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Spain | Road to Eurovision 2019: OT semifinal

Last night we watched the semifinal of Operacion Triunfo 2018. In just six days we will know who will be Amaia's successor as the next Operacion Triunfo winner. Two of the finalists were announced last week (Natalia and Famous) and the remaining four tried to secure their place in the final in Gala 12 (Alba, Miki, Sabela and Julia).

The contestants of the show were also given their potential Eurovision entries for the Eurovision Gala, which will take place in January. One minute demos will be available at on the 19th/20th December and the 3 songs most voted by the audience will qualify for the Eurovision Gala, with another 7 chosen internally.

Our six contestants opened the semifinal with the song Human by Killers.

Alba Reche: She used to be mine (Sara Bareilles)

Alba sang She used to be mine, a song by Sara Bareilles, written for Broadway musical Waitress. This song means a lot to Alba and I'm glad she got the chance to sing it in the semifinal of the show. I prepared my tissues in advance expecting another performance in the style of „La Llorona“ – and I was right. Alba captured me with her emotional delivery of the song, and I'm amazed by her voice and the sensitivity and sincere emotion that she brings. Deserved finalist, high likely a winner.

Miki: Some Nights (Fun)

Miki fought for entering the final with the song Some Nights by Fun. During the week, while preparing for the gala, Miki was having a hard time, with the song being vocally challenging. But despite not being vocally perfect, jury wanted to highlight Miki's connection with the audience and the fact that he is the only one who was voted fan favourite on two occasions. Those big drums reminded me of some Eurovision acts, and since Miki is the one with the most songs for Eurovision Gala, there's a real chance that we would see him at Eurovision.

Sabela: Negro Caravel (Rosa Cedrón and Cristina Pato)

Another masterpiece in Galician for Sabela! I was hoping for that to happen since the Gala 2. Sabela was singing this song in the style of fado, accompanied by the live musicians. The jury stated that Sabela is the one who showed the most progress and evolution since the beginning of the show.

Julia: Ya lo sabes (Marta Soto)

Julia with her acoustic guitar is all I needed to hear. Julia was a bit nervous but there wasn't any need for her to feel that way. She was flawless as always, and she created an intimate atmosphere capturing everyone's attention with her sensitivity and beautiful voice.

After all the four performances, the jury had to choose the next finalist. Quite expected and 100% deserved, the jury announced Alba Reche is the third finalist. Congratulations, Alba! The audience vote will decide upon the other two finalists.

Famous: Solo tú (Carlos Rivera)

Famous delivered this emotional ballad by Carlos Rivera. I have to admit I prefer Famous in the „swag role", singing uptempo songs with choreography. This was something completely different, but this song is truly beautiful and I enjoyed his performance.

Natalia: Seven nation army (The White Stripes)

Natalia created the stadium atmosphere with this anthemic song. She showed once again that she is ready for the big things (Eurovision alert!). I really liked the choreography by Vicky Gomez and I hope she will be in charge of the Spanish stage performance in Eurovision. Natalia justified her perfect jury ratings and showed amazing confidence and talent.

Who are the finalists?

After the few more performances including Alba, Natalia and Julia singing Este Amor Ya No Se Toca by Yuri and Sabela, Famous and Miki with Calypso by Luis Fonsi and Stefflon Don, came the most exciting moment of the night – annunciation of the last two finalists.

With 43% of the audience votes, Sabela is the fourth finalist. And the ultimate place in the final is reserved for... Julia! Julia won 37% of the votes. This means Miki is the last expulsed from the academy.

What happens next?

Next Wednesday, our five finalists will perform a song chosen by themselves, and after the first round of votes, two least voted contestants will leave the competition.

Three finalists will then sing their songs of the Gala 0, to show the progress they made in the academy. The lines will be opened once again, for the audience to choose the winner of Operacion Triunfo 2018.

Guest performances

Invited artists of the gala 12 were Laura Pausini and Biagio Antonacci, with El valor de seguir adelante.

Ana Guerra, the last year's finalist was back with her new catchy tune – Bajito!

Who deserves to win Operacion Triunfo and who deserves the Eurovision glory? Tell us in the comments and follow our social media for more news like this.

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