Rating Mnet's Good Girl Performances
Episodes 1 & 2 - Crew Exploration performances
As a disclaimer, I want to make it clear that I am not at all trying to pit these amazingly talented female artists against each other. In fact, Good Girl is actually not a competition show as one would expect from Mnet, who has produced shows like Show Me the Money and Unpretty Rapstar. Instead, the girls will be able to win money from Mnet itself by working together to win challenges. As far as I know, there will be no eliminations (but it's Mnet so who knows). Anyways, I will be ranking their performances based on things like how well they completed the challenge, their effectiveness on stage, and how much I personally enjoyed the performance.
I don't expect these to be spoiler heavy articles at all. At the end of the article, I will be talking about who won the challenge but I will put a spoiler alert before I do. Enjoy!
OKAY. WAIT. Before you click off this article because of my blasphemy just hear me out okay! Whether you like SNSD or not, you have to admit they are legends in the kpop industry. Some of these girls have been performing for almost 14 years straight, Hyoyeon being one of them. I adore Hyoyeon so much - she's very talented, an amazing dancer, I love her voice and her cute little laugh and...anyways! With all that being said, I had high expectations for her. It was a good performance, don't get me wrong, but it was so short and she really didn't do anything other than dance. She sang for maybe a minute(?) but that was it. It reminded me of a Hit The Stage performance and she truly is a talented dancer, but I feel like this show is more about being a triple threat singer, dancer, and rapper. I think I would've enjoyed it more if it had shown more sides of her or at least been longer. I can't wait to see what else she has in store for us though!
It truly pains me to put Queen Cheetah so low on this list but...this was not her best performance. She is really a force to be reckoned with; she's a competition show veteran and even won the first season of Unpretty Rapstar. Once again, my expectations were quite high. It was still good because, I mean, it's Cheetah! But I feel like it didn't have quite the same energy as her performances usually do and she was also the only contestant that messed up her lyrics. She's still the undisputed queen of hip hop competition shows in my book though and I know she's going to have some killer performances coming up.
#8. Queen Wasabii
Wasabii is wild and I love it! The reason her performance is ranked so low is simply because I felt like her rap sounded like she was a little out of breath, maybe from nerves. Also, it would've been a lot more enjoyable if Mnet hadn't so heavily censored it. Other than that, it was a really fun performance. The song was super catchy and I think she's honestly kind of fearless. Like, so many girls in that audience were scandalized and Wasabii just kept throwing it back like it was nothing. I think she actually made just as powerful of a feminist statement as Sleeq did despite how different the two performances were. Her performance wasn't just "I'm gonna twerk because it's fun hahahaha!" like it seemed on the surface. She was saying that girls can be sexy, show off their bodies, and use the same type of language as male rappers do in their songs and they shouldn't be looked down on or thought of as lesser artists because of it.
I'm.....conflicted about this one. This was the first time I had heard of Sleeq and seen her perform, and can I just say how much I love her already?? She is so cute and so sweet and such a powerful performer. She's an intersectional feminist and the message of her rap blew me away. "For my all gender queer, for my all spectrum for my all possibilities, for my non-binary..." - hearing that line on a Korean competition show just hit different. I loved that she was going to share her message, show her support for all people of all identities, whether people liked it or not. However, this challenge (as I understood it) was about showcasing their talents and what they would be able to bring to the Good Girl team. I think through this performance she pigeonholed herself into a very specific genre and performance style, instead of showing how versatile she could be. Although, she was aware of this and made a good point about how she may not get another solo performance and a chance to share her message in this way - which I completely support and agree with.
Yeeun was about middle of the road for me as far as performances go, but isn't she just the sweetest thing ever?! I've been a fan of CLC for a while now, but I've never really watched any interviews with them so I didn't realize how soft and cute her little voice is!! It's such a big contrast against her stage presence, it's crazy. I think her performance was really pretty good - she was able to show off her abilities in singing, rapping, and dancing, which is what I think the challenge was really asking of the contestants. The only thing that lessened the strength of her performance was the fact that she performed a CLC song. I can't remember who, but someone on the show remarked that it kind of felt like she was performing as CLC and the rest of the members were just missing. I think her performance would have been a lot more effective if she had done a cover and I can't wait to see her leave her comfort zone a bit more throughout this show.
