In the first half of episode 5, the rest of the contestants get to choose what producer team they want to join.
Geegooin is the first rapper to choose a team. While each contestant makes their choice, the judges watch on monitors from another room. To Tablo’s dismay, Geegooin walks into the JayPark/Loco room. Verbal Jint comments that he doesn’t fit that team and SanE agrees.
Woo Tae Woon is next to choose a team and Tablo refers to him as ‘Zico’s hyung’ only to be swiftly corrected by Jay Park:
Shout out to Jay for speaking up for him. Woo Tae Woon ends up choosing Team Brand New Music.
Next up is Super B who runs without hesitation toward Team YG’s door, but then awkwardly struggles to open it, causing Tablo to freak out (“What is this?!”) LOL
Soon Team AOMG proves to be the most popular as rappers Sik-K and David Kim, along with a couple of other rappers, all choose Jay Park/Loco’s room.
Next to make a choice is the highly coveted Lil Boi.
Every producer team seems to want him but in the end Lil Boi walks through the door of team Jay Park/Loco and the AOMG crew is giddy with delight (Jay: “I think we can go home now”). The other rappers who chose team AOMG seem uneasy after Lil Boi’s arrival, knowing that their chances of getting eliminated may have just increased.
Another producer favorite, Basick, is next up to make a decision. Tablo is getting desperate and asks Papa Sean (well-known for his Christian faith) a hilarious question:
Basick surprises everyone and chooses Team Brand New Music. He explains that he chose their team because they focused the most on rap in his eyes.
At this point in the show, Team AOMG has 7 contestants waiting in their room, Team Brand New has 3 contestants and Team YG only has one. The MC announces that from now on, the producers won’t be able to see who chooses what team but the contestants will walk through the room where the producers are sitting and the producers will have an opportunity to “actively recruit” contestants to their team.
The first person to stand with determination is Tablo, who even goes as far to greet contestants at the door, to the amusement of the other judges.
Tablo has absolutely no chill and he sells Team YG hard to seemingly every contestant who comes through the door. His stream of compliments is never-ending but only time will tell if any of it pays off.
The team selection comes to an end and the judges wait in a room while the MC calls in the contestants from each team’s room. Team YG is clearly the most anxious team and Tablo says he’d be thankful as long as they’re not eliminated. Papa Sean says he’d feel bad for Super B if their team was eliminated because he was the first rapper to choose them.
The rappers who chose team YG slowly and dramatically enter the room and we see that five other rappers joined Super B. Right away, Tablo and Jinusean must decide which two rappers to eliminate to get to their team of 4. They select Super B, Innovator, Incredible but before they can pick the last contestant rapper New Champ asks if he can rap for the producers. It’s a little awkward and Zico said that he didn’t do that well but mainly showed how desperate he was.
New Champ is chosen by Team YG in the end, completing the team.
Next to make their final choice is Team AOMG. A total of 9 contestants appear before Loco and Jay Park, which means they have to eliminate five contestants. Loco asks if they can just pick three rappers they know they want for sure right away and without hesitation he rattles off the names of Sik-K, Lil Boi and Geegooin. Next Jay Park lists the names of the next three contestants they know they don’t want for sure (those who “didn’t leave an impression” in Loco’s words) and this leaves three contestants from which they must choose their last rapper.
Jung Dabin asks if they can rap and he, Lee Hyunjoon and David Kim take turns showing the AOMG producers what they’ve got.
David Kim does really well here and ultimately gets selected to join team AOMG.
Next up Team Brand New has the hardest cut to make with only 5 contestants – Hanhae, Woo Tae Woon, Basick, Microdot and Black Nut – to choose from. It comes down to Black Nut and Woo Tae Woon and Black Nut is chosen.
In SanE’s words, now the real games can begin. Here are the final teams one more time:
There will be an Official Song Mission after which one person will be eliminated from each team. Before each team gets started on the mission their producers treat them all to some down time in their own way. Loco and Jay Park meet their team for a game of basketball, and then let them know they’ll be rapping to the beat Gray made for Loco’s recent track ‘Respect’ for the mission. Lil Boi is getting all the attention from Jay and Loco and Geegooin is determined to get them to notice him.
As Team AOMG prepares for the mission Lil Boi seems to be having a hard time.
