Episode 7 of Produce 48 showed the remaining performances for the Position Evaluation assignment. The first group up were those who chose Girls’ Generation’s Into The New World.
This team had some competition for the center position with Yabuki Nako and Heo Yun Jin both wanting to lay claim to it. A group vote elected Nako as center but after some emotional lobbying from Yun Jin Nako gave up the position to her.
When it came to the practice session everyone on the team seemed to have minor flaws that the trainers had asked them to work on, except for the team leader Kim Chae Won. She sounded rather robotic and emotionless when singing. At dress rehearsals Chae Won had improved to the point where Soyou commented that she could now express emotions when she sings.
By the time the final performance came around Yun Jin came out looking like the one member of the group who shined the most having impressed both her fellow trainees and the trainers. However the national producer ranking told a different story with Chae Won taking first in her group and Yun Jin ending up in second place.
Next up were members of the dance position team set to perform Handclap. They had a lot of teamwork issues early after starting their practices. There was a clash of philosophies with Crazy Eyes wanting to take the choreography into a sexy direction and Motomura Aoi wanting to go in the opposite direction by playing up to the fun nature of the song.
That lead to a failure of a routine when first performed in front of the trainers. It was called boring and predictable. When the two members choreographing the routine found a middle ground things improved considerably by dress rehearsal. The trainers gave them the thumbs up for the changes they made.
The end result was a blend of fun and sexy with neither quality overpowering the other. Murase Sae took first in her group earning the bonus votes. Crazy Eyes ranked second and Motomura Aoi placed last.
A vocal performance of BTS’ The Truth Untold featured Jang Gyu Ri as center. Gyu Ri was known for falling apart on the high notes during Peek-A-Boo and she was very self-conscious about failing again as the lead vocalist.
Her initial attempts at singing the song had the trainers worried about her nerves and whether she could handle being the main vocalist again.
With the help of her team Gyu Ri gained the confidence to hit the high notes in dress rehearsal gaining praise from the trainers for her efforts. Her group’s live performance ended up being the best vocal one of the episode leaving her in tears at the end of it.
Not only did she redeem herself from her mistakes in the first assignment, she also managed to place second in her group.
Miyazaki Miho ended up placing first earning herself the 5000 bonus votes with a vocal performance that had the audience and her fellow trainees hanging on to every word.
The group who performed a dance routine to Jax Jones’ Instruction was comprised of low ranked trainees who got pushed out of their original song choices. Of all the teams in this episode this group had the most fun rehearsing. Mostly because of the humour that Nakanishi Chiyori brought to the table.
They did so well in rehearsals that the trainers had no feedback for them. The end result was an energetic live performance that earned Eun Chae first place in her group.
Another dance routine followed with the group performing to Little Mix’s Touch. Led by Eun Young this team was made up of a lot of youngins with her as the only member over 19 years old. With no one on the team having created a dance routine before it was up to her to figure things out.
Their first attempt was not well received by the trainers and Min Ju was called out for not being confident enough to dance to a song she likes.
After a lot of practice this group got their shit together enough to put on an impressive performance. Despite working so hard to choreograph their performance Eun Young only ranked fourth among those in her team.
All was not lost in her efforts as her practice with Min Ju paid off. She managed to capture the attention of the live audience enough to earn first place. That was some small consolation prize for Eun Young even if she didn’t get the bonus votes for herself.
The final group to perform were those who chose Blackpink’s Ddu-du Ddu-du. They had immediate issues with focusing on what their true purpose was. Instead of working on fine tuning their vocals there was more interest in developing a dance routine.
This was pointed out to them during their first practice in front of the producers of the show and it was mentioned again when they were in front of the trainers.
Going back to the drawing board this group cut out the dance routine for their live performance and gave the trainers and the audience what they were looking for, a showcase of their vocal abilities as intended by the assignment.
Murakawa Vivian who was praised by the trainers for improved Korean pronunciation ranked fifth on her team. Taking first was Kim Do Ah thanks to her charismatic performance.
With all the performances over the final results of the live audience voting were revealed to the trainees. The winner of the vocal/rap position was Cube Entertainment’s Han Cho Won who received 585 on site votes earning her 100,000 bonus votes on top of the 5000 she earned for taking first in her group.
The dance position was won by NMB48’s Murase Sae who received 477 on site votes. She also received 100,000 bonus votes in addition to the 5000 she got for placing first in her group.
The final results of the national producers voting will be announced in the next episode were the number of trainees is cut down to 30.
This assignment was an interesting one. There were quite a few trainees who stepped up their game in order to impress the national producers. Perhaps most surprising were some of the 48 members such Miyazaki Miho, Murase Sae and Shitao Miu who showed completely different sides of themselves that are rarely seen in their work in Japan.
Once again, the odds are against a lot of the Japanese trainees making it to the next round of this show. How the actual voting plays out after this assignment will be interesting.