Jamie's voice is flawless. So good. She hit all the notes like they just came naturally to her. I literally have no complaints with her voice - it's too good not to love. I also think the song was unexpected in a good way and fit her voice well. The performance of the song itself fell a bit flat for me though. It started off strong with her dramatically taking off her hat and revealing the new "Jamie," but ended up becoming her just walking and posing around the backup dancers. And, I'll be honest here, the rap was just not it. She made a good effort, but I think her rap skills need some work. Although this is coming from someone with absolutely no musical talent at all, so I wouldn't take my critiques too seriously. Overall, I think Jamie is an amazingly talented singer but sometimes she tries a little too hard. She has a big personality and at times it can get in the way of how talented she is.
Yunhway was one of the most surprising performances for me. Right before starting this show, I actually saw Yunhway in former BAP member Jongup's music video for his song "Headache" and I really wasn't all that impressed. Maybe it just didn't fit well in the song or maybe it was because I didn't know who she was, but I did not care for rap at all. It's safe to say that I feel the exact opposite after seeing her Good Girl performance though! She had such an effortless flow and cool vibe to her that was magnetic to watch. Her decision to move on to a different song halfway through the performance was genius. It made the performance more interesting, kept the audience paying attention, and showed another side to her set of skills. I also didn't expect her first song to be all in English so that was a fun surprise! I think she's going to be the quiet killer in this competition.
The queen!!! When I heard Ailee was going to be on this show, I was so stoked. She hasn't been as active in the kpop industry in recent years. Her last single, "Room Shaker," was a banger but didn't have that classic Ailee feel to it that I love. It felt so good to see her belting it out on stage again in this performance. As expected, everything was flawless: she looked fantastic, the choreography was super cute, and her voice was as effortless and beautiful as ever. I have no complaints!
#2. Lee Youngji
I. LOVE. HER. I've never watched High School Rapper, but the fact that Youngji won season three does not surprise me at all and I think she has a very good chance of winning this competition as well. She's not just an amazing rapper; I was also surprised to see what a good singer she is too! She has a uniquely deep voice that you don't always see from women in kpop or k-hip hop. Along with her incredible talent, I think what sets her apart from the other contestants is her personality. She has so much charisma and you can't help but smile along with her while she's performing - she had the entire audience bumping like they were at a concert and if that's not the sign of a good performer, I don't know what is. I don't speak or understand Korean at all, but even I couldn't help but sing along to that chorus. She really blew me away and hers was definitely one of my favorite performances.
And the number one spot goes to....Jeon Jiwoo! I think she broke the kpop side of the internet a little bit with this performance, which is relatable because I nearly had a mental breakdown myself while watching it. There is...so much to unpack here. I've stanned Kard from the beginning so I've known how amazing Jiwoo is, but this still felt like it came out of nowhere with how good it was. For example, I had no idea she had a set of pipes on her like that! Her voice is deep and soulful and sexy. Also the fact that she didn't change the pronouns from "she" to "he" in her cover of "Take You Down"??? We love to see it. The choreography felt very polished and professional. It was really like she was putting on a concert. Her stage presence is killer. She owned that stage and she did it for the girls and the gays and no one else! I mean, you all saw that move at the end with her and the female backup dancer so you know what I'm talking about. Anyway, she absolutely killed it and I know she's going to continue killing every other performance on this show so I'm pretty excited.
While I may have picked Jiwoo for my top spot, I completely agree with the audience voting Youngji as the winner of the challenge. Anyone who gets a crowd that hyped is a clear winner. Her talent is just undeniable and she is definiitely one of the most deserving. Also, the fact that she used the winnings to buy gifts for the other contestants?????? Perhaps I shed one or two tears. What a sweetheart!
Well, that's it for this round of performances! I know I'm a bit behind on the show (I think there's 5 episodes out now?), but this dumb monolingual has to wait for the subs to come out. I'm planning to do this with the rest of the performances on the show so stay tuned!