in the same way as the dance unit, except the groups are heading to random rooms (A, B or C). So rather than the song, they’re essentially choosing the act they want to perform with. This is very similar to my favorite episode of Season 1, where Mamamoo’s Hwasa and Lovelyz’s Kei made a highly entertaining odd couple.
This process also resulted in my favorite (translated) quote of the episode:
“Here is such an animal kingdom.”
I feel you, girls.
After some shuffling around, the units ended up being:
Sun and Moon: (Members from Kep1er, LOONA performing EXO’s Don’t Go)
*HaSeul, Kim Lip, JinSoul, Chuu, Kim Chaehyun, Seo Youngeun
Milky Way Who Embraced the Universe: (Members from WJSN, VIVIZ performing IU’s Hold My Hand)
*Eunha, Soobin, Yeonjung,
33: (Members from Hyolyn, Brave Girls performing BOL4’s To My Youth)
I mean, we haven’t seen the stages yet but I’m already living for Hyolyn + Minyoung (even if Team Sun and Moon picked my favorite song of the three)
AND… THAT’S IT?
Yep, this was primarily a bonding episode. The girls eat some food together and reveal rough versions of their songs before next week’s performances. But, bonding is good and this (*checks notes*) 108 (!) minute-episode wasn’t completely filler.
I think I may like the way Queendom handles their filler/fluff episodes more than how Kingdom did it with the singular sports day episode. Based on how the first season went, it seems Ep 5 and 6 are all going to be spent at the retreat, with half competition-focused behind the scenes stuff of the prep for round 3, and also half bonding and fluff. It’s a nice mixture and pretty entertaining to watch.
I’m also so happy with Hyolyn x Minyoung, they’re totally gonna slay! I’m a little bummed they went with a ballad and not with something like what Minyoung suggested with Ailee’s U&I – imagine them going full power vocal divas omg. I’m also not really a fan of the Produce-style method of picking the units, and I’m even less excited by the prospect of the dance unit not even having their own choice of choreo and song. I get that they’re trying to bring in the SWF girls to mentor them and teach them their own choreo, but I would have loved to have the dance units be able to have some more creative control on what they’re performing. Ah well.
Also I accidentally saw the leaks for the FANtastic Queendom song choices (for some reason, someone decided to put them in the Wikipedia page), and holy shit, I have one (main) reaction, so click here for a spoiler: h ttps://tinyurl.com/4r44pddn
(in case this somehow embeds i added a space between the h and the rest of the link)
Yeah, I think the vocal units were done pretty much as well as they could’ve but the decision to make the dance portion like that very odd. Like, they couldn’t have found a way to make the girls choose their own song and choreograph their own dance?… Well, it probably has something to do with the Street Woman Fighter collab. Obviously they could’ve just gotten them there for like tips and stuff, but for some reason I have a feeling SWF probably didn’t want to be involved just for something trivial like that or maybe Mnet thought that wasn’t enough and ended up each making them choreograph for an original song so they could “teach” it to the girls. Unfortunately this does mean the dance portion feels way more contrived than I would like, but anyway.
I’m surprised everyone straight up wanted to avoid Tell Me Now. That straight up was my favorite of the three, if only by virtue of being in a more contemporary style that felt straight out of LOONA Butterfly, which is why I was shocked that LOONA wanted to avoid it at all costs. Regardless, I do like this small “didn’t get to choose their own song but they end up killing it” storyline that will likely occur if my first impression serves to be true.
I have also spoiled myself on the FANtastic Queendom choices and for half of them I adore the song choice, the other half not so much.
I’m also ready for the Minyoung x hyolyn combo. I wish yves was in the vocal unit. Her voice is my favorite among the Loona members
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I didn’t watch the episode yet but i saw a clip where Eunha tried to surprise Hyolyn and she left the room lmao. It was very funny but sad as well 😭
Lol it was definitely sad and embarrassing!
Luckily it happened to Eunha who seemed to take it better than most. I, personally, would have been crying and throwing up
Thank you for watching this so that I don’t have to.
Song choice. Interesting. I have thoughts. Predictions.
I predict BOL4 > EXO > IU vocal groups.
BOL4 undersings their own song, so it is an easy one to sing straight by a better singer and sound great with added more charisma. Hyolyn should smack this out of the park like a major leaguer off an underhand softball pitch.
EXO. So, alright, SuJu have a whole bunch of b-sides that sound just like this song. The thing is, the whole song isn’t rangey much at all. Maybe middle C up to A flat at best. 6 some notes. This song is designed to be the mid-concert fan service easy catch the breath one. So these girls should be able to sing this live or pre-recorded and sound completely in tune. However, a 6 note song like this requires a lot of color in the voice, like Chen and DO and those voices who really sound like no one else. Perhaps Xiumin, for my friend Discount. (Or Kyuhyun Ryeowook Yesung on the SuJu songs.) I predict these girls won’t have enough color to sound superb, though it won’t be awful. This song would be great with someone like Park Bom, because it is right in her limited range and yet she has that color in spades.
IU. They don’t want high notes and pick an IU song? The verses are dull. The chorus has a bright spark. I pulled out my handy pitch meter, and IU hits E5 after E5 after E5 over and over again and again in the chorus. This will be a challenge unless they lower the whole thing by 3 or 4 steps, in which case they will struggle on the lower notes. (through the magic of autoplay, Oh My Girl’s vocal line cover it fairly well, because their vocal line have those high notes, think their “Closer”.)
So let’s see what happens next.
So, for example, here, hear how 2AM have lowered the whole IU song down several ticks so that the high note is now a Bb instead of high E, and well within their belt range. Comfortable. The audience isn’t at the edge of their seats wondering “will he or won’t he hit it”, instead we can sit back and enjoy the performance.
Then 2AM can throw in a key change up a half step right at 2:40 which sounds even better and brightens and already bright chorus. Because they can.
Um…Maybe you shouldve watched it before doing all this research.
The IU team will have no problems hitting those high notes, they have Yeonjung who is famous for exactly that. It was Loona & Kep1er who said they dont want high notes, and I wouldve said the exact same thing if my competitors were Hyolyn, Minyoung & Yeonjung.
Umm. I just watched the whole episode and seeing all those spoilers I very much looked forward to see the IU team but NO. THERE IS NO IU SONG AT ALL. What is this?
I just watched some previews, and it seems they have swapped out IU “Hold My Hand” for a Baek Yerin song. Pleasant but without spark.
The EXO song group is also pleasant and competent.
Hyolyn and Minyoung go seriously flat, here is hoping for a good job on the post-production polish and tune.