Welcome back to another round of weekly music shows! This week featured a variety of performances to feast your eyes and ears on, from the comebacks of Nu’est, Homme, and Halo, to a number of special stages and stellar performances by currently promoting artists. Meanwhile, although Exo had wrapped up their promotions last week, the group continues to dominate music shows, winning most of the week’s first place trophies. I.O.I won first on The Show. I’ve narrowed down the performances I’ve enjoyed to a select few of my favourites; let me know which were yours below!

Nu’est’s “Love Paint”, Mnet M! Countdown, September 1, 2016

Nu’est’s comeback this time around can be described as smooth on various levels: the song, while slow-paced, doesn’t bore the listener; the styling, while simple, looks appealing classy; and the choreography, while not flashy, is captivating to watch. The swishing and twirling match the artistic theme of the concept, and the backup dancers are well-utilised – the mirrored motions create an attractive visual effect. My only complaint would be Ren’s hair, as although it’s well-known that he usually pulls off the most unique hairstyles in the group, you can’t deny the bright pink this time looks out of place in a sea of deep purple and black.

Cosmic Girls (WJSN)’s “Secret”, SBS Inkigayo, September 4, 2016

While it may be true that big groups nowadays are seen as a way for companies to debut a large number of trainees and hope the public finds at least one they like, Starship Entertainment shows that in WJSN’s case, they have the planning to back it up. The entire concept of “Secret” is incredibly well executed, with the doll-like styling making the members’ beauties pop, and the arrangement of parts ensuring each member has relatively adequate time to show it off. In addition, large groups have more potential formation-wise, and WJSN certainly uses this to their advantage – their introduction to the song is fascinating to watch every time, even more so given their impressive synchronisation.

NCT Dream’s “Chewing Gum”, SBS Inkigayo, September 4, 2016

To be honest, I had no expectations for “Chewing Gum” the first time I saw its teasers, with the brightly coloured images seeming too childish for my liking. The actual song and its performances, however, have actually hooked my interest – the concept is youthful, but in a fun way rather than immature. Furthermore, what is perhaps most eye-catching about the group’s lives is the use of hoverboards, and seeing the boys wheel around stage greeting fans on those scooters is both amusing and fascinating at the same time.

Hyuk (Vixx), Ooon (Halo), Hyungwon (Monsta X), Wooshin (Up10tion), Eunwoo (Astro)’s “ManManHaNi,” KBS Music Bank, September 2, 2016

I find it hilarious that Music Bank decided to have a special stage for “men that look like they came out of a manhwa” out of nowhere, but given the eye candy this stage was, I’m not about to complain. Despite the rather random combination of performers, each member definitely looked the part. As a matter of fact, the loyalty to the theme is probably the most interesting part of the stage, with the prim outfits and eye makeup indeed making the members look like the prince charming of a romance comic, and the choice of “ManManHaNi” with its restrained choreography only further emphasising their manly appeal.

Big Brain’s “You Are My Destiny”, KBS Immortal Song 2, September 3, 2016

Immortal Song’s most recent episode features a collection of classic drama OSTs, and to pick a favourite amongst them is incredibly difficult. While Gummy used her single voice to convey the raw emotion that was in the original “You Are My Everything,” this performance focuses more on creating a skillful rendition of the OST, by playing with different timbres in the solo parts of the performance, before demonstrating the group’s strength as a team in their ability to create number of aurally pleasing harmonies as the song reaches its highlights. The performance is one that brings something new to the song, and if you are an OST fan, I would also recommend you give the other performances from that episode a try too.

Mamamoo’s “Taller than You”, KBS Yoo Hui-yeol’s Sketchbook, September 2, 2016

Mamamoo are undeniably amazing performers, and this rock version of “Taller than You” is only one of the many examples. Although I’m not a fan of this rendition of their track in particular, their collaboration with the Sketchbook live band in pulling it off is still noteworthy nevertheless. In addition, the members appear to have some military theme going on with their outfits during this appearance, and the coordination of their performance with this concept is also interesting to watch. Other highlights of the performance include Solar imitating the recently famous line from the horror movie The Wailing, and some shy dabbing in the bridge.

(YouTube [1] [2] [3], Image via KBS)