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Published on July 12th, 2012 | by dinoseoul

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INFINITE Ranking King Episode 5 Recap






When you pit seven boys together in a bid to get them to flex their innermost sporty selves in the form of an idol-version Olympics… only ego-fuelled chaos can ensue, which is a lot of what we get from this episode. It seems like the members are also aware of what their own strengths are, because as the rankings change each week depending on the trait they’re based on, we start to see a lot of shifts in positions.

This episode is hilarious from where it picks off in episode four after fan votes for Strength King were done, because we get to see a whole lot more of played-up sniggering and jabbing among the members as they try to work (or cheat) their way up to snagging the number one spot. Sigh, can we love these boys any less?

EPISODE 5 RECAP

We pick up from where we left off last week, and the commentators announce that it’s Infinite Olympics day (also known as their Strength King contest). The competition for the first medal is revealed by a drop-down banner on the gym’s stage. It’s a game of concentration, control and speed – using a pair of chopsticks to move as many black beans as possible from one bowl to the other in one minute.

The members groan in mock protest, but you can see them mentally gearing up for the challenge even as they are a little taken aback at the toned down activity. Woohyun childishly grouses, “We want an active game! We’re in a large setting… doesn’t this make sense?” while Sunggyu and Sungyeol look on quizzically. Aww, the poor fella just wants to show off his manliness as much as possible.

The seven boys quickly get down to practicing their chopstick-welding skills before the game officially starts, and we get a close-up of each member in mock concentration… or not, because the camera seems bent on killing us with close-ups of Myungsoo making dumb faces at the camera, then cheekily proving he knows how to use his chopsticks well (the ends don’t cross).

Meanwhile, Sunggyu is deeply focused, the seventh place ranking he received, a looming cloud over his head.

As the time to start quickly approaches, the tension and nervousness in the air is apparent. Hoya raises his hand: “Please give me a relaxant!” while Sungyeol insists that he’s unable to use his chopsticks because his hands won’t stop sweating. LOL.

And… they’re off! The stopwatch starts ticking, and the members get off to a slow, rhythmic start. You can really see the competing styles of the members here, because while Myungsoo is seemingly relaxed, you can almost see Woohyun and Sunggyu’s sanity going into overtime as they attempt to bring over as many beans as possible. In the meantime, Hoya is clumsily flinging the odd bean onto the table.

All the other boys seem to be doing pretty well though, and there’s a collective sigh of relief and angst when the whistle goes off signaling the competition’s end. We see Hoya falling to the floor, and the others wonder if it’s in glee.

It turns out that it’s in exasperation instead, and we get an embarrassing close-up of the measly number of beans Infinite’s main dancer has managed to get into his bowl.

The hosts add on to his frustration, gleefully adding that Hoya was the viewers’ number one pick for the week’s ‘Strength Idol’ ranking, but he’s clearly in last place here.

The time comes for the results to be announced, but while everyone gets ready to count their number of beans, Sungjong steps out to complain, “Fouls aren’t allowed right? When no one was looking, Sunggyu took a bean from me and put it in his dish.” It sounds like a silly attempt at thwarting leader’s chances of winning, but we see Sunggyu suspiciously shrugging in response.

“What kind of leader is this?! Disqualified!” The members chime together in unison, probably more energised about the fact that they’re eliminating competition. Sunggyu bursts out in defense, saying he was just curious and wanted to look at the beans in maknae’s bowl. Obviously, no one believes him. (“Every bean is the same! Why did you want to look at it?”)

Our dishonest leader refuses to own up, and instead stares blankly ahead: “I can’t remember!”

Cut to a recorded clip pre-contest where the boys were busily practising their bean-picking skills. True enough, Sunggyu seems a little too interested in Sungjong’s dish, and the camera picks up on him sneaking a bean in his palm and dropping it into his own bowl when Sungjong wasn’t looking. Sneaky.

So Sunggyu gets disqualified (much to his chagrin), and the rest of the boys get counting. Obviously, Hoya is the first to finish, and he chalks up a grand total of 18 beans. The next few results are as follows:

Dongwoo: 21 beans

Myungsoo: 24 beans

Sungyeol: 28 beans

Sungjong: 29 beans

The commentators call out for anyone with a higher number than Sungjong, and Woohyun proudly looks up from his bowl and exclaims, “I’ve still got some left!” The members look on enviously as Woohyun totals up his final amount. “35!”

