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
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