6 Reasons Why We’re Rooting For Sophia Laforteza At Dream Academy

Sophia is on fire!

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!

Related: 10 Things You Need to Know About Dream Academy’s Sophia Laforteza

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.


@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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.

Continue Reading: Meet the Only Filipina Competing for a Spot in HYBE X Geffen’s New Global Girl Group

Meet The Final 7 Members of The Girl Group Project

Go off, queens!

The final members of the upcoming girl group pix!e from The Girl Group Project have been making the rounds on social media, and after months of training and evaluations, they’re almost ready to take on the P-Pop stage.

Related: 10 Things You Need to Know About Dream Academy’s Sophia Laforteza

If you were on TikTok the last few weeks, then you definitely have come across the “I Wanna Go Back” dance trend set to a sped-up version of Do It Again by Pia Mia. Well, did you know that the creators of the trend are young Filipino trainees getting ready to debut as members of a new, upcoming P-pop girl group?

@ggprojectmedia boy can we go back? 🤷🏻‍♀️ dc: jezrene 🐝 & nicole 🐣 #fyp #ppoprise ♬ do it again – ᶜ ʰ ˡ ˡ ˣ ᵉ ᵈ ⁱ ᵗ ˢ

That’s right, dancers and artists Jezrene and Nicole, whose names you may have seen credited under TikToks of the trend, are members of a new girl group formed by DreamCloud Media Productions, who in October revealed the group name to be pix!e! DreamCloud recognized the immense potential of Filipinos in the pop music industry, and so, in early 2023, they started The Girl Group Project. It was a passion project, an initiative to select, train, and evaluate talented young girls to form a group ready to take the P-pop world by storm.

After the final evaluation at Eton Centris last July 30, seven trainees were selected to debut. It’ll take some more time, work, and decisions before they make it big, but for now, let’s meet the young girls of pix!e who have made it steps closer to living their dreams.


Nicole from the girl group project

1/2 of the pioneers of the “I Wanna Go Back” trend, Nicole is The Girl Group Project’s center, and has shown her prowess in singing, dancing, and playing the ukulele—which she’s been playing since she was in high school. She’s driven by her desire to show the world her talent. She’s a Virgo, and her MBTI is ESFP-T.


Jezrene of the girl group project

The other half of the TikTok trend’s creators, 19-year old Jezrene is a strong singer, which got her the position of lead vocalist. A true introvert but with a powerful voice, she’s a Gemini, an INFP, and, like most of us, her hobbies include sleeping. She’s been inspired by K-pop since she was young, and pushed through some mental and physical challenges before she got to where she is now.


Hana of of the girl group project

Keen-eyed girl group enthusiasts may recognize the 22-year-old as a former center of idol group MNL48! Her stage name used to be Aly, and she can be seen in MNL48’s videos like Ikaw Ang Melody. Hana is the group’s lead rapper, visual, and sub-vocalist. She’s a Capricorn, INFJ, and she likes playing mobile games.


Jane of the girl group project

Jane is the group’s main rapper and a lead vocalist. She’s a Capricorn and an INFJ-T, often in dark clothing and makeup to match her fierce and independent spirit. She likes to sing, cook, and watch anime. She made, sold, and delivered food to help out her sick parents all while studying and trying hard for her dreams.


kath of the girl group project pix!e

Kath was the first trainee to be announced as part of The Girl Group Project. The 20-year old is the group’s main dancer and lead rapper while also being a diligent university student at the University of the Philippines Los Baños. She’s got grit and stage presence for days, and is a Taurus and ISFJ-T.


Mita of the girl group project

Lead vocalist and dancer Sushmita, or Mita for short, is a proud Taurus and INTJ. She loves cats and owns a handful of them—18 to be precise. A multi-talented performer, Mita was influenced by her aunt to get into music.


Pearl of the girl group project

The ever-fashionable Pearl is the group’s main vocalist and resident baton twirler. A Taurus and INFP-T, she was the last trainee to complete The Girl Group Project. She also loves to design clothes. Emotional during her last interview before making the final lineup, Pearl is driven and determined to reach her dreams.

Stay tuned on The Girl Group Project’s social media accounts (TikTok, Facebook, Instagram) to keep up with these talented Gen Z artists! Do you have a bias yet?

Photos courtesy of Jionor Verona for The Girl Group Project/Facebook

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Meet The Only Filipina Competing For A Spot In HYBE x Geffen’s New Global Girl Group

Class is in session.

Twenty-year-old Sophia Laforteza has made it to the Top 20 finalists that will compete in new reality survival show The Debut: Dream Academy.

Related: All the Major Announcements From HYBE’s Community Event Briefing

K-Pop industry leader HYBE, home of global supergroup BTS, is teaming up with American record label Geffen Records to find the next global girl group that’ll take the world by storm! Twenty finalists chosen from hundreds of thousands of applicants have made it to the “Dream Academy,” where they’ll compete for a spot in the final lineup of the group. And one of them hails from the Philippines. Here’s what you need to know about the young Pinay hoping to make her idol dreams come true.




Sophia Laforteza, 20, is the only Filipina to make it to the finalist lineup alongside other international competitors hailing from the USA, Japan, Australia, Sweden, Argentina, Thailand, South Korea, Switzerland, Brazil, Belarus, and Slovakia.

Sophia Laforteza


She and the other finalists will showcase their skills and talents for 12 weeks on the reality competition and audition program The Debut: Dream Academy, which will air on YouTube and Japanese platform ADEMA starting September 1st to November 17, which will be the live finale.

