The second season of Produce 101 is currently underway. I have waited a long time for this. Four episodes have aired and I already have my favourites contestants.
My current top 11 contestants are listed below:
11. Kim Jong Hyun (Pledis Entertainment)
It is so heartbreaking that Nu’est has to take part in this show. They are already an established group that debuted over 3 years ago. However, I understand that they have not been receiving much support and success in Korea and felt desperate, which is why some of the members are taking part in Produce 101. They have yet to show their true potential on the show and they constantly make mistakes. I am still showing my support and I truly hope that they find success on this show. Jonghyun is my least favourite Nu’est member, so he takes the last position on my list.
10. Hwang Min Hyun (Pledis Entertainment)
Minhyun has been receiving praise throughout the series so far. He has also been receiving his fair share of criticism. He has not been stable and I hope that changes later on in the show.
9. Kang Dong Ho (Pledis Entertainment)
It is easy to pick out this guy from the crowd. He has such a distinctive face. I think he is higher up on the list than the other Nu’est members because of he is one of the people I easily recognise visually and vocally. He seems to have lost a lot of hope and enthusiasm. He looks really depressed. I really hope he finds his spirit once again and excels in the show. I know he has the talent, now is the time to show it. Fighting, Dong Ho!
8. Choi Min Gi (Pledis Entertainment)
Min Gi (Ren) was my favourite member of Nu’est. I am kind of sad that he got rid of his feminine image but now he is showing his true self for the show. Much like Minhyun, Min Gi has not been stable for the past few episodes and still has much improvement and talent to show. Nevertheless, I am still supporting him!
7. Justin (Yuehua Entertainment)
Justin caught my attention even before the show officially started airing. His introduction video was one of my favourites. Although he is a rapper, his visuals and voice make him one of the cutest contestants. I also love that he can speak Mandarin and Korean.
6. Ong Seung Woo (Fantagio Entertainment)
I will be honest. He is pretty high up on my list because of his good looks. His excellent performance skills and unique name also pushed him further up this list. I will continue to keep a close eye on him throughout the next few weeks.
5. Lee Dae Hwi (Brand New Music Entertainment)
Oh boy, this is a controversial one. He was the centre for the “Pick Me” M Countdown performance and already has a lot of fans. I have already faced the wrath of those fans in the comment section. I am not majoring in music. Although I did music for several years in school, I do not have extensive technical music knowledge. However, this does not stop me (or remove my right) to say that one song sounds like another.
I believe that the song (composed, arranged and written by Dae Hwi) performed by Brand New Music trainees during the initial evaluation sounded a lot like GOT7’s “Hard Carry”. I am not saying that it is a fact but it is my opinion. Plus, a lot of songs are starting to sound the same, not only in KPOP but in global music as well. When I stated this opinion, boy, oh boy, his fans went off on me. I got insulted left, right and centre. Nowhere in my comment did I state that he was not talented or should be castigated because I thought the songs sounded similar. If I thought so, he would not have been so high on my ranking. This goes to show that some KPOP fans are quick to shut down and belittle other fans due to a difference in opinion. This is what annoys me about my fandom sometimes. You can respect differing opinions but it is not necessary to bully others because of it.
Anyway, Dae Hwi is truly talented and has proved this in every episode so far. He deserved that centre position and I have no doubt that he will be one of the finalists at the end of the show. I hope he continues to shine and be a breath of fresh air in the show.
4. Lee Woo Jin (Media Line Entertainment)
HE IS SO ADORABLE. He is a little superstar. Well, little in age because I am pretty sure he is the same height as me despite being much younger. He reminds me of a younger (and nicer) Justin Bieber (and I mean this in a good way!). I guess that is because he sang “Baby” for his initial evaluation. He has a youthful voice and great dance skills. I hope he continues to excel in the show.
3. Kang Daniel (MMO Entertainment)
He is another fan favourite. His pink hair is what initially drew me in. He has an enticing smile and personality that is hard to resist. He is a rapper, which is a bonus for me.
2. Jang Moon Bok (Ono Entertainment)
I had no idea his agency existed but he had my interest since his “Ending Fairy” pose in the “Pick Me” M Countdown performance. I love his long hair. Sadly, he promised to cut it later on in the series. He lacks skill but he is determined. He reminds me of Kim Sohye a bit. I am really glad that he is staying within the top 11 in the ranking.
1. Samuel (Brave Entertainment)
I have loved this boy since Seventeen TV days. I was so sad when he left Pledis Entertainment. Then he debuted in 1PUNCH but I was heartbroken once more when the group disbanded upon One’s departure. I am glad that he has not given up on his dream and continues to fight for it on Produce 101. He is skilled in dancing but his singing still needs a bit of improvement. However, I think it is time for him to make another debut. I hope he will be a finalist in the show and I hope that even after the show he can officially debut.
Unfortunately, international fans cannot vote for their favourites this season. Only Korean nationals with a Korean number and a special membership may vote. I find this a bit annoying, especially since a lot of Produce 101 Season 1’s and I.O.I’s support came from overseas. However, I will not let it deter me from watching this show and hoping that my favourites come out on top.