And so Woohyun wins the first round of the Infinite Olympics. The rankings for round one are displayed, with Woohyun sailing up from his number two ranking and Hoya mortifyingly dropping from number one to seven.

Break time! Encouraged by his first place win, Woohyun tries to earnestly tell everyone not to feel tired and to have strength. Oh Woohyun, let’s see what you’ll have to say if you’re not on top of the game.

Meanwhile, Sunggyu is desperately trying to clear his name to a doubtful Hoya and Myungsoo, insisting he really didn’t touch Sungjong’s beans. Woohyun steps in and chirps, “All criminals say they didn’t know it was a crime!” Touché.

Unfazed, Sunggyu crouches beside a sitting Myungsoo and grabs his arm, “Myungsoo, you believe me right?” but the latter simply stalks off in disdain. Annoyed by his complete and utter lack of support and faith from the members (and for good reason too), Sunggyu attempts a different tactic to restore his pride, “Wait and see. I’ll do so well that I’ll make all of you guys miserable.”

The rest guffaw amongst themselves, and Woohyun gives a delusional Sunggyu a friendly pat on the back as though he’s from the loony bin and advises, “Hyung, please. Don’t do any more dirty acts.” HA.

The second game is about to be announced, and it’s a… Staring Contest! The members are obviously tickled by this, and I’m not blaming them. With the uproarious antics they get up to, how is it even possible they manage seconds of staring intently at each other’s faces?

The game’s rules are simple: Each member pair up and do a stare-off and the first person to blink loses. After 30 seconds, the boys are allowed to disturb the other player to increase their chances of winning, but no touching is allowed. Oh boy, this sounds like fun.

But this is a game advantageous to those with bigger eyes, and Sunggyu immediately retracts at the realisation that he has tiny ones. Looks like today just isn’t his day, is it? A too-helpful Hoya raises his hand again and solemnly announces, “You can’t tell if Sunggyu’s eyes are closed or not!”

Nonetheless, the game must go on, and the boys pick lots to see who their partner will be.

First up, Myungsoo and Dongwoo take center stage, and Woohyun (who automatically advances to the semi finals of the game because of his first round win) annoyingly pipes up again, “Isn’t there a different place for this game?” The hosts placate him by saying that the yellow line on the floor is the dividing mark, and that non-players are not supposed to cross the line if they’re not in the game.

Round one… Start! Myungsoo and Dongwoo start out coolly but both break out into a smirk right after – a shot at throwing their opponent off. When it doesn’t seem to work, Myungsoo widens his eyes slightly and stares pointedly at Dongwoo… only to blink in the process. Dongwoo wins, moving him up to the semi finals.

Next up is our habitual liar of the day Sunggyu versus our fallen idol Hoya, and the latter breaks out into a grin at the sight of his hyung’s face, “It’s too funny! Why is this so funny?” While Sunggyu plays up the situation to his advantage by flirtatiously blinking rapidly. The others debate on whether this match might result in a surprise twist.

Round two starts and Sunggyu is in full game mode, his eyes widened as far as they will go. Hoya stares back and barely a second later, states that Sunggyu has already blinked… and is even crying. But the reality is that his eyes are stinging from trying to keep them open as long as possible. Oh well, Hoya wins!

The third match is my personal favourite, because it’s none other than choding Sungyeol and always-hilarious Sungjong. Before Woohyun has even removed his hand (the barrier between both competitors’ eyes) to signal the start of the game, Sungyeol has already plastered a huge smile on his face. This kid is forever ready for war! The other members take one look at his face and burst into laughter – no one wants to be the one tolerating Sungyeol.

The game restarts itself and this time, both members are expressionless (but why does Sungyeol crack me up still?). This doesn’t last long, because Sungyeol starts his series of a million faces.

It’s a fierce battle and the most interesting of the lot so far, because the pair are the only ones bothering to move their eyes/facial expressions. It’s an eye-rolling fest, until Sungyeol changes his strategy and makes the most RIDICULOUS FACE, followed by a couple more.

It’s his third try that results in him blinking while he scrunches up his face and flares his nostrils at a bemused but steady Sungjong. He has obviously already lost, but the on-lookers happily let him continue because the show is thoroughly entertaining for them (Myungsoo is on the floor in laughter).

