Ah, Produce 101, back for Season 2 — this time with boys! As a lot of us OH! Pressors are drama lovers, we will be tuning into this season, and can’t wait to experience the feels and excitement that P101 will provide, as it did in Season 1. So we have decided to share our feelings with you guys, and created a segment called Produce 101 Episode Breakdown!
In this series, we’ll be sharing what happened during the show, as well as as our thoughts and feelings. We’re also pulling an NCT and separating each breakdown into parts, led by different individuals each week. April 7th brought us Episode 1, so let’s dive right into our first breakdown!
Part 1: Haru (00:00 – 20:00)
The episode starts off with the iconic dramatic type-writer scene that they took from last season and changed up graphic-wise, that has BoA, the representative producer MC of this season, narrate over the hardships that the trainees had personally listed, and what it means to be a trainee and to be able to be on the show.
It then switches to a scene including BoA and the triangle-shaped stage that they performed “Pick Me” on. BoA introduces herself as the representative national producer, as well as introducing us to the voting process, but international fans can’t vote this season!
The first trainees walk in, who will take the DSP Girls’ moment from last year? The Starship trainees! Gwanghyun and Sewoon are here to represent Starship this year. The preview shows snippets of Yeonjung, the successful Starship trainee that made it to I.O.I and is now a part of WJSN! They walk up to the intimidating #1 seat, look at it, Gwanghyun smells it, then they walk back down to sit at a lower ranking row of chairs. Fantagio Entertainments logo appears on the screen, the Starship boys are shocked. The preview shows snippets of Yoojung and Doyeon, who represented Fantagio in Produce 101 and made it to I.O.I last year, now who will be representing Fantagio this year? Ong Seongwoo! He looks so confident, and he has great visuals. He sits comfortably in 2nd spot.
Next, the Maroo Ent boys come in, which features the famous Wink Boy (Park Jihoon), the now-out-of-show-bully Han Jongyeon and Kwon Hyeop. Cre.ker Entertainment follows, which is represented by Joo Haknyeon! Piggy boy (that’s his nickname, he loves pigs) sits confidently at 3rd place next to Ong Seongwoo. More smaller companies flash on screen, with their representatives taking seats.
Brave Entertainment flashes on screen, with the boys sounding out its name. Brave Sound drop it! Kim Samuel is representing the company of bops this season, you may remember him from pre-debut Seventeen or 1PUNCH! He takes the 59th seat, why? Because Jeon Somi sat there, must be luck right? (he actually said this, smart boi).
The show then cuts to a bunch of trainees trying out #1 seat, only for a few seconds. They’re then distracted by the company that appears on screen next. Brand New Music! The boys bicker about how Brand New Music isn’t known for their idols, rather hip-hop rappers! The preview shows the Brand New Music boys practising, with cute cuts to the centre of the Pick Me stage, Lee Daehwi! As they enter, Daehwi pops his head out and nervously whispers “ah” twice, before greeting the fellow trainees already seated. “1st place isn’t full.” Daehwi remarked. As the Mnet we know, of course they love dramatic scenes, so they put a gulping sound when Daehwi swallows, as if he’s nervous for his life. The 4 boys decide to sit in a lower ranking row of seats.
Debuted idols start coming out, including TOPPDOGG member Sanggyun, HOTSHOT members Taehyun and Sungwoon. But then the screen flashes Pledis Entertainment. “NU’EST” is heard whispered by multiple trainees already seated. Ah yes, NU’EST, 6 years into debut, but Pledis thinks they’re not doing well, so Produce 101 for them. I feel bad for the guys, it’s their last chance, but the advantage against other trainees is a bit much. I’ll be happy to see what they offer.
The RBW boys walk in in a conga line, what do we expect from the company who hosts beagle idols MAMAMOO! Jellyfish flashes on the screen. Is the next God Sejeong coming? Is the next Mina coming? Is the next Nayoung coming? Nope. The next N is coming! Yoon Heeseok enters and resembles VIXX’s N.. like a lot.
Part 2: Mogwai (20:00 – 40:00)
Two Cube trainees, Guanlin and Seonho, walks in, and the other boys can’t help but point out their uncanny resemblance. Makes me wonder if Cube has been experimenting in some sort of clone factory. More small companies flashes on the screen in a blur. When Yuehua Entertainment appears, though, MNet made sure to splice in WJSN and Cheng Xiao. Yuehua is represented by a group of flower boys, but they’re far too perky for my tastes.
