Mnet’s ‘Kingdom: Legendary War’ dropped its seventh episode recently, and as we inch closer to the eighth, no one can deny the tension in the air which grows thicker every passing moment. Down with two rounds and with the start of the third round called, ‘No Limit‘, we are very near to the fourth and final round which will determine the ultimate King of the Kingdom. All the six groups are pulling out all the stops to bring the most memorable stage and the viewing audience definitely seems to not be disappointed.
The third round ‘No Limit’ is very crucial. The points scored here can switch the overall rankings from the first two episodes. It’s divided into two parts – a set of collaboration stages and individual group stages. There won’t be any points counted from the YouTube streams nor there will be any global fan voting for the first part of this round. The points for the first part would come from the votes of the bench of 33 judges who were specially appointed for this round.
It wouldn’t surprise anyone if the groups were nervous and stressed. Nevertheless, following the franchise tradition, the groups got to enjoy a break from the nerves in disguise of a sports meet (featured in episode six). Mnet also released some extra videos on YouTube where the collaborating teams get to know each other before the third round started.
As the winners of the previous round (judges + group evaluation), ATEEZ got to chose who they wanted to collab with. Their first choices were BTOB and Stray Kids, forming the team called ‘Mayfly‘. This made iKON, SF9, and The Boyz stick together who collectively call themselves ‘It’s One’. The two teams would compete with each other to give a total of six stages – dance, rap, and vocal unit performances.
Full DaSH (Rap)
Kicking off the round with a powerful rap performance we had iKON’s Bobby, SF9’s Hwiyoung, and The Boyz’s Sunwoo, from the team It’s One. They performed the song ‘Full DaSH’ while showing fierce energy on the stage where all the three shone equally bright with their unique swag.
Rivaling It’s One, we had Mayfly’s rap unit which comprised of BTOB’s Minhyuk, Stray Kids’ unit – 3Racha (Bang Chan, Changbin, and Han) with ATEEZ’s Hongjoong. They performed the song called, ‘Colors’, calling out the racial prejudice happening across the world with a very lingering stage!
At the end of the rap unit performances, the judges voted for ‘Mayfly’ as the winners!
King And Queen (Dance)
It’s One’s dance unit involved iKON’s DK, SF9’s Taeyang, and The Boyz’s Juyeon who performed a sensational traditional Korean piece fusing hints of modernity. They brought forward the impeccable, dominating storyline of the tyrant king, King Yeonsan, and his tragic end through their stage!
Involving 9 members – BTOB’s Peniel, Stray Kids’ Lee Know, Felix, and I.N and ATEEZ’s Seonghwa, Yunho, San, Yeosang, and Wooyoung, Mayfly enraptured the stage with their bold and enigmatic presence. They covered ‘Wolf’ from K-Pop icons EXO, giving their own unique touch to the original song by adding a tinge of Hip Hop, taking inspiration from Jay-Z and Kanye West’s ‘N****s In Paris‘.
This concluded the performances from the dance unit and the episode, making the audience eagerly wait for what’s to come in the eighth episode!
Judging Panel For ‘No Limit’
Until episode seven, the expert judging panel of Kingdom: Legendary War was a provoking mystery. Finally, the groups and the viewers got the closure they needed after the judges got introduced. The special judges for this round were Shindong and Donghae from the legendary group, Super Junior along with producer-songwriter Shinsadong Tiger and the CEO of Brand New Music and producer Rhymer. They joined the judging panel from the previous rounds which included music critic Kim Young-Dae, producing team Monotree, director Jang Dong-Joo from Rigend Film, choreographer Lia Kim, and members of younger K-Pop groups – BDC, Weeekly, TRI.BE, and MIRAE.
The judging panel, however, divided the audience in two regarding the inclusion of younger K-Pop groups judging their seniors – some satisfied, some not, while some wished for more.
i lowkey wish mnet added some of the queendom and/or road to kingdom contestants into the judging panel along with the people they chose just cuz they’ve experienced this competition before and it would’ve been cool to see their thoughts on the unit stages
— ely⁸꒾⁷ (@fltrjwy) May 13, 2021
i'm fine with having rookies to watch kingdom 's performances since they were introduced as a "dreamers to be a good performers" but i think turning them into a judge (especially mnet said it's EXPERT judges) doesn't feels right.
— 삐로통통 공자님 (@jinubabiess) May 13, 2021
mnet should've chose the judges in kingdom based on the category. like for the rap catergory the judges are the khh rappers. in dance, the judges are the famous choreographers. in vocals, the judges are the well known singers :<
— ً wiki ♡ (@MASHIB0INK) May 13, 2021
The final overall rankings of rounds 1 and 2 and the combined rankings of both rounds were also revealed during the episode.
1 – Stray Kids | 2 – ATEEZ | 3 – The Boyz | 4 – BTOB | 5 – iKON | 6 – SF9
1 -SF9 | 2 – BTOB | 3 – ATEEZ | 4 – iKON | 5 – Stray Kids | 6 – The Boyz
Combined Ranks Of Both Rounds
1 – Stray Kids | 2 – ATEEZ | 3 – BTOB | 4 – iKON | 5 – SF9 | 6 – The Boyz
What To Expect From Episode 8
We will get the pending results of the dance battle between the collab units. The viewers can’t wait for the two remaining stages from the vocal units where It’s One will be performing Girls Generation’s Taeyeon‘s ‘Spark‘ and Mayfly will cover IU‘s ‘Love Poem’! We will also head to see the start of the second part of the third round – the individual group stages.
So far Kingdom has been a fiesta of guests appearances by various celebrities, idols, and actors alike, whether they appear as friends, advisors, or judges. We can certainly expect more in the eighth episode after all the round is named ‘No Limit’ meaning there are no limits to genres, collaborations, or featuring artists. This creative freedom given to the groups will only result in more lively, vivid, and intense stages for sure! The preview teased by Mnet shows the dynamic performances by the six groups as well as global K-Pop icon, BLACKPINK’s Lisa joining hands with iKON and charming K-Pop crush, (G)-IDLE’s Miyeon featuring in BTOB’s stage!
We are so tantalized by the preview that a week-long wait is brutally unfair. Isn’t it?
Check out the teaser here:
With three episodes to go, Kingdom: Legendary War is in for an epic battle between the industry’s best and upcoming! Regardless of the competition, however, the groups have shown amicable interactions with each other throughout the show, and episode seven highlights this very well in the guise of collaboration. The finale will surely be a friendly and supportive showdown that we can’t wait to witness!