I guess it’s a good thing that Sungjong is his partner, because the youngest member is going strong despite his crazed opponents’ numerous tries to get him out. Both members battle it out till the last moment and everyone looks on with bated breath… and Sungyeol gives up. Sungjong therefore wins the coveted crown of the duo!

Round two of the Staring Contest commences, and this time it’s between first two finalists Hoya and Dongwoo. The rules have switched up a bit for this round, and opponents are able to start their interference ten seconds into the game.

Both remain calm for exactly ten seconds…and then Hoya starts jiggling on the spot before both start blowing directly into each other’s eyes. Hoya swiftly endures it but Dongwoo blinks immediately at the sudden attack. Just like that, Hoya moves up to the final round. Looks like he really is determined to crawl back up to number one and you can’t help but cheer him on because he’s been earnestly competing.

Next up is Sungjong and Woohyun, and the current first place holder is intimidated at how good Sungjong is at controlling his facial expressions. Woohyun viciously attacks Sungjong by repeatedly blowing wind into his eyes, but convulses violently on the spot from the burning effects he’s receiving on his own without any disturbance from Sungjong.

Woohyun holds out for as long as he can (“Don’t fall out, my pride!”) but succumbs with a dramatic screech. Sungjong calmly walks away, winner and still reigning. I love his composure in this game because he’s really showing off his prowess. Who’s going to bully you now?

The current scores have our WooWoo couple battling it out for third and fourth place, and Dongwoo confidently boasts, “I don’t even need 10 seconds to win. Let’s start right away then!” Woohyun jumps in with matched fervor, and I’m beginning to think he forgot that minutes ago he was having a mini seizure from being unable to keep his eyes open.

The rules abruptly change again (as they usually do in idol competitions) and now both sides are able to attack whenever they like. Fun. The boys launch into action: Dongwoo with his perverse stare and Woohyun once again blowing relentlessly in his rival’s face. Does Dongwoo resist?

Unfortunately…no, and Woohyun smugly skips away with third place.

Now it’s time to decide our first place winner, and it’s none other than Hoya and Sungjong up for the title. Both have shown commendable effort in previous rounds, and everyone’s keen to know who the final victor is.

Hoya wildly attacks with claps and wind-blowing, but Sungjong takes it all in like a man. The others marvel at his complete nonchalance even with the brutal attacks, when he barely tries to get Hoya out of the game. The seconds tick by, and the other members ask that first place be given to both of them because of their persistence.

Just like that, first place goes to the unyielding duo, and a lurking Sunggyu once again creeps up to Woohyun, who’s busily examining his eyes in a hand-held mirror. “How did you do it? Is it all mental?” Woohyun unperturbedly says yes, and an impressed Sunggyu walks up to the camera and whispers, “he’s tough! Tough!” I guess you’re regretting that dirty move now, huh?

And so, round two of the Infinite Olympics is over, and with that a new game is revealed. This time it’s a Juice Sucking contest, where the members have to drink as much juice as possible through a long straw (arranged to look like Infinite’s logo) in one minute. It’s a game that is said to be easier for the better vocalists of the group due to a supposed larger lung capacity, so I’m keen to see how Woohyun and Sunggyu measure against the others.

Hoya’s first to challenge – and he is a pretty faster drinker. When he’s done, his sticker caricature is stuck on the level of juice he’s drunk till, and the next contender takes his turn.

Woohyun’s next, and as expected, the commentators remind him that it is going to be humiliating if he loses, given that he’s one of the main vocalists of Infinite. He does a reasonable job, but is stuck on the same juice line as Hoya. Dongwoo, who’s third to attempt, is a lot slower than both of them, getting placed higher on the juice line.

Our resident goofball is up…and he lies on the ground to begin his fervent sucking while Dongwoo helpfully tilts the board with the straw attached on it, thinking it’ll make the juice move down faster. Oh really, you two?

The result? Sungyeol getting juice all over his face and into his nose, and despite his smartass trick, only placing around the same line as Hoya and Woohyun. Sigh. I have no words.

Myungsoo’s just the opposite of crazy Sungyeol, and he sits cross-legged with his eyes closed as he attempts – earning him a cool spot below the others for the amount he’s drunk. Now that’s how it’s done. Sungjong does well too, snagging a spot just a little below Myungsoo’s. The boy’s really on a row today.

