Uncrowned Royalty: The Case For K-Pop’s Dreamcatcher on Queendom Season 2

K-Pop — Opinions

For a K-Pop competition show that highlights participant versatility, talent, and compelling storylines, Dreamcatcher could be one of Queendom Season 2’s best potential candidates.

Dreamcatcher during filming of their “Odd Eye” music video. Source: Dream Catcher Company

With Dreamcatcher still quietly working behind-the-scenes and resting for another week or so, I thought it would be a bit more fun to write a different column than the usual recap (which, in essence, involved more Dreamcatcher Instagram fun, SuA talking with her Young Street co-workers about what items were good for staying home, and Gahyeon’s upcoming birthday and vLive). Ever since MNet announced that Queendom, the competition show featuring multiple female K-Pop acts, would be returning for a second season, speculation has abounded within the K-Pop fan community about who would participate. The first season’s participants of MAMAMOO, (G)I-DLE, AOA, Park Bom, Oh My Girl, and Lovelyz created a ton of great memories and performances, so fans see an appearance on the show as a net positive for many reasons.

Queendom Season 1 Promotional Poster. Source: Soompi via Naver

While the case can be made for many talented K-Pop girl groups both new and old, my understandably biased opinion immediately turns to Dreamcatcher as a potential participant, for a variety of reasons that I think would be compelling, but which all fall under an umbrella of a storyline surrounding Dreamcatcher as “uncrowned queens” — a group that has quietly acquired a not-so-small amount of notoriety, respect, fandom, and perceived recognition from peers and companies, but who hasn’t technically notched as many (or in some cases, any) awards or wins as other groups within their sphere or years of activity. For MNet, I think Dreamcatcher provides them with a versatile, domestically underrated girl group with off-stage personality and a plotline that would help get viewers watching, and you can find my reasons below.

First, though, a couple of disclaimers:

Dreamcatcher is only one of many talented groups that could participate. My advocacy of them is in no way meant to diminish any other girl group’s case for participating. There are quite a few groups that can make somewhat similar arguments and work just as hard.

The “you must have a first music show win” requirement to join Queendom, which would normally exclude Dreamcatcher, isn’t confirmed. After research, I believe this assumption has come from two places — the fact that MNet ran “Road to Kingdom”, a pre-show for somewhat less visible boy groups to compete for a final spot in Kingdom, and that Kingdom’s introductory round asked for groups to perform a song for 100 seconds that “got them a music show win”. Formats have changed between Queendom and its male equivalent, Kingdom (and can change again), the introductory stage of Queendom had no such requirement, and in the end, MNet will change participation rules if it means it can throw a wider net of participants.

Dreamcatcher can easily continue on their current trajectory even if they don’t participate in Queendom. Should Dreamcatcher not participate in Queendom, I don’t think it should be seen as a slight or reflect poorly on anyone. All public signs show the group is currently sustainable and doing well, and if they do not commit to the massive amount of time required to participate in a competition show, they can spend that time on other activities that will work just fine for them. There are arguments against Dreamcatcher even participating — but that’s not the point of this particular article, of course.

With that said, let’s get into just a few reasons for Dreamcatcher being a compelling participant for Queendom, season 2.

Queendom’s appeal comes in part from its ability for its participants to be versatile and creative with different musical styles — a trait which Dreamcatcher’s expansive discography and cover catalog fits quite well.

A big part of why Queendom’s first season was appealing was because of the groups’ ability to change things up and adapt to different situations and musical styles, whether that was to better highlight a representative song from their discographies or in the case of the second round, to cover another group’s song and make it their own. One of my favorites from Queendom’s first season, for example, was AOA’s take on fellow participant MAMAMOO’s “Egotistic”, my favorite song in the latter’s discography.

Much of Dreamcatcher’s wheelhouse is in making and performing songs that tell a story or which have a big, expansive stage presence. Their own songs are, in many cases, performance pieces in and of themselves, with aggressive, fast-paced choreography and set pieces and props that you’d expect to see in an award show performance instead of a normal one. Combine this with a discography that not only has their signature rock-pop hybrid sound but a variety of other styles such as city pop, trap, ballad, EDM, and more, and Dreamcatcher has shown within their own discography that they are very versatile.

And as far as covering other songs, Dreamcatcher is well-accustomed to adapting to another artist’s style or in some cases, making it their own. Seventy-five “Special Clips” on the Dreamcatcher YouTube channel, consisting of the group’s covers, original non-album songs, and remixes, run the gamut of Western pop, South Korean classics, and interesting Dreamcatcher-esque takes on various songs both domestic and international. Flashes of this have also been shown in public during settings such as KCON and Immortal Songs, where original classics are turned into trademark Dreamcatcher bangers. And they’re even not above giving their own discography the same treatment, as 2021’s Crossroads “Utopia” concert showed when they remixed their own songs into different styles. If MNet is looking for a group that can do pretty much anything music and performance-wise, Dreamcatcher is a very strong candidate.


Dreamcatcher’s fun-loving energy and expanding friend network within the K-Pop artist community make them good candidates for all of the interactions that are possible between participants in Queendom.

Those unfamiliar with Dreamcatcher might find that their dark concept and serious stage presence might be something that translates into how they are off-stage, but nothing could be further from the truth. Dreamcatcher’s off-stage personalities are the day to their on-stage night, and fans know that Dreamcatcher is not only capable of acting in a completely chaotic manner (as their 2021 reality show and all of their vlog-style Dreamcatcher’s Notes display) but also spreading that chaos to friends. 2019’s promotions found Dreamcatcher and fellow girl group CLC becoming friends, and Eric Nam was impressed with and happy with interacting with Dreamcatcher during their appearance on KCON Season 2, connections which led to a a SuA/Seungyeon collaboration cover and an Eric Nam podcast appearance for Handong, Yoohyeon, and Dami. Both these situations and more show how well Dreamcatcher interacts with other artists, something that Queendom did plenty of when splitting participants from their groups for duets and mixed performance/vocal stages.


If that wasn’t enough, Dreamcatcher also possesses connections to previous contestants on Queendom, and with cameos from Queendom’s first season occurring during Kingdom, it seems like a foregone conclusion that we’d see them on Queendom season 2. The last episode of Dreamcatcher’s reality show, Dreamcatcher Mind, showed off just a couple places in which Dreamcatcher has existing friendships or connections with Queendom season 1 participants, but here’s the list:

  • Kei (Lovelyz), SuA friend, heard during Dreamcatcher Mind episode 10, appeared with Siyeon on Weekly Idol
  • Arin (Oh My Girl), Gahyeon’s long-time friend, heard during Dreamcatcher Mind episode 10, multiple interactions/references (example)
  • Yuqi ((G)I-DLE), SuA friend, multiple interactions/references (example)
  • Moonbyul (MAMAMOO), two Dreamcatcher appearances on Moonbyul’s Studio Moon Night on Naver NOW.

While association with season 1 participants might not be a guarantee or help Dreamcatcher get into Queendom season 2, it’s nevertheless a decent number of social connections to prior artists, but more importantly, how far Dreamcatcher’s friend network has extended. You don’t have this many friends in the industry if you’re not seen as easy to get along with, and this certainly lends itself to ensuring Dreamcatcher will be fun and entertaining on camera when talking with other groups’ members. One of the best parts of Queendom was that the various groups, though competing, were always cheering each other’s performances and being supportive, and it would be nice to see that happen with Dreamcatcher.


Simply put, the storyline Dreamcatcher potentially could follow as part of Queendom writes itself.

Part of the appeal of competition-style shows in South Korea is the ability for such shows to showcase or portray a “story” for participants as a means to increase emotional or personal investment, or display a unique identity for each set of participants. Concerns about the production of this portrayal and how it makes it to TV aside, Dreamcatcher’s history and work throughout the years positions them very well to be shown to have a plotline to follow for Queendom. In the first season of Queendom, you had many of these stories, from Park Bom, the lone soloist of the contest and former 2NE1 member looking to prove herself, MAMAMOO the veteran group determined to show they deserved their spot as one of K-Pop’s most vocally talented and popular quartets, (G)I-DLE the up-and-coming group determined to prove their talent against more veteran groups, and more.

The appeal of Dreamcatcher’s potential presented story as what I would call the “Uncrowned Queens” increases when you take into account things such as:

  • They are a re-debuted girl group who pivoted to a riskier, non-traditional concept after being lost in the shuffle doing what everyone else was doing.
  • They built their brand on non-standard revenue streams such as international touring, a fanbase spanning multiple countries, and careful financial investment resulting in gradual growth to sustainability.
  • They have largely been K-Pop’s underdog story, only in the last two or three years seeming to come into their own and garner a little more recognition domestically, a testament to their resilience.
  • They do not have a music show win in five years of activity and continue to have challenges digitally charting consistently in South Korea, a function in part of all of the above and through no one’s fault.
  • Despite all of this, they currently occupy a respected place in the K-Pop industry and are seen, at least by many fans and some peers, as the girl group first thought of when looking for alternate concepts and songs from the norm.

If MNet wanted to have groups with a long, winding road that had something to prove and who had a story and history of determined resilience to get behind, they’d have few better candidates than Dreamcatcher. The music show-winless, yet talented group who has toiled for years looking for that first bit of accolade on a major show, and who could get it on a massive stage against other great girl groups basically writes itself into many competition show productions. So long as MNet and Dreamcatcher Company can ensure that there is a mutually agreed set of standards by which the group can participate and be portrayed well in this “Uncrowned Queens” role, I would be all for it — and I have a feeling so would many of the show’s viewers.

Whether or not Dreamcatcher participates on MNet’s Queendom is ultimately up to Dreamcatcher Company and to MNet, but if a 2020 interview is to be believed the group themselves would jump at this opportunity. The benefits are potentially pretty good for the group, and I want to make it clear that they don’t actually have to win to have it be positive for them. Oh My Girl’s visibility and sales, for example, increased pretty decently after this, propelling them to a higher level of popularity and perception on the homefront. The value of being able to network with fellow groups, get more eyes on them in South Korea, and show off their immense and varied talent is pretty high. But either way, Dreamcatcher is already a group that I believe has carved out a respectable place in the K-Pop industry, and no matter what happens in the future, nothing can take that away from them.

Dreamcatcher takes a more fun, relaxed group photo during “Odd Eye” Music Video filming. Source: Dream Catcher Company

Will we see Dreamcatcher in Queendom Season 2? Is it a good idea for them to participate? You can certainly let me know in the comments, but as always, feel free to clap, follow, and signal boost if you liked what I wrote. With the recent knowledge that I have achieved Top Writer status in K-Pop on Medium, I’m humbled by everyone’s support to get me there, and hope you can look forward to more content in the future. I’ll see you here at the same time next week as we go back to our regularly-scheduled Dreamcatcher news/events recap!