We are currently at the halfway point of Girls Planet 999, Mnet’s latest girl group survival show, and so it’s time to narrow down our favorite participant picks. We’ve picked trainees that we feel like would be a great fit for the future final group as well as our favorite performances from them. Without further ado, lets get right into the list.
K: Kim Chaehyun
Chaehyun was one of the first K-trainees that I have eyed, due to Mnet’s evil editing of course in the first episode. Her performance in Yes or Yes brought out a lot of her personality, her dancing shone throughout the song but unfortunately she didn’t get many chances to sing. That’s where her performance in IU’s “My Sea” comes in and is what made me choose her as my K-trainee pick. She has a lot of emotions in her vocals and her vocals in My Sea were quite angelic. I hope to see her in the final episode.
C: Cai Bing
Right off the bat, Cai Bing’s strong suit is her charisma. Charisma isn’t really something that can be trained compared to vocals and dancing, the fact she has that will take her far in the competition. Her recent performance in Salute shows in my opinion shows that she can hold her own when it counts. I’m just hoping that we can see more opportunities of her singing as most of the parts she has done has been rapping.
J: Kubo Reina
One of the more underrated J-trainees on the show, Reina is an all rounder talent. I’ve been a fan of hers since the prizmmy days so I was quite happy to see her try something new. She has shown time and time her main vocal abilities as well as her energetic dancing. Now whether she can make it to the final episode is another question. Mnet has made it clear that they’re not interested in the lack of screentime.
Nat Lee (NaturaLee)
K&C: Jiyoon and Yaning
Jeong Jiyoon looks really happy when she’s off stage. But when she gets on stage, that’s when her duality kicks in.
C&J: Yaning and Mashiro
Sakamoto Mashiro has pink hair. It somehow made her stand out. Then came along the mission where she showed that she had more to offer. Fu Yaning tends to do well in all of her performances. She definitely stands out in all of them. The group needs her.
K: Kang Yeseo
To be frank, I’m surprised I’m such a big fan of Yeseo. These survival shows tend to oversell the abilities of younger contestants, who largely do not live up to the talents of older ones for obvious reasons — not enough experience, not enough maturity, yada yada. The only exception in my years of watching Produce and Girls Planet has been M&H’s Lee Haeun from Produce 48. Yeseo reminds me of her in so many ways; she’s incredibly charismatic and has excellent fundamentals, giving the impression that she’s a student beyond her years. Unfortunately, I don’t think she’s made the wisest mission choices; I thought Fate was comparable to a low-rent So You Think You Can Dance performance, despite the show’s editors attempts at overselling its impact. Yet, I think she made excellent use of the center position, evoking a sense of emotion none of the others had. With her, there’s an extra dimension to everything. I’m excited to see what lies ahead for her, and I hope she finds much more success than she did with Busters.
C: Shen Xiaoting
Xiaoting’s principal selling point is that the girl knows her strengths. She’s not a dancer who’s suddenly decided she’s a vocalist in a position mission; she’s not trying out rapping for kicks. She wants you to focus on her dancing, and focus we do. While I think C Group is far and away the weakest on the show, Xiaoting is a major standout. The group has suffered because it’s partially composed of Produce Camp 2020’s leftovers, but I can buy that she was eliminated too early and didn’t really get to show what she has to offer. After watching her Produce Camp audition (which is worth the watch for the mind-blowing split alone), I’m shocked she didn’t stay longer. If she had, I don’t think we’d be seeing her right now, because she’d be outearning us all back in China. So, let’s consider ourselves blessed and give her the spot she deserves in the yet-to-be-named-but-surely-hideously-named GP999 group.
J: Ezaki Hikaru
You can’t buy what Hikaru has. You can’t even train to attain it; it is innate. Your eye is drawn to her, whether you like it or not. Some people are born to do something, and she is born to perform. The ease with which she shows herself on stage, as if none of it is work — you don’t encounter that very often. I often experience a decent amount of anxiety when watching survival shows, constantly biting my nails as I wait to see if my fave can tackle this concept or another. But I don’t have that with Hikaru, because she is a chameleon in every sense of the word. Whatever you give her, she will tackle head on, with an impressive amount of nuance and flourish. Her fancams are worth the watch because of the finer details, so one can fully understand how she makes use of every single beat. I know she has a long career ahead of her, outside of this show or not, but let the record show that she is ready to debut right now.
K: Kim Chae Hyun
Kim Chae Hyun is a sturdy example of an idol who is ready to make a debut. Her pristine image elicits comfortable and secure feelings, especially for those who watch her performances. She’s visually outstanding, a face that shows immediate recognition. Most importantly, she demonstrates camaraderie, making her apt as a pick. Her priority and emphasis on vocals highlights the contributions she will make for her team.
K: Choi Ye Young
Choi Ye Young’s future is bright. A visually balanced individual who excels comfortably in singing and dancing. She vibes with other girls, bringing out their strengths in an uplifting way. Also maintains a respectable amount of communication, bridging a sense of unity and trust. What stands out most is a natural level of control in what she can bring to a performance.
C: Huang Xing Qiao
Huang Xing Qiao keeps it real. Coupled with her determination, her vocal tone, especially, is full, making her performances unforgettable. Her efforts to reflect on her shortcomings shows development in character. Stage presence is also acceptable.