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Welcome To Dream Academy: Class Has Just Begun

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at NCSU chapter.

Making their YouTube debut last week, a group of twenty young women from around the globe began their journey to stardom as a part of “Dream Academy,” a brand new competition put on as a collaboration between Hybe x Geffen Records to create a “first of its kind” international girl group.

Geffen Records is an American Record Label founded by David Geffen in the eighties and owned by Universal Music Group as a part of IGA: Interscope, Geffen and A&M Records. They are known for representing artists like Olivia Rodrigo, Avicii, Blink-182, Nirvana and Elton John. Hybe Corporation is a multinational entertainment company created in South Korea by Bang Si-Hyuk. Since its establishment in 2005, Hybe has rebranded and expanded into many subsidiaries like Big Hit Music, notably the company BTS is under, and Belift Labs, Source Music, PLEDIS Entertainment, ADOR and more.  

Previously announced in November of 2021, more than 120,000 girls auditioned to be a part of the group, and on August 28th, information about the chosen members was released on social media. Twenty young women with ages ranging from fourteen to twenty-one hailing from countries like the Philippines, Belarus, America and Japan have been training for the past year in LA and are now ready to compete. Let’s meet our girls!

Adéla: 19 from Slovakia.


Brooklyn: 17 from the U.S.


Celeste: 19 from Argentina.


Daniela: 19 from the U.S.


Emily: 17 from the U.S.


Ezrela: 17 from Australia.


Hinari: 14 from Japan.


Iliya: 21 from Belarus.


Karlee: 19 from the U.S.


Lara: 17 from the U.S.


Lexie: 19 from Sweden.


Manon: 21 from Switzerland.


Marquise: 17 from Thailand.


Megan: 17 from the U.S.


Mei: 17 from Japan.


Nayoung: 21 from South Korea.


Samra: 17 from Brazil.


Sophia: 20 from The Philippines.


Ua: 15 from Japan.


Yoonchae: 15 from South Korea.


The first “episode” of the competition, The Debut: Dream Academy, was released on YouTube on the first of September. Chairman Bang Si-Hyuk and Interscope Geffen A&M Records CEO John Janick spoke about what it takes to make and succeed in a successful girl group. It was then revealed that the show would be split into three missions where the girls would be broken up into teams to showcase and level up their skills. These missions are available to watch on Hybe’s YouTube channel, and the first one went up on Wednesday, September 6th. At the end of each mission, a few girls will be eliminated until the Finale premiering on November 17th, where the final lineup will be unveiled. The eliminations are determined by two things: a panel of judges and the audience. Fans are encouraged to vote for their favorite girls following each mission on platforms such as Weverse and TikTok. 

The first mission split the contestants up into four teams: two vocal and two dance teams.

Dance Team A consisted of Daniela, Megan, UA, Adéla and Hinari performing a dance cover of Pink Venom by Blackpink.

Dance Team B consisted of Emily, Ezrela, Marquise, Yoonchae and Mei, performing a dance cover of OMG by NewJeans.

Vocal Team A consisted of Karlee, Lexie, Iliya, Brooklyn and Manon performing a mash-up of Dancing On My Own by Robyn and Happier Than Ever by Billie Eilish.

Vocal Team B consisted of Sophia, Lara, Celeste, Samara and Nayoung performing a cover of Still Into You by Paramore.

Results of the first mission were released on September 15th. The top six consisted of…

  1. Nayoung (109,289 votes)
  2. Sophia (92,617 votes)
  3. Samara (92,544 votes)
  4. Manon (76,083 votes)
  5. Lara (75,213 votes)
  6. Yoonchae (72,577 votes)

Adéla was ranked last by fans and was voted out, and Hinari, who was ranked 15th by fans, was voted out by the judges.

Ali Fennell is a third-year undergraduate student at North Carolina State University. This will be Ali's second year as a student writer for her school's Her Campus chapter. She is currently studying Political and Environmental Science, hoping to pursue a law degree after graduation. She is passionate about climate action, mental health, human rights, and social justice. While born in Washington, DC, she grew up in a not-so-small anymore town called Waxhaw along the borders of North and South Carolina. She has always been interested in writing composing dozens of her own songs, poems, and short stories throughout her teenage years. She can rarely be seen without her headphones and is always listening to something new. Some of her current favorite artists are Seventeen, Olivia Rodrigo, Bleachers, NewJeans, 5 Seconds of Summer, and The Wrecks. When not doing schoolwork, Ali enjoys hanging out with friends, drinking boba and tea, watching movies, building Legos, and dancing. She likes learning about astrology, making too many trips to Barnes and Noble, spending hours on Pinterest, and adding to her vinyl record collection.