After 11 weeks of sweat and tears (no blood), Girls Planet 999’s final episode will give us a soon-to-be-named 9-member global girl group that could be the next rookie monsters from the Produce series who will gobble up awards like Pac Man eating pellets.
After the surviving competitors’ obligatory performance of O.O.O., Yeo Jin Goo appears on the screen that the final top nine in this episode will form a global girl group as the camera pans around the remaining girls. At the same time, dramatic music plays in the background to emphasize the importance of this event.
After that, a video package reminding the planet guardians to vote is shown before the voting window opens.
With all the formalities out of the way, it’s time for one more mission for the 18 remaining girls to finish. It’s called the Completion Mission. The 18 girls are divided into two teams to perform another original song composed for the show called Shine.
Team one will perform verse one, and team two will perform verse two. But, the critical role in this song is the ending of the song. Only one team will stand out for the ending part, making it the most valuable since it’s the last thing viewers will see.
However, which team gets which part will be decided by the planet masters at a later time. So it’s up to the girls to decide which verse they will take and have faith that their team gets to be the last ones standing at the song’s end.
In a break between the training sessions for Shine, the name of the group birthed from Girls Planet 999 was revealed. Kep1er (pronounced Kepler) was the name chosen out of the probably many suggestions submitted.
The name is a combination of “Kep,” which means “They caught their dreams.” The number one means uniting as one and becoming the best of the best.
I’m not a fan of this group name at all. It sounds like the last name of some scientist at NASA rather than a K-Pop group.
After revealing the awful group name, it was back to see more of what the girls went through for the completion mission. This time we start at the interim check, where the masters will choose who gets the ending part based on who performs better.
In the end, team two got the majority vote from the masters to get the ending part. As for Shine itself? It was a nice uplifting pop song that gave everyone on stage a chance to present themselves in the best light possible.
After getting comments from the masters about the Shine performance, another VTR was shown of the girls watching their audition videos, letters to themselves, and letters from their friends in the competition.
Then it was on to recording the next original song called Another Dream with the songwriter Seo Ji Eun who told them the lyrics are about girls who work hard for their dreams.
She wanted them to think about their hardships and imagine their future to help express the feeling of the words. After comments from the members about singing the song, there was a transition to the live version.
It’s precisely what one would expect from a ballad associated with a survival show. Sentimental and non-offensive. I thought it was okay. The harmonizing was a bit off, but nothing terrible.
After that, another VTR showed the girl’s last day at Planet Camp, where they visited an art exhibit of drawings, ate a fancy dinner and received messages from their families.
One could not help but shed some tears watching Wen Zhe screaming at the heavens to her departed mother hoping that she sees her daughter’s hard work pay off.
With the voting window closed, it was finally time to announce the members of ugh… Kep1er.
- Kim Chaehyun
- Huening Bahiyyih
- Choi Yujin
- Kim Dayeon
- Seo Youngeun
- Kang Yeseo
- Ezaki Hikaru
- Sakamoto Mashiro
- Shen Xiaoting
As I predicted in my last review of this show, the final group ended up being overwhelmingly Korean, with two Japanese and one Chinese member being shoehorned in for shits and giggles.
Looking at how Girls Planet 999 was advertised, it felt like a union of idols from Korea, China, and Japan to form a genuinely multi-national group with equal representation among nations.
This show was not about being united it all. Division was the theme I got from Girls Planet 999, with few of the Japanese trainees getting substantial screen time and the high-level Chinese trainees being demonized at every opportunity.
In an ideal world, it would be a 3-3-3 split, but the reality is that we don’t have that. So yay for homer voting, trolling, and inconsequential weighting of international fan votes, I guess. This is a lesson to those of you who haven’t figured it out before this episode. “Global” to Mnet (or the K-pop industry for the most part) doesn’t mean what you think it means.
Now that I have my rant out of the way, let’s look at the final lineup. After taking some time to absorb who made it, the membership of Kep1er is okay in some ways and plain bad in others.
With Bora not making this group, the main vocal duties will probably be split between Kim Chaehyun and Seo Youngeun. Choi Yujin and Sakamoto Mashiro, and Kang Yeseo will be serviceable secondary vocalists. Kim Dayeon will most likely be the firecracker that will boost the team’s energy and provide solid support to whoever is elected leader of this group.
That is all that I could find okay about Kep1er.
The rest I have to say about the remaining members is varying degrees of negative. Firstly, what kind of bullshit happened to make Huening Bahiyyih second overall? To me, this girl is not ready and needs more training time. I think she’s a charisma black hole. Guinn Myah was the better choice for the role Bahiyyih will probably fill in the group.
I still have a strong dislike for Ezaki Hikaru. There’s something about her that rubs me the wrong way every time I see her. I would have preferred Kawaguchi Yurina or Nonaka Shana in her spot.
While I don’t have anything bad to say about Shen Xiaoting (I like her a lot to be honest), I feel very sorry for her coming in ninth after being near or at the top for so long. It must have been agony to wait so long and then go through the long dramatic pause to hear her name called.
She’s also the only Chinese member of the team, and she didn’t look too pleased at first when her name was called. Whether it was the shock of making the group or the prospect of being the sole C group member and a giant among many tiny girls? Who knows?
I think the girls who ranked tenth and below will benefit from being on this show in one way or another. As we have seen with previous survival shows, some of the people who have participated in these programs have debuted and have decent careers. So we will probably see some of these girls again in some fashion in the future.
And that ends another girl group survival show. I don’t think I’ll be a supporter of Kep1er despite liking a portion of the lineup. With so many talented candidates in play, being cheated out of a proper “global” lineup to satisfy the homers in Korea was a bit much for me.
I checked out of this show when Kim Doah was booted off, hence my lack of enthusiasm to cover this program more quickly. And once the one-shot voting was announced, I knew what was going to happen yet foolishly held out hope that there would be more representation among the Japanese and Chinese competitors. Shame on me I guess.
But I did my best to watch the rest of this train wreck anyway and will now forget this show ever existed. I will also take back what I said at the beginning of this article about this group possibly being monster rookies. I think they’re going to have an uphill climb once the hype of the show goes away.
After spending 12 weeks with this show I’m thinking maybe I should have watched Street Woman Fighter instead.