‘Produce 101‘ episode five is finally here with English subs and tons of build-up for the eliminations.
I suppose that the bulk of this week’s episode of ‘Produce 101’ is my punishment from the K-pop gods for desperately hoping for eliminations. In all honesty, I came into the episode preparing to be trolled with about an hour of needless build-up before the eventual, and much anticipated, elimination. What I was not expecting, however, was a veritable cornucopia of behind-the-scenes video and contestants thirsty for ‘producer’ attention.
This episode began optimistically enough with Jang Geun Suk spitting mad truth about the music industry.
I would have been more than pleased if the rest of the episode had continued in this same ‘gotta make that money’ vein. However, instead of delving into the more materialistic desires motivating the many contestants, we get displays of another sort of desire. Namely, the contestants’ desperate desire to get votes from producer oppars (i.e. voting members of the viewing audience). While I understand that pandering for votes is the name of the game on shows like this, there is something undeniably cringy about watching various contestants get shots on television in an attempt to wish producers a “healthy winter”.
To make matters worse, this wasn’t a one-off segment, but rather there were quite a few similarly uncomfortable scenes throughout this episode. Contestants then got weighed and subsequently weight shamed (all of the contestants ‘requiring diets’ were brought to the front of the group for all to see), there was a hidden camera prank, and Youngji’s talent was wasted as a panelist.
Yet, all of the aforementioned scenes pale in comparison to the fact that contestants have to wake up to the “Pick Me” song in the morning.
Hearing “Pick Me” at 6 AM is perhaps a bigger injustice than the fact that all of the contestants aren’t getting paid.
As if to provide a bit of respite from the travesty that is the unending incorporation of “Pick Me”, we are gifted with the announcement of the top 60 contestants and eliminated 36. As expected, there are a lot of drawn out pauses and stares, as well as the unsurprising announcement of the top 11 (Youjung, Sejeong, Somi as the top three).
Even though it is not much of a shock, I was rather pleased to hear how strong Sohye did in comparison to the producer votes. She is like a little, moist-banged (or ‘drowned rat visual’, as some like to say) phoenix rising from the ashes.
The last 10 or so minutes of this episode consisted of the actual elimination, and to nobody’s surprise, none of the eliminated contestants really stood out (or got sufficient enough screen time to make much of an impression).
Next week’s episode will consist of another group challenge (with songs picked from vocals, rap, or dance categories), so let’s all anticipate.