HYBE recently collaborated with GEFFEN Records to create Dream Academy, a survival audition show. The show would see the debut of a girl group that would promote in America but adopt the positive traits of a Korean training system. The group would also get to capitalize on HYBE’s roots in America.
One of the only two Koreans on the show was Nayoung. Compared to the 15-year-old Yoonchae, Nayoung was 21 years of age and already had exposure to the screen. She competed on The Voice Korea when she was younger.
Nayoung. | The Dream Academy
She quickly dominated the votes, sitting at third place.
Votes for The Dream Academy. | theqoo
With charming visuals that appealed to the west, a Korean background, and vocal talent to back it up, many thought that she was a shoo-in for the show.
oh we could’ve had it all with lara and nayoung pic.twitter.com/wLM0dJO5r5
— isa (@sunghoonswrld) November 5, 2023
On a recent episode, it was revealed that she was eliminated from the show. Many fans were upset at the sudden drop. A previous episode hinted at the production team’s concerns about Nayoung. She had confided in a training staff called Missy, about her concerns. Nayoung had consulted Missy about potential for a solo career, and her worries about working in a group. The conversation truly showed Nayoung’s consideration as she was worried that she could be taking a spot that would be better for someone else. Nayoung could see herself quitting the group to become a solo artist in the future. Missy and the management team then was concerned that she may not last in a team.
based on what was said in the commentary video, it seems that nayoung has interest in being a solo artist instead of being in a group. this might hint at her elimination. pic.twitter.com/a9k1EKrKAq
— rubie (she/her) (@auditiontwtceo) October 31, 2023
It seems like Nayoung’s concerns had been present from the past. During her introduction video, she had already been in doubt as to if she could work in a team. Nevertheless, she joined Dream Academy to pursue her dreams of being a star.
nayoung’s concerns about being a group were there since the beginning (shows that y’all never watched her intro vid ) but she truly wanted to be in dream academy and the company only used that as an excuse bc they didn’t want her in the group pic.twitter.com/l7nbpkd2MR
— ray ✰ (@ssamugyu) November 5, 2023
An initial post on an online forum criticized Nayoung, feeling that she was too selfish for a group. On the other hand, netizens that came across the post praised her honesty. They commended her deep thoughts and criticized those who felt that she was being selfish. It would not have been easy for Nayoung to openly admit that and risk losing her spot. Many chose to defend Nayoung’s decision.
Netizen reactions. | theqoo That’s right. Big companies would invest lots of money to give you a push, but if you’re only going to do it for a few years, they can’t pick you. It’s a relief that she got out even now. I think the group itself would have it hard lasting a long time… I think what she wants for herself is a singer that promotes with a base in Korea, and possibly not a localized group like that. Everyone has different thoughts, so why are people chiding her for nothing? She spoke too honestly. She didn’t even say something like “I’ll just debut first and debut solo [later].” These are her own thoughts. Why are you guys chiding her from the corners of your rooms? I don’t know about the context, but just from what was said here, doesn’t she just want to make a solo debut? It would be problematic if she debuted first and was lazy later, but if she’s going on her own path from the very beginning, who can say anything? If it’s like this, then she probably also knows that she really doesn’t suit a group… It’s better like this than debuting and quitting.
Nayoung’s maturity and deepness in thought were highly praised in the end. Wishing her all the best for her future endeavours!