Produce X 101 recently held its second ranking ceremony and boy, what a nail-biting episode it was! A total of 33,819,751 votes were cast for this elimination round—a solid indicator of the massive popularity the show is enjoying as the weeks progress.
Only 30 trainees survived the cut. And as expected of the survival reality show, there were plenty of surprises in store for viewers. For example, individual trainee Lee Hyeop demonstrated the power of hard work when he jumped 14 places from his previous rank to secure a spot in the next stage of the competition. Others, such as MBK Entertainment's Lee Hangyul and Yuehwa Entertainment's Cho Seungyoun, are also steadily climbing up the ranks.
In a shocking twist worthy of any K-drama, Lee Dong-Wook gave the eliminated trainees a glimmer of hope when he announced that one of them will be allowed to return to the competition as "X". Fans have 24 hours to vote for the trainee they want back in the race. We'll only know who's the lucky one next week; meanwhile check out the list of who left enough of an impression to make it through to the next round:
1. Kim Wooseok
The 24-year-old has always been neck-in-neck with OUI Entertainment's Kim Yohan and Jellyfish Entertainment's Kim Mingyu in terms of popularity. This week, he beat out fellow label mate Lee Jinhyuk for first place.
2. Lee Jinhyuk
Lee cracked into the Top 10 for the first time in the competition, thanks to his risky decision to tackle the "X" category in the "Position Evaluation" battle. He won the hearts of fans by displaying the qualities of a leader, which resulted in him getting a head-start with 336,000 extra benefit votes. Those certainly helped to propel him to second place.
3. Kim Yohan
A spot in the final line-up seems almost guaranteed for this aspiring idol, whose boy-next-door good looks has endeared him to viewers all over the world.
4. Song Hyeongjun
The 18-year-old continues to pull in the votes with his pretty face, curly permed hair and slick dance moves.
5. Goo Jungmo
Is it coincidence that the 20-year-old trainee's surname sounds like the number nine in Korean and that he has been stuck at the ninth position for weeks? Goo finally breaks the "curse" by moving up four spots this week.
6. Lee Eunsang
Brand New Music
In the latest episode, Lee stated during interviews that he's going to step up his game. We can't wait to see what tricks the pink-haired trainee (he strangely reminds us of SHINee's Taemin) has up his sleeves in the weeks ahead.
7. Nam Dohyun
Fun fact: Besides boasting a young fanbase, the 15-year-old is popular among viewers in the 20s and 30s too!
8. Lee Jinwoo
Besides his adorable demeanour, Lee turned in a moving performance of Bolbbalgan4's "To My Youth" that was sure to help him garner plenty of votes.
9. Han Seungwoo
Plan A Entertainment
Like TOP Media's Lee Jinhyuk, Han made it to Top 10 for the first time. No easy feat, considering the good-looker was ranked 39 when the competition first began.
10. Kim Mingyu
The loudest gasps of the night were reserved for Kim, who dropped seven places from his previous third-place ranking. This is because the earnest 19-year-old has always been one of the top three frontrunners since the program started. Host Lee Dong-Wook even had to do a double take when reading the cue cards prepared by the production team! His fellow contestants were left so speechless that Kim had to make his way up to the stage among shocked murmurs. Talk about awkward...
11. Son Dongpyo (DSP Media)
12. Song Yuvin (The Music Works)
13. Cha Junho (Woollim Entertainment)
14. Ham Wonjin (Starship Entertainment)
15. Lee Hangyul (MBK Entertainment)
16. Choi Byungchan (Plan A Entertainment)
17. Cho Seungyoun (Yuehua Entertainment)
18. Hwang Yunseong (Woollim Entertainment)
19. Keum Donghyun (C9 Entertainment)
20. Kang Hyeonsu (AAP.Y)
21. Lee Sejin (iME Korea)
22. Kim Gookheon (The Music Works)
23. Kang Minhee (Starship Entertainment)
24. Kim Sihun (Brand New Music)
25. Kim Hyeonbin (Source Music)
26. Lee Hyeop (Individual Trainee)
27. Tony (Hongyi Entertainment)
28. Park Sunho (sidusHQ)
29. Choi Suhwan (Individual Trainee)
30. Joo Changwook (Woollim Entertainment)