Sophia Laforteza is debuting as a member of Hybe x Geffen’s Katseye

Filipino Sophia Laforteza to debut with Hybe x Geffen’s new global group

“Thank you for helping me make my dream come true,” said Sophia on Instagram
/ 05:39 PM November 20, 2023

Filipino Sophia Laforteza is set to debut as a global girl group idol

Filipino Sophia Laforteza is set to debut as a global girl group idol | Photos from @sophia_laforteza/Instagram and “Dirty Water” from The Debut: Dream Academy/YouTube

The lone Filipina hopeful in “The Debut: Dream Academy” is now about to debut as an idol.

Through a live broadcast on Nov. 18, the talent competition created by entertainment juggernaut Hybe (BTS, NewJeans, Seventeen) and American label Geffen Records (Olivia Rodrigo, Elton John, Weezer) announced that Sophia Laforteza from the Philippines is set to debut with five other talented girls as part of a new global group called “Katseye.”


In the finale episode featuring the survival show’s top 10 finalists, the judges were able to offer on-the-spot comments on their last performances “Girls Don’t Like” and “Dirty Water.”

Laforteza, who’s part of the latter group, was declared the “top pick” by two (out of three) judges such as Geffen A&R and marketing vice president Charlie Christie and HxG president Mitra Darab, who described Laforteza as “an all-around leader” and “a star.”

At the end of the episode, the 20-year-old Filipina was the first to be called to step into the debut zone, making up Katseye’s lineup. Other members include Lara Rajogapalan (USA), Yoonchae Jeong (South Korea), Daniela Avazini (USA), Megan Skiendiel (USA), and Manon Bannerman (Switzerland). 

“I’ve worked so hard to be here. I appreciate everybody who has voted for me and has been supporting me since day one,” said Laforteza in tears. She also expressed her gratitude towards her family, friends, everyone in the project who believed in her, and her supporters called the “Sonnies.”


The artist continued thanking everyone on Instagram: “My heart is so full of gratitude, love, and warmth. Thank you for helping me make my dream come true. I wish I could hug every single one of you who have been supporting me.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by 𝚂𝚘𝚙𝚑𝚒𝚊 𝙻𝚊𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚝𝚎𝚣𝚊 👑 (@sophia_laforteza)

Sophia Laforteza, the “ace”

It was in August this year when Laforteza was named one of the program’s contestants. But aside from the fact that she was one of the top 20 applicants who were picked out of more than 120,000 who tried their shot—which was already a tough feat in itself—the young performer had more memorable milestones throughout “Dream Academy.” 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by 𝚂𝚘𝚙𝚑𝚒𝚊 𝙻𝚊𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚝𝚎𝚣𝚊 👑 (@sophia_laforteza)

In fact, if you immerse into the viewers’ opinions enough on the show’s social media platforms, comments describing her as an “ace” and a “leader material” are hard to miss.

In Mission 1, Laforteza showcased her vocal abilities through a group cover of Paramore’s “Still Into You,” earning her the top two spot. Then in Missions 2 and 3, which combined both vocals and dance, she clinched first place. It can also be noted that during the post-Mission 2 elimination episode, each aspirant was asked to pick the five contestants they’d want to be in a debut group with. Laforteza received the most votes at 13.

As shown in the finale, the Filipina’s stellar journey wrapped up with another top placement. She scored 88.33, combining the numbers from the early voting, live voting, and judges’ scores. 

What’s next for Katseye?

Hybe and Geffen’s new global girl group is set to make its debut—and will release its first album—in 2024. For the viewers, it’s not the end of getting to know their journey either, as there’s a forthcoming Netflix documentary series dedicated to it. Directed by the award-winning Nadia Hallgren, the docuseries is said to follow “the years-long process of creating this international girl group,” and will premiere in Summer next year, as reported by Variety

Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
TAGS: “KPOP”, Filipino achievers
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.