Welcome back to your weekly ‘Produce 48‘ roundup, and man, we’re already at episode 10. Thankfully this was not a boring mess like the previous episode, and we got all the concept evaluation performances.
Okay, so the team that gets the most votes is awarded the benefit points, with the high score getting 50,000 and the other members getting 20,000 each. While nothing guarantees them safety at this point, we’ve already seen the benefit points make a difference in eliminations, so the stakes are definitely there.
Anyway, on to the performances.
“Rumor” – Kwon Eunbi, Kim Sihyeon, Murase Sae, Lee Sian, Han Chowon
A lot of the build revolved around Sihyeon being the center and Sian excelling, which was kind of surprising to see them push.
I still love Chowon’s overall utility, but I gotta say that her rapping in this song was basically overexcited yelling. Primarily it’s a group that stood out visually, with Sihyeon expectedly playing her role but Sian stealing the spotlight. However, I wasn’t that impressed with the performance. The dancing was good, but basically everybody on the show sucks at rapping and there was too much of it in this for it not to be a detriment.
“To Reach You” – Yabuki Nako, Kim Chaewon, Na Goeun, Jo Yuri, Jang Gyuri
Yuri and Goeun’s competition was the focus, though it was mainly a group effort in terms of an improvement narrative.
Group had a lot of quality vocal efforts, and the performance itself was solid from start to finish with a few standout moments. Used correctly, Nako can be useful vocally, but ideally it should be selective. Yuri was obviously the star of the show and I think they made the right choice by letting her have the key section, though Goeun made a strong impression as well. More relevantly, this kinda highlighted the problem for Goeun in terms of voting, because she’s a good singer, but not quite as good as her competitors. Thus, the people who are voting on that criteria are going to prioritize others, IMO.
“Rollin’ Rollin'” – Shiroma Miru, Jang Wonyoung, Kim Nayoung, Kim Doah, Honda Hitomi
This is the weakest group in terms of my preferences for the Top 12, so I was looking forward to seeing if they had more to offer. Unfortunately, instead of learning about most of the others, they really spent the whole time pushing Wonyoung in training.
There were a lot of fun moments in the song, so I understand the appeal for many, but honestly none of them necessarily changed my mind. Miru stood out the most, as she usually does in performances, and it likely closest to my Top 12. Still, at times this was almost more annoying than anything else as their voices were so … immature sounding?
“See You Again” – Miyawaki Sakura, Park Haeyoon, Takeuchi Miyu, Wang Yiren, Kang Hyewon
Is Miyu just too shy or something? Like I can’t tell if they are purposefully trying to screw her over or if she just doesn’t do anything that allows them to craft a narrative for her. They obviously know by now that she’s popular, and I’m not sure why they wouldn’t want her in the group. Anyway, the training center battle with Sakura and Yiren didn’t seem to matter much, honestly.
Sakura was kind of anonymous throughout this, which was weird. Regardless, if they’re relegating her to a few lines of rapping when she can’t rap and can barely pronounce the shit she needs to rap, you know things are in a bad way. Still, Haeyoon and Miyu showed well, with Haeyoon impressing in particular (again), and the performance really excelled during the chorus. That said, the verses were a bore and should’ve worked better on charm alone.
“I Am” – Kaeun, Ahn Yujin, Heo Yunjin, Choi Yena, Takahashi Juri
They all seemed to grade out well in preparations, but I guess they needed drama so they pitted Kaeun and Yujin for center. Yujin ended up getting the role because it’s a cute and young song or something, which seems like foreshadowing for Kaeun. Yunjin got the good edit again after her ranking tanked, hopefully because they realize she would be a boon to the Top 12 and plan on manipulating voting to get her in the group despite her votes tanking.
Honestly though, the song isn’t … cute, right? I don’t see why Kaeun had to be replaced by Yujin if not for drama reasons, but whatever. Felt the group did well as a whole without much complaint, but also felt like three stood out in particular. Yunjin is probably the best overall contestant on the show at this point for me and proved it again, while Kaeun and Yujin both drew attention with quality efforts of their own.
“1000%” – Goto Moe, Shitao Miu, Miyazaki Miho, Lee Chaeyeon, Kim Minju
So much crying, like seriously. The practice and rehearsal stuff was so blatant you could basically see Mnet adding votes for Chaeyeon their self.
Visually this team was set with Miu, Minju, and Moe, though they’re also likely why the song dragged until any time it came back around to Chaeyeon and Miho. Clearly this was the Chaeyeon show, which was completely justifiable, and I think she actually stood out specifically because she had to carry her group.
Chaeyeon is certainly more skilled than the visual/charm type of members, but I don’t think it’s to the point where she should push out other skilled contestants. I feel like she’s one of the Top 12 skilled members on the show, but that’s not actually what we’re choosing either. She’s another on the fringes of my ideal Top 12, but don’t feel she quite fits.
Anyway, here’s the ranking of the group performances as well as the highest vote getter.
6th – “I Am” – Choi Yena
5th – “1000%” – Miyazaki Miho
4th – “See You Again” – Miyawaki Sakura
3rd – “Rumor” – Kwon Eunbi
2nd – “To Reach You” – Yabuki Nako
1st – “Rollin’ Rollin'” – Shiroma Miru
I … what? Yeah, I guess I saw it completely differently. I would’ve gone “I Am”, “To Reach You”, “See You Again”, “Rumor”, “1000%”, “Rollin’ Rollin'” from first to last.
Anyway, Miru benefits from this, but she was likely alright anyway. More importantly, this result looms large because Nayoung and Doah were both just out of the Top 20 after the last episode and this could push them into safety.
If you want a better idea of how each contestant did individually, Mnet released individual eye contact fancams for the concept evaluation performances.
Oh right, they also had the eliminated contestants in the building entertain the crowd.
I miss the entertainment value of some of them, honestly.
Back on track, my rankings after episode nine showed some changes.
However, my rankings after episode 10 were basically the same, just some shuffling of places.
My votes are still going to Yunjin and Haeyoon even if it feels like I’m a band member on the Titanic going down with the ship at this point.
Of those in my Top 12, I’d say 4-5 have a chance of being eliminated in the next episode, so I’m definitely feeling the heat now.
So the ratings held steady at 2.6%, but they did reach a series high of 3.3% at one point in the episode.
Well, at least I’m nervous now about the eliminations, which is exactly what Mnet wants.