Operación Triunfo came back last night! The program in which Alfred and Amaia were discovered also brought us many hits such as Aitana and Ana (War) Guerra’s “Lo Malo”. The television show is also responsible for other emerging Spanish stars such as Roi Mendez, Cepeda and Lola Índigo.
The night was opened by last year’s contestants with what was last edition’s anthem “Camina”. Alfred and Amaia walked on stage showing the same chemistry between them as always, silencing those who thought that their relationship was just a show for Eurovision.
In the first gala, popularly known as gala 0, we met the new contestants. The new cast seems more prepared than last year, not only musically but also with a clear idea of the public exposition they will be facing from now on. This year’s cast offers a selection of different musical backgrounds with surprising names when asked which artists they look up to.
One of the most enjoyable moments of the night happened when Joe Perez-Orive, a judge on OT, notified Dave that he would be entering the academy, as “in times of trap, you are singing Serrat”, pointing out the cultural and musical value Dave could bring to the contest. (Serrat is a renown Spanish singer who sings in Castilian and Catalonian and was offered to represent Spain in Eurovision 1968 with “La la la”.) Serrat declined as he was not allowed to sign in Catalonian and Massiel was chosen last minute as a replacement. The rest is Eurovision history. Dave sang a song by Jorge Drexler, a singer-songwriter from Uruguay.
Alba Reche’s performance was outstanding as well. With a husky voice and strong image, her stage presence did the rest. She is emerging as one of the audience’s favourite. She is a Fine Arts student and she attended the same university as the writer of this article.
Another most commented performance was Miki’s. With a clear new Spanish pop profile, Miki could be an interesting act to represent Spain in Eurovision, if the audience allow him a song in his own style.
The contestants that made it to the academy, therefore passing a casting of 16000 people, were:
Carlos Right, Luis and Rodrigo were the remaining contestants left in doubt. The audience had to choose one of them for the last spot in the academy, as the OT teachers decided to give María a chance. The audience chose Carlos Right.
Another funny moment of the night happened when Roberto Leal, host of the show, gave the audience the SMS number of Dancing with the Stars instead of Operación Triunfo’s, which he also hosted.
Viewers had approached this year’s gala 0 with certain skepticism, as last edition’s is still remembered as one of the most catastrophic galas in OT’s history, as technical and sound problems such as microphones not working and contestants not being able to hear themselves happened repeatedly. Fortunately, it wasn’t the case this year, which Noemi Galera, OT’s principal, was quick to mention. Operación Triunfo has had a good start. We now have to wait for a couple of months to find out who out of the 16 new contestants will be chosen to represent Spain in Tel Aviv.