It’s finally Sunggyu’s turn, and the commentators observe that after he’s done this ‘disgusting game can be over’, reminding him that he’s the last to use the straw after all the others have relentlessly sucked-chewed on it. Not the most glamourous thing in the world for sure, but I know a good number of fan girls who would love to be in your position, Sunggyu.

The game starts and everyone is immediately in awe at the breakneck speed of the juice going down, quickly passing everyone else’s. An Oscar-worthy flashback of leader receiving his seventh place title and being called “Gul-Gyu” is played amidst dramatic music, and when it cuts back to the competition we see just how much he’s downed.

The triumphant music continues to play as the commentators ask him how he feels on his win, and he gallantly conducts his speech, “I put a lot of effort into sucking the juice in. Since I’m also Infinite’s main vocal, I have confidence in my lung capacity.”

The current ranking for the third game goes like this:

First place: Sunggyu

Second place: Sungjong

Third place: Myungsoo

Fourth place: everyone else

There’s a mid-way point medal count too, and we see that Woohyun, Hoya, Sungjong and Sunggyu have gotten first place at least once, while the rest are still lacking a shiny gold award.

Dongwoo tells everyone that because he’s curious, he’s going to personally pull the next banner down. He excitedly dashes toward the stage as the others watch, but not before muttering that he’s ‘short though’. LOL I don’t want to be mean, but they do have a point – boy is the shortest member in the group. Dongwoo reaches the stage to discover that a string is attached to each banner and the others (particularly Sunggyu) acknowledge this, knowing it’ll be easy for him to unveil the banner without jumping. Hee.

Dongwoo yanks the string and…it falls off the banner. Annoyed moans all around. “Really Dongwoo?” The members chastise, as he stumbles back in confusion. Not to worry though, because a second later the banner falls anyway – the next game’s Block Stacking!

The game is just like a life-sized Jenga, where contestants have to pull out a block at a time without toppling the entire stack. When a block is touched, the player has no choice but to take it away – he is not allowed to change a block to remove. Because there are seven members, the Infinite members are to be divided into two groups with a ratio 3:4. Being the top two in the Juice Sucking game, our leader and maknae get dibs on who they want on their team.

There’s a catch though, because the winning team has to compete with each other for first place. This means that both boys have to strategically pick members that would aid them in winning against the opposite team, but be easy to beat when it comes to scoring the overall title.

Newly crowned first place Sunggyu’s ego has been steadily restoring, and the commentators note how he’s ‘overflowing with enthusiasm’. Talk about bouncing back after a fall. Sunggyu checks: “If I win, I have to fight with that person later right?” The hosts confirm this, saying that if he picks too strong a team member, he might just lose to him after that.

Of course, Sunggyu takes this all in and voices his thoughts blatantly, “I need to pick team members who are so-so!” His eyes fall on…Myungsoo, who immediately retorts, “Why are you looking at me?”

Everyone’s nervous – all except Dongwoo who’s more than happy to join the team and is sincerely raising his hand. Myungsoo gets picked anyway, and when Sunggyu is asked whether his choice was based on Myungsoo’s strength or easy-to-beat factor, leader hyung obviously chirrups, “when we win, Myungsoo is someone I can beat!”

It’s Sungjong’s turn to pick, and he doesn’t even have time to get a line in before Sungyeol steps in and volunteers himself. “I’ll be easy to beat!” Sungjong considers…and picks Woohyun instead, saying, “Woohyun looks strong on the outside, but he has many flaws on the inside.” I LOVE how they’re brazenly picking their members and even proudly explaining their choice, when in fact they’re all selected for their likelihood of being ousted eventually.

The teams are decided (rock-paper-scissors was played to decide which team would get the extra member) as:

Maknae team: Sungjong-Hoya-Woohyun

Leader team: Sunggyu-Myungsoo-Sungyeol-Dongwoo

Leader team goes first, and Sungyeol is player number one. Right off the bat, Sunggyu warns him about not overdoing things, but he insists that messing up the game is part of the fun (haha, he would!) and fearlessly delivers a hard smack to one of the blocks – sending it sailing cleanly out of the stack.

Sungyeol hurrahs in joy, “I’m a man!” He goes on to add (complete with a mock demonstration), “Later on, I’m going to jump up and kick it off!” Er, that might just be a little bit too ambitious.

