This episode covers two crucial parts of the Produce 101 process. First, we finish the remaining evaluations. Then we focus on the real challenge: learning and performing the “Pick Me” song. After being separated into groups by rank, the members have three days to learn their new signature song. After they perform it again, the trainers will re-evaluate them and give them their final rankings. If you didn’t think the first episode was all that dramatic, just wait.
YG’s organization is a running joke with K-pop fans (the company, not Yang Hyung Suk). Creatively, they’re on fire – their artists are widely acknowledged for their talent and popularity, often dominating charts and music shows. But in terms of planning, they’re a hot mess. “In the YG dungeon” has become the term for the many artists who go on extremely long hiatuses. Many people have been waiting for Winner’s comeback for a very long time. “Really Really” and “Fool” are both really quality comebacks, so I think that it’s been worth the wait.
I have such a soft spot for Oh My Girl. There’s just something about them that’s so endearing. Anything they do puts a big smile on my face, so I was heavily anticipating “Coloring Book.” I think that this comeback has been a little divisive; either you love it or hate it. I happen to love it. It’s so vibrant and fun!
I’m a little bit behind, but I’m so excited for the new season of Produce 101. I got super into it last year. Season 2 has been surrounded by a lot of negative press already, with reports of unfair treatment, the sordid pasts of various contestants coming to light, and MNET subsequently trying to hush them up about it. Despite all of this, my enthusiasm for the show remains unwavering. (I’m an avid Real Housewives watcher, so I guess I low-key live for hot messes) I’ve avoided spoilers and teasers as much as I could, so I’m trying to be as fresh and unbiased as possible in my recaps.
(Oops, we’re already over halfway through April….)
As I predicted, March was all about the boy groups for me. Though of course several girl groups had solid comebacks, most of my attention was consumed by favorites like Got7 and Monsta X. But no matter your preferences, there was something for everyone this month.
It took me forever to check out Girl’s Day because of their hiatus. Now I totally wish that I had discovered them sooner, because I absolutely love them. They have great music, great moves, and great style. Hiatuses can be tough on a group’s relevancy, so they must be top tier girl if they’re still making waves after a year and a half. I know I’m making this post just as they’re finishing promotions, but I decided to go ahead because I truly loved everything about this comeback. If you haven’t listened to “I’ll Be Yours,” you definitely should.
Pristin has a lot of recognition for a rookie group that just debuted a few weeks ago. Most of them competed on Produce 101, and they got two members into I.O.I. The remaining ones held a series of concerts last summer to introduce themselves to the public. Plus they’re the sister group to Seventeen, who is becoming very popular these days. Anticipation for them was definitely high. For all of these expectations, I think that “Wee Woo” is a pretty solid debut. It might not be ground-breaking or innovative, but it shows that they’ve clearly mastered the basics. If they play their cards right, they could become a force to be reckoned with.
Monsta X is hands down one of my favorite groups. I like everything about them: music, choreography, MVs, personalities/variety sense – and yes, visuals. While they’re pretty successful and well-known compared to other rookies, they have yet to really “hit it big.” Unfortunately, “Beautiful” is not smashing through the charts or racking up music show wins like I hoped it would. But on the bright side, it shows all that Monsta X is capable of and proves that they’re a very skilled group.
The group formerly known as Beast has definitely had some trying times. Original member Hyunseung left just about a year ago, and the remaining members departed from Cube to create their own agency at the end of 2016. Though the contract renewal negotiations were over, name negotiations weren’t. Cube had apparently just trademarked it and holds the rights to it for the next decade. And since that apparently wasn’t enough drama, Cube declared that they would be reforming Beast with Hyunseung, blindsiding everybody involved – including Hyunseung.
Despite all of these setbacks, the group rallied really quickly. They chose the new name Highlight, the name of the last album they released with Cube (and as they put it, the first album with them as five). Now they’ve returned with a fun and lighthearted image. Though fans were understandably worried about how they would fare after all of these hardships, this comeback (or is it actually a debut?) should assuage those fears.
GOT7 has a special place in my heart because they got me into K-pop over a year ago. Though they’re not always my ultimate bias group (which changes frequently because of my fickle heart), they remain high on my list of favorites. I was really looking forward to Flight Log: Arrival, and I wasn’t disappointed. Their trilogy has had some ups and downs, but I think that “Never Ever” provides a nice conclusion.