All of Spain — and plenty of international Eurofans — watched them fall in love during Operacion Triunfo.
And now Alfred & Amaia are sharing their love story with the rest of the world in a series of candid video interviews published on the RTVE YouTube channel.
Replete with English subtitles, the videos tell their OT stories concisely and emotionally, helping lay the scene for what will be a touching performance on the Eurovision stage this May.
The videos aren’t merely about their romance. They also discuss their personal journeys — of building self-esteem, of experimenting with different musical genres, and on maintaining self-belief amid an intense competition.
Alfred — “I was a bit weird”
Alfred’s air of self-assurance wasn’t always there.
“I went into casting with my own style, a bit underground-jazzy,” he explains. “I was not expecting to be selected.” But his rendition of Salvador Sobral’s “Amar pelos dois” impressed the judges and he found himself moving steadily toward the live shows.
“I thought I was passing the phases because I was the odd one in — a bit weird playing the trombone. But I was not sure about making it to the final.”
But as we all know he did. Over the course of Operacion Triunfo he showed his versatility, tackling songs as diverse as Ray Charles’ “Georgia on My Mind” and Salvador’s winning Eurovision number.
“At the beginning I felt a bit like an outsider,” he admits, with footage showing him in a flood of tears. “Then I realised being emotional is not as bad as it’s said. I think the coaches were key in the progress I made. They gave me great self-confidence and I’ll keep it always. I opened myself to emotions.”
And yes — there is plenty of talk of his real-life love interest Amaia. He admits that their piano duet to “City of Stars” touched him in ways well beyond the music. Tickling the ivories next to Amaia he’s quoted as saying: “I fell in love while singing that song.”
“It was so beautiful. It’s one of my fondest memories.”
I’m absolutely thrilled to perform in the Eurovision contest. There is that amazing trip to Lisbon. We have to work hard together. I’m so happy to do it with her. In the end, love and music always win.”
If there’s one word that springs to mind with Amaia, it’s evolution. Over the course of the show she blossomed from a timid girl with lots of potential to a self-assured woman who retained her sweetness.
The opening of the clip looks back at an earlier interview from the beginning of her time at the academy. She’s not sure she can cut it.
“I’ve imagined I could win indeed, although I think it’s very, very difficult,” she says. “The standard is really high. I don’t know…I’m not sure vocally.”
“I’m slowly grasping the outcome, as I still don’t believe it.” I’ve been absolutely determined to devote myself to music since I was a child. I’ve discovered new facets of me. I’ve performed songs in the show I never thought I was capable of.”
Naturally she discusses her cover of Florence & The Machine’s “Shake It Out”, which seemed to tip the balance in her favour and announced her arrival as a major contender for the OT crown.
“The week before performing ‘Shake it Out’ I was worried because I wasn’t sure of doing it well. But the coaches helped me a lot and I did it!”
Winning the Eurovision Gala was overwhelming — to the point she can’t recall details of what happened. “I don’t remember the moment I heard it was Alfred and I who were going to Eurovision…I don’t recall my reaction. I just remember a lot of confetti and Alfred bending down. It’s all very fuzzy in my mind, like blurred.”
She credits Alfred with making her time in the academy so special.
“Altogether it has been amazing. I’m so happy I met Alfred. Actually, nothing would have been the same without him.”
Are you loving how RTVE is showcasing their connection to the world? Do you think that they can challenge for the win in Lisbon? And what changes do you hope to see to their staging in Lisbon? Let us know in the comments box below.