On HYBE’s survival show to form a new global girl group The Debut: Dream Academy, Filipino aspirant Sophia Laforteza shines like a light. Here’s why we’re rooting for her to earn a spot in the final group!
If you haven’t been keeping up with HYBE x Geffen Records’ survival show The Debut: Dream Academy, let us catch you up on how the only Filipina trainee, Sophia Laforteza, has been doing in 3 words: she’s killing it.
The 20-year old is consistently getting top views on her solo fancams and got a high number of votes for the first mission, ensuring her safety the first round of eliminations. Dream Academy just dropped the performances of its second mission, featuring cover performances of girl group LE SSERAFIM’s hit songs ANTIFRAGILE and FEARLESS. For this mission, four teams, with two performing the same song, are pitted against each other. Sophia, along with Lara, Emily, and Yoonchae, made up Team A (or Team SLEY), and they were assigned to perform ANTIFRAGILE.
Naturally, they ate. And Sophia stays being a favorite, and not just because she’s Pinoy! Here are a few reasons why we’re rooting for the Filipina singer and performer.
@lararajj the justin biebers of the #dreamacademyhq #HYBE #GEFFEN #HYBEGEFFEN #LARARAJ #SOPHIALAFORTEZA #SAMARASIQUEIRA #LEXIELEVIN #BROOKLYNVANZANDT ♬ original sound – LARA
One of the very first moments that endeared us to Sophia and the girls outside of Dream Academy promo was when they posted a TikTok acting like early 2010’s Justin Bieber clones. Sophia even pretended to pin Lexie to the wall! The contestants are active on socials, occasionally posting funny TikToks and behind-the-scenes looks at their life as trainees. We love a (soon-to-be) Gen Z idol.
SHE’S A GIRL’S GIRL
@lararajj TEAM SLEY 😝 (Sophia, Lara, Emily, Yoonchae🤭) our mission 2 performance comes out in 2 hours!! make sure to VOTE for us on Weverse!! #DREAMACADEMYHQ #HYBE #GEFFEN #HYBEGEFFEN #LARARAJ #SOPHIALAFORTEZA #EMILYKELAVOS #YOONCHAEJEUNG ♬ I Know (PR1SVX Edit) – Kanii
In line with all the TikToks and the snapshots with the girls, it seems like Sophia’s getting along with them well! And if the TikToks are anything to go by, Sophia’s clearly a joy to be around. She’s also sang praises for her fellow contestants, like Emily, and teammate Yoonchae praised her Sophia-unnie for her skills and vocals. While this is a competition, it’s so great to see the contestants root for each other and hype each other up.
VOCALS FOR DAYS
It’s a challenge to have clear, stable vocals while you’re performing an intense, complex dance routine. But Sophia’s been training in the performance arts since she was a child—and she comes from an artistic family—so it’s no surprise that she can sing well. Her vocals during ANTIFRAGILE as well as during the first performance of Paramore’s Still Into You have received praise from Dream Academy fans worldwide.
AND DANCE SKILLS TO MATCH
Speaking of intense, complex dance routine, Sophia and Team SLEY slayed ANTIFRAGILE, channeling the globally-renowned LE SSERAFIM whilst also putting their own spin on the song as only a fresh group of aspiring artists could do. Sophia’s been taking dance classes since she was in single-digit age, and her honed talents shines. The way she’s also barely out of breath after the performance? We could never.
BIDA ANG SAYA
In a dance practice released by Dream Academy, the trainee could be seen wearing a t-shirt with a Jollibee pocket. Sophia’s repping Filipinos in more ways than one!
SHE LOVES IT HERE
The Dream Academy contestants are driven beyond belief to show their talents and skills to the world, and Sophia is no different. She exudes such gratefulness, warmth, and bright enthusiasm that it makes perfect sense that she’s a top-performing contestant not just in terms of skill. She’s a joy to watch, and we hope we watch her reach new heights for a long, long time.
HOW TO VOTE FOR SOPHIA (AND YOUR OTHER FAVES)
After the voting round of this second mission, four contestants will be eliminated. Vote for your favorite Dream Academy girls by liking their solo fancams on YouTube. Ten likes on a fancam equals 1 vote for Mission 2. Then head on over to Weverse to manually cast your vote for a total of four contestants from each team that performed either of the songs. It’s a little confusing, but essentially you can vote for two contestants per song per day. You can vote for two members in the same team, but all four votes can’t go to the same group.
Voting runs from September 28 11:00 PM until October 3 2:59 PM Philippine time, so you can vote for a total of 5 times.