‘Queendom’: The show’s lasting impact, what the participants gained, and artists who should be considered in the future

Following the conclusion of ‘Queendom‘, the staff at Idology did a nice Q&A session that served as a recap of the show and also looked at what they’d like to see from it moving forward, which I feel like provides insight into how Korean critics viewed things. Enjoy!

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Girl group program ‘Queendom’ has aired its final broadcast. Although the show’s survival format led to much protest and concern since its first showing, the show began to gain traction on social networking sites as it continued to air and made a strong impact on viewers. After the final live stages of the show aired on October 31st, the Idology writing staff shared their appreciation for the show.

What did each group earn through participating in ‘Queendom’?

Park Bom

Randy: The steady support from juniors who aspire to be like her and got to see her in the flesh. I believe that she needed it while making her comeback after a long break from the industry.

Sid: There were times where I felt that she was disadvantaged because she had to abide by the rules and prepare stages as the only solo singer in the competition. She looked lonely on stage and it was clear that she often remembered her 2NE1 days while watching the other groups. However, she was neither consumed in negativity nor did she suppress her emotions. Instead, she poured out her heart through her stages and created memorable performances. As she stated in the show, appearing on ‘Queendom’ was an opportunity for her to grow as a solo artist. She re-interpreted (G)I-DLE’s “Hann” and covered it using her style, making it an unexpectedly respectable performance.

Oh My Girl

Simdyang: Oh My Girl embodied their own unique vibe. They displayed development and growth through their deliberate style. Being on the show definitely benefited them.

Shud: As a fan who supported the group since their debut, I was really glad to see their hard efforts pay off as they showed the results of their diligence through their performances. I thought: “finally”. To hear them greet us saying “We found you! This is Oh My Girl!” was significant and symbolized their rebooting.

Mano: The group was probably concerned on how to address the popularity of the ‘girl crush concept’. However, they continued to do what they did best and pushed on to convince the audience. Through ‘Queendom’, Oh My Girl showed the whole world that their evolution has not yet ended and that their potential is yet to be discovered. Their selected song for their first stage, ‘Secret Garden’ includes lyrics  that state they are “planting something amazing and grand”, which  parallels their rapid growth.

AOA

Simdyang: The direction of AOA, now reaching their eight year anniversary, has changed. Jimin statement that the group was “not a flower but a tree” embodied this directional change during AOA’s performance of ‘Egotistic’ which ended up being the show’s most viral stage due to the group’s self confidence.

Randy: They extended their range. After promoting for a long time and making a number of hit songs, AOA showed that there are still many things we didn’t know about this group. 

Mano: Whatever anyone says, AOA was the biggest beneficiary of ‘Queendom’. Regardless of the absence of two of their members and a long hiatus, the group has confidently shown that they are not only alive and well, but also gained a chance to rebrand their image with their viral performance of ‘Egotistic’. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the group has raised a new beginning for themselves.

Lovelyz

Randy: This group finally got to participate in producing a stage of their own. Although they have a lot of experience, they were never given opportunities like this by their label. At the beginning, they struggled like rookies while competing with groups who had prior experience in producing their own stages. However, they started to get on track towards the middle of the show, giving me feelings of joy. I still feel that they were victims of Mnet’s malicious editing however.

Mano: The team definitely grew. I think they faced a lot of concern given the rise of the popular ‘girl crush’ concept. Through trial and error, the group found what they could do the best and displayed a series of realizations that led to their overall growth. I believe Lovelyz’s evolution has only just started.

(G)I-DLE

Randy: This group earned the nickname ‘survival’s monster’, especially Jeon So Yeon. The scarier truth is that Jeon So Yeon wasn’t the only monster of that group. The vocal unit showed off Minnie’s color and ability to embody the song, and the performance unit displayed Soojin’s incredible facial expressions. The group create performances that made it difficult to believe that they are rookies. Seeing them discuss and debate with each other as they collaborated on their stages was impactful as well.