Hoya’s next from the opposing team, and he does a mini show of hopping around from side to side while the others watch expectantly…then chickens out at the last moment and carefully eases his chosen block out of the stack. This takes him forever, and the stack even slightly shifts. The hosts: “He needs to man up! This is only the second block.” Sad reality, but I totally agree. Heh. Hoya finally removes it, and it’s Sunggyu’s team’s move once more…

…and this is where Dongwoo starts to erupt in excitement. He’s practically bouncing as he chants, “me, me, me, me…” This forces Sunggyu to grab his head and give him a pointed stare, and proceeds to pick Myungsoo instead.

“No! Why? It should be me!” Our dino boy wails. Not wanting to stay out of the action for long, he starts telling Myungsoo which block to remove, and what kind of position he should be in as he demonstrates yanking it out.

Myungsoo pulls the block out without breaking a sweat and their team celebrates. At this point, Dongwoo dumbly blurts out in his enthusiasm, “Sunjunjimyung!” (TV commercial) when he actually meant “Sungyunjimyung!” (I knew it) Excuse me while I continue to roll on the floor in laughter.

It seems like Sungjong’s team is less than amused, because they’re too absorbed in discussing which block to remove. At ease when it’s not their turn, the other team bothers incessantly: “Are you an interior designer? Just hurry up and pick one!”

Woohyun gets the next block out, followed by a supposed Dongwoo – who backs out at the last minute after he takes a look at the flailing shape of the stack while Sungyeol innocently touches a block with his foot. Oops. This means that they need to remove it, and at the last minute Dongwoo swiftly pulls it out of the stack without hesitation.

Their joy doesn’t last for long – though Dongwoo and Sungyeol smugly do a couple of ‘Paradise’ hip thrusts at the stack hoping it’ll fall down when their opponents attempt – because Sungjong miraculously finds an opening in the unstable stack (Myungsoo: It’s like the Leaning Tower of Pisa!”) and manages to pass the round.

Everyone’s completely amazed at Sungjong’s luck, but Sunggyu’s team is in severe panic mode. To make things worse, it’s leader’s turn to remove a block, and he’s practically sweating buckets in a corner. To rattle his nerves a little more, the commentators add: “If Sunggyu fails here, his team will blame him.”

Sunggyu circles the stack in uncertainty, at a complete loss, while Hoya rubs salt into his wound, “That’s why he’s called Loser Gyu!”

He finally grabs a block and starts to pull – it’s steady at the start…and then completely falls. The opposing team goes into full-on celebration mode while the captions on the screen read: ‘Getting closer and closer back to his Loser Gyu image.”

There’s no time for Sunggyu’s team to start their squabbling though, because more importantly, it’s affirmative that Sungjong’s team will be the winners of the gold, silver and bronze medals.

The remaining team gets down to deciding their winner. Relaxed that they are no longer in the game, Sunggyu’s team takes to supporting them instead (aww) and we get cute scenes of the boys goofing around.

The first inter-group game finally ends with Woohyun getting the bronze medal, and our ultimate two Sungjong and Hoya go all-out for the gold.

The rules are now that both boys are allowed to take out as many blocks as they want during their turn – and Sungjong has the Infinite audience eating out of his palm as he casually removes block after block. It is mightily impressive, but he eventually causes the tumbling of blocks and Hoya cinches his second gold medal.

The fourth game score chart:

First place: Hoya

Second place: Sungjong

Third place: Woohyun

Fourth place: everyone else

Time for the next game! Dongwoo’s already on stage to uncover the next banner, which falls to the ground after he’s touched it. The members groan: “Whatever you touch – you break!”

The fifth game is a Free Throw Battle, where the members will take turns according to their fan-voted rank and try to make the most baskets in 100 seconds at a game of basketball – kind of like the game at arcades, except this is a lot more fun. Who would pass up a chance to see their Infinite oppas at a slam-dunk showdown, huh?

Everyone starts wondering whether there’s any member who has an advantage. The tallest member, perhaps? That has to be Sungyeol, and the commentators ask if he’s ever played basketball before.

Of course, our choding is not one to pass up an opportunity to be praised, and he asserts that he was an ace when he was young. The commentators: “How young?” Sungyeol contemplates. “Six or seven maybe?” HAHA.

Hoya starts the Free Throw battle and dunks 14 balls, albeit at a really slow pace. Woohyun’s not far behind, with 12 shots. Our favourite oddball is up next, and he’s asked, “TV commercial, how many do you think you’ll make?” Dongwoo grins: “I really think I’ll make 20.” He proceeds to giggle cheekily.

