HYBE reveals 6-member girl group ‘KATSEYE’ through global audition
3 weeks ago
Hybe and Geffen Records, driven by the goal of “Globalization of K-pop Methodology,” have announced the final members of their girl group through a 12-week audition. The selected members include Sophia (Philippines), Lara (USA), Yoon Chae (Korea), Megan (USA), Daniela (USA), and Marang (Switzerland). This newly formed 6-member girl group will be known as ‘KATSEYE.’
‘The Debut: Dream Academy,’ which unveiled the birth of this new global girl group, took place during a 90-minute live finale at the Hollywood XR Studio in the United States on the 18th (Korean time). The event was broadcast live worldwide through YouTube Hybe Labels, the global fandom platform Weverse, and Japan’s ABEMA.
The final stage of this epic journey featured the premiere performances of the original Dream Academy songs ‘Girls Don’t Like,’ ‘Dirty Water,’ and ‘All the Same.’ Among the 120,000 applicants worldwide, the last 10 contestants delivered outstanding performances, capturing the attention of viewers both on-site and online.
The live finale began with Daniela (USA), Emily (USA), Maki (Thailand), Megan (USA), and Yoon Chae (Korea) opening the stage with ‘Girls Don’t Like.’ With their charismatic presence and compelling dance moves, they shattered stereotypes about women. The powerful bass sound and melodic beats, coupled with lyrics about female friendship and direct ad-libs, along with styling featuring black leather and chains, added to the girl crush charm.
Following that, it was Emily (Australia), Lara (USA), Marang (Switzerland), Samara (Brazil), and Sophia (Philippines) who performed ‘Dirty Water.’ The song’s message of “let’s throw away all the pressure and enjoy the music” resonated with the participants, making them genuinely enjoy the performance. The catchy melody, individual charms showcased in the choreography, lyrics describing women enjoying a party, and glittering outfits contributed to the lively atmosphere of the song.
The professional evaluation to decide the final members was undertaken by Mitra Darab, CEO of HxG, Son Seong-duk, Chief Creator of HxG, Charlie Christie, Interscope A&R and Marketing Deputy Representative.
Assessing five key elements: dance, vocals, stage presence, attitude, and team chemistry, the judges found it challenging to rank the contestants. After witnessing the final stage, they praised the contestants’ growth and selected each performer for their unique strengths. Particularly, Son Seong-duk, a creator, was moved to tears by some participants’ achievements.
Charlie Christie commented, “‘Girls Don’t Like’ was a stage where everyone’s growth was evident, and everyone was an artist.” He selected Daniela as the best performer of the first stage, saying, “Daniela has shown what she can do after leaving the mission and broadening her horizons.” Mitra and Son Seong-duk chose Megan as the best performer, with Mitra saying, “Megan showed the most significant growth among the participants during Dream Academy.”
For ‘Dirty Water,’ Sophia received acclaim as the best performer. Charlie and Mitra, who chose Sophia as the best performer, said, “Sophia not only showed it on this stage but consistently presents confident performances. Seeing Sophia perform is like leading the team.” Son Seong-duk selected Lara as the best performer and gave a detailed evaluation, saying, “In terms of performance, I had concerns about some participants, but today’s stage showed energy and growth that could lead the team.”
The theme song ‘All the Same’ was performed by all ten participants who had come a long way together through Dream Academy. Although they had different cultures and backgrounds, their performance expressed the dreams and passions of the united Dream Academy participants. It left a deep impression on the audience.
At the moment of the final decision, the attention of global Dream Academy fans was focused on who would be chosen. With each announcement of debut members, contestants’ emotions ranged from joy to disappointment. Sophia earned the honor of being the first debut member. Lara, who was next, moved to the debut zone with an expression of disbelief and embraced Sophia with shared excitement. Yoon Chae, Megan, and Daniela couldn’t hold back their tears as they were selected. The final spot went to Marang, who celebrated with the remaining contestants before leaping into the debut zone. Eliminated participants also showed their support for the debut members.
Sophia expressed her gratitude, saying, “I can’t express how happy I am, and I thank everyone who believed in me.” Lara, who had emphasized diversity, said, “I’ve dreamed of a moment like this. I’m representing people like me.” Yoon Chae, from Korea, choked up, saying, “I’m so happy, and I can’t believe I’m debuting.” Marang, the final member chosen, also thanked her fans for their support and encouraged them to believe in themselves.
The group name ‘KATSEYE,’ chosen directly by the participants from among several candidates, carries special meaning to them. Hybe Chairman Bang Si-hyuk and Geffen Records CEO John Janick agreed, stating that the group name should reflect the group’s unique personality and qualities. They believe that KATSEYE embodies the identity of the group and will connect with global fans. They eagerly anticipate the group’s journey, future, and potential.
After two years of training together and a fierce 12-week competition, the colleagues who have grown together celebrated with one heart. Their heartfelt celebration touched the hearts of the audience. Fans from 169 countries who watched the show simultaneously left supportive comments, offering their congratulations and best wishes.
The 90-day epic journey concluded with ‘The Debut: Dream Academy,’ announcing a new beginning with the global girl group ‘KATSEYE.’ As they embark on the preparations for their debut, a documentary showcasing their growth story will be released on Netflix in 2024.