Next comes the dramatic moment that MNet probably couldn’t wait to pull off. Park Jihoon (aka Wink Boy) says, “If the Big 3 companies come out suddenly, I’ll be totally surprised.” And the YG logo appears on screen.
But it’s only YG K+. Their modelling subsidiary. Of course.
No one dares to take the #1 seat at the top for a while. A little interestingly enough, in a stark departure from Season 1, a few trainees (GON’s Hong Eunki, FNC’s Hwiseung, individual trainee Insoo) duel over the seat. But, as it turns out, they were all mere placeholders for Mr. Jang Moon Bok. And all because Insoo sucked at some Tang Soo Yook game. I still don’t understand how it’s played to save my life though.
After which we’re finally introduced to the Number One, the Only One BoA. She talks prettily for a bit, and introduces us to the P101 training team: SG Wannabe’s Lee Seok Hoon, vocal trainer Shin Yu Mi, dance trainers Kahi and Kwon Jae Seung, as well as rap trainers Cheetah and Don Mills.
Part 3: Sansa (40:00 – 1:00:00)
BoA asks which trainees would like to perform first and no one volunteers….but the Yuehua trainees step up to the plate after a few awkward seconds. As they are introduced, they claim that their goal is to capture both Korea and China, understandable since Yuehua is responsible for picking WJSN’s Cheng Xiao. They perform GOT7’s “Just Right”, although their vocals and rap and drowned out by the backing track. However, they give a strong dance performance which makes up for it. None of them get placed in A or B rank; Lee Ui Woong, Justin and Zhu Zheng Ting get placed into C rank; Choi Seung Hyuk and Ahn Hyung Seob get D rank.
We then get a rather terrifying cut of Cheetah wearing a tragic shirt, featuring a picture that cannot be properly discerned (some say it’s breasts, others a gorilla).
Given that her hairstyle this season is all sorts of wrong, this unacceptable attire makes it even worse.
Park Sung woo from HIM Entertainment is next, walking confidently onto the stage after a brief session of backstage push-ups. It is revealed, much to everyone’s shock, that he is in his thirties. He gives an impassioned performance and his dance skills are very sharp, although his vocals are a bt lacking. He gets F rank.
We get a montage of nervous trainees who continue to make mistakes and most of them get low ranks. Kim Yehyun (WithMay), Lee Junwoo(FENT Ent), Kim Yeon Guk, Yoo Hyoyeon (I.ONE), Lee Seo Gyun (IT), and Choi Heesu all get F. Surprisingly, there is a good amount of groups covering GOT7’s songs like “Hard Carry” and “If You Do”.
Kim Jaehwan covers Adele’s “Skyfall” and gets B rank. Maroo Entertainment’s Park Jihoon gets C and Kwon Hyeob D. Brave Sound trainee, Kim Samuel, is up next and impresses with his dance skills, ending up in A rank!
Part 4: Sapphic (1:00:00 – 1:20:00)
BoA introduces us to her warmer side, showing us her interpretations of popular songs like Taeyeon’s “I”, Twice’s “TT”, and 4minute’s “What’s Your Name?”. It’s an adorable moment in the show that proves the professionalism and likeability of the judges. It’s needed against the harsh grading decisions being made, so that we still enjoy watching the interactions between the judges and trainees without any vendetta for the former.
At the moment that BoA begins to sing “Pick Me” suddenly it’s played to the whole room. Instantaneously the trainees wake up, jump up, and notice what it’s happening. Everyone (even the judges) begin to perform the choreo. Some lazily, some with quiet dedication, and others who bound out of their seats (perhaps tripping beforehand) to the stage. Ahn Hyeong Seob (D grade) had done the latter, giving us an amazing performance of Pick Me that felt very JoKwon-esque.
Cube trainees were up next, Lai Guanlin and Yoo Seonho, and performed a rather “basic” dance routine that left with them with D and F grades respectively. Given their short time at training is not shocking to see and as proven by Sohye doesn’t prevent popularity of future improvement.
The boys then reminiscence on BoA’s career and how impactful she’s been, even internationally, and hope for that in the future, leading us to NU’EST’s own difficulties.
Part 5: LeeTaeyongsWife (1:20:00 – 1:40:00)
My heart swelled in my chest, my throat constricted and I couldn’t help the shock, anticipation and burden I felt while watching Nu’est take the stage. To see a group so far into their career on a show aimed predominantly at trainees in the entertainment industry – those who haven’t even started their career… it was heartbreaking. So much so that I couldn’t even scrutinise the melodramatic music chiming in the background while the group’s various members reminisced over their past in Pledis – home of betrayal and bad management. The cherry on top of an already horrible situation for the group was when Kahi, one of the judges set with the dehumanising task of judging the group and placing them in a rank based off their talent, broke down in tears. My heart honestly couldn’t take this particular scene as it was contrasted by hopeful scenes of Kahi in the past referring to Nu’est as her juniors. God, screw the industry!
