Queendom 2 Episode 5: Queendom gives the Queens a break with a remote villa filled with meat; also Street Woman Fighter

For the most part, Queendom Season 2 has been keeping pace with Season 1, which means we’re in for a couple episodes of filler before the next round of competition. Which is totally fine, since seeing the groups interact has been where the majority of the fun has laid this season.

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The 2nd round has ended, and the groups ranked in the bottom half are beat up emotionally from the lack of results. Host Taeyeon gives them little opportunity to catch their breath before introducing the first portion of the 3rd round: The Position Unit Battle. Like season 1, the six teams will send their best dancers and vocalists into battle. There’s no limit to how many members can participate, and members can participate as both a vocalist and a dancer, if so inclined. Hyolyn will do double duty as a soloist.

The second portion will require each group to perform songs selected by their fans. Combined, the third round will be worth a total of 20,000 points, double the total number of points of the previous rounds.

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In preparation for the Position Unit battle, the teams are asked to send their chosen members to a secluded villa in Hongcheon. Hyolyn arrives first, followed by the entirety of VIVIZ, who send Eunha to the vocal side alone as SinB and Umji stake out the dancer’s corner. Kep1er is next; Dayeon/Hikaru/Xiaoting are the dance reps while Chaehyun and Youngeun are the vocalists.

Brave GirlsMinyoung is naturally their vocal representative (despite her heart’s desire), while Eunji repeats her season 1 duties as a dance competitor. LOONA meanwhile shows up with a whopping eight members total: Kim Lip, Chuu, JinSoul and Haseul participate as vocalists, while Olivia Hye, Yves, Heejin and Choerry go to the dancer room. Finally, Yeorum and Eunseo represent WJSN’s best dancers, while Soobin and Yeonjung go to bat as the vocalists for the group.

Lee Yongjin appears via video feed to explain the selection process to the dancers. He reveals that, instead of everyone performing a single song like the first season, the dancers will split into partner units, similar to the vocalists. To this end, Mnet has prepared three original songs and choreographies to learn. During the preview, the faces of the choreographers are obscured, but it readily becomes apparent that there are some very special guests involved in designing these choreographies. The second choice, “Greedy” has a modern dance arrangement is the work of none other than PROWDMON‘s Monika. The hip-hop arrangement for “Purr” is immediately obvious to Hyolyn as the work of Holy Bang.

The teams are then told they’ll select in reverse order of overall ranking, which means LOONA, who missed the first round completely, will get the honor of first choice. However, low-ranking teams can be bumped from their song by teams choosing later, a process reminiscent of the position battle selections during Produce 48. It’s a surefire way to generate a modicum of drama.

LOONA’s greatest fears come true, of course, as they get booted not only from their first choice but also from their backup. VIVIZ are the first offenders, choosing to partner with Kep1er on “Purr”. Hyolyn then bumps LOONA again, pushing them from “KA-BOOM” to “Greedy”, where Eunji has been sitting all by her lonesome this entire process. Getting shafted twice steels Yves’ resolve, vowing to win first place.

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The vocalists’ process for selecting teams is much simpler. Teams here are allowed to choose the songs they want to sing without prejudice, so the only sorting required is to find an appropriate partner. After given a chance to appeal to the group, the teams are sent off to three apartments to finalize their teams. The LOONA and Kep1er members quickly find each other and settle in. Hyolyn is in high demand, but is dedicated to her unnie partner-in-crime Minyoung, despite WJSN’s attempted bribery. Rejected, they slink over to VIVIZ’s Eunha, assuring her that they were just checking in on Hyolyn and that Eunha was definitely the first choice all along (a bald-faced lie).

The new teams are then tasked with coming up with unit names, and then choosing a song to perform. Eunha + Soobin + Yeonjung, playing on the “universe”/”Milky Way” theme of their team name, chooses to cover Baek Yerin‘s “Across the Universe”, at least for now. Kep1er and LOONA have trouble deciding between EXO‘s “Don’t Go” and I.O.I‘s “Downpour”. Hyolyn and Minyoung head straight towards BOL4‘s “To My Youth” a classic ballad that’s been covered all over the place.

While working on the song, Hyolyn gives Minyoung a bit of a pep talk concerning the Brave Girls’ not-so-stellar showing so far on the show.

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Day turns to night as the non-participating members of each group visit the villa for an evening feast. Meats are grilled and vats of banchan are set out as the girls are given a chance to interact with each other in a non-competitive setting. WJSN’s Dayoung almost kills Brave Girls’ Yuna, but then makes up for it by delivering water and fruit to everyone like the dorm mother she is. Heejin gets dangerously close to the grill, for some reason. Eunji hits on the grillmaster, and Haseul hits on WJSN. Eunseo exudes alpha energy as she destroys an innocent moth.

After eating, a makeshift stage is set up just for the competitors to enjoy. Lee Yongjin enters and introduces the interim evaluation, where the vocal teams will give a little preview of what they’re working on. Afterwards, they’ll all vote for the best performance, the winner of which will get to decide the order of performances for the main event.

WJSN + VIVIZ are first, and sing “Across the Universe” as expected. Even with minimal practice time, they pull off the main harmonies without issue.

Next is Kep1er + LOONA, who choose “Don’t Go”. Even though I like “Downpour” better as a song, I think the selection works for LOONA, who like lower, more masculine tones.

Finally, Minyoung and Hyolyn take their turn. Minyoung is a bit pitchy and can’t get through the high notes, but Hyolyn is there to back her up. They cut it off right before the descending melody, as a bit of a tease.

Afterwards, all the idols get to vote for their top two performances. The results are left out as a cliffhanger for the episode, but it looks as if Hyolyn will win, yet again.

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Before the episode officially comes to a close, we get a peek at the dance teams’ practice as well. And the big reveal is… the teachers from Street Woman Fighter have come in person to torment our idol dancers. Episode Six should be tasty.

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Random Thoughts

  • So yeah, that was a pretty thin episode content wise. Felt like maybe 25% of the episode was various idols “waiting to see if Hyolyn shows up in my room”.
  • The B-side content has been suffering lately, but watching Hikaru struggle with a copier has been her best contribution to the show so far.
  • Eunha fires a big salvo in the aegyo war, living up to her hamster nickname while hiding behind the couch.
  • I’m a big Youngeun fan (check my reviews on this site for proof) but having her on the vocal team is a big stretch. I think Daddy MNet is worried about just sending one member out of nine to represent, especially when LOONA is sending four.
  • No Dayoung or Seola on the vocal team for WJSN? Seems like a huge missed opportunity. Their covers are some of the most popular on YouTube. Who’s making the decisions here?
  • I counted three instances of Seola trolling Soobin in the background during the dinner.
  • Commentary on some of the stages is actually pretty interesting, mostly because of how much wasn’t accurately captured on camera.
  • Brave Girls’ Yujeong saying how light WJSN’s Luda is in reaction to Yuna’s distress was excellent.
  • Names are hard. “Queen’s Face” is a top tier awful name. Good work Chuu.
  • I feel like not enough credit is given to how much Yeonjung’s voice has improved after I.O.I.
  • SinB wins best face for her reaction to Eunseo’s screeching.
  • Mnet sees the ratings slip so they edit in 5 seconds of Monika making LOONA cry, just so they can pack the episode trailers full of SWF content.
  • Can we please stop the segments that are just the group chats thrown up on the screen?
  • Note to WJSN: Never read the comments. Not even mine.

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