Operación Triunfo — Spain’s talent show/reality show/Eurovision national selection — continued last night with Gala 1. Last week the 16 competing acts were decided and moved into the OT Academy. This week, they performed their first duets and faced the dreaded elimination nominations.
The show kicked off with the group performance. The sixteen tackled the self-empowerment anthem “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman. Look, we’re not going to say that most of the girls were better singers than most of the boys in this performance, but it felt that way at times. And after just one week, the audience favourites are becoming clear — listen to who gets the biggest cheers.
One of the most popular performances of the evening was also the first. Carlos Right — who had been in the bottom three last week and narrowly escaped missing out on entering the Academy — teamed up with Miki. The pair tackled the fun ’80s synthpop tune “El ataque de las chicas cocodrilo” (The attack of the crocodile girls). Los guapos oozed charm and charisma, and had plenty of bromantic chemistry.
Another big performance came from two of the biggest voices on the show. Alba Reche and Noelia paid tribute to the late, great Aretha Franklin with a version of her iconic song “Respect”. The pair delivered the female empowerment anthem with loads of attitude and energy and they established themselves as two contestants to keep an eye on.
The third stand-out performance of the evening came from Famous and Natalia. They delivered a slick performance of Portugal. The Man‘s recent hit “Feel It Still”. Natalia delivered her femme fatale style, while Famous showed that his seductively deep bass tones are to OT 2018 what Agoney’s thrilling treble was to OT 2017.
Noelia earned some “Respect” and was the audience favourite, which made her safe from elimination. The jury saved Famous, Natalia, Alba and Miki. The jury also saved Damion, Dave, Marilia, María, Marta, and Julia. Carlos Right was saved as well, proving that his near-elimination last week wasn’t about to repeat.
Less safe was África, who was saved from the bottom by the Academy staff. Joan Garrido was similarly saved by his fellow contestants’ votes. Joan had been singled out by the jury for not being up to the standard of his duet partner Julia.
That means that facing elimination next week will be Alfonso and Sabela. The pair had dueted on Luis Fonsi and Demi Lovato’s “Échame la Culpa”. It wasn’t a terrible performance, but the pair was lacking in chemistry and overall it didn’t measure up to most of the other acts.
Next week Alfonso and Sabela will give solo performances, face the public vote and one of them will be sent home. The remaining 14 acts will be paired up and again sing duets.
Until next Wednesday, here’s Dave from this week’s conversational English class. He likes eating pears.
What do you think? Who were your favourites from Gala 1? Who should Spain send to Eurovision 2019? Sound off below!