The end of episode 3 found the crews pairing off to do battle against each other, with the sudden news that the first elimination would follow. With the added pressure of elimination and the feast / famine nature of the Class Mission, crews with negative points like HolyBang and YGX felt immense pressure to survive.
The crew-on-crew battle features each pair duking it out over a medley of songs from one of four “Queens of K-Pop”. The final results will take into account social media views and likes, points gained/lost from the previous mission, as well as a judges’ decision. Half of each medley will be choreographed by one team, half by the other. Both teams will need to perform the full choreography, so each team will effectively “copy” the other’s choreo.
Episode 4 begins with the teams assembled in the battle arena, having already recorded their stages for the current mission. As Kang Daniel reviews the rules for scoring, we get to see the tabulated view counts, with most teams neck-and-neck. Unsurprisingly, Lee Chaeyeon’s WANT is ahead with a huge number of views, but YGX had a strong showing, coming in with the second highest total overall. Before the final results are revealed, we get flashbacks to each battle.
WayB vs Prowdmon: CL – “Doctor Pepper / Hello Bitches”
WayB vs Prowdmon is 100% about Prowdmon’s Monika getting her revenge. As main dancer for the Leader Class, WayB’s Noze had (strategically) picked Monika as the worst dancer, a title she was able to pass off to HolyBang through a 1v1 battle. Prowdmon was chosen by the judges as the overall MVP of the Class Mission, and thus got the benefit of selecting the opponents for the current mission. Monika selected WayB to teach Noze a lesson.
WayB’s choreography and practice goes smoothly, as Noze doesn’t want to let her squad down. CL watches their choreography video and praises the cleanliness of the performance.
Prowdmon’s practice is a mess, and the filming of the choreography video goes poorly, with one member being kicked in the face during a cartwheel. CL doesn’t approve, and picks WayB as her favorite (though I don’t think it actually matters in the scoring). Monika does not appreciate how underwhelming her team is performing, and gives them a lot of stern talking-to’s in the green room. Their performance goes off without a hitch, and features some prop work.
The judges love the props and Prowdmon beats WayB 370 to 230.
HOOK vs CocaNButter: Hyuna – “Crazy / I’m Not Cool / Lip + Hip”
CocaNButter and HOOK have disagreements about the number of members allowed to participate. CocaNButter, already in a pinch because of leader Rihey’s nagging knee injury, are also down a member with Jillin unable to film because of other responsibilities. They tell AIKI that with the large number of members in HOOK she should sit some, but AIKI doesn’t give in and wants her entire team to participate.
During practice, CocaNButter worry about being able to pull off the cutsey, meme-y choreo HOOK is coming up with. AIKI in turn worries about performing CnB’s provocative moves and strategizes how to pull it off with all seven members. In addition to somewhat rearranging CocanButter’s choreo (to C&B’s chagrin), AIKI’s big plan is to have her entire team wear wigs, so as to draw attention away from herself.
The gambit works and HOOK takes the judges’ decision 375 to CocaNButter’s 225.
HolyBang vs LACHICA: Jessi – “What Type of X / GUCCI / NUNU NANA”
The negotiations for which part to take between LACHICA and HolyBang were a treat. Gabee and HoneyJ have been two delightful personalities on the show and to see them pull out every negotiation tactic in the book was really charming. HoneyJ relents after Gabee’s eloquent explanation, even praising her after the fact for her power of speech.
Tensions rise after Gabee intends to incorporate a hat into the choreography. HoneyJ stops by and asks them about the hat, saying that if the hat is a part of the choreo then HolyBang needs to wear hats too. Gabee’s intention was to show them the choreo without the hat, and then wear a hat for the final performance. Upon being found out, Gabee tells HoneyJ they shouldn’t wear these hats, maybe a different hat, or maybe no hat at all. I guess you just gotta respect their wishes?
Anyways, HoneyJ has more to worry about than just the outfits. Her team’s internal struggle is whether they’re going to adopt some alternate styles or tricks to catch people’s eye, or if they go with their tried and true hip-hop style. The team practices for hours without a clear direction. After some time, HoneyJ’s crew tells her they should stick with a style, and that style is the classic they’re known for.
Jessi and PSY watch both choreo videos, and their responses confirm HoneyJ’s fears: LACHICA were memorable and HolyBang, while cool, didn’t catch their attention. Jessi picks LACHICA.
HolyBang has a crisis of faith, but then rally back saying they’ll stick to what they’re best at.
The judges scores are close: 286 – 314 in favor of LACHICA.
YGX vs WANT: BoA – “Eat You Up / Better”
Finally, the battle between YGX and WANT, performed using BoA’s “Better” and “Eat You Up”. With already a miles worth of competitive tension between the two teams, this promises to be the heavyweight battle of the mission.
YGX plans to use B-girl YELL to their advantage, incorporating a break routine during their section of the choreography that no one from WANT can pull off. To their chagrin, WANT’s honest effort in trying to recreate the routine generates a bigger response than they expected during practice.
Even with their abridged version of YGX’s routine, Emma from WANT gets beat up from the physicality of it after multiple takes. Rozalin gets audibly irritated from the complicated and, in their opinion, clunky routine.
The judges are not so kind. YGX shoots ahead by a large margin, 396 – 204. BoA herself gives 151 points to YGX and only 49 to WANT, mainly because YGX was cleaner and sharper in the details.
But this is just one part of the battle. It’s time to tabulate the final scores, both incorporating the results of the Class Mission and the popular vote.
With a popular vote score of 500 – 400, HolyBang makes up their difference from the Class mission but not enough to fill the margin from the judges. LACHICA wins. HoneyJ blames herself for the loss but vows to fight until the end.
Prowdmon laps WayB in both judge score and popular score, taking the match 870 – 530.
In the clash between HOOK and CocaNButter, HOOK rides a strong wave of popularity to a 725 – 475 victory.
And in our penultimate match, YGX show an online popularity almost at parity with WANT. The difference in judge score is a gulf that WANT cannot cross. YGX win 896 – 804.
We have our four losers and four winners; it’s now time to choose elminiation candidates. CocaNButter had the lowest scores overall in the mission, so they’re automatically chosen for the elimination battle. The second candidate will be picked by YGX, who had the highest scores overall. WANT is automatically safe since they have the highest scores of the four losers, so the choice comes down to HolyBang vs WayB. YGX chooses WayB.
The elimination battle is 3 out of 5, with the first round being full crew vs full crew, and subsequent battles being 1v1. After some time to work out routines and strategies, the crews reconvene in the main room for the battle.
CocaNButter win with a clean sweep over the outmatched WayB crew, with 3 – 0 decisions 3 rounds in a row. WayB’s energy and freestyle skills just are no match for the veteran dance crew.
A tearful Noze expresses how they tried their best, and the episode comes to a close.
- Both INetz and KNetz have been very vocal about how eliminations feel completely unnecessary for this show. Maybe? Also it feels like WayB’s narrative has run its course.
- Noze’s dance for “Hey Mama” is going viral somehow.
- Mnet finally added a cash prize to the pot after being criticized for just offering a trophy.
- Please leave “morality” out of your discussions on what dance crew is better. It feels like every team is being equally catty and devious, and I applaud the brave souls playing into it with reckless abandon, simply for our entertainment.
- Episode 5 literally has a wrestling ring in it.