k-pop · Kingdom · reviews

Mnet’s Kingdom Review & Recap – Our Thoughts On Week 9

Mnet’s Kingdom is finally here, so we will bring to you a weekly review and recap of the new episode! BTOB, iKon, SF9, Stray Kids, ATEEZ and The Boyz go head to head in this legendary war of performances and we are ready to enjoy it to the fullest.

Opening Thoughts:

What a week, what a third round, way to close the competition and enter into the grand final! But stay tuned will be reviewing those final songs before the last episode drops! I was super excited for this episode. I mean Sf9 doing Move? The Boyz giving us Monster? We are in for a real treat! I love seeing some more bits and pieces of interaction going on during this episode iKON x Sf9 is a match made in heaven and Chan calling Taemin saved my life I think. I wish we could have gotten more of these moments throughout the show but oh well. We can’t have everything I guess. Also have to agree with Una I feel like we didn’t get everything we could have had, so much wasted potential and too much focus on crying and mistakes.

*

Seeing which songs were going to be performed this round, I was so, so excited for this episode. It’s insane that Kingdom is approaching its end so soon and I still feel like we didn’t get half of the things I expected the show to provide. It somewhat feels like they wasted those first few episodes on different renditions of their own songs but it is what it is. All the contestants which we will get to see this episode are incredible and this couldn’t have been a better batch of performances to look forward to. Let’s see what we actually got and review this!

Performances:

Lina: I enjoyed this in its own right! Jazz-musical BTOB is something I never knew I needed, like Una I was a bit surprised at the song choice. But k-melodies wanted it badly so I guess they got what they wanted. The entire performance is just a flex of the boys’ vocals, I mean BTOB are some of the best vocalists out there. And goddamn Eunkwang and Changsub are so hot. I am always here for Minhyuk but those two men have been coming for me it’s not even funny. I also felt like the performance really captured their essence, the vocals, the talent, and the humor. Miyeon was a nice add to it she looked really pretty.

Una: BTOB give us a musical-inspired rendition of their own b-side Blue Moon from their 2018 This Is Us album and I’m a bit caught off guard by the choice of the song but that’s probably because I didn’t watch the entire episode. This is incredibly melodic, fun and very BTOB-like which is obviously always a good thing. Surprisingly, I don’t really have that much to say about this performance. It’s surely great but the song choice is odd and considering they had Miyeon with them I would’ve loved to see them cover a GIDLE song. Why not? Their energy is however amazing as always and it’s always a joy to see them have fun on stage while delivering one hell of a vocal performance.

Una: ATEEZ have also picked their own song again, this time around the fantastic Answer, but I’m sure this would make more sense if I managed to watch the reasoning behind these picks. However, ATEEZ are bringing all the dramatic, theatrical antics this time and I’m absolutely here for it. I love the classical influence mixed with rock instrumental on this performance and that majestic last section of it – ATEEZ do this perfectly. This is the type of atmospheric sound I’d love for them to pursue instead things like I’m The One because they excel at it. I have to say that I think the ATEEZ boys really made quite a progress in the show and I think they positively surprised me by showcasing what great, strong performers they are (their vocalists also keep constantly improving) which I knew already but it’s not something that is that apparent in, for example, music show performances. Watch their Immortal Songs performances though, wow. All in all, one of their best performances in Kingdom for me if not maybe the best one.

Lina: Mhm, I feel a bit conflicted about this stage. I wanted ATEEZ to show us an Answer stage for Kingdom but not this late in the game, if No Limit is your motto why do your own song again when you’ve done that 2 times before? I don’t know, I love Answer but I was a bit less excited about this. I know why they picked it and it’s quite emotional and sentimental but still… I am a bit disappointed. Here is where I am conflicted though, because I loved the staging of this performance and the last part of the song was epic. La Poem backing them up with those megawatt vocals was epic! I am here for this. I also felt again especially during Hongjoong’s part that Mingi is missing and there is a huge empty space. I don’t know, overall I felt quite underwhelmed.

Lina: Okay in this essay I will… be a het ho. I mean – be very objective and not look at anything but judge this like the objective, emotionless human being that I am. Kidding. I have eyes and yes I was absolutely excited for this sage, after I saw those first teasers. Like whew… Sf9 know they are sexy and they love to sell that to us.

Now, I loved how they made Move theirs. Chan getting the spotlight through Kingdom for his fantastic dancing skills, it’s about time. He nailed that opening section. I can’t physically talk about that stairs choreography section – let’s just say it’s great, go watch it. The costume for this stage was so hot and I love how Dawon is just there to be half naked. A serve. I think they really made Move a Sf9 song with the staging, the new choreography with the original killing points and the new raps. Zuho going “I am the male version of Venus” does send but it slapped though. I keep also being surprised by Jaeyoon’s amazing vocals and Inseong came to redeem himself. My boys can sing, dance and be hot. Go stan Sf9.

