Meet the contestants vying for a spot in HYBE and Geffen Record’s new global girl group

'The Debut: Dream Academy' will debut on September 1

HYBE and Geffen Records have revealed the contestants of its upcoming audition programme, The Debut: Dream Academy.

At a press event in Los Angeles today (August 28 PT), HYBE chairman Bang Si-Hyuk and Interscope Geffen A&M Records CEO John Janick revealed the 20 idol hopefuls who will be competing for a place in an upcoming global girl group.

The group of contestants hail from 12 different countries – including Korea, Brazil, the US, Sweden and more – and were picked from a global audition that started in November 2021.


The 20 young women will participate in The Debut: Dream Academy, premiering September 1 at 8am PT on YouTube, which will run for 12 weeks and decide the upcoming girl group’s final line-up. In addition, the group’s development process will also be documented in an upcoming as-yet-untitled Netflix series, set to debut in 2024.

“I have wanted to form an international group based on K-pop methodology for a while,” Bang Si-Hyuk said at the press event. “To do this I believed we needed a capable partner. When I met John [Janick], from the first moment, we both felt instantly that we had a connection, musically and creatively.”

“I am very proud of the rich history we have made and the tremendous talent we have found. I am proud of the opportunities we have created within the K-pop universe,” the HYBE chairman added.

Janick said that he and Bang have “often spoken about our shared beliefs in artist development, music and creativity”, since the HYBE and Geffen partnership started two years ago.

“To develop a global group with Bang, with the best of K-[op methodology, and our Geffen team, is truly special and will bring to life a first-of-its kind experience in music,” he added.


Meanwhile, HYBE subsidiary Belift Lab is currently airing its girl group survival programme R U Next? in collaboration with Korean television network JTBC, with two episodes until its finale. The final epeisode will air on September 1.

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