If you know this blog you will know we like a bit of K-Pop and recently the new series of Queendom started and we were excited by the prospect of it, so we set about writing this post each week to remember what happened and to end up here with a full review of the season.

Queendom is aired on MNet the Korean MTV and unlike other music shows in the format, the show pitches established K-Pop groups against each other each week, with themes and challenges, the bands have budgets (although you never get to know what that is and some clearly have bigger budgets than others) and sometimes they can even have special guests and the whole thing is extremely impressive.

The group’s performances are judged and each week there are winners and losers, the performances are judged by the studio audience which includes other groups and/or trainee idols, the bands can vote for each other and there are worldwide votes via repeat views of the performances on YouTube and V-Live. So who did we have this year to watch?

Week One Meet the Groups.

First up were;

Brave Girls

A veteran group who debuted in 2012 – but the current line-up were not part of that original group, (kind of like the Rock Band Yes who started in the 70’s but still tour today, except no one from the original line-up is still with the band!) The four ‘girls’ are polite, sweet, pretty and seemingly shy. We liked them immidiately.

Next came:


No this isn’t a Hair Rock Radio Station based in Cleveland, this is one large group with a couple bitchy leaders, and some quite shy other members, who were intent on making it clear they were the best, even if no one has ever heard of them – well it’s a good attitude to have we guess.


The first band we knew of, Loona have a good sound, changing a lot from Dubstep to dance and clearly the draw to this season, but unfortunately they ALL got Covid the day before the performance and weren’t able to perform, making them the last place group. This sucked!


This band only debuted this year and has caused a split of opinion between us. Ash really likes them and followed the formation of the group through Girl Planet 999 the TV show that formed the group (think The Voice on UK TV) Bob is dubious about their involvement, believing that they shouldn’t be on yet another TV show so quickly.


Formerly G-Friend, a 6 piece group, Viviz reformed when the other three members quit. So they appear to be a debut band but with a mass of old songs in their arsenal


She is the Soloist for the season, a daunting role to fill, but clearly she has the skills and the bravado to fill the platform heels and seems to be incredibly nice and humble too!

Round 1’s show day

Loona – Contracted Covid the day before (we did see the dress rehearsal – which was really good!) sadly they were excluded from the vote.

Kep1er this meant their only song Wa Da Da! This was good, everyone knew the moves/song.

Hyolyn’s performance was a wow, even with a shoe heel held on with Gaffer Tape. Clearly us thinking as a Soloist it would be harder for her – boy were we wrong! Opening with an Exotic party festival feel she owned the show really.

Brave Girl’s seemed a little overwhelmed by the whole thing and their song was small compared to the rest, by no means was it a bad performance it was just a little subdued.

WJSN was Ok – there was some issue with a sand timer but I honestly don’t think anyone noticed thinking it was part of the performance.

Viviz – This was ok as far as performances go – I don’t remember it but it was ok.

Kep1er shone with their big hit and Loona’s rehearsal was shown and got more votes on the worldwide vote than any other, but wasn’t counted. Hyolyn won the week and got to choose the running order for the second round

Week Three/Four – sing a song of another contestant

WJSN started off the show (after 20 minutes of recap and ‘Coming Up’ B Roll) with a cover of GFriend’s Song.

Loona covered Sistar’s Song with a musical style performance that filled our Twitter for days after, so many nuances and gif of an amazing performance, they really made up for not being on air the week before.

Brave Girls covered Kep1er’s track MVSK (That’s Mask) we liked it, the money explosion at the end was a good promo for the shy girl band, but it still lacked enough Oomph to make them stand out amongst the rest.

Viviz Covered WJSN’s Unnatural in a sexy Tango styled song with a ton of dancers and it worked quite well.

Kep1er struggled to pick a Brave Girls’ track, because the youngsters felt the eldest band’s songs were ‘too old’ for them, which actually made sense, given most aren’t old enough to have dated, let been cheated on and dumped, so they picked Pool Party and Rollin and added a rap section (because their rapper is apparently one hell of a rapper). The song kept stopping and starting, it wasn’t the best, but MNet seemed determined to make it as hard as possible for the teenagers, making the stage narrower than it had been during rehearsal, replying shots of 2 of the girl’s falling off stage (because of the narrow stage), over and over after the performance ended and (apparently) telling the girls that it was their fault (we don’t like MNet)

Finally last week’s winner Hyolyn took to the stage and performed Loona’s song ‘So What’ dressed as Catwoman, with a mass on leather clad backing dancers and the pre show video showed Hyolyn working on the production of her track, making it seem like she was the only one to actually produce a track – again MNet favouritism and promoting who they want – Her performance was great though and it seemed to be the best performance, but that was also because the playback was fluid, fewer breaks for reactions of the other bands and when it did break it backed up to show you what you missed, unlike Kep1er’s song which kept missing sections.

