[ Produce 101! Vote for your ideal girl online now! You can choose up to eleven girls for the first voting period.]
Lights up on Jang Keunsuk.
"One hundred and one trainees from forty-three companies are awaiting your votes. Their debut depends on you."
The set behind him falls away to reveal the 101 trainees, standing.
"National producers, please take care of us well!"
[The trainees enter the room…]
Son Yuji, 18, and Seo Minkyung, 18, enter first, of GH Entertainment. Yuji is obviously taking the lead. They look around nervously and laugh.
"It was stressful going in first. For a second I was worried we were in the wrong place. We were in there alone for… ten minutes?"
[The awkwardness of being the first]
Long shot of the girls, looking very small as they choose seats 45 and 46.
A montage of Yuji's scenes from Baby Kara and K-pop Star 2 are shown on screen.
"I had many chances to prove myself by going on programs. I'm really hopeful that this will be the last program I have to go on. It was really regretful not being chosen."
[Who will be the next trainees to enter?]
Five girls walk into the hallway and then into the large room, all holding hands.
[The five trainees from DoubleX Entertainment]
They introduce themselves, quickly establishing age order, and sit in the mid-thirties, directly behind the GH girls.
Pledis entertainment flashes onscreen.
"I actually thought of After School first." She laughs.
"It was intimidating because Pledis is such a big company. I didn't realize there would be trainees from companies like these here, I thought it would all be smaller companies like mine."
"One of the Pledis dongsaengs came up and started talking to me very quickly. She was so sociable, it didn't seem like she was nervous."
Cut of Kim Yewon sitting next to Choi Moonju and smiling, chattering away.
A large number of trainees walk in the door.
[What company is this who has sent so many?]
It turns out to be Polaris Entertainment. The girls from Happyface Entertainment, Hunus Entertainment, and many others enter and their company names flash across the viewer's screen, eventually filling up the screen; however, they do not get screen time.
The two DSP media trainees, Somin and Jiwoo, enter. Somin immediately screans when she catches sight of GH's Son Yuji.
"Yuji-yah and I were on Baby Kara together. She left the company after that. We were close because of our time on Baby Kara and I'm excited to see her again."
Two more trainees enter, GlobalH's Soyeon and Jinye. Sudden cuts to the surprised faces of other trainees.
"I was surprised because they had already debuted…"
"I think it's not fair to have idols who have already debuted on this show. It's for trainees… they've already had their chance."
[Jung Soyeon and Bae Jinye debuted as members of Laboum]
A clip of Laboum's debut song Pit-A-Pat is shown on screen. Arrows point out Jinye and Soyeon.
"Our debut didn't go as well as we wished. Our company wants to disband us, but they offered us a chance to go on this show so we could try and stay together."
The YAMA&HOTCHICKS trainees enter. Most of them stand apart from one other.
"Song Hanhee unnie is an ulzzang, I thought? So why was she in a show for idol trainees?"
"It made me kind of angry, honestly." She laughs a little, but it's obvious her heart isn't in it. "It doesn't look like she'll have any talent. What if people vote for her just because she's pretty?"
"I really do want to be an idol. I'm afraid because even the other trainees from my company don't think I should be here." She starts to get teary. A staff member from offscreen offers her a box of tissues, but she doesn't take it.
[Many trainees have entered… but no one has sat in the top row of seats.]
The camera flashes around to empty seats. This is clearly before the YAMA&HOTCHICKS entrance, as some girls who reacted to Hanhee are not seated yet.
"I thought maybe we weren't supposed to sit up there? That it was only for the girls who did well?"
"The top row intimidated me. I wanted to sit up there but at the same time it was scary, so the trainees from my company sat in the row below them."
[Who will be the first trainee to sit there?]
Cut to the entrance of the independent trainees. Most of them sit further down the pyramid, with only Lee Nakyung venturing higher, up to seat 17. Suddenly, the camera cuts to Roh Jisun.
"I thought she was going to sit in the number one seat."
Roh Jisun ends up in seat 11. After this, some cuts of other trainees are quickly shown, with the trainees from Dublekick, HBrothers, and Happyface sitting in the top row as well.
