Produce X 101 – The Produce 101 series is into it’s 4th season, having successfully produced eye-catching groups like I.O.I, Wanna One, and the currently promoting IZ*ONE. The current series named “Produce X 101” has been playing the wildcard game with “X”, and has thrown out interesting twists thus far. Starting with the initial audition ranking labelling trainees from top agencies “X”, only for them to make a strong comeback; a couple of those “X” trainees Song Hyeong Jun 송형준 (Starship) and Kim Min Gyu 김민규 (Jellyfish) making waves since surviving the potential early exit.
Produce X 101: Concept Evaluation threw up surprises as usual
With the completion of the latest Concept Evaluation, the race is heating up as the final 20 will be selected to run to the finish in the final live show. As usual, the Concept Evaluation made waves last week with the groups performing to the original produced hits specially for the show and teams. Check out the top 3 ranked performances, “U GOT IT”, “이뻐이뻐 (Pretty Girl)”, and “움직여(MOVE)”.
Produce X 101: Whose the potential frontrunners in the race to the finish?
We don’t like to make difficult predictions, but we definitely can highlight the trainees who have consistently had strong fan support thus far, so watch out for these boys because they have a very good chance of making the final 10+1. However, one can never be sure as the past 3 seasons has always thrown us huge surprises in the last live episode, so stay tuned.
Kim Yo Han 김요한 (OUI Entertainment)
This young man made an impression with his rendition and re-enactment of Seven’s song 와줘. Considering he was quite a fresh trainee whom only trained for 3 months prior to the show, it was good use of his basic training to impress. His taekwondo-style finishing and hardworking personality has kept him up in the rankings thus far. He also impressed many with his rap performance in winning concept evaluation song “U GOT IT”. With this performance, he took the top spot from the live voting of the concept evaluation (after all winning benefits).
Kim Woo Seok 김우석 (TOP Media)
Woo Seok is not a new boy on the blocks, but akin to the NU’EST members back in season 2, he debuted with UP10TION with the name Wooshin. Has the typical Korean pretty boy look, he made waves with his good looks even without makeup; but subsequently also had some negative moments when he tried hard to convince his “U GOT IT” members not to take in the “revived” member from the previous votings.
The first time he caught my attention was during his “Love Shot” performance during the first “Group X Battle”. Definitely a frontrunner to be in the final 11 given his strong fan support.
Song Hyeong Jun 송형준 (Starship Entertainment)
The story of Hyeong Jun also makes for the typical rise from the dead story, that the “Produce” series was so famous for. First time in history, the Starship Entertainment trainees messed up in their initial ranking performances. Hyeong Jun was the focus of a dressing down from the trainers when failing to response to a request for a solo dance performance. Given the “X” rank, he took the lead in training all the “X” ranked trainees the dance for “X1-MA (_지마)”, and that spells the beginning of his rise to the top echelon of the show.
It’s pretty hard to actually resist his cute boyish looks, as well as his shy demeanour throughout the episodes of the show.
Kim Min Gyu 김민규 (Jellyfish Entertainment)
It was pretty hard to pinpoint Min Gyu’s rise to popularity, but perhaps he represents the hardworking group of trainees, whom also rose from the “X” ranks. He was also sent to the “X” ranks during the initial ranking, where he was criticised for his lack of ability, but humbly accepted his rank and recognising that he was lacking in many areas. Following the initial setback, he became the “model trainee” where he was extremely enthusiastic during trainings.
As much as he tries his best in improving, he still suffered some setback in the recent episodes where he struggled, and played catch up in practising for the various evaluation performances. He still remains one to watch for the top 11 in our opinions.
Nam Do Hyun 남도현 (MBK Entertainment)
Nam Do Hyun was dubbed as a genius having only trained for 5 months in his agency, but put on an eye-catching performance during initial grading. He went on to impress after each performance as mainly an adept rapper oozing with charisma. His charismatic disposition exploded during his performance of “Monday to Sunday” during Concept Evaluation, where he took the top position for that song, as well as 3rd overall after the performance.
The above are just my views, and I wouldn’t have listed all the top ranked trainees here as well. It is still anybody’s guess but the race is definitely heating up, and we will wait for the next episode to unveil the top 20 trainees who will remain to compete for the top positions; and become members of the next global idol group.