‘Produce 48’ Episode 6: Position evaluation performances begin, so it’s time to talk about skills

After eliminations took place in episode five, things returned back to normal in episode six of ‘Produce 48‘ with position evaluations taking place.

Watch The Episode Here

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Okay, the stakes are actually high for this, because while the winner of each individual group gets only 5000 votes, the winner out of everybody in the position gets a whopping 100,000 votes. Assuming everything is fair, which it will never be, this would basically give the most skilled singer, dancer, and rapper immunity from elimination.

So let’s get into it.

WANNA ONE – “Energetic”

Just in terms of skill, I prefer Na Goeun over Jo Yuri, and feel like the other three lag behind. The result, then, I felt was relatively fair. Given Yamada Noe‘s entertainment value, it’s easy to like her, but I’m not sure any tears would be shed if the other three in the group were left out of the Top 12 in the end. Granted, I don’t have any of them in mine at the moment.

Heize – “Don’t Know You”

This was one of those performances that was actually helpful, as while I don’t have any of this quartet in my Top 12, I came away impressed by Han Chowon. Likely wouldn’t have noticed before, but it definitely left a note on her, and she rightfully took the top spot. While Park Minji didn’t appeal to me quite as much, she definitely deserved to be right behind Han Chowon.

Honestly, everybody is so concerned over the vocalists not being good enough, but it’s the rapping that’s been rather disastrous.

BoA – “Meri Kuri”

One of my favorite ballads, I’m glad Park Haeyoon got a crack at it. She’s in my Top 12, though oddly struggling in the rankings, but she killed this shit. I would probably listen to a full cover by her. Hopefully she continues to progress upward, because she’s actually an underrated package as a whole. People keep jerking it to her vocals, which is fine, but I find her rather charming and quite attractive as well. Do Koreans think she’s ugly or something? Don’t get why she wouldn’t be popular otherwise, she’s even from FNC Entertainment.

I didn’t recognize any of the other five before, and this didn’t make me take notice as they sorta blended together, but Yoon Haesol was probably a distant second.

Demi Lovato – “Sorry Not Sorry”

Not sure if this was average or if it was just my expectations. This had two of my Top 12, two other popular contestants, and one whose image seemed to fit this perfectly, so I guess I was hyped. Don’t get me wrong, it was perfectly fine, but it also kinda lacked impact.

It was surprising that Ahn Yujin fit the concept decently well considering her age. She was a step behind at times, but honestly she’s one of my faves and was generally fine so I don’t give a shit. Choi Yena was the other in my Top 12 and I feel like she just choose poorly as this doesn’t match well at all. Never quite got the Kwon Eunbi appeal, and this was hardly convincing, but I’ll take a second look.

Ariana Grande – “Side To Side”

Okay, let’s get the obvious out of the way … Jang Wonyoung is like 10 or something and she’s dancing to this. It wasn’t the best concept fit, and putting Kaeun after her to start was jarring, as the transition was blatantly a girl dancing to a woman dancing. I actually like Jang Wonyoung, but suddenly I get why people don’t want her in the Top 12.

I had Kaeun clearly ahead of everybody else here, and while she’s in my Top 12, this was probably the first time that she actually justified it. Shiroma Miru also had a quality showing, and she matches this type of image extremely well.

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These position evaluation things are inherently heavy on judging skills, and thus brings up a major complaint of viewers thus far being that they aren’t as talented as past seasons or whatever. But honestly, I just don’t think it’s that important, or at least it shouldn’t be.

Of course, people can vote however they want, but the handwringing about skills like the idol music they’ll be making depends on it is hard to understand. The production is always going to be far more important, as lucking into something that’s catchy will ultimately determine their success. Like “Very Very Very” was IOI‘s mainstream hit for a reason, and it’s nothing most in the industry can’t handle in terms of skills.

To me, the clear reality is that the most important factors for the final group is that they’re likable to the fandom for whatever qualities they prefer and that they’re generally attractive to appeal to the general public. So if you want to prioritize skills, then that’s fine, but the argument that they’re absolutely necessary or the group is doomed otherwise is bunk.

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The rankings weren’t completely revealed this week, but they did reveal key spots.

Yabuki Nako at the top where she belongs, Heo Yunjin is moving up, and so is Park Haeyoon. Pleased with all of that news.

Boycott update!

After last week’s sharp decline that put the show off pace of previous seasons, it has seemingly leveled off, which is probably welcome news for the future of the show.

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