Mix Nine is a South Korean survival reality show on JTBC. In the show, YG Entertainment founder and producer Yang Hyun-suk travels to music agencies all over Korea to find up-and-coming K-pop stars.
Date Aired: October 29, 2017 – January 26, 2018
Why am I talking about Mix Nine?
Because of the performances and the songs! It’s always the songs that hook you in. A drama may offer OSTs, but an idol survival show can offer you trendy songs and great performances. It doesn’t hurt that we’re also treated to visuals and some killer choreos.
This was a promising show. Why? Because YG was in it. The (9) winning members get to debut and will be entirely produced by YG Entertainment – an entertainment company which is considered part of the big 3 in Korea. That was the main pull of this show to trainees and curious fans alike. But the main problem of this show was how it seemed so disorganized. Others may complain that Mnet shows has evil editing but this show aired on JTBC was just poor editing.
How bad was it? Let’s see… They would blur some people because they wouldn’t want to spoil who got to be on the debut bus but completely passed over them as it progresses. They would create suspense and intrigue from the previews and teasers but doesn’t follow through with the actual aired footage. Then came the first ranking which they completely botched up. It’s usually the people in the higher ranks which are given screen time but they just gave up on it (on the episode following) after spending too much time on the lower ones due to limited time. No proper introductions of the trainers and YG artists are popping up without warning not that they weren’t a welcome presence. They can at least show them being welcomed as a judge especially during the company auditions. And finally, there was no consistency on the ‘storytelling’ part of the show. It was a bit of a mess in my opinion.
BUT! Every cloud has a silver lining. And here, it was the trainees themselves AND the songs! Add those two together and then you’ll get treated to some pretty awesome performances. Here you will be surprised to find some gems completely bypassed because of the bad editing. They may not be perfect but they deserve to be appreciated a little bit more.
Here are some of my favorites from the show. Mostly from the boys. Okay they’re all from the boys team but with the exception of Shin Ryujin‘s awesome audition piece:
Fun fact: My first K-pop group was DBSK (Dong Bang Shin Ki in Korea) also known as TVXQ (Tong Vfang Xien Qi in Chinese) and Tohoshinki in Japan, which translates to Rising Gods of the East. Pretty cool name right? They were a five member group until, well… things happened, hearts broken, and just TWO members remained under the group’s name.
Love In The Ice (TVXQ)
The song was originally sung by the five member group and they were in my opinion the best vocal / acapella group during their time. And if you ask me (even if you don’t I’ll still say it), I haven’t found another group with as strong vocal power as the five of them together. So it was a pleasant surprise that I was blown away by how perfect this cover was. Here’s an original rendition of this song by the members of TVX5.
This was the debut single by TVXQ and it was covered by the boys from Mix Nine who had the most unexpected members for this type of song. This song was originally for the vocals but the first ones to volunteer were the rappers – four of them! It was never made to highlight rapping but when they performed it – it fit. Accompanying the rappers were vocals with unique tones of their own. This was one of my favorite covers during this episode. I was a bit disappointed that it was underappreciated during this episode.
It’s Okay (BTOB)
I’m ashamed to admit that the first time I heard this song was in this show. I know of the group BTOB because of Sungjae who I saw in a drama, but I never got the chance to listen to one of their songs. These boys introduced this song to my ears who had been BTOB-less. I listened to the original and really this was a great cover!
After showing off the vocals, we go to dance. You know what they say about those who dances well..
My House (2PM)
A song very much JYP style. And by that I meant it is somewhat sensual and with a mature vibe. JYP approves!
“I wanna take you to my house, follow me
Let’s secretly get out of this loud place
No bad intentions, I just wanna know you a little better
I wanna be lost in soft music with you”
This performance heavily emphasized the boys’ charismatic sides and their dance skills as they choreographed it themselves. Is this the right time to say that Song Han Gyeom killed this? Starting at the 17 second mark, even with those simple steps he’s dominating that center stage and at 1:23. This was also where Kim Seyoon made his mark as the naturally inspired choreographer of the necktie whipping dance move.
Paradise Lost (GAIN)
This song was originally by a female artist – Gain. It was refreshing to see a male version of this song. I have to include this because this was one of the top performances during the group battle segment.
Ringa Linga (Taeyang), Bang Bang Bang (Bigbang)
This is a YG produced show. No way for Bigbang tracks to be left out!
Ringa Linga is Taeyang’s song composed by GD. You can’t not take this YG song seriously. Well, these boys gave it their best and eventually got praised by YG himself.
Choreography is what this Bang Bang Bang team was about!
It wasn’t only covers that they did in the show. There were also originals by several producers which was composed for the show.
Hand in Hand
Easily my favorite song out of the originals. This is hiphop, swag and made of Lee Byeonggun‘s deep tone (1:20). I can’t recall how many times I have played this. It was laid back swag with excellent vocals. And I love the understated choreography especially at the chorus part where they really were ‘Hand in Hand’ The rappers really shined on this one.
Stand By Me
If the song before boasted of rappers, this one was for the vocals. The rap part also complemented well with the cool vibes exuded by this song. It seems that whenever the trio came together (Kim Hyojin, Lee Donghun and Song Han Gyeom) they always do well in the group – same as with their Bang Bang Bang performance.
So, that’s it for my Mix Nine playlist. Happy watching and listening!