After an emotional introduction, the show finally begins. Nu’est take to the stage, and with so much experience, one would expect them to provide a perfect performance, right? In reality, it was painful to watch. To see how a group with such talent needed to ‘prove themselves’ so far into their career felt degrading and tragic, and it didn’t help that they chose a terrible song; it made me hate the world.
In what was by far the most nail-biting, intense and anticipated ranking – obviously dramatically accentuated with the use of suspenseful music and unnecessarily long pauses between each rank – it ends with Minhyun placing a C rank and Baekho, Jonghyun and Minki getting a D rank. Ouch. The judges then reflect on Nu’est’s difficult situation, and it cuts to Minhyun crying, ending this part of the show quite emotionally. Following on from this, many of the contestants on the show who’ve already debuted go into detail explaining their own struggles, supported by emotional music.
Right, enough of the tragic backstories. The show carries on, and Ong Sungwoo takes the stage. Chatter arises regarding this contestant’s peculiar name and visually appealing face, the judges having a fair share of time fawning over Sungwoo’s attributes, and expectations are built. However, will he exceed, or even reach these expectations? Starting off with a powerful dancing and singing combo, Sungwoo shows off his bilingual skills while singing ‘Bruno Mars – That’s What I Like’. This performance is both impressive and cute, yet an interesting and alluring watch. The performance ends with a bang, and an array of compliments from the judges and contestants in the audience.
He then continues on to do a freestyle dance at the judge’s discretion, once again amazing the audience with both his moves and fanservice. However, one of the judges brings to attention that the show’s intention is to make an idol group – like we all didn’t know this – and that he should leave out some strength in his singing. This came across as far from a valid point as in my opinion, it was as if she was scrutinising the fact that he was too well rounded in terms of talent. In the end, he secured a well-deserved A rank, which he expresses his gratitude to very cutely.
Suddenly, anticipation arises as the 1st place seat is left vacant, and Jang Moonbok takes to the stage. It seems the whole world is anticipating this stage the most out of all of the contestants.
Part 6: Rinne (1:40:00 – 2:00:00)
The most popular contestant has arrived. Once a joker, now a soon-to-be king. Our Hip Hop President, Jang Moonbok. And that hair, that hair, absolutely gorgeous. A round of applause from fellow contestants. He seems to be destined to seat on the throne. Moonbok’s introduction speech can be a little cringey to some but his confidence is what matters. CHECK! (in a screeching tone).
Some flashbacks before his turn to destroy the stage, BoA asked him why did he grow his hair and praised its fabulousness. In an interview room, PDs asked the same question too. They are all jealous of him. Me too. Apparently, there’s a story behind it. His answer is rather genuine and innocent.
Now here comes the dreaded question. BoA asked him about his past and how did he coped with it. He talks about all the hardships that he went through (he auditioned for Superstar K long ago, and a clip of him rapping was treated as a joke on online communities) and how he felt so bad about his mother and such. It’s quite heartbreaking to watch but seeing him looks all bright and confident is very heartwarming. He believes that this is his only way to live, and he can’t see himself living differently (not as an artist).
He came to the show to prove himself that he can improve and become better. Cheetah believes that his rap left a strong impression and wonder if Moonbok can only do rap. Moonbok stated that at first he just want to rap but then he realized he can do so much more on stage like sing and dance. He wanted to grab this opportunity, and it is his heartfelt desire and dream to be there.
His time to shine on stage has come, and he’s readying himself to perform BTS’s Boy in Luv. His form is good and solid, then he started to dance and…send a heart hand gesture to the judges (?) and continues dancing like a rapper (?) and then bammm, MNET’s trademark cliffhanger has arrived just in time. It looks epic though, with fellow trainees drop their jaws and the video stops at him doing some epic move. Yeah.
Later, all trainees perform Produce 101’s official song Pick Me on huge moving platforms with Class A trainees on the middle one, with Lee Daehwi as the center. This episode ends with random mission clips of trainees and a full ranking for the first episode.
We hope you enjoyed our 1st episode breakdown! Comment telling us what was the highlight of the first episode of the much anticipated season 2 of such an iconic survival show! This has been the OH! Pressors.