The first episode of the second season of Mnet’s “Produce 101” aired yesterday, April 7, and the contestants received their first evaluations from the trainers, through which they were divided up into different ranking groups.
The evaluations were harsh, as many of the contestants were put into lower ranking groups from the very beginning, and the judges began to express their frustrations. After watching a disappointing performance from a contestant who had been a trainee for six years, MC BoA asked, “Why did you come out?” and later said to the contestant, “If your performance is not memorable, then you need to go to the F ranking group.”
Despite the disheartening start, things began to look up with Brave Entertainment’s Samuel Kim, who has been a trainee for five years. As soon as he entered the room, the trainers began excitedly expressing their anticipation and high expectations for the trainee. The other contestants similarly began talking amongst themselves about him and said, “He’s so cool,” and “He’s good at rapping and singing. Plus, dancing.”
Furthermore, many may recognize Samuel Kim, as he was part of the original lineup for Pledis Entertainment’s popular boy group SEVENTEEN; however, he was unable to debut with them at the time because he was too young. The NU’EST members, who are also from Pledis Entertainment, expressed high expectations for Samuel and member Kang Dong Ho said, “When we were training together, I remember him being really cute and am excited to see how much he has grown since then.”
After Samuel’s short performance, the trainers all broke out in applause and complimented him for his dancing and singing skills. Samuel Kim demonstrated his dedication to perfection and asked if he could perform one more dance because he felt like he hadn’t danced as well as he could have in his original performance. Due to his impressive dancing skills and solid overall performance, Samuel Kim became the first contestant to enter the coveted A ranking group.
The studio became noticeably more tense with the entrance of members of Pledis Entertainment’s boy group NU’EST. Kahi, who had trained with them when she was still under Pledis Entertainment, couldn’t hide her sadness at seeing the group members there. In the episode, NU’EST explained why they decided to appear on the show, despite having debuted around six years ago. Unfortunately, the group members received unfavorable evaluations and were put into C and D ranking groups.
Ong Sungwoo was the recipient of a great deal of anticipation, as he is not only from the same agency as former I.O.I members Choi Yoojung and Kim Doyeon, but was also noted to be extremely good looking by the trainers. He received high marks for his dance performance but also received criticism for his singing; however, in the end, Ong Sungwoo was put into the A ranking group.
The episode ended in the middle of contestant Jang Moon Bok’s evaluation. Jang Moon Bok is already known by many for his appearance on “Superstar K” and tearfully confessed that he had a very difficult time over the past seven years, often asking himself why he decided to try to compete in the show in the first place. He stated that he wanted to show everyone how much he has improved since then and is already a netizen favorite on the show.
Episodes of the second season of Mnet’s “Produce 101” airs every Friday at 11 p.m KST. Watch the preview for the next episode below, in which viewers will be able to see performances from the rest of the contestants!