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In the beginning of episode 3, second round preliminaries are wrapping up.
It’s Hangzoo from Rhythm Power’s turn next. One of the judges asks him about his health, and we learn that Hangzoo has been dealing with an incurable illness that has caused blindness in his left eye and could eventually leave him without any sight at all. He says he came to SMTM this year because he wants to have fun while he can.
His audition is not flashy but it’s strong and he receives an All Pass. In an interview clip, Tiger JK comments that if Hangzoo continues like this he could be one of the top 5 contestants this season.
Sleepy is next to face the judges in the second round. He’s feeling the pressure after messing up his lyrics in the first round. 3 Passes carry him through and the producers encourage him. Gaeko thinks he shouldn’t be worried:
With that, the second round is over and 70 rappers head into Round 3. It’s time for the 1v1 battles. This year there are new rules: rappers will be randomly selected one at a time to choose their opponents, but this time they can only pick from a group of contestants who said they could beat them.
P-Type is the first rapper called up. All the contestants participated in an evaluation where they watched everyone’s second round audition and gave them a score. The rappers find out that they’ll be given their average score from the evaluation in front of everyone. People are very vocal about how they feel about P-Type’s rapping – including the ever-savage Kasper:
What was P-Type’s score? He received a 7.0, giving him an overall rank of 45 out of 70.
As it turns out, 53 people have said that they could beat him. Ouch. The upside? He has a lot of choices haha. He challenges Digiri who’s rank is…not great…
Apparently there were a lot of rappers who admitted that they wanted to pick Digiri as an easy opponent.
Next is Woo Wonjae, who has received a 9.1 and was ranked 3rd. Damn… He says he first thought of taking the easy route but changed his mind.
His choice? Though he received a high ranking, a lot of contestants still thought they could beat him. He selects fellow ‘dark aura’ rapper Ignito.
Junoflo is next. He has received an average score of 9.5, tying him for 1st place. Junoflo’s guess is that he shares first place with Nucksal. He’s right.
Mnet does their annoying Mnet drama thing and makes us believe he chooses Hash Swan as his opponent again for the 1v1 battle.
The rest of the selections are made (Hanhae picks Los, which is surprising, needless to say) and two contestants are left…Adidas twins Myundo and Punchnello.
Myundo’s score was 8.3 (17th place) and Punchnello’s was 8.0 (22nd place).
Soon the show down begins. There will only be 35 rappers remaining when this is all over. The first battle shown is Microdot vs Maniac.
Microdot is the one who chose Maniac. He said he wanted to challenge someone he wasn’t as familiar with (he did beat Bewhy in the 1v1 battle round season 4).
This is a great way to kick things off. Jay Park comments that Maniac seems to have grown in confidence this round. Maniac advances and Microdot is eliminated.
The next big match is P-Type vs Digiri. Digiri’s advancement to this round was highly controversial. He claims to have performed poorly in the last round on purpose to show the ‘real Digiri’ in this round. Dok2 acknowledges that this one will come down to differences in personal preferences among the producers. We’ll come back to this battle.
The next contenders shown facing off are Killagramz and Kyungjun.
They have started calling themselves the ‘BBQ trio’ with P-Type as the third member. Killagramz says he chose Kyungjun because he thought it’d be fun.
It’s hard for the rappers to agree on a beat but K.Jun ends up winning rock-paper-scissors for beat selection.
The producers are very pleased with the performance (Choiza even called it “cute”). Killagramz ends up advancing.
And now, the battle we’ve all been waiting for…Ignito vs Woo Wonjae.
I love this beat. Both rappers had intense lyrics. It’s such a tough decision for the producers they are crossing their fingers and hoping that it’ll be a tie.
The result is indeed a draw. Everyone is excited to see more from these two contestants. Zico and Dean’s excitement is kind of adorable.
Both rappers kill both rounds but Woo Wonjae passes through and Ignito is eliminated!
Next up are ‘good-looking’ guys Tino and Ness.
LOL @ Gaeko’s comment about how they shouldn’t be breathing the air here and Choiza bragging about how he picked them both in the initial round:
I will never get tired of Dok2’s Money Dance beat. Tino is strong but I really like Ness’ voice. Ness passes and Dok2 remarks on how pleased he is with the performance:
Junoflo appears and everyone wonders who he’ll be facing. Everyone is still hyped from his performance in the last round. Simba Zawadi (who apparently dissed Junoflo in the second round) will be his opponent.
Simba Z was good but Junoflo is SOLID this season. Junoflo moves on to the next round.
Penomeco has chosen Asol as his opponent, basically because he thought it’d be easy.
Dean thinks Penomeco has it in the bag.
When their performance is over the producers are left in an unexpectedly tough position. Asol did better than everyone was expecting! Penomeco is eliminated and Zico is the one to announce it (that’s cold, Mnet). Everyone is shocked.
Boi B received an average score of 9.1 (sharing 3rd place) which left him with only 11 rappers to choose from. He selects Black Nine (22nd place).
Yoooo Black Nine is crazy good. Choiza says that everyone knew he was a “dark horse” but
Boi B is eliminated. Back to P-Type vs Digiri…
They battle and each producer team picks their man. The result is a tie. Jay Park comments on what an honor it is for him, as someone who did not grow up in Korea, to be witnessing this battle:
All of the producers like the second round better.
P-Type moves on.
That wraps up episode 3! There are a lot of battles that weren’t shown yet (or at all) but I look forward to the rest of them and the producer performances in the next episode!
Thanks for reading!