It’s the Spanish talent show that is also serving as the first national final of the 2019 season. Spain’s Operación Triunfo 2018 kicked off tonight with Gala 0. The show introduced viewers to the 18 competing artists and decided which 16 of the hopefuls would enter the famed Academy — and which two would be going home.

The show started with a reunion of the 16 stars of OT 2017. They gave an emotional reprise of their group song “Camino”, a reminder of how popular last year’s series was. It was also revealed that the 2017 group will reunite for one final arena concert. The show will take place December 27 at Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona — the location of the very first OT 2017 concert way back on March 3.

(And in case you’re wondering, no, it’s not your screen — there’s some really shaky camerawork at times in this performance!)

Then it was time for the 18 contenders of OT 2018 to sing for a place in the OT Academy — and there were some stand-out performances.

Miki impressed viewers with his version of Antílopez’s jaunty number. The YouTube clip of his performance so far has the most views of all Gala 0 songs, which suggests that interest is high in this singer from Barcelona. Not surprisingly, Miki was saved by the jury, ensuring him a place in the Academy.

Alba Reche demonstrated blonde ambition with her cover of Ariana Grande’s “Dangerous Woman”. She brought loads of glamour and attitude to the stage and was another act to be saved by the jury.

Famous prove good evidence for nominative determinism with his version of Stevie Wonder and Ariana Grande’s “Faith”. He confidently strutted across the stage and proved himself to have some of the best vocals of OT 2018. And yes, the jury also saved him.

Natalia delivered a cover of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy”. She showed off her smooth vocals and on-stage style (and we love a good power bob). Natalia was also saved by the jury.

The jury also saved África, Alfonso, Dave, Joan Garrido, Julia, Marilla, Marta and Noelia. This meant that these 12 contestants are guaranteed a place in the OT Academy — at least until the next elimination in two weeks’ time.

But things were tougher for six other contestants. Damion and María were saved by the jury after initially being unsafe, while Sabela was the act saved by the Academy staff.

This left three acts up for elimination: Carlos Right, Luis, and Rodrigo.

Dramatically, Luis had been a big favourite going into the gala. His days-old Instagram account already had over 77,000 followers and it was expected he would have a big fan base supporting him in the contest. However, when he performed at Gala 0, it became obvious that… well, he wasn’t the strongest singer.

Spain was not distracted by Luis’ cute haircut. Carlos Right won the public vote, ensuring him a place in the Academy and sending Luis and Rodrigo home.

The saved 16 acts will now move into the Academy, which will be their home for the next 12 weeks — or less. Next Wednesday, the 16 will perform duets and two singers will find themselves up for elimination the following week.

And one (or more) of these acts will be Spain’s representative at Eurovision 2019. The show producers have confirmed that the Eurovision selection will be open to all 16 acts, not just the ones still in the competition when the Eurovision Gala is held.

Watch all performances from Operación Triunfo 2018 – Gala 0

What was your favourite performance in Gala 0 of OT 2018?

Which performance did you like the best? Have your say by voting in our poll. You can vote for as many acts as you like, but you can only vote once, so make it count!

 

Read more Spain Eurovision news here

Read more Operación Triunfo news here

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Efraim
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Efraim

Rumor has it that Luis was actually the most followed one because of a fast-growing hatedom. And the reason for that wasn’t his talent or lack thereof, but his alleged right-wing political leaning.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
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Mr. Vanilla Bean

72,4k would be an impressive of amount of haters. Also an impressive amount of idiots if that’s true. Why follow someone you hate? And why hate someone with a different point of view anyway?

Otrensh
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Otrensh

My favorites are Famous, Noelia, Miki and Natalia. I think Damon will be good as well. Saw a video of him with his guitar and he’s like a mixture of sheeran/shawn mendes. This OT looks promising and i bet the eurovision songs will be better too.

laovue
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laovue

Alba screams too much and her english was terrible. Noelia, Famous and Natalia have great english pronunciation, very surprising.

serg
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serg

Look Marta´s perfomance up

Josh Kennon
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Josh Kennon

Africa, Alba Reche, Carlos, Julia, Marilia, Marta, Miki, and Noelia caught my eye — they each seem to have something that’s already apparent or something I think can be cultivated and grown — the rest were just eh at this stage, but it could all flip in two weeks with song choice!

Sabrina
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Sabrina

Miki had the best performance, but Noelia, Famous and Marta also impressed me in terms of potential. They still need some “grooming” on their talents and that’s what a show like OT is about. I would also pay attention to Dave. There’s something very genuine about him. If he improves his vocals, I can see he becoming a dark horse.

Kjartan
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Kjartan

Quite impressed by Noelia and Miki performances, so far they are my 2 favourites but also liked Africa, Natalia and Famous.

Weißbrot
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Weißbrot

I have obviously watched the show because I’m a hopeless Eurovision fan who doesn’t have anything else to do. Miki was my fave but I also liked Africa and Dave. Noelia is an amazing singer but sometimes less is more..Carlos looks freaking gorgeous tho, oh my lord. I have fallen in love. <3 The worst performances of the night were definitly the ones from Damion and Maria. They should have been thrown out instantly…

Héctor
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Héctor

So far my favs are Alba, Natalia, Damion, Famous, Noelia and Miki. Let’s see what they bring in uncoming weeks.

Vanuatu
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Vanuatu

So far, im rooting for Miki, Marta, Natalia, Famous, Noelia & Maria. I see Alba with some chance, but to me yesterday’s performance was a bit… parish-pump. Too much voice, little control, 0 emotion.

laovue
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laovue

IKR. And yet people say that Noelia had little control, Alba was worse

ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)
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ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)

I have watched the livestream yesterday and Alba was flawless. Before the show, I said she is looking like the classy but evil girl in a James Bond movie, and then she sang Dangerous Woman 😀 Well, that fits… 😀

Sunny
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Sunny

Julia and africa joan and carlos alba and marta.
I hope they will sing in spanish only.
Not all of them are clear in english.

laovue
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laovue

they have an english teacher in OT, maybe that can help?

Yellowman96
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Yellowman96

I think in term of views Noelia Franco’s “River” has already surpassed Miki as the most viewed OT video

Fortunato
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Fortunato

2 boys eliminated. Yes, this is diva loving Spain. Here we go again.

Marc
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Marc

Indeed. Miki is my hope hahah
Our charts is dominated by men rather than women tho

FACTS
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FACTS

diva loving??? they just dont want another manel navarro HONEY

Weißbrot
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Weißbrot

I don’t think their ladies were even a tinier bit more succesul than the guys they’ve sent. It’s either the opposite. So, Spain sends like women only… They fail. Spain sends ONE guy. He also fails. I don’t get your thought process Right there….It’s not a gender thing, Spain just fails very often.

Joe
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Joe

I dig Famous. Give him a good soul song in the same vein as Cesar and he could kill it. At least the juries would dig it.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
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Mr. Vanilla Bean

Too bad they let the cute one go because the music is a lost cause in such a selection anyway.
Also, who names their child “Famous”?

Marcelo
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Marcelo

Spanish (from Spain) names are quite strange, aren’t they?