‘Produce 101‘ episode six is here with English subtitles! This episode? Prepare for tears and vocal performances.
Note: The password is ‘produce102’.
This week’s episode is all about the position evaluation challenge. As the name implies, this challenge is meant to evaluate each contestant’s ability to perform a specific position within the eventual group. The challenge is a bit interesting in that it is an individual challenge masquerading as a group challenge. Specifically, the first place contestants within the winning groups will be given 100,000 extra points towards their voting score. This week’s episode focuses only on the vocal category.
The lead up to the actual performances is nothing special. There was, of course, crying and inter-contestant drama (eventually someone is going to get cut over that center position). Additionally, there was the token group that did not know what the fuck they were doing.
‘Produce 101’ is nothing if not for its train-wrecks.
There is not much to the episode aside from the vocal performances, so those will be discussed at length.
This performance is as bland as the contestants’ white outfits. The vocals were completely fine and Chanmi redeemed herself as the main vocal, but there was not much to this rendition of Big Bang’s “Monster” aside from the girls waving what looked to be white towels in homage to Seungri.
The performance of Tashannie’s “Haru Haru” is really Juna and Yeunjung’s moment in the sun. After quite a bit of drama about who would be main vocalist, the pair really did perform as though they were sharing the title, with Juna carrying the middle range and Yeunjung killing the higher vocals. Out of the two, Yeunjung had a far stronger showing and made it clear that she is the one to beat vocals-wise. The other contestants? Well, they all looked really cute even though their contribution was not really needed.
Not going to lie, I love EXO with a fiery passion. Because of this, I went into the performance of of “Call Me Baby” with insanely high expectations, and I was not disappointed. This orchestration of “Call Me Baby” is jazzier than the original and bodes well with the trio’s sometimes sultry delivery. No one can deny that Eunwoo, Yeseul, and Sohee know how to sing, and while their high-notes were different than the original, they were no less successful. High-notes aside, it is really the harmonization that made this version glorious. Yeseul and Sohee sound beautiful together, and offer a nice, sometimes husky counterbalance to Eunwoo‘s more nasal tone.
I never thought that G-Friend’s “Me Gustus Tu” could get any cuter, but holy aegyo Batman! This rendition of the song is not as vocally strong as the other vocal groups, as the girls took on G-Friend’s notorious high-notes with earnest but not much success. The whole endeavor was weak in reference to actual singing and, in my opinion, would have been far more technically acceptable if it was done under the ‘performance’ category. However, what this group’s competitors lack in vocal skills was more than made up by both their execution and performance. Hyeri’s introductory monologue oozed girlish sweetness, and unlike the other vocal groups, they peppered their rendition with more of the original song’s choreo. Thus, this performance succeeded due to the sheer fact that it properly captured the innocent sweetness of G-Friend’s original.
The performance of Huk Gak and John Park “My Best” is by far the saddest. Because the group is made up of the lowest voted trainees, it is an assumption that one of them will most likely be eliminated. All of the contestants included, however, are extremely determined and exceptionally talented. Their obvious talent, and the fact that they all get less screen time than the more producer popular members, is heartbreaking. Sira, in particular, makes it clear that she wants to be a contender, and her voice is imbued with so much audible passion that the other contestants are brought to tears when she belts out the song’s overwhelmingly powerful crescendo. This performance made the whole controversy about unfair screen time allocation more real since there are girls like this with immense talent who, due to lack of popularity, are being voted off. It is sad that such occurrences are an unavoidable reality when it comes to elimination programs, but I hope that contestants like Sira and Sejeong eventually get the recognition that their talent deserves.
“Yanghwa Bridge” was a more by the numbers performance of Zion.T‘s original. It is done well and, much like the performance of Big Bang’s “Monster”, is technically successful. There are just so many better performances from the other vocal groups, though, so this one doesn’t end up as much of a standout.
Next week’s episode will have the dance performances, which could potentially be messier, so please anticipate!