The Jellyfish trainees enter - Shin Bora and Cho Hyeyeon. They make a beeline for the top row and sit in seats two and three with confidence.
"I really love VIXX, so I was surprised when I saw the Jellyfish girls come in."
"Jellyfish is going to debut a girl group?"
"They were really brave going to sit up there… they didn't even question it."
[But still, no one has sat in the first place seat]
JYP's logo flashes on the screen and the girls gasp.
"I didn't think any of the Big Three would be here. I thought the big companies would be us, Pledis, Fantagio, Cube…"
Hirai Momo and Chou Tzuyu enter.
"I watched Sixteen."
"I thought, weren't they already on a survival show? The one for Twice?"
"I used to be a JYP trainee. I left right before Sixteen started - I almost joined it. So I was happy to see Tzuyu and Momo unnie."
The JYP trainees go to the top row and sit next to Dublekick Company's Yu Jungahn.
The SM logo flashes on the screen and a lone trainee, Kim Yerim, comes in.
"My younger sister Jungyeon is in SM Rookies with Yerim, so I already knew her a little bit."
By now there are only two seats left - 22, next to the nine girls from Blockberry Creative, and 1. Yerim sits next to Kim Jiwoo of Blockberry.
"I didn't want to sit up there. I was worried they would think I thought highly of myself."
"Yerim is really nice. I enjoyed talking with her and I think we're going to be friends."
"I had a feeling that YG would be next."
"To build up suspense…"
True to their words, the final logo to show onscreen is YG's.
"She's going to have to sit in the first place seat. She had no choice."
"I felt kind of bad for her."
Jennie Kim enters and is shocked by the sheer amount of girls.
"I didn't know I was going in last…"
She climbs the stairs confidently and doesn't look back at all until she's sat in the first-place throne.
"I thought it was fate, you know? That I'm supposed to sit there. Hopefully the national producers will put me in that seat as well."
"She didn't seem scared at all. Actually, she looked confident."
With that, Jang Keunsuk enters.
"National producers, please take care of us well!"
The Producers' Representative introduces the trainers, beginning with Kahi.
"Kahi sunbaenim is like…. my role model."
"She's from my company so I hope she thinks well of me."
"Everyone has heard of After School."
Cheetah also gets some accolades and shocked faces.
"She's such an amazing rapper."
"I'm excited for her to teach us."
Jang Keunsuk is at the front of the room. "We will now see your company performances and give you a grade from A to F. This doesn't affect your participation on the show - it's only so we can teach you better."
Fab Entertainment's Eun Yuri kicks off the performance with a disastrous single-person edition of 2NE1's I Am The Best. Her dance is alright and her rapping isn't bad, but her singing is a disaster. Cut to C9's Kim Chaeyoung looking shocked and a little disgusted.
[The pressure of going first]
"Your dance isn't bad," Bae Yoonjung tells her encouragingly. "And it's difficult to do a group song as a soloist, I understand that. But I don't understand why you didn't choose a song more to your strengths."
"You're nervous, right?" JeA asks. Yuri nods. "That's okay. You also do the sexy concept well, so that fits you. But your vocals…" She shakes her head. You can feel the disapproval from the screen.
"We will announce the grade for the Fab Entertainment trainee," Cheetah says after a moment. "Eun Yuri… D."
Yuri nods, an odd look crossing her face, and walks over to collect the D sticker that will be placed on her nametag.
"I wanted to set the bar high."
The C9 trainees are introduced by each of them doing aegyo. The older unnies (Heejin, Chaesol, Chaeyoung, and Nayoon) fail, but endearingly. The younger girls (Hyeonju and Hwang Jiwon) do it well. Kim Jiwon is saved for last. She goes all the way through Oppaya before shooting the camera a grin - an adorable gummy smile.
"Jiwon unnie is adorable."
"She reminds me of our company maknae, Ahra - she's so cute you can't look away from her. She commands attention well."
"I'm so used to being the one who does aegyo well… is it weird if I feel a bit threatened?" She laughs.
The C9 girls do a version of Seventeen's Very Nice. Cut to Pledis' Kim Yewon nodding approvingly and Bae Sungyeon doing the dance.
