The idol reality show ‘Kingdom: Legendary War’ has only aired two episodes and it’s already as fierce as expected. However, that’s not just it. What makes the show worth watching is the camaraderie and mutual respect the participating groups have for each other! It’s a real treat for the viewers. Not only do we get to watch some of the most exceptional stage performances but also the interactions between the groups. The show has also maintained its #1 position of the most buzzworthy show for the second week!

Here we bring you our ‘Kingdom: Legendary War’ Highlights section where we rewind to the last two episodes and relive the significant moments and the important statistics from the show, while we wait for episode three to air on Thursday.

 

Episode 1

1st Impressions

The 1st episode brought all the groups together on the same stage and it was their first meet as competitors. The first groups to enter were THE BOYZ and Stray Kids. As they have worked together before, friendliness followed albeit with a hint of competitive intimidation, even from the littlest of details of their get-ups.

An awkward silence took up the stage when ATEEZ joined them after exchanging greetings since they are the youngest and a tad bit unfamiliar with the other two groups. These three groups felt overwhelmed with the competitive mood and the pressure of going against their seniors.

The gauche air finally cleared up when BTOB entered, urging everyone to be comfortable with one another. They brightened the atmosphere with their white get-ups and the aura that comes from years of experience. Moreover, who can forget the hilarious English conversation between BTOB’s Eunkwang and Stray Kids’ Bang Chan!

Soon after, SF9 joined in the show in their tailored suits and everyone did a double-take for their modelesque charms. They livened up the mood even more – comically bowing to the ground for BTOB when they specifically said no, cracking everyone up with laughter in the process.

Lastly, the most anticipated between the younger groups who are absolute fanboys of them, iKON entered with their carefree and jovial spirits leaving everyone awestruck with their lack of nervousness.

Soon after, our MCs for the show walked up to the stage with charisma – TVXQ’s Yunho and Max, the seniors of them all. The groups look up to them with the utmost respect as TVXQ were their idols while growing up or when they were trainees.

With this, we came to the technicalities, where the MCs greeted and introduced us to the show – the competition will host four rounds including the live finals and the winner of the throne would win their own reality show on Mnet.

We also got to know the peer-voting results where the groups had to vote for who they think would win the competition. The top three ranks came out to be:

1st – iKON | 2nd – BTOB | 3rd – Stray Kids

Voting Criteria

Perhaps the biggest relief for the fans is the exception from the elimination rule. Unlike ‘Road To Kingdom, ‘Kingdom: Legendary War’ will not have any eliminations – all the six groups will have an equal chance at winning the crown. All the intricacies of the votings had been revealed to the media earlier during the press conference and were retold during the show.

According to the new criteria, the total points are 20,000 points. Global and domestic fan voting will count towards 40% (8000 points) of the points. 25% (5000 points) will come from peer evaluation – groups will get a chance to vote for each other during the show based on which performances they find most admirable. Third, comes the expert votes accounting for 25% (5000 points) of the total votes from a panel of 30 experts – music critics, music video directors, choreographers, etc. The remaining 10% (2000 points) of the points will come from YouTube views of each group’s performance video. The rules for the live finale broadcast will be different from the usual scoring criteria  (to be revealed when the time comes).

Kingdom: Legendary War

Performances, Jitters, And Moments

All the performances in this episode had already been broadcasted live earlier in February in the introductory episode. The groups had to perform the song which has earned a win on music shows for 100 seconds. As the peer-voting results deemed iKON as winners, they decided the first performers and the rest of the line-up were to be relayed.

All the performances had one thing in common – when one group performed, the rest five would do nothing less but jump on their seats, vibe with it, and basically hype the performers up. We love to see such supportive spirits!

ATEEZ (The Pirates of the Kingdom)

Although they had wanted to go last, ATEEZ did not let the line-up deter them from giving their best. Having made several mistakes during the rehearsals – Jongho, San, and Seonghwa struggling with camera movements and timings- they were extremely pressured to do well at the live recordings. Despite all this, they performed a cinematic orchestral portrayal of the rearranged ‘Wave’ – originally being a lively song of the Summers to being the prelude to the battle of the seas in the violent storms.

Hongjoong literally spit blood for this performance taking everyone by a surprise, even BTOB’s Minhyuk got goosebumps! Their overall performance went on without a hitch and though the members were not completely satisfied, they did perform skillfully under the added stress without yielding to it.