The Debut: Dream Academy Contestants

Photo courtesy of HYBE/Geffen

In Dream Academy’s social media reveal of the finalists, Sophia, or Sophie/Fifi/Sopheezy, describes herself as “hysterical, caring, and diligent.” She is the daughter of actress and singer Carla Guevara Laforteza and Chef Godfrey Laforteza, who, like her, is a proud ARMY.

She graduated senior high school in 2021 with high honors from Multiple Intelligence International School after studying in the Humanities and Social Sciences strand. Her Instagram is filled with stylish outfits, travel pictures, and fun, sun-drenched adventures.

Sophia is also proven to be a talented vocalist, having posted singing videos to her Tiktok. With her talent, style, looks, and poise, Sophia looks to be a strong contender in Dream Academy, and we can’t wait to see how well she does.

@sophialaforteza singing on here again after months 🫶🏼 vanessa’s trick for ya #thelittlemermaid #vanessastrick #singing @halle ♬ original sound – sophia laforteza


John Janick, chairman and CEO of Interscope Geffen A&M, says of the contestants, “Each candidate is incredibly talented, dedicated, and driven, making this an exciting moment for music fans worldwide.” To introduce the finalists and their talents, HYBE and Geffen released an art film on YouTube, and we can already tell it’s going to be a tough competition.

Dream Academy was born out of HYBE chairman Bang Si-Hyuk’s desire to form an international group based on “K-Pop methodology.” Upon collaborating with Janick, they got started on developing the concept and process for forming the next diverse, world-class music group, which led to where we are today.

Once the final lineup and the name of the new group is revealed on November 17, Billboard reports, the group will undergo further training and development, a process that will be documented for a Netflix docuseries to be released in 2024. Meanwhile, The Debut: Dream Academy will see these 20 trainees showcase their skills and talents through challenges and performances to earn evaluators’ praise, the public’s votes, and a spot on the group.

If you want to support Sophia as well as your other faves, you can join The Debut: Dream Academy Weverse community or vote on Tiktok. Voting starts September 1st. Stay updated on their website and socials (@dreamacademyhq on X and Instagram) to see how far Sophia goes and how the next big global girl group will be formed!

Continue Reading: Meet R Rules, the Half Pinoy, Half Japanese P-Pop Girl Group All About Empowerment

5 Ways SOMI Is Giving It Girl Energy In Her New Comeback

She's finally out of that basement.

Everything about the talented SOMI’s long-awaited comeback solidifies her place on the it-girl roster.

Related: The Round-Up: New Tracks of the Week That Deserve A Play

South Korean-Canadian K-pop idol Jeon Somi, or simply Somi, finally released a new album after two years! The singer released her new EP Game Plan on August 7 with the title track Fast Forward that’s right at home at the clubs with its British house pop sound.

And in case you didn’t know, Somi’s been an it girl since she won Produce 101 and became a member of the now-disbanded project girl group I.O.I. Since going solo, she’s steadily found both her sound and success and shown to the world that she deserves it girl status. Her most recent comeback, filled with good music, fun collaborations, and heaps of fun, is further proof. Here are just some moments during her promotions that radiated it girl energy.



IM READY 나 신나냐 혹시…

♬ 오리지널 사운드 – JEON SOMI

We all know how talented of a singer, dancer, and performer Somi is. How do you think she got first place in Produce 101? Her comebacks always feature strong vocals and anthemic choruses that will get you belting out the lyrics, too. Even when she’s rolling around in an office chair and singing for fun, her vocals ring melodious and clear as day.


@somi_official_ #JEONSOMI x #THEBOYZ #FastForwardChallenge #전소미 #FastForward #GAMEPLAN #JEONSOMI_GAMEPLAN_20230807 #더보이즈 #JUYEON #주연 #ERIC #에릭 #THEBLACKLABEL #더블랙레이블 @THE BOYZ ♬ Fast Forward – 전소미

If you’ve scrolled through TikTok recently, you might have come across one of Somi’s TikTok videos where she’s dancing Fast Forward with her fellow K-pop idols and co-workers in the industry. From her backup dancers to TAEYANG, aespa’s Giselle to THE BOYZ, every single one of Somi’s quick collabs are a treat to watch. The choreography, the way Somi has it down to a T, and the presence of other stars made for endless, enjoyable scrolling.


@somi_official_ #JEONSOMI feat. #DANCER #FastForwardChallenge #전소미 #FastForward #GAMEPLAN #JEONSOMI_GAMEPLAN_20230807 #더블랙레이블 #THEBLACKLABEL #YGX #와이지엑스 #어때 #eoddae #1MILLION #원밀리언 #커밍아웃크루 #ComingOutCrew #BabyZoo #베이비주 #이조 #Ejo #루트 #ROOT #제이미 #JAYME #킹키 #KINKY #콴즈 #QUANZ #NewMusic #PopMusic ♬ Fast Forward – 전소미

Somi’s been a style queen since forever, and the outfits, hair, and accessories for this comeback have all been nothing short of excellent. Trendy, edgy, and with a hint of girlish fun, her styling is always cohesive and well-thought-out, right down to the makeup and nail art.


Clips from Somi’s album release party got the internet joking about how K-Pop idols don’t know how to party, but clearly, she does. Somi’s always been fun and cheerful, charming and funny, and it makes sense that she would bring people together for a night of fun and celebration that got stans abuzz.


Somi’s using all that charm and humor as she takes on a new role as the host of new online talk show Yes or Hot on YouTube channel TEO. In the very first episode, “Hot Girl Jeon Somi” talks to her friend, soloist, ad one of the OG baddies HyunA and they take turns asking each other spicy questions and talking about everything from the industry to their dating lives. Somi’s own version of viral YouTube series Hot Ones, the show is promising in its concept and hilarious to watch. We can’t wait to see the rest of her guest stars.

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