The 20 contestants of The Debut: Dream Academy were put to the test on Friday (Sept. 15) when they completed the first mission of the competition. And the newest YouTube installment of the girl group competition also says goodbye to its first two finalists.
The mission was a showcase with the goal to “level up your skills as a global girl group,” as the contestants were previously split into two dance teams and two vocal teams. “Team members are crucial business partners, and it’s important to know proper work etiquette with your business partner,” HYBE Chairman Bang Si-Hyuk explained in the first episode, which aired last week.
The girls were split into four teams for the mission, with two vocal teams and two dance teams. The first dance team consisted of Daniela, Megan, UA, Adéla and Hinari, while the second dance team featured Emily, Ezrela, Marquise, Yoonchae and Mei. The first vocal team included Karlee, Lexie, Iliya, Brooklyn and Manon and the second vocal team consisted of Sophia, Lara, Celeste, Samara and Nayoung.
Fans voted on WeVerse and YouTube for their favorite contestants after the jaw-dropping performances, but ultimately, the first two contestants eliminated in the mission were 19-year-old Adéla from Slovakia and 14-year-old Hinari from Japan (pictured below).
The remaining 18 contestants have flown from Los Angeles to Korea for Mission No. 2, where they will continue the competition at a training & development facility where many K-pop groups have trained.
When the 20 finalists were announced last month, Chairman Bang said at a press event in LA: “I have wanted to form an international group based on K-pop methodology for a while. To do this, I believed we needed a capable partner. When I met [Interscope Geffen A&M Records CEO] John [Janick], from the first moment, we both felt instantly that we had a connection, musically and creatively. I am very proud of the rich history we have made and the tremendous talent we have found. I am proud of the opportunities we have created within the K-pop universe.”
For his part, Janick added: “Since we began our partnership two years ago, Bang and I have often spoken about our shared beliefs in artist development, music and creativity. To develop a global group with Bang, with the best of K-pop methodology, and our Geffen team, is truly special and will bring to life a first-of-its kind experience in music. Each candidate is incredibly talented, dedicated, and driven, making this an exciting moment for music fans around the world.”
Watch the episode above.