The second gala show of Spain’s Operación Triunfo 2018 screened on Wednesday night and the show kicked up a gear. Alfonso was the first act to be eliminated from the Academy, Afríca and Dave are up for elimination, while Natalia was this week’s favourite.
On the judging panel of the talent show/reality show/national selection, regulars Manuel Martos and Joe Pérez-Orive were joined by guest judge Julia Gómez Cora. New judge Ana Torroja was absent this week and her place was filled by the singer Rosana.
Tonight saw the first elimination from the Academy. Alfonso and Sabela had been up for elimination all week, based on their performances last week. Sadly it was Alfonso who lost the public vote and will be the first one to pack his bags and leave. But it wasn’t all bad — Alfonso’s husband came on to offer his guy some support and the audience sang “Cumpleaños feliz” to birthday girl Sabela.
But being the first out of the academy is not always a bad thing, as this week’s guest performer showed. Mimi was the first act eliminated last year, but tonight she returned as Lola Indigo and performed her summer smash “Ya no quiero ná”. The performance prompted many Eurofans to insist that their reina go to Eurovision next year, though others noted that Mimi still relies on a backing track to beef up her live vocals.
This week’s top public favourite was Natalia. Along with Marta, she gave a rollicking rockabilly rendition of “Tainted Love”. As well as owning the stage with her confident performance, Natalia also showed that she is one of the strongest vocalists of the year. As Natalia is this week’s public favourite, she has earned a solo performance in next week’s gala.
Another audience favourite was Alba Reche. She duetted with Miki on the Mexican ballad “Alma mía”, accompanied by live acoustic guitar players. The song showed off a quieter, gentler side of both performers, but it was Alba who made the most impact with viewers.
Another favourite of the evening was Julia. She performed “Mi historia entre tus dedos” with Carlos Right. The song is about someone grappling with being in love with a person who just wants to be friends — and viewers were left wondering how true the lyrics were to the pair’s friendship. While it’s still up for debate whether #Julright will be the #Almaia of OT 2018, the couple poured all their emotions into the tender performance.
When it came to the jury making their nominations for elimination, four acts faced the bottom. María was in the bottom four for the first time, but she was saved by the Academy staff. Again Joan Garrido was in the bottom four, and again he was saved by votes from his fellow contestants. In a nail-biting tie between Joan and Dave, Natalia had the tie-break vote which saved Joan.
That left two acts who will be up for elimination at next week’s Gala, Dave and Afríca. Dave had perhaps been outshone by the effervescent Noelia on “Volando voy”, while Afríca (along with María) had been a little lacklustre in the performance of “Friends”.
OT 2018 Gala 2: All contestant performances
- Group – “Bonito es”
- Alfonso – “All of Me”
- Sabela – “Benditas feridas”
- Dave & Noelia – “Volando voy”
- África & María – “Friends”
- Alba Reche & Miki – “Alma mía”
- Joan Garrido & Marilia – “Another Day of Sun”
- Damion & Famous – “Déjala que baile”
- Marta & Natalia – “Tainted Love”
- Carlos Right & Julia – “Mi historia entre tus dedos”
OT and Eurovision
It won’t be long before we know how exactly OT will be used to select Spain’s act for Eurovision 2019. Broadcaster RTVE will publish a statement later today with details of OT’s Eurovision selection process.
So far, we know that work on the potential Eurovision songs will begin much earlier and that the competition may be open to any of the OT 2018 contestants — not just the ones who remain in the contest when the gala is held.
What do you think? What were your favourite performances from Gala 2? Who do you think will be eliminated next week? Tell us below!