‘Queendom’ gives fans the power of choice, with predictably mixed results

After rather mediocre episodes of ‘Queendom‘ thanks to unit battles that weren’t all that compelling, the fan-choice portion of things figured to be much more compelling and it was.

But speaking of the unit round, they got their compilation ranking.

1 – MAMAMOO

2 – Lovelyz

3 – Oh My Girl

4 – (G)I-DLE

5 – Park Bom

6 – AOA

Since I didn’t deviate much from how the show ended up placing them in the categories, it’s hard for me to find issue with this, though I will say that there wasn’t a whole lot separating any of them in that round.

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(G)I-DLE – “Put It Straight” Nightmare Version

Doing what they labeled as a Nightmare Version of “Put It Straight“, it’s hard to argue they came up with an inspired performance to match the dramatics of the song. It’s a rather ideal choice since performance aspect fills in for any downbeat complaints, and the choreography helps explore the emotional core of the song. Impressive.

MAMAMOO – “I Miss You”

The song choice is going to go over much better with Korean audiences and ballad fans than me, so I’m going to be down on this more than most by default. However, MAMAMOO unsurprisingly will earn marks for execution. They could make singing a phone book passable, but you know, it doesn’t mean fans should’ve made them try.

AOA – AOA Cream’s “I’m Jelly Baby” & Jimin’s “T4SA”, “Puss”

Out of all the pop smashes in AOA‘s discography, why in the flying fuck would they choose “I’m Jelly Baby” to showcase? I mean, I guess they were missing Seolhyun and it could be to give the AOA Cream trio their time to shine, but it’s not like it worked at the time either. The saving grace of AOA’s performance was Jimin‘s turn in this, taking over with “T4SA” and “Puss” from ‘Unpretty Rapstar‘, especially reinventing them a bit as rap-rock bangers with help from N.Flying‘s Seunghyun.

It feels unfortunate that they couldn’t have served any of their hits during the first half because the second half comes through and delivers the type of energy that was expected.

Oh My Girl – “Twilight” Queendom Version

Well … this is going to be rated as the best song choice of the show. You knew this considering the b-side ended up in my top 20 songs of 2018. It was absolutely stellar in its original form and this so-called Queendom Version thankfully doesn’t change a whole lot but does allow Oh My Girl performance qualities to be showcased as the cherry on top. What a fucking bop.

Lovelyz – “Cameo”

I gotta say I don’t remember this song making an impression on me when it was released, but this kinda whimsical feel that “Cameo” has to it and the theatrical touches seem to make it play a lot better on stage than just listening to the audio.

Lovelyz definitely did their best with it because the song is still nothing noteworthy to me, but the performance ends up selling it hard.

Park Bom – Taeyang’s “Eyes Nose Lips”

One thing I was pleasantly surprised to discover through MC Mong‘s album is that Park Bom‘s recording voice is still intact, as she retains all of the uniqueness that appeals to me but is a lot more stable in studio.

Unfortunately, soloists are at a disadvantage on this show to begin with, but especially ones that don’t dance. Not saying a soloist couldn’t work, but if this show continues, going forward they probably should be dynamic options to give them a fair shake.

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In the end, the rankings on the show weren’t super surprising.

1 – Oh My Girl

2 – MAMAMOO

3 – Lovelyz

4 – (G)I-DLE

5 – Park Bom

6 – AOA

That said, it doesn’t mean I agreed.

1 – Oh My Girl

2 – (G)I-DLE

3 – Lovelyz

4 – AOA

5 – MAMAMOO

6 – Park Bom

As I said, audiences were always going to appreciate MAMAMOO’s choice more than I did, and I can’t say I’m surprised they did well. For me, just hearing “Twilight” was enough to make me pee my pants a bit, much less having Oh My Girl give it a great performance, so that was an easy choice. The rest came down to the performances, with (G)I-DLE and Lovelyz really nailing the stage aspect of it, which pushed them above AOA. Obviously Jimin killed it, but they still finished lower than the other two performance-based groups for me and last with the audience, likely entirely due to the AOA Cream thing that people on social media are pretending insisting to me was a good song.

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Next week they’re performing their singles from the show live and announcing the results.

Yes, I’m aware that they’ve already released all the songs, but I’ll wait until that recap to give thoughts. It’s gunna be gud.

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