HYBE and GEFFEN Records‘ joint survival show,The Debut: Dream Academy, initially captured the interest of many around the globe. In August 2023, twenty contestants from different countries were introduced, all fighting for the chance to debut in a girl group.
While many were initially excited over the global girl group premise, there have already been some issues with the show, according to fans.
Instead of the traditional formatting of a survival show — weekly episodes showing the contestants preparing for challenges — all that is shared are the challenge videos and fancams of each contestant, causing a disconnect between viewers and the contestants.
The judges consider each contestant’s weekly performance, releasing a video of their commentary along with the week’s challenge.
It has caused some to wonder if votes matter at all, leading to the latest conspiracy theory behind the show.
The newest challenge featured the contestants split into four groups to perform LE SSERAFIM’s “FEARLESS” and “ANTIFRAGILE.”
While LE SSERAFIM members sharing the performance videos on their social media accounts would not have raised any alarm, fans were confused after SEVENTEEN members shared performance clips.
THE8 and Dino shared Team A’s performance of “FEARLESS” while Jun shared Team B’s “ANTIFRAGILE.”
— dreamacademy (@dreamacademy4u) October 3, 2023
✦ junhui_moon IG story
— 𝐁𝐫𝐞𝐧🧸 (@ho5hiii_kwon17) October 2, 2023
Some fans found it suspicious that the idols, who have massive followings, would share these videos, commenting on how they allegedly matched what the judges preferred. This has fueled the belief that certain contestants were being pushed more than others.
Other fans believed that it was just random sharing, as the show has declined in views since the first challenge. While the fear that the show will end up being rigged to fit the company’s taste is valid, many do not believe SEVENTEEN are involved in any sort of conspiracy.
With how early it is in the competition, only time will tell what the results will ultimately be.
What do you think about this situation?