Just days before the finale of girl group survival show Girls Planet 999, Mnet has revealed the current interim Top 9 ranking—and viewers are shocked by how much it’s changed.
On October 15, Girls Planet 999 held its semi-final round, which saw just 18 contestants survive to the finale. The episode also brought with it a new Top 9 ranking: Shen Xiaoting in 1st place, Kim Dayeon in 2nd place, Sakamoto Mashiro in 3rd place,
Ezaki Hikaru in 4th place, CLC‘s Choi Yujin in 5th place, Kawaguchi Yurina in 6th place,
Nonaka Shana in 7th place, Fu Yaning in 8th place, and Seo Youngeun in 9th place.
That meant just three Korean contestants had made it to the Top 9, with the remaining split being two trainees from C-Group and four from J-Group. However, at the end of the semi-final episode, Mnet announced a new voting system for the finale.
While viewers were previously made to vote for at least one contestant each from all three groups (Korean, Chinese, and Japanese), viewers can now only vote for one contestant regardless of which group they’re in.
Since the votes are weighted so 50% of the total score comes from Korean votes and the remaining half comes from all global territories combined, many had already predicted that this new voting system would see a lot more Korean trainees make it to the Top 9. However, few were prepared for the interim results revealed on October 18, just four days before the finale. As of now, the current Top 9 ranking is as follows:
9. Su Ruiqi (C-Group)
8. Guinn Myah (K-Group)
7. Kim Suyeon (K-Group)
6. Kang Yeseo (K-Group)
5. Huening Bahiyyih (K-Group)
4. Seo Youngeun (K-Group)
3. Kim Dayeon (K-Group)
2. Choi Yujin (K-Group)
1. Kim Chaehyun (K-Group)
Shockingly, this turns the previous ranking’s group split on its head, with a staggering eight out of nine Top 9 contestants being Korean trainees. In fact, there’s only one remaining Korean contestant on the show who didn’t make it into the Top 9: Cherry Bullet‘s Kim Bora.
Su Ruiqi, who has a very dedicated fanbase from her time on previous survival shows, moved up one place from her ranking of 10th in the semi-finals. Meanwhile, all the C-Group and J-Group contestants who made it into Top 9 in the last episode have fallen in rank:
C-Group’s Fu Yaning fell from 9th place to 10th place.
J-Group’s Nonaka Shana fell from 7th place to 15th place.
J-Group’s Kawaguchi Yurina fell from 6th place to 13th place.
J-Group’s Ezaki Hikaru fell from 5th place to 12th place.
J-Group’s Sakamoto Mashiro fell from 3rd place to 14th place.
And, perhaps most shockingly, C-Group’s Shen Xiaoting fell from three weeks at 1st place all the way to 16th place out of 18 contestants.
In turn, many K-Group contestants saw a dramatic rise in votes. Guinn Myah rose 17 places in the ranking, Kim Suyeon rose 10 places, Kang Yeseo rose 6 places, Huening Bahiyyih rose 8 places, and Kim Chaehyun rose 10 places. Unsurprisingly, across social media, numerous viewers were shocked to see the rankings change so significantly.
While some of these changes can be accounted for by the new voting system, many fans also think that viewer voting tactics could be having an effect. For example, with Shen Xiaoting ranking 1st for three weeks and never leaving the Top 3 since the show’s first elimination round, fans believe many have seen her as a “safe” contestant who was guaranteed to get enough votes to debut. As such, fans say, some viewers have been voting for their less popular second-favorite candidate instead.
If so, this interim ranking reveal is likely to have a major effect on how viewers are voting, which means the final lineup could mark another dramatic change in rankings. The Girls Planet 999 live finale, in which the lineup will be determined, will air on Friday, October 22, available for free viewing on Mnet’s YouTube channel and the iQIYI app.