He starts his turn, but unlike tossing the balls in the normal way, he attempts to bounce them off the gym’s floor. They work in his favour, all his bounce shots get in! But he unfortunately only shoots eight hoops.

Sungyeol’s endeavour has him making 11 baskets, while Infinite’s visual Myungsoo makes a measly four. There there, at least God is fair, right?

The next member is who I really want to see play basketball – our silky-haired Sungjong, who proclaims he’s never played basketball in his life. Why am I not surprised?

He goes on to say that he does badminton and soccer instead, but our dear Hoya obligingly offers his input for the nth time: “He’s good at beach volleyball!” Eee Hoya I just want to squeeze you, why are you so adorable! And yes, I can totally imagine a Sungjong-beach volleyball-Bubble Pop combination.

He makes zero baskets, although he somehow manages to hit the crew’s cameras fixed on atop the hoop. Looks like his winning streak is officially over.

Sunggyu takes centre court and starts with booming confidence. We guess that’s a good thing though, since he’s already professed he isn’t a sports guru. He wraps up the fourth round with five baskets.

The fifth game score chart:

First place: Hoya with 14 baskets (He’s really living up to his fan-voted rank!)

Second place: Woohyun with 12 baskets

Third place: Sunggyeol with 11 baskets

Fourth place: Dongwoo with 8 baskets

Fifth place: Sunggyu with 5 baskets

Sixth place: Myungsoo with 4 baskets

Seventh place: Sungjong with 0 baskets

It’s time for the final event, which automatically awards three gold medals to the winner. The commentators: “All shows are like this now, right? Everyone works hard and then the last event decides the winner…” That’s idol sports variety for you.

To determine who would get the three gold medals, the members are put to the test via a Math Running test. Participants have to race by running to grab a pogo stick, before hopping on it to a math checkpoint to answer a mathematical problem that was flashed to them the moment they reached their pogo stick. The first person to solve the problem and run back to the starting line wins.

Sounds easy enough – except I’m not one to juggle math and pogo stick-hopping at the same time, and it seems like neither are most of our boys.

Round one has Dongwoo, Sunggyu and Woohyun taking part (Hoya is automatically in the finals again due to his previous win). All seems to go fine until they reach their pogo stick and look up to see their math problem – what is 28 x 28? Woohyun: “Why is it so hard?” The members stop momentarily in confusion as they try to work out the problem sum. Meanwhile, the other members who are watching are trying to solve it as well (the answer is 784).

And…Dongwoo finally goes first! He hops eagerly to the checkpoint, then leans over and whispers: “364.” Woohyun’s up next: “196.” Sunggyu is up next, but as he opens his mouth to answer, he realises he’s already forgotten the question. LOL.

Everyone fails and walk back to the middle point again to get another question. This time, it’s much easier – 100 x 100 x 100. It’s an easy problem for people who are handy with numbers, because all they have to do is calculate the appropriate number of zeros.

Dongwoo charges forward: “One billion!” The answer checker bursts into laughter and he jogs back in dismay. “Why! What is it?” Don’t worry Dongwoo, I didn’t actually know the answer either.

Never one to give up an opportunity, Sunggyu’s right behind with the right answer: “One million.”

The next three members to challenge are Sungjong, Myungsoo and Sungyeol – a team that looks remotely promising. Their math question: 4/2 x 2. Now this, even I know. But can they figure it out without getting their heads in a jumble?

With his earnest hopping, Sungyeol looks like he’s about to reach the math checkpoint first, except in the next moment he figures out the answer and gets off his pogo stick instead to run there. Have we all forgotten the rules around here?

An overly hyped up Sungyeol is reminded that he needs his stick, and Myungsoo catches up in time to answer correctly. The answer’s 4!

He cartwheels back in glee and enters the finals with Sunggyu and Hoya. At this point I’m really glad Myungsoo is in the running because of his complete lack of activity in the previous rounds – our flower boy needs to exercise a bit of his skills!

We get a mini interview with the contestants on how they feel about the competition. Hands on hips, Sunggyu arrogantly pronounces, “I think this will be an obvious result. I will win over Hoya.” Something tells me he’s smarting just that little bit over our golden boy’s glorious wins after his less-than-satisfactory result at the bean-moving game.

