Move over, BTS: Hybe’s new girl group already has its own series on YouTube and Netflix
By Emily Price
K-pop leader Hybe and U.S. record label Geffen Records this week revealed the 20 contestants that will compete in the duo’s joint-venture “Global Girl Group Audition.” Originally announced in November 2021, the competition selected its contestants from more than 120,000 submissions from around the world.
The partnership marks the first time a U.S. record label and a K-pop entertainment company have come together to assemble, develop, and introduce a group from the ground up. Contestants and their home countries include Argentina, Slovakia, Australia, Japan, Belarus, Sweden, Switzerland, Brazil, and the United States.
The women were officially revealed at a press event in Santa Monica on Monday, hosted by Bang Si-Hyuk, chairman of Hybe; John Janick, chairman & CEO of Interscope Geffen A&M; Humberto Leon, creative director for the project; and Jay Ihn, head of creative production.
“Since we began our partnership two years ago, Bang and I have often spoken about our shared beliefs in artist development, music, and creativity,” Janick said in a statement. “Each candidate is incredibly talented, dedicated, and driven, making this an exciting moment for music fans around the world.”
The women have been quietly training in Los Angeles on all things K-pop for the past year. Starting September 1, fans can follow the contestants through the audition process for the group via the program, “The Debut: Dream Academy” on YouTube and ABEMA in Japan. The series will kick off at 8 a.m. PDT.
Fans will vote on their favorites throughout the competition via Weverse and TikTok. Along with fan voting, a “panel of experienced evaluators” will offer feedback and guidance to contestants.
The name of the group, plus its winning members, will be officially announced during the show’s finale on November 17.
If you don’t catch the YouTube show, you’ll still be able to follow the creation of the group on Netflix, which is planning to make it the subject of an upcoming documentary series, directed by award-winning filmmaker Nadia Hallgren, who was behind Michelle Obama’s Becoming. The series will premiere in 2024.