Gray, Loco,Jay Park and DJ Pumpkin meet the team for a review to see how the mission is going and everyone does pretty well except Lil Boi who has still not memorized his lyrics. Someone off camera asks them if they had to eliminate someone now who would it be and Gray says they didn’t even get to hear Lil Boi’s verse, he just said “respect is dead” and then stopped. Loco insists that Lil Boi will do well and that his performance was cool. I’m not sure what performance he was watching but I’m glad Gray and I are on the same page:
Eventually it’s time for Team AOMG’s performance in front of all the producers for the mission. The other teams watch on a monitor from another room.
I was actually blown away by Team AOMG’s performance. They did a really good job and impressed everyone, including the contestants from the other teams. I think they worked well together as a cohesive unit and each individual rapper was able to show themselves off well. Geegooin ends up getting praised by a few of the other producers.
Jay Park and Loco had a very difficult choice to make and he and the other producers begin to comment on one particular rapper who’s stage presence was a bit awkward and stiff and lacking compared to the other members of the team. In the end, they reluctantly let David Kim go.
Me too, One, me too. The eliminations will only get tougher as the show progresses and the other contestants begin to realize this.
Tablo picks his team up in GD’s van (haha) and they go to do some water sports and are treated to a buffet. Right after they eat, Tablo and Jinusean announce that they will have a mission in which they have 30 minutes to prepare a rap to the beat of Jinusean’s ‘Ayo’. The contestant who fails to impress the judges will be eliminated.
The rappers are taken aback by being faced with such a serious challenge so soon but they begin to prepare their performances. New Champ admits that he’s nervous because he feels the YG producers don’t view him favorably because he was picked last. Each rapper raps for the judges and the producers seemed please and say they’re unsure of how they’ll make a decision. Super B asks if he can rap again without a beat but Tablo tells him they’ve seen all they need to see.
Tablo ends up telling Incredible he can go home, and the other guys gather around him to tell him good-bye. As Incredible is being interviewed about being let go, Papa Sean comes in to hug him and whispers in his hear that this was all a lie.
I can’t believe this was one huge prank but we see that it was all the King of Dad Jokes’ (aka Tablo’s) idea.
Maybe this was Tablo’s way of waking the boys up so that they try their best in the real mission. Papa Sean confirms this by commenting that even now through the fake mission the rappers seemed to have improved. For the team mission the boys will be preparing verses for a track created by Choice 37.
We see in the rehearsal for the performance that the YG boys seem disconnected and the chemistry and teamwork isn’t quite there. Zico, watching with Paloalto from the sides, says that the teamwork seems forced.
We learn that there were indeed teamwork issues between New Champ and Innovator in particular and the two had some things they needed to work through in the process of preparing for the mission.
Ultimately I thought that team YG’s performance was slightly out of sync but good. Team AOMG’s performance seemed more coordinated but I definitely felt that with team YG, perhaps to the detriment of their harmony as a group, you could get a taste of each rapper’s unique flavor and style.
Look at proud dad Tablo holding up those signs haha
After some deliberation, Tablo and Jinusean decide to let New Champ go.
For Team Brand New, we see that Verbal Jint and San E went a completely different route and took the boys to get massages and a healthy meal and then shopping. While in the Adidas store San E draws their attention to the song playing from the sound system and lets them that it’s the song they’ll be rapping to for the mission. Hanhae expresses concern that its not the type of music he is used to rapping with.
We see the boys preparing for the mission in the studio and San E and Verbal Jint meet them there to see how things are coming along. Both producers note how strong a presence Microdot has and the other contestants seem to worry that only Microdot will be memorable. San E asks Black Nut if he plans to wear his sunglasses and tells him he’ll have to deal with his stage fright someday. Hanhae messes up his lyrics during the review and is still nervous going into the rehearsal. During rehearsal he says he had a hard time hearing the beat through his earpiece and he seems worried he’ll make a mistake.
Team Brand New’s performance was the most fun to watch so far. Microdot’s energy is contagious and although Hanhae stumbled over his lyrics I thought he recovered well. Basick and Black Nut delivered solid performances as well but I personally thought Black Nut was a little awkward.
San E and Verbal Jint began to decide who they need to let go. They seem to be considering who lacks the potential to do well later on in the show when they have bigger stages. Verbal makes a comment that he was worried about how one of the rappers would fare when it came to later stages of the show, which leads us to believe Black Nut is going to be eliminated but of course the show leaves us with a cliff hanger until next week.
Judging from the reactions of the other producers and contestants, someone unexpected was eliminated but I don’t trust Mnet’s editing so we’ll just have to wait until the next episode to know for sure.
Who do you think deserves to be eliminated? Let me know in the comments and check back here soon for a recap of episode 6!