Episode five is the first elimination of the competition, with a total of 48 girls heading home by the end of what is expected to be a long and dragged-out affair.
Of course, this would not be an elimination episode without some filler, and I don’t care to speak about any of it. So let’s move on to what we all came here to watch—the dreams of young women being crushed.
Yeo Jin Goo came out to commence the elimination ceremony. He explained that planet guardians from 164 countries have voted to support their favourites. As a result, thirty-three cells will make it through to the next round, and three competitors from J, K and C groups will receive the planet pass from the masters.
Rather than mess around, the announcements of who survived started immediately.
First up were the 17 surviving cells.
The final results showed some girls being carried to survival by the more vital members of their cell. However, others like Huening Bahiyyih’s cell felt like something that came out of left field since the members haven’t done anything particularly outstanding.
It was then on to the announcement of who would receive the planet pass from the masters. J group’s Ikema Ruan was selected first.
The masters felt she had star quality and a strong work ethic. From C Group, the masters chose Wen Zhe. This announcement was particularly touching as she went from being in the 18th placed group to get a second chance thanks to the masters. And all on her birthday.
For why she was chosen, the masters commented that she has a natural look in her eyes, is sincere, practices hard and has improved dramatically. K group’s selection was Kim Hye Rim. The masters chose her because of her strong leadership ability and her vocal capabilities.
With all seats filled, it was time to announce the Top 9.
- Kawaguchi Yurina
- Shen Xiaoting
- Ezaki Hikaru
- Choi Yujin
- Sakamoto Mashiro
- Su Ruiqi
- Cai Bing
- Kang Yeseo
- Kim Chaehyun
Many of the girls expected Choi Yujin to place first, but she ended up in fourth place. The previous number one, Ezaki Hikaru, dropped to third, marking a change at the top. It came down to cellmates Shen Xiaoting and Kawaguchi Yurina competing for the top spot. The final result was Kawaguchi Yurina unexpectedly voted into first place.
The last order of business was Yeo Jin Goo once again reminding all the voters to support their girls. Whose dream will you protect?
As I mentioned at the start of this article, these eliminations can be tedious. However, because entire groups were being eliminated, it felt like the whole process moved faster.
Many of the girls I am rooting for made it to the second round. However, there are also girls who I don’t like who ended up making it as well. Either way, I still have some emotional attachment to the show, even though I know that it’s probably already pre-determined who makes it to the final group.
I felt terrible for You Dayeon whose cell ended up in 19th place. She made a wrong decision that on paper looked strategically right but, in practice, bit her in her pretty ass. The twins were also broken up as Liang Qiao’s cell ended up in 20th place.
As for the top nine? Other than number one being a surprise, the members who were voted in looked to be correct based on the performances in the Connect mission. I was pleased to see Ezaki Hikaru drop to third. She seems kind of smug at times so seeing her getting taken down a peg or two was oddly satisfying.
At the end of this episode was a small preview of what is to come. The next mission is a combination one, whatever that means and the cell system is officially ended.
Right now there is still an even distribution of Korean, Chinese, and Japanese members in the competition. However, with cells disbanding in the next episode, that parity will most likely end. So the subsequent elimination will probably show the reality of who the “people” (meaning Mnet) care about.