While Sunggyu is busily giving Hoya a thumbs-down and making silly faces at him (why is he leader again?), Myungsoo’s calmly standing at the side, feathers unruffled. The commentators: “What do you think about the finals?” Myungsoo replies, “No matter how fast you are, you need to be able to solve the question correctly. That’s why I’ll do well.” Atta boy!

And the question is…15 x 4 divided by 2! Ooh, multiplication and division in one problem, looks like this needs a bit more brain work. Who’ll get this right first?

Looks like there is no competition, Myungsoo reaches the table first (Sunggyu’s struggling to balance on his pogo stick) and confidently answers: “15!”

Woohoo, we have a winner! And I’m glad we got an interesting twist at the end, because I honestly thought that Hoya was going to run in and snag another gold. Or three, to be exact. While Myungsoo celebrates with the remaining members, Hoya and Sunggyu keep going till the end, although Sunggyu takes about forever to reach the math checkpoint. Oh dear, at least he’s persistent.

The sixth game’s score chart:

First place: Myungsoo

Second place: Hoya

Third place: Sunggyu

Fourth place: everyone else

All the games are completed, and it’s time for an awards ceremony – complete with a tiny winners’ podium depicting first, second and third place. D’aww so cute. The results are mostly predictable, and for his huge improvement in the day’s games (well, most of the time), Sungjong gets third place, which is a huge jump from his initial sixth.

Runner-up goes to…Myungsoo! Who had zero gold medals throughout the games despite managing to stay somewhere in the middle for most of them. The last game was a big plus, and he happily accepts his win.

The first place title of Strength King is awarded to none other than Hoya. The members seem to expect this and clap for him, who’s a surprisingly startled winner. “Me? Really?” He verifies, wide-eyed. How is it he’s so shocked when he won in almost every game, I will never understand.

He is sincerely grateful for his win though, and sums up his feelings through a mini winner’s speech: “The fans expected me to be in first place, so it felt like a promise to me and I kept that promise. It feels like I killed two birds with one stone. Thank you.”

And with that, we see a shift in the Strength King rankings. Some are quite surprising, like Sungjong and Myungsoo who climbed their way to the second and third place rankings, while Sungyeol (initially ranked fourth) and Woohyun (initially ranked second) dropped two places. Sunggyu (initially ranked last) managed to crawl up to place fifth, but poor Dongwoo’s in last place when primarily started out at third. Hehe.

The boys cheerfully promise to come back even better and stronger for the next Infinite Olympics. “We’ll see you again in four years!” Sungyeol promises. Woohyun adds, “for four years, I’ll practice my bean-moving skills!” But shouldn’t that be Hoya’s promise? Sungyeol continues: “For four years, I’ll practice staring contests!”

Comments:

I thought the games played in this episode were fine given the lack of space they had, but I particularly enjoyed the Staring Contest for the dynamics it brought out in all the members. It’s a relatively simple game, but it easily commands the funniest moments. Major props to Sungyeol for going all the way with his 101 faces – I will never get enough of his side-splitting stunts.

Also, can I just say that I was really impressed by Sungjong in this episode? He did a really good job during the previous mission episode for staying in the game for a good amount of time, but everyone still wrote him off as the innocent one who will never make his way to the top so long as it’s a game involving brains or brawn. How was it possible to not cheer for him when he smoothly countered all the sneaky members’ moves during the Staring Contest, and had even big bully Sunggyu ooh-ing and ahh-ing over his fearless moves during the Block Stacking round?

It looks like the “Leader Gul-Gyu” title is here to stay for awhile, although our ever unrelenting old man managed to ditch his last place ranking at the 11th hour. I’ll forever be amused at how the members make fun of him and how he constantly tries to prove everyone otherwise, but still resorts to underhand methods to get him ahead.

That said, I’m beginning to wonder how many titles the producers can come up with for future episodes, because you can tell they’re slowly getting stretched for ideas. The first two episodes of Ranking King were bland, but I’ve really enjoyed the progress since then. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that the members’ enthusiasm and candidness will be able to pull through this entire series if near-future activities won’t be able to hold up on their own.

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Dinoseoul is a Korean-entertainment website based in Singapore. It covers a wide variety of topics ranging from music reviews, film recaps, event coverage as well as interesting news that you likely won’t find elsewhere.



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