Fresh from the first elimination round where only 60 of them made the cut, the Produce X 101 trainees are thrown yet another challenge to prove their worth. The mechanics of the "Position Evaluation" battle are simple: From a list of 10 songs spread over the four categories of "Vocal", "Rap", "Dance" and "X", the trainees form teams by choosing a song that best represents their abilities. For the mysterious "X" category, the trainees will either take on a hybrid dance-rap or dance-vocal role. The caveat? They'll have to choreograph their own dance moves, too.
Based on a live-audience vote, the trainee who is ranked first in each team gets their scores multiplied by 100 times, while the top trainee of each category gets another 100,000 additional points. Here's where it gets better: The trainee who tops each song in the "X" category will have their scores multiplied by 200, while the overall winner will be given an additional 200,000 benefit points.
Spread over two episodes, the "Position Evaluation" challenge provided plenty of high and low points to keep viewers glued to their screens. Here's a round-up of some of the most memorable moments from the performances:
The Rise of Cho Seungyoun
Cho's rankings has been increasing by leaps and bounds since the programme aired—he jumped 48 places to land his current 19th spot ranking. An impressive feat, if you ask us. He has also been hailed by the Produce X 101 trainers as an all-rounder. For his team's performance of Zico's "Say Yes Or No", Cho not only sent hearts racing with his powerful display of charisma, he also displayed excellent leadership and mentoring qualities.
And The Centre Spot Goes To...
Like Cho, Lee is one of the trainees who is gaining more fans with each episode. The 21-year-old took the coveted centre spot for this team's dance rendition of Bruno Mars' "Finesse". His slick moves eventually landed him the first place on his team, edging out favourites such as doe-eyed Song Hyeongjun and baby-faced Ham Wonjin.
A Missed Opportunity
There were teams that displayed excellent chemistry... and then there were others that somehow failed to gel as a whole. Comprising Baek Jin, Won Hyuk, Yuri and Lee Woojin, this team missed the mark with their take on "Barcode", a hard-hitting rap by HAON and Vinzen. Netizens speculated that their poor performance was a result of them having to change their lyrics three days before the recording, which resulted in some of them flubbing their lines during their live performance.
An Ode To Youth
"To My Youth" is a 2017 hit song by Bolbbalgan4 that contains hopeful and inspiring lyrics which aim to comfort those going through growing pains. Performed by Choi Byungchan, Kim Minggyu, Kim Wooseok, Lee Jinwoo and Lee Sejin, the quintet's heartfelt rendition and nearly brought tears to our eyes.
The Underdog Story
Lee Jinhyuk proved to be the real MVP of the entire challenge, hard-carrying his fellow trainees to a successful performance of "Turtle Ship", a rap song by Ja Mezz, Andup and MINO. Faced with a team that had close to zero rap experience (even host Lee Dongwook admitted he was worried for the team), the 24-year-old became the guiding force and backbone of the group. The effort paid off: He walked away with 336,000 points—the highest score of the night.