I have to say after the first watch I kinda hated how the song was so ripped apart but that was due the 100 times Mnet interrupted it for reactions. The dance break down isn’t my fave thing but overall this was great (by the way, them walking out into the rain just to stand there absolutely sent).

Una: Now this was the performance I was looking forward to the most. SF9 are big Taemin fans and seeing that Chani and Taeyang would have great portions in this through short clips only made me even more excited. Move is such a great pick for this round and as much as it’s a hard song to deliver, SF9 have the right energy for it – they have smooth vocalists and, most importantly, Taeyang who really suits this type of concept and leads this performance well. I am not disappointed at all, even though they really just had to add some breakdown into the arrangement but I will look past it this time. I think that not only the sultry, dark energy this entire performance had, but also the absolute switch up in choreography really brought this to another level for me. Things I didn’t expect? Zuho coming through with some Latin-inspired rap? Hello? I actually liked that a lot, despite the autotune.

Inseong really surprised me as well by toning down his strong vocals a lot, however, vocally, I’d say Jaeyoon was the one alongside Taeyang who ate this performance up. I’m biased because I love SF9 and I love Taemin, and I obviously love this type of sensual mood, but I enjoyed this so much despite its minor flaws.

All in all, Chani. Just… Chani.

Una: I think people underestimate and overlook TBZ as vocalists a lot, especially when focusing on their other roles (f.ex. Q and Jacob) which is a shame. I think they’ve showed throughout both RTK and even more in Kingdom what great vocalists they have and it’s always a joy to actually listen to them, even without the performances. I appreciate that they not only picked EXO’s Monster but also stayed very true to the original melody of it. I would absolutely love to see them do a concept like this because they’ve been definitely straying into that direction with their last 2 Korean comebacks. Just give them some good, strong melody and they’ve got it.

I enjoyed this performance a lot both musically and visually and I think this is definitely The Boyz’s style. Another strong one, especially elevated by the fantastic fits for this round. I absolutely loved the styling here and it goes so, so well with them as well. Eric with a ponytail. Yeah, that saved my day, week and month. What if he kept that for their comeback? Just kidding… unless?

Lina: Like Una said, I am not that into The Boyz so I don’t really see them as strong vocalist, they are more of a strong performance group for me. But they keep me on my toes and really surprise me. So, their performance of Monster has me quite surprised. I love this, this has to be one of my favorite performances of this round. I loved how they kept the original but also put this new arrangement in it. It made it very The Boyz, also they were so in-sync it’s insane. I am a bit sad that Younghoon isn’t here but he just had surgery so it makes sense. Jacob and Hyunjae ate Chen’s and Baekhyun’s parts. While I was missing the iconic Sehun/Chanyeol rap I think Sunwoo coming out of that snake blew my mind and made me forget everything.

They were so incredibly hot, my god can they stop. This has to be my favorite performance by them for Kingdom.

Final Thoughts And Ranking:

This was a pretty interesting round and I’m glad that we didn’t have any performances which I’d call weak. Even when doing songs I don’t necessarily love, I think everyone saved the day with their energy or unique concepts. I enjoyed everything and while some are better than others in my opinion, of course, I’d re-watch all of them without a problem. Ranking this round (combining the 2 performances from the previous episode and these ones) was quite easy because of my own preferences but like I said, it’s not that usual that I have something nice to say about every single act in this review so it’s on of their most solid episodes for sure. Here is my humble ranking for this round:

1: SF9 – Move

2: ATEEZ – Answer: Ode to Joy

3: The Boyz – Monster (Stormborn)

*

This round was epic to witness and what a bang to go out with. It was also interesting to see who those expert judges were all along. Confuses me even more though about those rankings… Did they see and hear what we saw and heard? I am confusion. It’s hard to pick a favorite this round but I’d say it’s pretty obvious at this point that we are a bit more biased towards one group. Compared to the two performances we got last week all four from this week were better. iKON and SKZ were impressive but music wise they were just not my thing. But without further ado here are my top 3:

1: SF9 – Move

2: The Boyz – Monster (Stormborn)

3: BTOB – Blue Moon

Look forward to our review of the six songs and let us know your fave performances of round 3 in the comments.

Header Image Source: Made by Lina for hallyureviews

Advertisement

6 thoughts on “Mnet’s Kingdom Review & Recap – Our Thoughts On Week 9

  1. Am I the only one not dying out of joy when I hear SF9’s Move? I mean, I like the performance, but it is solid, not amazing for me. Maybe it is just me, but I am going to stick to ATEEZ’s Answer x Ode To Joy as my definitive track from this round.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Wow, that was… frank and honest lol. I listened to SF9’s Move like 8 times to see what I am missing, still have not found it. Maybe I just ain’t into the sensual music style? It is fine, but like 8.5/10 fine, not 9.5/10 fine. What am I missing darn it!

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s