‘Produce 101‘ episode nine is here and there are tons of performances … and “Pick Me‘, the song that will never die.
As we all know by now, ‘Produce 101’ is nothing if not hyper-dramatic. Thus, an inter-member position readjustment is the exact sort of thing that would start the episode. Last week’s eliminations left certain teams unbalanced and, to remedy this, things got ‘Survivor‘ style and contestants had to vote their fellow teammates
off the island out of their group. The act of removing members from each team is not particularly dramatic … until one considers the fact that all of the contestants who are removed from their respective teams have to learn (and originally learned a dance for no reason) an entirely new dance. That sucks and seems like it would leave the moved contestants at a significant disadvantage.
Interestingly enough, it was not actually the group with the most new members that struggled. In fact, it was the one group that experienced no member changes. The girls did not know their choreography and almost caused Bae Yoon Jung to have a conniption.
Conniptions and train wrecks aside, we are given some levity in the form of contestants going legit bat shit over B1A4’s Jinyoung.
It’s good to see that they’re not ashamed of being fangirls.
Fangirling was not the end of the practice-room cluster-fuckery, though. In addition to Seokyung sprinting out of the practice room to cry (apparently just being stationary and crying is so two episodes ago), this happened:
Once again, it is good to see people fangirling, but damn. I didn’t think that Jinyoung thirst was that real.
The episode quickly went downhill from the fangirling fun. As if to torture me, and all those who went into this episode expecting innocent performances, Mnet decided to punish us with another incorporation of “Pick Me”. This time around, we were given another performance of the song as well as a look at the DJs who created it. The only solace that I got during this segment was that “24 Hours” is not as unlistenable as “Pick Me”.
Since the bulk of this episode focuses on the actual performances, we will continue with in-depth reviews.
“24 Hours” was, in essence, a less jarring version of “Pick Me”. Much of the backing and melody were the same and, because of this, the girls’ delivery had a similarly cutesy style. Interestingly enough, I did not find much fault with this performance. Instead of being repetitive and annoying like its predecessor, “24 Hours” had enough interesting choreo and musical variance to allow weaker singers some shine. In a performance where every contestant did relatively well, it was Pinky and Insun that stole the show.
Despite being the weakest group during practices, this group was one of the most professional looking live. From their execution of the choreo to their facial expressions, they looked the most seasoned, and Chungha and Nayoung in particular executed their portions well. The biggest drawback about this performance was that it was rather pitchy throughout, but even that could be ignored when looking at the whole of the performance.
This performance was really at its best when it relied on its lower-range singers (like Juna) and rappers. The other parts were not weak per se, but they did struggle to maintain the song’s throwback punch. Speaking of being a throwback, the dance break was an enjoyable nod to late-90s b-boying.
Clearly, this was Somi-focused despite it being a group performance. As someone who likes Somi, I don’t usually mind her getting more camera time than other contestants. However, in this performance, I felt as though Mnet was doing the rest of the members a massive disservice. Yes, her parts were good, she looked cute (being the center and all), and her high notes were surprisingly well executed, but she was not the best performer. In my opinion, Chanmi and Dani were the biggest standouts.
This reminded me so much of G-Friend that I struggled to formulate an actual opinion. The choreo was absolutely adorable, and so was the singing … but that might be because it sounded and looked like a hybrid of “Mu Gustas Tu” and “Rough“. Objectively, I think that this might have been the strongest pairing of song and contestants. All of the ‘cute’ girls (i.e. Sohye, Hyeri, and Sohee) in this group utilized their charm to give the performance a sense of youthful innocence, and Yeunjung nailed the obligatory high note.
Performances aside, Sohye’s facial expressions were glorious this episode.
Next week will be an announcement of the team challenge scores. Please anticipate!