After the performances there was the voting. The groups conveened in the studio and had their perfomances picked on, judged and and the other bands given the chance to say who was the best and worst, basically a chance to see who could be the bitchiest.

Once again WSJN had their claws sharpened and once more splitting the show into 2, so that the 1st 2 bands were shown the week before meant you don’t get to see all the performances in one week and thus giving the 1st performers a disadvantage of being forgotten by the time the voting takes place. MNet’s tricks once again. Once again Hyolyn won, the last performer again, the freshest in the memories of the voters, but it was a great piece, so it was somewhat justified.

Hyolyn once again got to pick the running order of the following week and Week 5 had the band’s performing…

Week Five/SixSubunits split

The contestants got to leave the studio for this one, the boys got to do physical activities but for some reason dancing is the only activity they are able to do. So with that in mind the groups got to take part in two activities in which they broke down their groups and join with others from another group. In one half were the dancers and the other half were the singers, no rappers for the girls, it seems that must be considered to active, again!!

The groups had to decide who of their groups would participate and then turn up at a cool hotel in the S.Korean countryside, the members turned up in cars and took their turns (dependent on their scores from the previous results), We saw some friendships and new teams manifesting in the picking process. In the dance groups Loona and Kep1er were determined to be together and when Hyolyn entered the room she was told in no uncertain terms to ‘get out we are together!’

In the end the groups formed were –


33 – Made up of Hyloyn and Minyoung (of Brave Girls)

Galaxy that embraces the Cosmic – Eunha (Of Viviz) & Soobin & Yeonjung of WSJN

Sun & Moon – HaSeul KimLip JinSoul & Chuu (Loona) & Kim Chaehyun & Seo Youngeun (Kep1er)

The Dancers danced to one of 3 songs which were –

Ka Boom – Ex-it – Made up of Hyloyn & Eunseo & Yeoreum of WSJN

Tell me Now – Queen is me – HeeJin, Choerry, Yves, Olivia Hye of Loona & Eunji of Brave Girls

Purr – KeV1Z- SinB & Umji of Viviz & Xiaoting, Kim Dayeon, Hikaru of Kep1er

The groups split off and decide what songs to sing and run through the dance routines before the end of the day when they all got together and finally got to mix between groups and finally get food (Korean essentials for any show).

We got previews of what to expect at the end of their 1st night together and were actually worried for Minyoung with Hyloyn trying to get her sing a song way out of her range to make sure Hyloyn stood out as the better singer and some of the dance unit were a bit chaotic, but it had only been a few hours of practice.

The next show saw the singers give their performances and as is the format, we saw the process they went through in preparation, again Hyloyn was shown to be the only one to do all the work, but thankfully Minyoung held her own and shone just as bright through the performance.

Galaxy that embraces the Cosmic – Was pretty, a ton of flowers and a swing, a sweet song and building crescendo to end. It was pretty impressive.

Sun & Moon – Loona & Kep1er’s determination to stick together through the rehearsal was justified, they clearly performed well as a group, but maybe the song choice was wrong, it felt a bit disjointed, at first when we watched the show it kept breaking to do the reaction shot of the other groups, the other members of their own group and any excuse to cut from the song, – it is very annoying to watch – but when we re-watched the song on YouTube it still seemed bitty, but their abilities were clear to see, Kep1er are marked down for being too young, but they sure can sing.

The next show showed us the dance groups and again we saw the effort they put in, in order to learn and make the piece their own, each group had a choreographer/teacher to help them, all contestants of the hit show Street Fighting Queen, a kind of Korean Pro Dancer’s version of ‘So you think you can Dance’. And some of them were pretty intense, but it worked the performances were impressive.

It’s worth noting the camerawork on this episode is absolute shit!

Ex-it – A dance version of Spring Breakers – but actually decent this time – still with the chavy tracksuits and neon balaclavas – it was ok but nothing outstanding – With the masks on it was hard to tell the difference between pro dancers and performers with made for a cohesive performance.

Queen is me – Think vampiric sirens – Started Black white and red and blossomed into color – this was Bobs favorite performance – visually it was pretty (again abysmally shot) which ruined it because there was some beautiful shots – Clearly you could see that all members had a fair amount of dance training (classically) which shined more than the others.

KeV1Z – This was a decent performance again – finally showing a different side of Kepler – It was good but it didn’t overly stand out.

Queendom continues and we will report on the outcome in a few weeks, but we figured this was enough to to you about for now

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