On the latest episode of Mnet’s “Queendom,” the contestants prepared for an entirely new type of battle!
In the first two rounds of the competition, “Queendom” pitted the six competing teams—AOA, MAMAMOO, Lovelyz, Oh My Girl, (G)I-DLE, and Park Bom—against each other in a team battle in which all the members of each group participated.
However, during the September 26 episode of the reality show, the MCs informed the competitors that they’d be facing off in an entirely different way in the show’s third round. Unlike the previous rounds, each group would select only two members to participate: one as their vocal representative and one as their dance representative.
The six members chosen to compete in the vocal unit battle would pair off into three teams of two to perform duets with each other, and the total points scored by each pair would count towards the two members’ team scores. The dance battle, on the other hand, would involve the six members putting on a group dance performance—then being evaluated individually, with each member’s individual score counting towards her team’s total score. (Park Bom, as the program’s only solo competitor, would have to compete in both battles.)
The six vocalists chosen by their groups to compete in the vocal battle were AOA’s Hyejeong, MAMAMOO’s Hwasa, Lovelyz’s Kei, Oh My Girl’s Hyojung, (G)I-DLE’s Minnie, and Park Bom; while the six dancers selected were AOA’s Chanmi, MAMAMOO’s Moonbyul, Lovelyz’s Yein, Oh My Girl’s YooA, (G)I-DLE’s Soojin, and Park Bom.
The dancers—minus Park Bom, who was busy preparing for the vocal battle—later met to decide on their group name and leader. While discussing potential names, YooA mentioned that one of the alternate group names considered for Oh My Girl before their debut was “Puzzle,” meaning that the different members came together to form one beautiful image.
The other idols immediately took a liking to the name’s meaning, and since there were six total members in their performance unit, they decided to adopt the name “6 Puzzle” for their group. After some discussion, they also chose Moonbyul as their group leader, citing the fact that she was the oldest member and had strong leadership skills.
Meanwhile, the vocalists faced the difficult task of splitting up into pairs. After chatting with each other to get a sense of each singer’s musical styles and preferences, the group played rock-paper-scissors to determine the order in which they would get to express their choice of partner by entering one of three different rooms.
As the first in line, Hwasa automatically entered an empty room, and Hyejeong—the second vocalist in line—chose Hwasa as her preferred partner by entering the MAMAMOO member’s room. Hwasa was then forced to make a decision between Hyejeong and Minnie when Minnie also chose Hwasa as her partner, and she ultimately picked Minnie over Hyejeong.
However, Hwasa and Minnie’s partnership didn’t last long: Kei soon became the third member to choose Hwasa as her ideal partner, and Hwasa explained that she had been swayed by Kei’s visible enthusiasm about working together with her.
Hyojung, the last member to make her selection, picked Park Bom as her first choice of partner, and Minnie and Hyejeong wound up becoming the third and final team of two.
At the very end of the broadcast, “Queendom” aired a preview of next week’s episode, with Park Bom hinting that she would send a surrogate to represent her in the dance battle. The clip also features the “Queendom” contestants happily feasting on a delicious meal before playing games together as part of a “quest.” Finally, the preview ends with host Jang Sung Kyu announcing the start of the three vocal units’ midpoint evaluations.
Which vocal duet are you most looking forward to? Share your thoughts below!
The next episode of “Queendom” will air on October 3 at 9:20 p.m. KST. In the meantime, you can check out the preview for next week’s show here: