Filipina Sophia Laforteza takes No. 2 spot in Korean show ‘The Debut: Dream Academy’
Sophia Laforteza, the 20-year-old trainee from the Philippines vying for a spot of the South Korean show “The Debut: Dream Academy,” has made it to Mission 2 of the audition program, which is a collaboration of the top entertainment company HYBE and Geffen Records.
The show announced the fan voting results on its social media pages, where Laforteza took the second place with 92,617 votes, or just 16,672 votes shy of top-placer Lee Nayoung, a South Korean actress.
“Mission 1 Voting Results as decided by you! [emojis] The 6 top-voted contestants will continue to Mission 2. The judges then consider your votes and their commentary to decide which 12 of the remaining contestants move forward. Watch the final results now on HYBE LABELS + YouTube Channel,” the show stated.
Rounding up the Top 6 are: Samara Siqueira Cunha from Brazil (92,544 votes); Manon Bannerman from Switzerland (79,083); Lara Rajagopalan from the United States (75,213); and Yoonchae Jeong of Korea (72,577).
Having completed Mission 1, the finalists are then entitled to proceed with Mission 2 of the K-pop training system, and are given immunity from elimination. Meanwhile, two of them were eliminated — Japan’s Hinari Irie and Slovakia’s Adéla Jergová.
Mission 1 showcased the 20 trainees’ skills as a global girl group through dance and vocals.
Laforteza, daughter of singer-actress Carla Guevara and chef Godfrey Laforteza, said in her prep vlog that singing is “everything to me.”
“For my group and I, we’ve been working a lot on our chemistry so we would be singing the song together but we would be holding hands, or we would just be having fun dancing around and singing and trying to make sure that our energy is together,” she said.
“This is exactly what I’ve been waiting for. I feel like I’ve been working so hard every single day. My first thought when they announced this whole phase was simply my family and my country, and the rest of the people that cared about me. I was just so excited for this,” Laforteza further said.
Meanwhile, HYBE is a South Korean entertainment company behind giant K-Pop acts such as BTS, Tomorrow X Together and ENHYPEN, among others.
The show premiered last September 1 and will end on November 17, and would be streamed on Netflix.