10 Outstanding Performances From “Produce X 101” So Far
The “Produce” series has been a cultural phenomenon ever since the first season, and this currently airing fourth season, “Produce X 101,” remains as buzzy as ever. We’ve already witnessed three evaluations (Grade level evaluation, Group X Battle, and Position evaluation) and discovered many talented trainees, and I’m sure many of us have our own list of boys whom we sincerely hope can make it to the end!
Now, while we’re (im)patiently waiting for the concept evaluations, here are 10 great performances to re-watch and re-savor (in no particular order).
EXO’s “Love Shot”
Members: Kim Woo Seok, Kim Si Hun, Cho Seung Youn, Lee Han Gyul, Hong Seong Jun, Lee Se Jin, Keum Dong Hyun
Right away, the “Love Shot” team was dubbed the “Keum-vengers” as everyone could see all the talent Keum Dong Hyun had amassed. They were expected to be great and they certainly didn’t disappoint.
Personally, Kim Woo Seok was the one who stood out when he went from the glasses-wearing-meek-looking boy in the practice room to the charismatic man on stage who could kill with those sexy body rolls of his. That being said, all the members had tons of sexy swagger and delivered a performance befitting of the sensual “Love Shot.”
BTS’s “No More Dream”
Members: Kim Hyeon Bin, Hong Sung Hyen, Steven Kim, Won Hyun Sik, Kim Sung Yeon, Lee Sang Ho
The “No More Dream” team delivered an explosive performance that matched with the song’s own high intense energy. The stage not only blew me away, but also everyone else in the audience, as they showered the team with so many votes that they were ranked first out of all the performances, and thus rewarded with the chance to perform on “M Countdown.” Kim Hyeon Bin alone earned 200+ votes, all of which were very well deserved!
Members: Kim Dong Yun, Ham Won Jin, Kim Jin Gon, Lee Hyeop, Kwon Tae Eun, Nam Do Hyon
The “Clap” team was relaxed and confident while performing the song, and the team members looked well-balanced, without anyone looking out of place. The boys showed us a good time all around — the rap verses were smooth and the vocals were stable, with Lee Hyeop’s high notes being especially clap-worthy.
NCT U’s “Boss”
Members: Kim Yo Han, Lee Jin Hyuk, Han Seung Woo, Lee Eun Sang, Son Dong Pyo, Cha Jun Ho
This “Boss” team, selected by Son Dong Pyo, was naturally named the Avengers team. And with the amount of talent and visuals in this team, one would naturally expect them to do well, and do well they did. The team performed the song with such ease and flair as if this was their own song. (Also, does anyone else get major Lee Dae Hwi vibes from Son Dong Pyo? They’re even on a similar trajectory through the series!)
Zico’s “Yes or No” (Rap position)
Members: Nam Do Hyon, Cho Seung Youn, Kim Sung Yeon, Jeong Jae Hun
This performance as a whole was just bursting with energy and really got the blood pumping. And while Nam Do Hyon and Cho Seung Youn were already expected to be good, Kim Sung Yeon and Jeong Jae Hun proved to be worthy contenders when they rose to the challenge and more. (The latter two were ranked at No. 59 and No. 60 respectively, thus were literally left choice-less). By performance’s end, I could definitely see why the trainers were so excited for this stage.
Paul Kim’s “Me After You” (Vocal position)
Members: Han Seung Woo, Kim Yo Han, Kim Hyeon Bin, Wei Zi Yue, Cha Jun Ho
Han Seung Woo hadn’t really been on my radar prior to this evaluation, so I couldn’t help but wonder why everyone was hoping to get him on their team. But after hearing him here? Wow! His falsettos were gorgeous, and his high notes were so ridiculously effortless that I couldn’t help but make this face every time he hit them:
Seung Woo aside, everyone did a great job bringing the story and emotions of the ballad across, and Hyeon Bin proved himself to be as good a singer as he is a rapper.
Wanna One’s “Day by Day” (Vocal Position)
Members: Song Yu Vin, Nam Dong Hyun, Kwon Tae Eun, Moon Jun Ho, Choi Su Hwan
This smoother and more laid-back arrangement was a total jam, and it allowed the all-around strong vocalists more room to show off their abilities. Nam Dong Hyun started the song beautifully with a guitar intro, while Song Yu Vin and Choi Su Hwan sealed the deal with their vocal prowess. One (major) nitpick: Su Hwan received the least votes out of the five members — a travesty I tell ya!
Ja Mezz, Andup, and Song Mino‘s “Turtle Ship” featuring Paloalto (X position – Rap & Dance)
Members: Lee Jin Hyuk, Lee Won Jun, Gwon Hui Jun, Woo Je Won, Lee Eugene, Peak
This “Turtle Ship” performance totally delivered, especially after seeing all the struggles they had gone through during their practice sessions. Being an “X position,” this team had to both write their own rap lyrics and choreograph a whole dance. It would have been a challenge for anyone, but even more so for these generally less-experienced team members. The leader, Lee Jin Hyuk, admirably pushed through and created an amazingly memorable performance! His 680 votes were the highest out of all the trainees, and every one of them well deserved.
Imagine Dragons’ “Believer” (Remix) (Dance position)
Members: Hwang Yun Seong, Kim Kook Heon, Keum Dong Hyun, Kim Dong Bin, Park Sun Ho, Son Dong Pyo
“Believer” was a pulsatingly hot stage, and I couldn’t agree more with the trainers when they said that the team had chosen a great concept. Everyone was on fire, and they delivered one of the most memorable stages of the night. Even Son Dong Pyo, whom you’d think wouldn’t match well with the more masculine/sensual style, blended right in with the older members.
And can we talk about the vocals?! The dance position performances almost always use American songs, so when the trainees sing them, it’s a bit awkward on the ears (both in vocal abilities and English pronunciations). But the vocals on this track are as good as I’ve heard on the Produce series and just elevated the whole stage to even greater heights!
BOL4’s “To My Youth” (Vocal position)
Members: Kim Woo Seok, Kim Min Kyu, Lee Se Jin, Lee Jin Woo, Choi Byung Chan
Ever since the “Love Shot” performance, Kim Woo Seok has been on my pick-list, so this was a stage I had been looking forward to. It was a solid performance all around, and everyone delivered, even the young Jin Woo (who was seen having problems with singing during the lessons) and continuing-to-improve Min Kyu. More than anything, the boys managed to imbue their voices with a sense of melancholy and delivered a performance that touched our hearts.
If you want to get in on the voting action (but you can’t really, ’cause you’re not in Korea), head over to Soompi’s very own International Prediction Poll, or check out the Top 30 voted through to the third round. And good luck to all the trainees!