She’s done it! Sophia Laforteza has made it to the end of The Debut: Dream Academy, and is officially a member of HYBE x Geffen’s new global girl group KATSEYE!
After months of preparation, performances, training, judging, voting at The Debut: Dream Academy, Filipino artist Sophia Laforteza is officially a member of HYBE x Geffen’s new girl group that’ll take over the world! And not to toot our own horn, but we knew with utmost confidence that she would make it.
The only Filipino to make it to the Top 20 of The Debut: Dream Academy (out of hundreds of thousands of applicants from all over the world) has rightfully earned herself a spot in the six-member lineup of KATSEYE. For this group name, Dream Academy asked the contestants what they thought of the options. They wanted a revolutionary name that reflected their diversity, passion, and of course, their girl power.
In the much-anticipated livestreamed finale of the survival reality series, Dream Academy announced Sophia (Philippines) as the first member of the group, as well as Lara (USA), Yoonchae (South Korea), Megan (USA), Daniela (USA), and Manon (Switzerland) as the final members of HYBE x Geffen’s new global girl group KATSEYE.
After slaying the unreleased original song Dirty Water with fellow contestants Lara, Samara, Manon, and Ezrela, and being the top pick of two out of three of the judges, there was little doubt this girl wasn’t going to make it to the very end. After the livestream, it was even revealed that Sophia placed first in both the early voting and the live voting!
Consistently ranking in the top spots all throughout the show, Sophia’s been a fan favorite at Dream Academy. Her talent, skills, and drive have allowed the world to see her shine—singing and dancing her way through each mission with so much passion, so much heart, and so much strength. With this dream come to life, Sophia’s journey to success and stardom is only beginning.
LIVING THE DREAM
Hailing from a talented performer family and getting her start in music and dance at an early age, Sophia’s got the skills to back her determination up. She’s been praised by evaluators and her fellow contestants for her stable vocals, stage presence, performance, star quality, and dedication to her craft. Besides that, she’s confident, charming, earnest, and proud of her Filipino heritage. How could you not root for her?
Her parents Godfrey Laforteza and Carla Guevara Laforteza have been the most proud and supportive, cheering her on all the way—especially when she won!
The talented young Sophia has consistently shown her prowess not just in music and performance, but also in being a member of a team. People on social media as well as judges have referred to her as having the qualities of being a “leader,” and from her TikToks, videos, and conversations with other contestants, it’s clear that the trainee is ready to take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and make history as she joins the very short list of Filipino idols making waves all over the globe.
“I’ve worked so hard to be here,” Sophia tearfully said. “I appreciate everybody who has voted for me, who has been supporting me since day 1.”
THE NEXT STEP
It’s been a while since 20 girls started this journey, and while it’s been an emotional ride, the bond all these contestants talked about forming will surely hold. Their performance of All The Same showcased how diverse and talented the contestants were and the sisterhood that they formed.
With Sophia, Lara, Yoonchae, Megan, Daniela, and Manon, HYBE x Geffen’s new global girl group is set to embark on a new journey not dissimilar to the one they just completed. KATSEYE will continue their training as a six-piece and debut in 2024, with further preparation being documented for a 2024 Netflix series to be directed by Nadia Hallgren, produced by HYBE, Interscope Films, and Boardwalk Pictures.
While both their hardship and success have been—and for some, will continue to be—broadcasted to such a large audience, the story of Sophia, Dream Academy, and this new global girl group is one of inspiration—barrier-breaking, culturally significant, and especially to them, absolutely life-changing. We can’t wait to see what’s in store.
Continue Reading: 6 Reasons Why We’re Rooting For Sophia Laforteza At Dream Academy