mnet's road to kingdom is ending today! now it's time for a best of listicle! there's no criteria for this—obviously, aside from my own bias—but the list isn't in any specific order: instead the stages are ordered using the pre-finale ranking, with the last two entries being the groups that were eliminated. there's a mix of covers and their own rearranged songs, and some stages were picked on the basis of fan faves (instead of my personal favorites) and this is another excuse to talk about the show before it's irrelevant and/or tainted by the final results!
this song, unlike the rest on this list, was picked by one of the other constants—in this case, it was pentagon—and it resulted in onf's first number one ranking. the original instrumental was spliced with their own song, “complete”, for one of the show's best remixes.
imo, the only con is that this stage is split in sections to make it more cinematic. it kills a lot of the momentum it has during those breaks.
THE BOYZ – “REVEAL (CATCHING FIRE)”
while the original “reveal” concept was centered on werewolves, this version gets the concept of an uprising. if you couldn't tell by the hunger games pins some of them are wearing. it has, maybe, one of the most creative stagings off this show; my favorite is the gilded frame it starts on. i love last supper inspired visuals always (see also: exo's monster, diane young, etc).
one complaint on this stage is i wish the costuming wasn't so hunger games, especially since was supposed to follow their “danger” one! would've liked more cohesion with that.
PENTAGON – “VERY GOOD”
pentagon repackaged “very good” with a mad max concept and it's their best. it's got a good remix—doesn't fall into the cliches hui used for a lot of the other remixes for this show—though it gets weaker towards the end. there's a ton of good costumes for it and even though it goes with pentagon's tough concept, it works for them!
my ideal block b song for them to cover is still “her” or ”yesterday”, keeping more in line with their bright or nerdy image (the one i think suits them best). pentagon please go back to kitschy!
VERIVERY — “PHOTO”
i didn't know this song before this show and i love this reimagining of it. the horror concept is really good. i even like the cheap headstone stage dressing for it. it just all really works for me, tbh. this stage might've been inspired by the drama kingdom but i can't remember because it doesn't go with that era (and i might just be thinking it since it's a horror concept)!
ONEUS – “BE MINE”
oneus took six episodes to get on my radar but honestly? they delivered. they didn't mess with “be mine” too much—thankfully—and the romeo and juliet concept is really well done. the funeral props were really good and the cutting the flag scene is awesome. the ending rap was really well placed, too (and a lot better than ravn's first in the song).
i wish they brought the same energy to the rest of their stages, though. i can't even remember the rest. i'll be streaming this for awhile, at least!
GOLDEN CHILD – “WANNABE”
justice for golcha! the violin backing the dance break was a really good idea but wasn't flashy enough compared to some of the other performances in this round (like too's “rising sun”—coming up next) but out of the few stages they did on this show, each of them fit the image golden child's had, and i can't really say that about any of the other contestants. they're third place runners up to me! i would've loved to see more from them.
TOO – “RISING SUN”
too never reached the heights of this performance after this round. their image as the show's most rookie was solidified as the show went on, honestly, since they made two very good first impressions. the opening of it was partially choreographed by chan and he was the brain behind their other concepts too (the good & evil concept of “magnolia” & the tragedy that was their “hard carry” cover).
i figured this could double as a streaming post, if anyone else is watching live! the finale will be streaming on mnet's youtube channel starting at 8pm kst (or 7am est, or 4am pst). mnet hasn't posted that yet so here's some secondary streaming links! and if not, i hope y'all enjoyed this post! i'm honestly gonna miss this show and the stupid amount of time it takes up during the week