The theme for these last few weeks has been all about collaboration between the groups – and it has been fantastic!! Whether it was on the sports field or on the stage, unification and a healthy dose of fun antics provided a mid-show breather we all needed. Come check out the highlights with me!
Round two leaders, ATEEZ, had the privilege of selecting the two other groups they wanted to join up with for the coming competition between mixed teams. Choosing BtoB and Stray Kids, they formed the collaborative Team “Mayfly” while remaining groups iKon, SF9, and The Boyz came together as Team “It’s One.” To help break the ice and work on team bonding, everyone came together for a hilarious, yet still competitive, field day! All the silly shenanigans that ensued had me laughing so hard I was crying my way through most of the episode 6!!
There were three events in which the Kingdom members were able to showcase their athletic prowess. BtoB’s Minhyuk wowed everyone with his legendary vaulting skills, soaring thru the challenge with ease. Meanwhile, The Boyz’s Kevin kept the spectators rolling with his twerk-filled warm-up routine! During ‘catch the balloon by the tail,’ both teams fought valiantly – shoes were lost and sweaters were stretched beyond recognition as they scrambled to keep their balloons safe from enemy attack. But it was the final relay event that brought out everyone’s most competitive side! ATEEZ’s Wooyung came through in the final moments, giving Team Mayfly the lead at the end of the day. And to wrap up the day, everyone participated in a vote for Kingdom’s best visual. Stray Kid’s Felix was a close runner-up; however, MinHyuk won bragging rights as the winner of this event!
Whether it was enjoying their fried chicken lunch together, fostering new-found friendships, or announcing the day’s events alongside host Max Changmin, spirits were high as everyone came together for this break from the regular competition stress!
Mayfly vs. It’s One
While the field day was great fun, my favorite part of Kingdom so far has been the collaboration performances. Back in the studio, Team Mayfly and Team It’s One challenged one another head-to-head in three stages of competition: Rap, Dance, and Vocal. Also, for this round, 33 guest judges were brought in to judge between the two teams. Shindong and Donghae from Super Junior, renown choreographer Lia Kim, long-time industry producers, and junior groups BDC, Weekly, Tri.Be, and Mirae all took part in voting between each collaboration stage.
HwiYoung and SunWoo looked forward to teaming up with iKon’s Bobby for their rap stage – as members of SF9 and The Boyz, they don’t often get to showcase their raps. Aiming for a relaxed stage that highlighted each artist’s style and flow, and coupled with powerful trap beats plus an addictive hook, It’s One came together to perform ‘Full DaSH’!
Team Mayfly’s rap line not only included 3Racha (BangChan, ChangBin and Han) of Stray Kids, but ATEEZ’s HongJoong and BtoB’s MinHyuk. Creativity overflowed as this group joined together to mix their different ‘colors’ and create new music. Titled ‘Colours’, they brought an art gallery style stage, filled with varied concepts – and like their name Mayfly, it could only be seen for the day.
Leading the It’s One dance team were iKon’s Donghyuk, SF9’s TaeYang, and The Boyz’s JuYeon. Each of these members performed the solo teasers for their respective teams, and they once again brought their strong dance lines to this collab stage! Highlighting each members strengths, each took a turn portraying an ego of the main character King Yeonsan, telling a beautiful yet tragic period story titled ‘King and Queen’.
Team Mayfly brought the biggest crew to the stage, including Peniel of BtoB, LeeKnow, Felix, and IN of Stray Kids, and SeongHwa, YunHo, Yeosang, San, and WooYoung of ATEEZ – whew! Their focus was on featuring several cross-group sub-units throughout the performance, to emphasize Mayfly’s teamwork. Mixing together crumping, hip-hop, and a couple impressive stunt moves, they brought a dramatic and high-energy cover of EXO’s ‘Wolf’ to the stage!
The It’s One vocal team was comprised of three pairs: JinHwan and Ju-ne (iKon), InSeong and JaeYoon (SF9), and New and SangYeon (The Boyz). Once again choosing to highlight the unique vocals of each member of their collaborative team, It’s One chose to bring a dramatic reinterpretation of TaeYeon’s fiery song ‘Spark’ to the stage.
And finally, Team Mayfly’s vocal line took the stage, featuring BtoB’s Eunkwang, Stray Kids’ SeungMin, and ATEEZ’s JongHo. The trio quickly agreed on a well-known piece they felt would allow them to combine their voices in beautiful harmony. Performing a song of healing and comfort, Mayfly presented IU’s ‘Love Poem’.
Thankfully we didn’t have to wait for the scores this round – at the conclusion of the collaboration stages, Team Mayfly made a clean sweep, defeating It’s One in each of the face-offs for rap, dance and vocal!
For those still keeping track (and believe me – it’s been a challenge to keep up with all the changes), the current combined standings after Round One and Round Two were finally revealed. With the addition of the global votes and streaming counts, Stray Kids has assumed the lead, followed by ATEEZ, BtoB, iKon, The Boyz, and SF9.
I love, love, loved all the collaboration stages!! Even several of the Kingdom artists have since taken to their social media accounts, sharing what a great experience it was to be able to perform alongside their fellow competitors in a joint setting. They love performing and you could see that joy clearly as they were working together!
I admit, I was Team Mayfly all the way! They really embraced the team spirit concept and bonded well over putting their stages together. I’ve been especially impressed with BtoB’s Eunkwang – he really did an excellent job preparing the stage for the vocal team. He skillfully guided each member so that they could perform to their full potential – the three of them were shining equally bright! The flying leap of faith that WooYoung and Felix performed was only doable because they were able to put their trust in one another fully – not an easy thing to do when practice time is limited!! And I may have felt warm fuzzies for HongJoong when he commented on how nice it was to work with the other rappers, since he usually works on his music alone.
Next week we are back to battling it out between the groups for the second part of Round 3. More amazing stages are on the horizon, and I can’t wait!! Until then, I’m going to go bless my ears with the beautiful harmony of Mayfly’s Love Poem just one more time. . .
Drop down and share your favorite collab stages with me in the comments!
Until the next stage-
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi