The Debut: Dream Academy has arrived.
The first episode of the competition series aired on Friday (Sept. 1) featured all 20 contestants as they watched a conversation between HYBE Chairman Bang Si-Hyuk and Interscope Geffen A&M Records CEO John Janick, as they give advice on what it takes to succeed in a girl group. “If you don’t love music, you won’t succeed,” he explains.
Janick added, “I feel like to be a successful part of this group, it’s going to require a huge amount of creativity and passion. I think with every artist, that’s what we’re looking for.”
The duo then ran down the first mission of the competition series, a showcase that aims to “level up your skills as a global girl group,” in which the contestants are split into two dance teams and two vocal teams. The mission will result in two eliminations. “Team members are crucial business partners, and it’s important to know proper work etiquette with your business partner,” Bang Si-Hyuk explained.
The executives then explained the two other missions of the series. According to an explainer also shared to Dream Academy‘s YouTube page, in the team mission, the contestants will head to Korea to compete before another series of eliminations. The artistry mission will test the contestant’s “ability to pull off unique concepts” before the final girl group is revealed at the live finale on Nov. 17.
Finally, the girls were split into their teams. The first dance team, which will be performing BLACKPINK’s “Pink Venom,” features Daniela, Megan, UA, Adéla and Hinari. The second dance team, which will be performing NewJeans’ “OMG,” features Emily, Ezrela, Marquise, Yoonchae and Mei. The first vocal team, which will be performing a mashup of Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own” and Billie Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever,” features Karlee, Lexie, Iliya, Brooklyn and Manon. The second vocal team, which will be performing Paramore’s “Still Into You,” features Sophia, Lara, Celeste, Samara and Nayoung.
The diverse group of young women were selected from more than 120,000 submissions after HYBE and Geffen announced the joint venture — HYBE x Geffen Global Girl Group Audition — in November 2021.
Watch the full first episode below.
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