SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 28: (L-R) Contestants Hinari, Adela, Ezrela, Yoonchae, Ua, Karlee, Emily, Lara, Megan, Samara, Manon, Lexie, Marquise, Daniela, Sophia, Nayoung, Celeste, Iliya, Brooklyn, and Mei attend as HYBE x Geffen Records Announce Contestants for Forthcoming Global Girl Group on August 28, 2023 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for HYBE x Geffen Records)

Hybe has grand ambitions to continue expanding the audience for K-Pop internationally, but also to apply its methodologies to other kinds of group.

Since late 2021 it has been working with Geffen Records to put together a new “global girl group” with open auditions across the world.

Yesterday, it announced that 20 potential members have been chosen from more than 120,000 submissions for what’s planned to be a group based on the US.

The announcement may have been yesterday, but the selection was actually made a year ago, since when the finalists have been “quietly training” in Los Angeles. Now it’s time for media partnerships to kick in however.

The next phase of the audition programme – ‘The Debut: Dream Academy‘ – will air on YouTube globally and another video service, Abema, in Japan. Fans will play a role, voting on the contestants they’d like to see make the final group.

Meanwhile, the process is also being filmed for a Netflix documentary that will debut in 2024. Perhaps that will include footage of the ‘if we call it an ‘academy’ we can make them all wear school uniform‘ planning meeting…

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