Mnet’s idol reality show ‘Kingdom: Legendary War’ took its final pause on 3rd June, crowning Stray Kids the Winner, the King of them all. Each of the six participating groups gave their best and it gladly showed with the performances they put on every week. Bringing out their strengths and overcoming their weaknesses, the groups have proved there’s no one actually defeated among them. Even if there’s a crowned winner, we can surely say no one has lost.
Here we bring you our picks for the best memorable stages we had on ‘Kingdom: Legendary War’. It goes without saying that every performance was extraordinary in all aspects. Needless to mention, our team had a really tough time choosing only six of these stages.
(Disclaimer: The performances listed in this article are in no particular order. The article only does the articulation of the same. We are neither ranking nor comparing any performances.)
ATEEZ – Symphony No.9 “From The Wonderland”
It was during the first round of the show that ATEEZ stole our attention with the rearrangement of their own song ‘Wonderland’. For this particular stage, they were mentored by producers, EDEN, Buddy, LEEZ, and Ollounder (collectively known as Edenary). Hence, a classical, fantastical, ‘Wonderland’ was born, inspired by the movie franchise ‘Pirates of the Caribbean‘ and mingled with the 19th-century paradigm, ‘Symphony no. 9 – From The New World’ by Dvořák.
The performance blew minds on several points – the appearance of the fogged ship, our very own (Hong) Joong Depp, and the strong, ornate choreography. However, what got everyone talking was the emergence of the Norwegian sea monster Kraken on the stage and Jongho’s four-octave high-pitched note. Hongjoong also roared the iconic quote, “The one who wants to wear the crown, bears the crown!” It was truly a magnificent stage!
BTOB – Blue Moon (Cinema Version)
BTOB has given striking performances in each round of the show through their theatrical stages and exceptional vocals. For the group performance of the third round, they fulfilled the uplifting, jazzy needs of the audience and their fans (Melody). Featuring (G)-IDLE’s Miyeon, the stage transforms into a movie set and we see a cinematic performance of their song ‘Blue Moon’ where the members play their roles in an enchanting setting, similar to the movie ‘La La Land‘.
The stage was very distinctive with its theme. Even the brilliant song arrangement sounded like a movie OST, incorporating Big Band Swing, Funky Jazz, and Bebob Jazz, all in one. Changsub’s military friends joined the stage playing live during the performance. The acting skills of the group shined throughout as Changsub (make way for Ryan Chang-ling), Miyeon and Minhyuk gave us the love triangle dilemma, enacting a bewitching movie production on stage and our lead actress ended up with Peniel. With comical tinges scattered throughout, this stage has to be one of the best.
iKON – Love Scenario + Killing Me KINGDOM version
Let’s head back to the 2nd episode when iKON amazed us by their brilliant mix-up of ‘Love Scenario’ and ‘Killing Me’; though, we should also credit the celebrities who suggested the songs to the group for this round. iKON thoroughly proved themselves with this musical production that astounded everyone. With the stunning medley and a captivating storyline, iKON showed that there is more to them than just Hip-Hop.
The stage took us through vivid emotions, starting with the groovy ‘Love Scenario’ which had everyone vibing with the uplifting choreography and swiftly going to the dimmer atmosphere with ‘Killing Me’ and its intense dance routine. Chanwoo stole the spotlight with his iconic “burning the stage with lighter” trick. The overall trope radiated through and through with its cinematic appeal and the concept of painting the heartbreak of a doused relationship. It had us wishing for the performance to be longer than just four minutes.
SF9 – Move
SF9 had shown their different colors all through the show – from being possessive lovers to mafias. For the third round, they upped the game, emphasizing their strengths. Bringing the lethal charm of the 2017 rave back, they performed Taemin’s ‘Move’, a delicate sensual song, known for its wispy and fragile arrangement. Although the song is very difficult to perform, both in terms of singing and dancing, SF9 nailed it with its elegant and intricate portrayal of subtle sexuality.
The group showcased all their skills – their smooth artistic dance, the mid-song raspy original rap verse, and the exquisite breathy vocals. Even the concept was strikingly evocative – seeking your own color and being you. The youngest members, Chani and Hwiyoung showed their mature sides and Chani even got advice from the original artist, Taemin himself. The song arrangement too lived up to the original song. The controlled assertion in the form of the modern art-like stage was not attempted before. It was something only SF9 could’ve pulled off!
Stray Kids – WOLFGANG
Winding up the show’s last round performance with a howl, the winners, Stray Kids brought forth the dark stage of ‘Wolfgang‘. Performing their new song for the show, the stage brought closure to their face-to-face round’s performance when they brought out their inner wolves. It is also inspired by the legendary 18th-century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. With opera influences and orchestral touches, the song truly fits the theme for the finale, the last battle.
The stage very meticulously started with Mozart’s two famous pieces, ‘Fantasia’ paired up with ‘Molto Allegro’. Felix’s howl to the moon called out the other members on the stage, portraying how wolves stay together in a pack and are stronger when united. The fur coats donned by the members and the back dancers on stage fulfilled the pretense of the savage wolves, claiming their territory – the ‘Kingdom: Legendary War’ stage. Being the winners, Stray Kids’ last stage of ‘Wolfgang’ will surely be one of the most memorable!
THE BOYZ – Monster (Stormborn)
THE BOYZ displayed the epitome of picturesque beauty in most of their stages so when they wanted to show powerful and enrapturing performance, what better choice than EXO’s ‘Monster’! For the third round, THE BOYZ went all in performing one of the toughest songs to put live on stage, perfecting the intense choreography to the point of no return. They wanted to re-establish themselves as the synchronized group dancers and this stage truly brought back their glory.
Off the top, the new arrangement to the song truly celebrated the original song. Their dance moves were topped with precision, their hard work paying off. They threatened to bring out the monster within as the sun sets down, also marking the continuation of their previous stage of ‘O Sole Mio’ (and possibly hinting at the EXO’s conceptual universe). The appearance of the snake on the stage was also an unforgettable moment – Sunwoo jumped out of its mouth, belting out his overflowing rap taking breaths away.