Queendom is a reality survival show broadcast on the Mnet network in South Korea. The show premiered on August 29, 2019 and it pits six female artists in a head-to-head comeback battle where each will release a new single on the same day and time to see who takes supremacy on the charts.

The artists involved in this program are:

(G)I-DLE

AOA

Lovelyz

MAMAMOO

OH MY GIRL

Park Bom

Episode one dived right into the competition by introducing the various participants.

MNET QUEENDOM EP 01-4

AOA were up first performing a short dance routine. They are returning to active status as an idol group after losing 2 members. There is an air of uncertainty as they entering a new era as a 5-member unit. Are they still the same AOA that fans know and love?

MNET QUEENDOM EP 01-41

MAMAMOO are part of the show for fun and don’t want to get too caught up in the competition. Their strongest attribute is their vocal abilities which were shown off with a jazz club like performance.

MNET QUEENDOM EP 01-5

(G)I-DLE are the youngest among the artists competing in the show. Led by their charismatic front woman Soyeon they are looking to bulldoze through the rest of the groups to take stop spot in the program. Her rap during their introduction pretty much declared (in so many words), “Move bitches! Get out of the way!”

MNET QUEENDOM EP 01-6 MNET QUEENDOM EP 01-7

OH MY GIRL and Lovelyz basically have the same goal when it comes to this show. Both want to break out of the girly stereotypes that they are confined to. Lovelyz in particular were quite adamant in doing so.

MNET QUEENDOM EP 01-9

A flash back to the month prior has the artists talking about the Queendom program. At this point in time they did not really know who was going to be on the show. Once the concept  was explained many expressed shock or panic at the thought of simultaneous comebacks. It’s rather intentional that release dates are staggered to prevent competition so this challenge is something new for many members of the various groups.

The exception was (G)I-DLE’s Soyeon who relishes in the chance to compete in another survival reality show.

When asked what group they don’t want on the show the consensus among Lovelyz, OH MY GIRL and (G)-IDLE was MAMAMOO simply because they are considered to be so good. After the reveal of the roster Lovelyz were thinking that MAMAMOO should be on the show as mentors rather than competitors since they’re basically teachers to them.

On the other hand, OH MY GIRL’s confidence dropped a bit after hearing they were going to be part of the show.

MNET QUEENDOM EP 01-12

MAMAMOO themselves jokingly expected to place first and settle things once and for all. AOA was revealed to be the fifth team much to the delight to the younger groups. And that was it.

The producers told everyone the final artist would not be revealed until the first day of filming. Speculation as to who it was rampant with names such as Girls’ Generation, Kim Yon Ja and Fin.K.L. popping up.

Fast forward to the first day of filming and Park Bom is introduced as the final competitor and only solo act on the show. Her reason for competing was to work with new people and learn from the junior acts to improve herself.

MNET QUEENDOM EP 01-13

As the other competitors entered the awkward atmosphere and tension increased. With five of the 6 competitors in the room the two MC’s of the program (Lee Da Hee and Jang Sung Kyu) appeared.

It was explained that (G)I-DLE were not able to attend due to overseas commitments. Given that they were not present the first introductions went to OH MY GIRL as the next youngest group followed by Lovelyz. After Lovelyz introduced themselves the hosts started shit early asking them how confident they were at winning.

MNET QUEENDOM EP 01-14

Kei answered 50% chance of winning. The hosts revealed their real answer was 98%. They skirted around the situation saying they didn’t know who their opponents were at the time and humbly stuck with 50% after seeing who was in the room with them.

MAMAMOO were told they had high expectations from the other groups. When asked who they wanted to see perform their reply was Park Bom as they looked up to her and were excited to see her live. Jang Sung Kyu tried to shit stir up again by asking them who they think they could defeat easily. MAMAMOO brushed him off deftly leaving him hanging with a non-answer.

With the pleasantries out of the way the MC’s revealed how the show will work. Queendom has 3 components that make up an artists total score. Competition, sales and live performance. The combination of all three will decide the winner. The final prize for all their efforts will be a solo comeback show.

It sounded like it was a coveted prize according to the interviews with the various competitors.

MNET QUEENDOM EP 01-16

There is a penalty involved in the show as well. The artist who places last twice in a row will be eliminated and will no longer be involved in Queendom. That was a bit of shock and awe to bring a sense of urgency to the show right away. 

Once the formalities were taken care of the theme of the first round was announced. Each group was to perform their hit songs. Before they could do that the performance order had to be decided. Everyone was given 10 minutes to decide who would go on stage. To make things interesting there was an option to leave a group off the list and penalize them 1000 points to their final score.

When the timer started Moonbyul went up first and put MAMAMOO up as the first to perform. Members of each group soon followed and a peaceful order was found with just over 8 minutes remaining. The producers started to play with the members heads a bit causing more changes to be made.

MNET QUEENDOM EP 01-18

Lovelyz and OH MY GIRL started fighting for position with various members of each group running up to the board to switch name plates and get their team the placing they wanted. 

With 3 minutes left Lovelyz and OH MY GIRL continued to go at each other. Lovelyz did not want to perform anywhere near OH MY GIRL since they were so similar. The feeling was mutual. They came to an agreement to have (G)I-DLE as a buffer between them.

With under 30 seconds left Mi Joo went up and pondered on removing (G)I-DLE from the board. She changed her mind after the OH MY GIRL members started making a fuss. With the performance order set all that was left was to actually get on stage.

MNET QUEENDOM EP 01-25

Performance day found all teams arriving to the Queendom stage full of anticipation. Lee Da Hee and Jang Sung Kyu laid out the scoring system for the first round. The groups are scored out of 10,000 points. 7000 of those points come from the general audience vote, 2000 from the special audience vote and 1000 points from the competitor self-evaluation.

MAMAMOO were up first with their song “Decalcomanie”.  As expected they opened with a strong performance that had many dancers and pyro feeling much like their own concert. It left members of the other groups backstage stunned.

In their post performance interview they said they were satisfied and glad to have the opportunity to show off an elaborate performance.

Second to go up was Park Bom with “You & I”.  In her pre-performance interview she stated she was determined to prove her self on stage. Clips of her preparing by herself were shown as she reflected on why she decided to join Queendom. Although she missed having the other members of 2NE1 take the journey with her she vowed to do her best to take first place.

Once she hit the stage her opening acapella had everyone standing at attention immediately. She gave an emotional performance complete with a choir and heavenly lighting that brought back fond memories for her juniors and the audience in attendance.

With Bom’s performance over the first episode of Mnet’s Queendom ended on a nostalgic note. In the next episode the remaining four performances, self-evaluations and the rankings for the first mission are announced.