The third episode of Produce 48 showed the trainees selecting amongst each other to form groups for the group battles.
The last group to form consisted of trainees who weren’t selected by any other groups, including trainees Han Cho Won, Kang Hye Won, Sato Minami, Chiba Erii, and more.
Trainee Lee Chae Jeong‘s group, which had claimed BLACKPINK‘s “Boombayah” as the competing song, selected this last group to battle.
The Japanese group members burst into tears upon being chosen, especially because “Boombayah” was the one song they wanted to avoid.
“For the first time, I wanted to go home to Japan.” — Asai Nanami
The episode later showed this group struggling to stay motivated to prepare for the performance.
“It was like everyone had already given up. The members kept crying and… I felt stuck.” — Kang Hye Won
Viewers grew extremely curious to see how this specific group battle turned out. So when Mnet released the individual stage performance videos, the views exploded.
In fact, at one point, Chiba Erii’s performance video trended #1 ahead of other popular Japanese trainees’ videos, like Miyawaki Sakura‘s or Matsui Jurina‘s.
Some viewers immediately reacted with disappointment and pointed out that the members failed to put together their best. The Japanese trainees are receiving heavy criticism for their “attitudes” about the situation as well.
“OMG, wtf is this? Awful? Is this is even singing?”
“Does this girl even wanna be in this show? She barely does anything, she’s barely even dancing.”
“I know that they didn’t have a choice but honestly this performance is so bad.”
- “It’s a lot worse than I imagined. Should’ve known since that attitude when they were picked.”
Koreans also criticized the sloppy choreography and poked fun at how “it looked like the group came straight from hell.”
“I thought this was funny, until I watched the full video… How are they even on the show?”
“How is this okay on a competition show? People have become so much nicer since Produce 101 season 1, huh? A performance like this would have received so much hate.”
“They’re all so equally terrible that they make it look like Han Cho Won got it wrong.”
- “I’m shook. This is terrible. I cannot stand the whole song… They are untalented. It’s time to go home girls.”
Of course there has also been encouragement and support for these group members too. Viewers believe, with the right kind of song and dance, these girls stand a far better chance at winning this competition.
“I’m so proud of these girls , it may not be better than the 1st group technically but you can see what hard work can do despite losing confidence and knowing their weaknesses, they pulled out this performance from scratch… I hope they won, or if not they won my heart already.”
“Wow I’m proud of them, I cried too when they were crying as they were picked, this is such a hard song but they worked hard and pulled it off!!!”
“I know it’s not really the best performance of “Boombayah” but knowing where these girls are coming from and how much they cried when they got to know that this is their song, I can’t stop smiling the entire time watching this video. I appreciate their efforts at least.”
- “They can be proud, at least I am, just to see them progress this much, shows they got what it takes.”
You can watch Chiba Erii and other members’ stage videos here: