I’m feeling so many mixed emotions right now. On the one hand, I’m sad that the conclusion of Kingdom has arrived – no more top-notch stages from this mix of veteran and up-and-coming Kpop leaders to look forward to each week. On the other hand, I think all the groups and their fandoms alike are joining in a collective sigh of relief that it is done – we can all get some well-earned and much-needed rest! But first, come check out all the fun finale stages and find out who was crowned King!
Over the last 100 days, these six team have come together to compete, yes, but also to step outside their comfort zones, learn, grow and bring a stronger and brighter version of themselves to the stage. Whether it was industry seniors BtoB or newcomer maknaes ATEEZ, each group valued the experience that came with their participation in Kingdom – most notably the camaraderie and friendships that blossomed in the midst of this legendary match-up.
First to the stage for the finale was ATEEZ! Whether it was from the examples of their seniors or through their own experiences, their mindset throughout the last ten weeks has been to view Kingdom as a place of learning. Their new song, ‘The Real’, was a fantastic essay on the culmination of their lessons. Exuding confidence in their own unique brand and styling, their message with this last performance was loud and clear — being humble and showing kindness is the epitome of truly being ‘cool’.
With another strong song written by 3Racha, ‘Wolfgang’ expresses the challenges that Stray Kids faced during their memorable time on Kingdom. They brought their opening stage ‘Wolf’ full circle as they once again showed off their dark and wild side. Stray Kids’ raw energy is a force to be reckoned with, and this final performance just a stepping-stone on their path to prestige.
The Boyz are true challengers! Not only have they endured the prior full season of Road to Kingdom, they have also withstood the highs and lows of the recent gauntlet that is Kingdom: Legendary War. Although it’s been long journey, The Boyz were eager to take to the stage in their finale performance. Always striving to work harder and shine brighter, they proudly concluded their time together with the sentimental, passionate song, ‘Kingdom Come’.
BtoB have been unlikely contenders from the very beginning of Kingdom. Ten years senior to the youngest competitors, they themselves questioned whether a vocal group could attempt to challenge a roster of strong performance teams. But, echoing their motto “Dreamers Don’t Die”, they chose to seize the opportunity to tackle stages that had, up until now, only been a dream. With lyrics that speak on their past decade together, ‘Finale (Show and Prove)’ is a heartfelt autobiography and beautiful conclusion to “Act 1” of BtoB’s career!
iKon always maintains a good balance between work and play and this vibe is at the forefront of their finale song ‘At Ease’. Behind the scenes they worked non-stop, pulling together more closely as a team, to bring stages that everyone could enjoy. Rather than focus on the Kingdom title and trophy, iKon’s reward was seeing their fans’ happy responses to their performances. Their dance party enthusiasm is contagious – it was impossible to stay seated by the end of their final stage!
The last group performance of the evening was SF9! Though unsure in the beginning, they sought to prove their worth on the Kingdom stage. Desiring to highlight music they liked most, they gained a team unity and confidence with each subsequent stage. In their finale song, ‘Believer’, SF9 showcased not only a belief in themselves as performers, but celebrated their fans’ continued belief and support of them as well.
Emphasizing the friendships and teamwork on display by all groups in Kingdom, the viewers were treated to one last finale stage. Nicknamed the King’s Voice — BtoB’s Eunkwang, iKon’s Donghyuk, SF9’s Inseong, The Boyz’s Hyunjae, Stray Kids’ Seungmin, and ATEEZ’s Jongho — paid tribute to the last 4 months spent together in the song ‘Boy’s Diary’.
Combining streaming counts of the finale songs on select music platforms, as well as live fan votes during the last performances, AND adding them to the cumulative points from the previous 9 weeks. . . FINALLY a winner was declared! Congratulations to Stray Kids for claiming the crown in Kingdom: Legendary War!!
A Fangirl’s Final Unfiltered Thoughts
You guys. . . I am SO glad this show is over! While I have loved all the tremendously phenomenal stages, everything else to do with this program behind the scenes has been a hot mess and I am just done! I know I sound like a broken record, but there was really no need to make this show a competition!! Whew, okay! Sorry, but I had to get that off my chest.
Now, for some happy thoughts!
I have a confession to make – I’ve totally decided to become a Melody! That’s right, BtoB completely won my heart during this show and I adore the members tremendously. Between Eunkwang’s positive and cheerful leadership, Changsub’s effortless humor, Peniel’s humble personality, or MinHyuk’s music producing talents, they are a fantastic team of singers and performers and I will be cheering them on from here on out! (Can’t wait for Hyunsik and Sungjae to finish their military service and re-join the team too!)
As far as impact goes, I feel that ATEEZ benefitted most from this program. Their domestic recognition has grown leaps and bounds – I’m hopeful that the new Korean fans will help them gain much-deserved appreciation and support in their home country!!
It was a common theme among all the groups that working to prepare for this show brought the members closer together, in their own teams and for the joint stages. At the end of the day, I think strengthening of team bonds and fostering of friendships were the two best things to come out of this show. . . after the amazing stages, of course!
So now that we’ve wrapped up Kingdom, Kpop fans, I want to know – which stages were ultimately your favorite?? Share with me in the comments!!
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi