Origin and release year: South Korea (2022)
Starring: Kep1er, Brave Girls, LOONA, VIVIZ, WJSN, Hyo Lyn, Girls’ Generation Tae Yeon
Round theme: Signature Songs
Warning! This article contains spoilers!!!
The first round let us get to know all of the contestants who would be on the show. I think the show has been well-cast with groups that have varying experience and popularity levels.
For the first round I will just say who I am rooting for, my first impressions, and thoughts on the stages.
First impressions after watching the first round:
Honestly, my one-pick for this season of Queendom is definitely Brave Girls. After they were cast for this show I’ve been getting to know more about them and I feel that they are sorely under-appreciated in the industry.
Granted their sudden rise in popularity made people skeptical, but if you sincerely watch their performances and variety shows, you will notice how talented they are. Their personalities are also refreshingly honest which makes them more endearing. I hope that they can get more recognition through this show.
My second team that I’m really rooting for is Kep1er because I feel that they have faced a lot of criticism for being Mnet’s supposed ‘daughters’ but they have a lot of potential to become one of the biggest girl groups, despite their short contract period.
I’m also really rooting for Hyo Lyn (former SISTAR member) because she is such a strong force as a performer and an inspirational industry veteran.
For LOONA and WJSN, I don’t know that much about them (besides some individual members of each) so I’m looking forward to getting to know them through Queendom 2.
As for VIVIZ, as performers I’ve always really liked them but I find their level of competitiveness and their attitudes towards certain things (one member more than the others) a little bit off-putting. I understand it’s probably evil editing but, just based on impressions from the show, a part of me wishes they would be more supportive when other artists are doing certain things instead of comparing them to themselves. I felt that they looked down on some contestants in a very obvious and distasteful way (again, I’m aware that it could be the way that the show is edited).
It is a competition but, at the end of the day, Queendom 2 is meant to be an amazing experience and opportunity for each artist to show a special and/or different side of themselves.
My personal ranking for the first round of performances:
- Hyo Lyn
- Brave Girls
Review of Queendom 2 Round 1 Performances:
Hyo Lyn performed ‘Touch My Body’ from her time in the girl group SISTAR. This performance was spectacular for a number of reasons. The attention to detail when it came to choreography, props, stage design etc. was on point. Hyo Lyn was a star with her perfect vocals and dancing. More than that, her ability to fill that gigantic stage as a single person was super impressive.
Because she did such a stellar job, I also didn’t have a problem with her doing a SISTAR song as opposed to one of her solo songs. I think it’s a bit unfair for artists to be able to use songs from their previous groups (as they were cast in their current artistic capacity), HOWEVER, the difference was that Hyo Lyn truly made the performance her own. It didn’t feel like she was recreating SISTAR but rather showing a new flavour of the song.
Brave Girls blew me away. They set out to show a different charm and side of themselves and that’s exactly what they did. The amount of focus they put into each part of the performance throughout, their incredible live vocals, dance skills, and the way that they took on the challenge of performing ‘Chi Mat Ba Ram’ with only a little bit of ‘Rollin’’ was super admirable.
VIVIZ performed ‘Time for the Moon Night’ and ‘Rough’. I though their performance was very beautifully put together. It was visually pleasing and of course their performance skills and stage presence is unmatched. I think they relied a lot on nostalgia regarding their era as GFriend, and would’ve liked to see them put more of VIVIZ’s current flavour into the performance.
WJSN performed ‘As You Wish’. Despite the sand hourglass breaking, I think it was a pretty solid performance. I listen to a fair share of girl groups but I had actually never heard this song before. I think seeing it for the first time it was a truly stellar performance but I, personally, couldn’t compare it to anything because I haven’t followed their career before.
In WJSN, I found their stage presence top-notch but EunSeo really impressed me with her powerful dancing and her willingness to practice on her own despite having COVID-19.
Kep1er performed ‘WA DA DA’. I thought it was a solid performance and could see that they gave the performance their all. Unfortunately, I think it fell a little bit flat in terms of story and scale. It was like any other music show performance and didn’t necessarily scream Queendom 2. I’m hoping they’ll be able to show a little bit more in the next round.
LOONA was not supposed to perform in the first round due to most members getting COVID-19, however they managed to pull it off.
They performed ‘Paint The Town’ and I loved it! Their stage presence was amazing and the performance was visually stunning. I really enjoyed the traditional Korean elements. I’m very curious how they would’ve ranked if they were able to participate in the first round of Queendom 2.
The official results/ranking for round one:
- Hyo Lyn
- Brave Girls
My final thoughts about the results:
Honestly, I was disappointed that Brave Girls came last because their performance was spectacular. There are two teams that I can think of that they definitely did better than but I won’t name them.
I also found it interesting how the other contestants received VIVIZ’s performance. It goes back to how sure of themselves they were and makes me wonder how they’ll approach the second round.
As always, shows like Queendom and Kingdom are largely popularity contests and I think that there needs to be a way to not let popularity count over performance quality. I’m not sure how but the show needs to maybe take that into consideration.
What did you think of Queendom 2 Round 1?