Shud: This is the team that I wanted to see behind the scenes footage of the most. I was amazed that Jeon So Yeon wrote and composed the songs but was also impressed by the members ability to further refine and follow the concepts. I want to know more about the process behind how they did it. ‘Queendom’ allowed the members to honestly portray their ideas and imprinted upon the audience the deep understanding and teamwork between the members and Jeon So Yeon.

MAMAMOO

Shud: The show made me re-realize that they are a team that is difficult for us to find flaws in. Simply put, the group showed their strong vocal skills and went beyond to show their command of the stage as an extraordinary team. Their performance in the show re-emphasized their place in the music industry. I also hope that Hwasa and Lovelyz’s Kei become closer in the future.

Randy: I predicted that they would do well in the competition because they’re a team with strong vocals. Through the program, they surpassed my expectations and showed off their unique color but also that the group was made through hard work. Each member showed that they thought deeply about what role they play and letting the audience know this became their greatest gain.

Simdyang: I think that MAMAMOO was one of the most beloved competitors on this show. Regardless of Hwasa’s high popularity level, each member received great interest and attention. In addition, many of the other teams’ covers of their songs grabbed the viewers’ attention. They are a group that receives as much love from their fellow artists as they do from their fans. MAMAMOO definitely proved that they can be sure of themselves and found that fact through competing in ‘Queendom’.

If a second season of ‘Queendom’ was to be aired, which teams would you like to see on the show?

Shud

A-Pink. The fact that they’ve been working together for 9 years proves that longevity is their strength. Although the members have been pouring their efforts into their careers, I’m sure there are visions they have yet  to portray, which piques my curiosity.

Brown Eyed Girls. I’m curious as to what performances they can bring to the competition given their unique concepts and skills as a formidable team. Although they’ve been through a long hiatus, I hope all resentment is laid aside and poured into their stages.

Cosmic Girls. I’m looking forward to what strategy this 10 member group uses to create their stages. They are a team with many strengths such as rap, vocals, and dance. I feel like if they would be able to show their true value if they appeared on the show.

Randy

CLC: Although they’re from the same label as (G)I-DLE, they have different strengths. With Seungyeon and Yoojin as heads, the group will be able to show off powerful hip hop choreography on ‘Queendom’, which is something I’m looking forward to.

Gugudan: If the ‘concept-dol’ of season 1 was Oh My Girl, I believe that Gugudan has the potential to claim that title in the second season if they appear on the show. They are a team that promises diversity and authenticity with radical concepts. They are also the juniors of VIXX, who are the original ‘concept-dol’s.

Brave Girls: Their 2017 hit ‘Rollin’ is a song that anyone who is anyone knows. Minyoung, the main vocal, has an addictive quality to her voice and I feel like her talents need to resurface to the public.

Simdyang

April: They’re one of the girl groups known for their innocent concepts. However I feel like they will be able to find a new side of themselves.

Chungha: Chungha is a solo artist who is steadily building up her skills and recognition.  Her stage presence is extraordinary, and I want to confirm her capability through ‘Queendom’.

Laboum: It’s a misjudgement to only consider the group’s catchier songs such as ‘Fresh Adventure’, and ‘Shooting Love’. I wish people would know more about the 2nd reinvention of Laboum in songs such as ‘Between Us’ released in the second half of 2018. The song has texture but keeps the affectionate basis that Laboum has developed. I hope that many people get to know the second reinvention of the group more.

Mano

Dreamcatcher: Even before the end of the show, requests for this group to be casted came flooding in via SNS. The group has a concept and a uniqueness that they embody with grace. Through concerts and their official Youtube channels, they showcase a diverse range of concepts including cover stages and make it known that they are at another level. I hope that, through the show, the group brings out their hidden merit and charm.

Weki Meki: The have a unique presence as a group with a daring and energetic image and became famous for having members Yoojung and  Doyeon as key players. I am curious to see Weki Meki’s rebirth through their stages.