"They danced it well. I'm close to Jihoon oppa of Seventeen and I'm kind of proud of them on his behalf. It was cool to see our company represented in the performances from other agencies."
[But what grade will cutie Kim Jiwon receive?]
"We will announce the grades for the C9 trainees," Jang Keunsuk announces. "A. **** Jiwon. And none else." A bleep has censored the surname, so the audience doesn't know which Jiwon has received the grade of A. "B. Song Heejin, Hwang Nayoon. None else. C. Jin Hyeonju, Kim Chaeyoung. None else. D. Moon Chaesol. None else. F…" A pause, even though everyone knows what's coming. "**** Jiwon."
Suspenseful music plays as the faces of Hwang Jiwon and Kim Jiwon are shown side by side."
"We will announce the grades for the C9 trainees. A… Hwang Jiwon." Cut to: "F. Kim Jiwon."
"You're very cute, Jiwon-ah." Jiwon nods, smiling, at Kahi's comment. "We want to look at you. But the thing is… when we look at you we see everything you're doing wrong."
Cuts of Kim Jiwon from the performance play. Her vocals are shaky and, while she doesn't make a mistake, she doesn't execute the choreography with the same position as her labelmates.
Hwang Jiwon, the main rapper, is shown killing the raps of the song. She's at the center for the first chorus as well.
"You represented my company well," Kahi compliments. Hwang Jiwon turns bright red and a smile lights up her face.
"Th- thank you!"
"It felt so nice to hear Kahi say that. I felt proud and like I was doing well… I felt confident that I would succeed."
A clip of Brave Girls' Yujin giving an interview is shown. "I have a younger sister… her name is Haeri." A picture of Jung Haeri with Yujin as children is shown, followed by a second picture of the sisters more recently.
"I want to do well and make my sister proud. I want her to be able to tell her bandmates, oh that's my little sister. I'm so so proud of unnie for being successful and I hope someday she can feel the same way about me."
She performs Brave Girls' Nowadays. JeA comments, "you look a lot like Yujin from Brave Girls. Not just when you dance or perform but just in general."
"She's my older sister," Haeri explains.
She receives a grade of A. Kim Sungeun tells her, "I think your sister would be really proud of you. Well done."
She doesn't speak. The shot is of her crying - out of happiness.
Brief clips of other performances are shown. You can hear clips of audio by Gfriend, Girls Generation, After School, Ladies Code, and 4Minute; other clips pass by too quickly for the songs to be clear. Then, there's some clips just of the trainers giving grades. "A." "F." "D." "A." "C." "D." "B."
[The company evaluations continue…]
Kim Yerim comes out and performs Red Velvet's Happiness.
"I was cut from the final lineup and joined SM Rookies instead. This could have been my debut song so performing it is really regretful."
"I was a little confused. She was from SM but her performance seemed to be lacking."
"Kim Yerim, A," Bae Yoonjung announces.
"It didn't seem right. I would have expected her to get a B."
"Did they only give her an A because she's from a big company?"
"It felt a little unfair…"
Next they show the JYP stage. Tzuyu and Momo perform Twice's first comeback, Cheer Up.
"Momo-ah." Bae Yoonjung says.
"You dance well."
"Ah… thank you."
[Chou Tzuyu, A; Hirai Momo, B]
"I don't think Tzuyu deserved the A grade."
"It was like what happened with Yerim. I thought Momo deserved the high rank but Tzuyu should have gotten something lower."
Jennie Kim performs IU's Twenty-Three and kills it. She receives rank A.
The four girls from Luk Factory walk out and Jang Keunsuk's mouth instantly drops open.
"Wow," he says, "you guys are all so beautiful." They bow, looking somewhat awkward, and thank the national producer. "I'm excited to see you perform."
"They were so pretty, it was intimidating."
Their stage, though, of Baby V.O.X.'s Dolls, doesn't meet expectations. The highest ranking any of them receives is a C.
"Yes?" responds the group's eldest, under scrutiny from JeA.
"Your vocals… they're not at the level of someone your age and with your training. I'm really disappointed."
"It was really regretful. To have someone I look up to tell me I was unskilled…" she starts to cry.
[Vote for your girl! You can choose up to 11 trainees to support until the first voting period closes.]