BTOB (The Healers of the Kingdom)

Even though BTOB, looked very relaxed on the stage, they were equally as nervous and burdened as others, especially going second after ATEEZ. They were worried about how they could match up to the younger groups and their new concepts, but they were confident about their live performing skills – choosing a different and unique approach to not stick to a concept. Rightfully, they brought out a majestic choir rearrangement of ‘Beautiful Pain’, with their stable vocals and melodious acapella.

This rearrangement was a tough choice for BTOB as Eunkwang hadn’t participated in the original song and Minhyuk, who is a rapper had to belt out high notes. Needless to say, they exceeded way beyond our expectations with this performance. All the groups were in awe, seeing their seniors perform live so flawlessly.

SF9 (The Charmers of the Kingdom)

One thing to look forward to – Inseong’s hunches, because they came true when he felt SF9 were the next performers. They took pride in having some amazing concepts during comebacks. However, having struggled earlier as a group and having individual activities, they wanted to reform their identity together as SF9. Performing the splendid runway rearrangement of ‘Good Guy’ gave them confidence, bringing out the honored gentlemen in the show.

It was unfortunate that Rowoon couldn’t participate on the stage because of his injury and schedule but SF9 didn’t fail to wow us regardless. Even the other groups had fallen for their handsome charms during the performance. ATEEZ’s Yeosang and THE BOYZ’s Sunwoo had only one thing to say, “Amazing!”. We also cannot miss Stray Kids being successful fanboys who got the treasured crystal that SF9 used during their performance!

Stray Kids (The Wolves of the Kingdom)

The younger groups had a hard time managing their timings on the stage and had added coercion of performing up to the level of their seniors. Stray Kids too fell victim to this, mainly Felix who was under a lot of stress, having made a few minor mistakes during the rehearsals which were affecting the team. However, the boys helped him calm his nerves down and they went on to perform ‘Miroh’ with one of the most intricate yet powerful choreographies on stage!

The use of the fire-torch by Changbin and Bang Chan’s backflip gathered the most attention and kept surprising us every moment during their performance. However, we have to say that one of the most memorable points here, has to be Changbin and ATEEZ’s Wooyoung’s strong friendship!

THE BOYZ (The Stealers of the Kingdom)

Being the winners of ‘Road To Kingdom’, THE BOYZ have the burden to live up to their name. It goes without saying that even the smallest of mistakes set the group back. Juyeon struggled more as he had to do key points of the choreography where he made mistakes and was even more deterred, remembering the mistakes he had made on ‘Road to Kingdom’. Overcoming all the pressures, however, THE BOYZ gave us the grand, rearranged version of ‘The Stealer’ (inspired by Game Of Thrones), portraying the start of the war, “Winter Is Coming”.

Though THE BOYZ were a little disheartened that no one had picked them in the relay, they showed how strong they were as the contenders to the throne. As Eunkwang rightfully added, “It [the performance] has a lingering effect.”

iKON (The Icons of the Kingdom)

This is iKON’s 4th time on a survival show together as a group and they are well versed with these formats. However, they were ready to take on a new challenge by participating in ‘Kingdom: Legendary War’. Going last in the line-up as they had hoped for, iKON brought forward the boosted altered version of their hit track, ‘Rhythm Ta’. They livened up the mood with their choreography, ending this round with a blast!

Everyone joined to enjoy iKON’s performance who make the atmosphere more dynamic with their stage and Bobby’s comic relief – how he popped his head up before the end, making everyone laugh. Just a smile from him can make anyone’s day!

Voting Results

We move from Mnet’s studio to the groups’ individual rooms for the announcement of the results. Even with all the anticipation from over a month we only come to know 3 rankings:

3rd – BTOB | 4th – SF9 | 5th – ATEEZ

While it was disappointing for ATEEZ to rank fifth, they were still optimistic – this would encourage them to work harder and rank higher for the next round. SF9 were happily content and grateful to their fans with their results, hoping to do better. BTOB too were pleased with their rank, feeling more confident for the future rounds. The episode ended with the usual irritating-yet-intriguing cliffhanger where we didn’t know who ranked 1st, 2nd, or 6th.

Episode 2

Starting unceremoniously, the rankings from the introductory episode of ‘Kingdom: Legendary War’ continued:

1st – Stray Kids | 2nd – THE BOYZ | 6th – iKON

Kingdom: Legendary War 1

iKON ranking 6th came as an astonishment to the other groups and even iKON was not expecting such a result. They however found their silver lining saying that from now on they will only go up the ladder. THE BOYZ were slightly disappointed but more determined to do even better next time. Stray Kids were over the moon, taking first place and an additional 1000 points, and felt thankful, promising their fans that they’ll hold their position!

Now we stepped into the official Round 1, themed, “To the World” – aiming to send their message to their fans through performances and songs. The winner of this round will be given 20,000 points. As winners of the previous round, Stray Kids had a hard time deciding on the line-up. The line-up got mixed reactions from the other groups when it was revealed to them in their waiting rooms.

Performances, Jitters, And Moments

Here we see how the groups had prepared for their upcoming stages in detail and enjoy their performances.

Best We THE BOYZ

Continuing their ‘Game Of Thrones’ inspired concept – this time as ‘The Song Of Fire And Ice’, THE BOYZ chose ‘No Air’ to depict a tragic love story of two lovers who are like fire and ice. They had an underwater photo shoot to fulfill the meaning of ‘no air, no breathing’, bringing in some of the most beautiful shots seen. While Juyeon, New, Hyunjae had no problems during the photoshoot, Sunwoo struggled badly due to his reluctance. Younghoon helped him to battle his fear by joining him in. On the cuter side, we got some aegyo time from Sangyeon, New, and Hyunjae too (during preparations)!

Their unique concepts have been their strengths from day one and THE BOYZ didn’t disappoint this time either. The POV videography and the ice to fire concept as ATEEZ’s San figured it out, earned applause from all the groups. The performance kept everyone wonderstruck throughout, highlighted by Hyunjae’s backflip towards the end. We completely agree with iKON’s Ju-ne when he exclaimed, “Something exploded!” and with ATEEZ’s Seonghwa for saying, “You have to pay to see this [performance].”

Get Ready, It’s Showtime iKON

With the pressure of redeeming themselves in this round, iKON brought out the best in them. They got opinions on song choice from their celebrity friends – WINNER’s MINO and Seungyoon who offered their honest views. Chanwoo even called his friend SF9’s Chani to help them out and Chani being the trustworthy friend gave his sincere thoughts on the songs. ‘Love Scenario’ was a common choice all three times and so iKON went ahead to mash it up with ‘Killing Me’, creating a spectacular medley which no one saw coming (maybe except Chani).

The stage went on to be termed as “A musical” by ATEEZ and BTOB, also earning praises from SF9 for the storyline – justified by the movie-like production and how the stage painted the picture of a soul-wrenching breakup. All the remaining groups were bubbling with excitement for the songs. It was warming to see ATEEZ supporting them and hoping they’ll go higher up, together. Let’s also not forget how Chanwoo’s lighter burned up the stage (literally and figuratively)! We too agree with THE BOYZ’s Kevin who wished that the performance went longer than a mere four minutes.

Born To Beat BTOB

We took a trip to Captain Seo’s house, as we saw Eunkwang in his awkward V-Log before other members came to decide on the songs. The members calmly decided to perform ‘Missing You’ with the fusion of traditional Korean music, creating a memorable performance that sealed the warmth of the original song. They brought out their “hidden card”Minhyuk, who took the spotlight (Eunkwang asked everyone to take notes from 2:10) with a swordfight action scene. It was one of the toughest parts of the performance and Minhyuk had gotten hurt during the rehearsals.

As Changsub had rightly put it, no one had brought such a varied concept which portrayed a wrenching story spanning a whole year in only four minutes. We had mentioned earlier that SF9’s Inseong’s hunches are worth looking forward to – his prediction of a twist again came true when Minhyuk’s swordfight came on and amazed everyone. It felt like watching a Saeguk drama that heightened the sentimental mood till the most dramatic end. The show had turned into a sing-along as every group joined in. ATEEZ’s Seonghwa even brought out BTOB’s slogan to support his idols!

As much as we did not want to, the episode ended here with the preview for the third and teasing us with Stray Kids’ performance next.

Preview: Episode 3

The next episode 3 of ‘Kingdom: Legendary War’ will bring us the performances by Stray Kids, SF9, and ATEEZ. The theme for the next round, “Reborn”, will be explored too. Check out the teaser below!

Meanwhile, Mnet has also released the voting instructions for the “To The World” round. The voting will take place from April 15 to April 18 (KST) through the Whosfan app. There will be 3 votes per account and viewers have to vote for the best 3 performances.

This was our short, sweet recap of the two episodes of ‘Kingdom: Legendary War’. Make sure to catch the new episode on VIKI after the Korean broadcast on Thursday!

What were your favorite moments from these episodes of ‘Kingdom: Legendary War’? Let us know in the comments below!