LOONA: The group has a line up of 12 members and spent two years teasing their debut through the release of individual solo singles, showing an unprecedented scale and process of debuting a team. The resources of the full group are made more dynamic by the individual members and their stand-out nature will bring about support from the nation. The fact that each member made their solo debut and demonstrated their capabilities makes me look forward to the stages they will prepare

What impression did ‘Queendom’ leave upon you, and if there is a season two, what are you looking forward to?

Simdyang: This was a show where everyone could become a star. Instead of trying to knock each other down in a cat fight, the contestants went beyond that to show the public the potential of their unacknowledged artistry, resulting in thunderous applause for ‘Queendom’. I am looking forward to seeing more of the contestants who have established themselves as true queens. There are many “queens’ out there who also deserve the recognition given to the contestants of season 1, and although I would like to see that happen in seasons 2 and 3, I also would like to see mini-concerts and more support for the first place winners. I think it would be better to give contestants a clearer meaning to participating.

Mano: I realized that ‘Queendom’ provided each group a type of improvement journey.  The audience got to experience each group’s trials and errors as they discovered their own strengths and hidden potentials. At the same time, I realized that girl groups don’t receive a lenient environment to explore their artistries via trial and error compared to boy groups. The significance of ‘Queendom’ was that it allowed girl groups to grow by giving them a chance to invest all their efforts into the process. ‘Queendom’ was a program that gave groups a safety net to take risks and try a variety of different things. Because of this, I am certain that ‘Queendom’ has a value that will make it ongoing. The reason why we don’t need a ‘Kingdom’ version for the show lies right here. There is also significance in the fact that the program allowed females to lean upon each other in solidarity and play leading roles. I hope to see the growth of more female artists through their tightly knit teamwork with the continuation of this program. But if there is to be a second season, I would like the elimination rule and ranking system to be abolished. We know this is ineffective just by the fact that this program started with the intention of starting cat fights but ended up similar to ‘Heart Signal’ instead. I also wish that the MCs would be changed as well. Everyone knows what I mean right? Regardless, ‘Queendom’ must continue. ‘Queendom’ must go on

Randy: The reason why ‘Queendom’ did well as a program was because the main stars were female idols. In comparison to male idols, female idols have a fan base that is generally consumes less content and is less obsessive. However, the public’s fragmentary consumption of female group content plays an important role in  influencing the group’s status. ‘Queendom’ went beyond society’s usual way of consuming girl groups and showed the process of female idols making music,  adjusting their interpersonal relationships, and revealing their emotions behind each stage. Every round revealed legendary performances and a quality that cannot be described in words. In order to keep up this streak, season 2 must feature female idols again. Thinking about the recommended groups mentioned above being in the second season of the show already gives me anticipation. There is no need for a ‘Kingdom’.

Shud: This program was refreshing to me and made me realize how girl groups don’t have many opportunities to take on concepts they want and develop their own performances. Watching the program till the end also made me think that the survival concept of the show wasn’t a negative factor at all. Watching Jeon So Yeon and (G)I-DLE prepare for their next performance with their fiery enthusiasm and seeing AOA’s Jimin boldly proclaim that they wouldn’t pour their focus into rankings were some moments that gave the show a variety element that made it all the more entertaining. Each team had a mutual understanding that the competition was good natured. As of now, there is a rule in place stating that teams who are in 6th place twice will be eliminated from the show. Instead of keeping that rule, I’m wondering what it’d be like if last place teams were allowed to completely change the competition by receiving a slight advantage opportunity.

In the case that there is another season, I hope the program improves the rules to further highlight the positive elements of the show. I also hope that it becomes a program that allows more girl groups create the performances they want outside of their regular activities. There was a lot of concern about whether or not the contestants would be able to keep up with the program given their busy schedules. I hope that the network and labels will think more about this point in regards to their artists’ well beings and make changes accordingly.

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Editor’s Note: Please welcome a new writer to the staff as well. Not sure how often she’ll be able to contribute, but she’ll be doing translations of editorials like this and also writing editorials of her own.

About Seiyeon Lee

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