A Brief Overview of the History of Queendom and Kingdom

Earlier today, Mnet announced the lineup for its highly-anticipated survival show Queendom 2. You can read more about that here. But, for those fans who are new to Mnet's super-sized competition show, here's a brief overview of the history of the series.

Part One: "Queendom" (2019)

All the way back in 2019, South Korean broadcaster Mnet announced its newest reality competition show - Queendom.

The program was designed as a comeback battle between six trending girl group acts, with the idea behind it to determine who was the most popular when all of their comeback singles dropped at the same time.

Queendom ran for ten weeks - from late August to late October - and featured three preliminary performance rounds before featuring a live comeback stage from each act, all of the singles of which were dropped at the same time six days beforehand.

Hosted by Lee Da-hee and Jang Sung-kyu, the show saw Park Bom, AOA, Mamamoo, Lovelyz, Oh My Girl, and (G)I-DLE compete against each other. They had to go through rounds including a representative hit song, cover song, and unit performances, before finally reaching a live comeback stage finale.

Some of the songs made for the Queendom comeback stage have gone on to be the group's most famous and recognisable songs - (G)I-DLE's "Lion" being the most obvious of these. However, the other songs have also made their way into the collective K-pop conscious, including AOA's "Sorry", Lovelyz's "Moonlight", Park Bom's "Wanna Go Back", Oh My Girl's "Guerilla", and Mamamoo's "Destiny".

During the final, Mamamoo were crowned as the winners of Queendom. As a part of their prize, they won a comeback show only for them, which was able to showcase their new song along with other hit songs, arranged how they would like. Although slightly delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Mamamoo's special aired on 3 November, 2020, with their comeback tenth mini album "Travel".

Part Two: "Road to Kingdom" (2020)

Just over three months after the finale of the popular inaugural season of Queendom, it was reported that Mnet was considering producing a second season of the show. At the time, it was unsure whether it would be focused on male or female idols.

One month after this initial report came to light, Mnet confirmed that they were producing another season, this once called Road to Kingdom.

In a slight difference from the original season that had aired the previous year, Road to Kingdom would feature seven boy groups competing for a spot on the upcoming season of Kingdom. The groups chosen to take part were unknown but had potential, and none of the groups had ever had a music show win.

The show would once again feature a few rounds of competition before a finale of comeback singles, once again dropped at the same time. But, the show would also feature eliminations, something which had not occurred in Queendom.

Road to Kingdom ran for eight weeks - from late April to mid-June - and featured three preliminary performance rounds before featuring a live comeback stage from each of the five surviving acts. The two eliminations would occur once after the second preliminary performance round, and another after the third.

Once again hosted by the dynamic duo of Lee Da-hee and Jang Sung-kyu, the show saw Pentagon, ONF, Golden Child, The Boyz, Verivery, Oneus, and TO1 (then known as TOO) compete against each other. Their rounds included "Song of King" (where each group performed a song from one of their boy group seniors, rearranged in a different style), "My Song" (where each group performed one of their own representative hit songs, once again rearranged, and different from its usual staging), "Collaboration" and "Your Song" (a two-part round where the six remaining groups would have a collaborative performance, before doing a performance chosen by another group). The five remaining groups then reached the live comeback stage finale.

While the comeback songs made for the Road to Kingdom finale were amazing - The Boyz's "Checkmate" became a breakout hit, while success was also found with Oneus' "Come Back Home", Verivery's "Beautiful-x". Pentagon's "Basquiat", and ONF's "New World" - nothing quite hits like the viral sensation that occurred during the collaborative performance.

During this round, The Boyz and Oneus collaborated on Sunmi's "Heroine", and Verviery and TOO collaborated on BTS's "On". But nothing quite compared to Pentagon and ONF's collaborative performance of Blackpink's "Kill This Love". The stunning, haunting, and oftentimes beautiful musical and stage production of this cover is almost unparalleled.

During the final, The Boyz were crowned as the winners of Road to Kingdom. As part of their prize, they earned the right to compete in the upcoming series of Kingdom: Legendary War against some of the biggest names in the K-pop industry.

Part Three: "Kingdom: Legendary War" (2021)

Soon after Road to Kingdom had finished production, Mnet announced that they would be going ahead with its follow-up series, Kingdom: Legendary War.

During the 2020 Mnet Asian Music Awards, a massive performance featuring The Boyz, Stray Kids, and Ateez announced that these three groups would be competing in the show. These three groups - considered the newer competing groups - were then put up against some of the biggest heavyweights in the South Korean music industry, including BtoB (which was actually a sub-unit called BtoB 4U), IKon, and SF9.

Kingdom ran for ten weeks - from early April to early June - and featured three preliminary performance rounds before featuring a live comeback stage from each of the acts. The hosting duties were given to the duo boy group TVXQ, although ongoing controversies at the time led to U-Know Yunho dropping out, and Max Changmin hosting solo.

The three preliminary rounds the groups had to compete in featured "To the World" (where each group would perform one of their representative hit songs, rearranged), "Re-born" (where the groups would exchange songs, and then need to rearrange them into a different style), and "No Limit" (where no restriction was placed on what the performances could consist of). "No Limit" was split into two part, with a unit performance (dance, vocal, and rap), and a group performance.

The live finale, called "Who is the King?", had each group compete with their comeback song. These included SF9's "Believer", iKon's "At Ease", BtoB's "Finale (Show and Prove)", Ateez's "The Real", The Boyz's "Kingdom Come", and eventual winner Stray Kids' "Wolfgang".

Unfortunately, Kingdom: Legendary War was marred in controversy during its early rounds. For the first round, groups were notified of a 5 million won (~$5,000) maximum budget for stage decor. However, during the recording, the management of some groups noticed other groups had stages that far exceeded the budget.

Controversies from outside of the show also affected the program. One of the hosts dropped out over allegations he had broken coronavirus restrictions in place at the time. Then, Stray Kids member Hyunjin was temporarily suspended from activities following bullying allegations against him, which led to him stepping out from the competition.

Part Four: Queendom 2 (2022)

After the many controversies surrounding the running of Kingdom: Legendary War, and the fact that the three seasons of the show seemed to have reached a conclusion, many fans were uncertain about its future.

But, later in 2021, Mnet announced that they were continuing with the franchise, ordering a second season of the original show.

Queendom 2 is slated to premiere on 31 March, and will be hosted by Girls' Generation member Taeyeon.

Read Also: MNET Finally Reveals Queendom 2 Lineup

To follow up on all the latest news about Queendom 2, be sure to follow us on our socials @KpopWise.

Ford Carter

Ford Carter is an online blogger studying journalism who's hundreds of articles across half a dozen fansites from the music and television industries have now been read more than 300,000 times. From his home in regional Australia, you'll often find him binging kdramas or rewatching old editions of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post