The women of kpop certainly are deserving of the title of "queens" in Mnet’s show Queendom.
ark Bom, AOA, Mamamoo, Lovelyz, Oh My Girl and (G)I-DLE all participated in three primailary rounds and then a final round when all groups released a new single on the same day. Through all the rounds, contestants would earn points towards the final score. No spoilers, but if you’re a fan of any of the groups, I’m sure "stan twitter" already spoiled it for you.
The first round gave the groups a chance to revamp a hit title track; this really set the tone for the level of performance the audience was expecting from the groups. Round two was all about making another contestant's song their own in the cover challenge. Round three was a bit more complex with a vocal from each group joining with another to form a two-person unit, while the dancers of each group (Eunji from Brave Girls as Bom’s dancer) showcased their individual talents before coming together as Six Puzzles. The last part of the third round was another performance from the groups doing fan suggested songs in a segment called Fandora’s box. Still lowkey sad Mamamoo didn’t do the Pokemon theme song a fan suggested.
Now that the final round is over and the queens of the comeback are crowned, let’s dive into what audiences and Mnet should take away from the show as a whole.
1) Forcing drama didn’t work.
As a survival show there is going to be the signature dramatic moments when scores are being added and the suspense leading up to the announcement of the winners and losers. The focus of this takeaway isn’t about that, it’s about Mnet trying to create drama between the groups through forcing them to not only pick but then announce who they felt did not do as well as they did. You could tell how uncomfortable the girls were when they had to stand up while the hosts said the results.
The attempts to create annomancity between the groups felt forced and made the enjoyment of the show hard at times. During the last episode, it seemed that the editors learned their lesson and did a whole segment where the girls offered their genuine support and admiration for each other. That was a really sweet and it showed more of the girls’ actual opinion.
The unforeseen issues that come up naturally are way more interesting than forcing some artificial in-fighting.
2) Pushing the groups to try new things
From the first round, the groups knew they needed to exceed expectations but (G)I-DLE really set the bar for what was to be expected and went on to give some incredible performances. Mamamoo didn’t feel like they did what they always do so the following week they really pushed themselves. Lovelyz tried to get out of their traditional cutsey concept and showed improvement throughout the entire show. Oh My Girl, after a few negative remarks, really buckled down and did one of the best performances of the entire show. Seriously, their Destiny cover is still something I think about on an almost daily basis.
Even if you’ve only watched the edited clips of your preferred group, you should watch all of the performances from every round. They are all incredible.
The push to impress the audience meant the groups dug deep and put on award show level performances. The freedom to make within the rounds lead to some creative takes on old favorites and allowed the groups to try new concepts they might not have been able to for a general comeback.
3) Broader exposure for groups
Oh My Girl and AOA are hilarious. I came already stanning with Mamamoo and (G)I-DLE but I was not prepared to buckle down and start supporting and cheering on all the groups. Before the show I had at least heard of all the groups but newer kpop fans may not be aware of what a legend Park Bom is or the sexy concept was basically invented by AOA or the Soyeon from (G)I-DLE is an amazing producer or Mamamoo’s Moonbyul has dance talent on top of her already impressive list of skills or Mimi in Oh My Girl has this deep intense rap vocal or how extra Mijoo from Lovelyz is.
While I might not be a fan of all of the groups usual style, it was easy to become invested in them as people. You wanted everyone to do well and I think that is a sign of how good everyone on the show was.