The second season of the rebooted TV reality talent show “Operacion Triunfo” (Star Academy) – or OT – officially kicks off today in Barcelona. The castings will take place over several weeks. In 2018, the show was used to determine who would represent Spain in Lisbon.
Operation Eurovision 2019?
This year, the rebooted program (its previous season had been broadcast in 2011) was used as a national selection by RTVE. A special show took place between the semi-final and the final, on January 29th 2018. The five finalists participated, in different combinations (solo, duo, and even a song including all of them), with 9 songs in competition. The duo and couple consisting of Amaia and Alfred won the gala with their song “Tu Canción”.
While nothing has been fully and officially confirmed as of yet, the talent show might very well be used once again to select the Spanish contestant. Two facts can lead us to that conclusion.
First, like in any TV show, candidates must sign and agree to a set of rules before the casting. One of the rule of OT2018 states this:
Those selected as contestants in the program accept that their participation in the OPERACION TRIUNFO contest includes the possibility of being chosen to represent SPAIN at the EUROVISION contest.
Moreover, the president of RTVE confirmed in a parlamentary hearing that despite disappointing results in the Eurovision final, the show was still favoured as a way to select the Spanish representative. That is partly because of the “magnificent” viewing figures both OT and Eurovision have brought.
==> You can watch the relevant part of the hearing on the video below. <==
More than seven million viewers for Eurovision
Indeed, Operacion Triunfo was a success for RTVE, at least with the ratings. On average, 2.443 million people watched the show each week, with viewing shares amounting to 19% of the Monday night, on average.
What was very impressive with the show was how it did not lost, but actually gained viewers through the weeks (unlike The X Factor in the UK or The Voice in France). Half of the 16 shows (including the Christmas and the Eurovision galas) were leaders of the night with viewing shares, and those eight shows were the first one (Gala 0), and the seven last Mondays (from the Christmas Gala until the final).
The Eurovision Gala was the first show to go above the 3 million viewers threshold, and Eurovision itself gathered 7.170 million Spanish viewers (a total share of 43.5%). This is far more than Operacion Triunfo, but also far more than any Eurovision contest since 2008. According to the President of RTVE, 2018 was the fourth most watched Eurovision contest ever in Spain. Last year, only 3,91 million switched on their TV to watch the contest in Kyiv.
OT2018: Ten cities and eighteen slots
As we said, today, the castings begin for Operacion Triunfo 2018.
Thousands of candidates will rush to the castings in the coming weeks. However, this year, they may be a tiny bit less numerous. Indeed, a few candidates will receive the possibility to skip the first phase of the castings. In the last few weeks, 15.000 people have published videos of them covering songs on social media with the hashtag #OTCovers. The best of them will be the lucky ones.
Lucky ones indeed, since the first phase of the casting includes a very long queue outside of the casting location, usually in the open, under the sun. Each candidate must sing a cappela for at least 20 seconds, and knows immediately if they get to the next phase or not.
The ten cities are:
- Barcelona (May 30th)
- Alicante (June 4th)
- Valencia (June 7th)
- Palma de Mallorca (June 12th)
- San Sebastian (June 18th)
- Vigo (June 21st)
- Tenerife (June 26th)
- Malaga (July 2nd)
- Seville (July 5th)
- Madrid (July 10th)
The chosen candidates will need to sing three songs in closed doors audition, with music and instruments if they wish. When this will happen is yet unknown. After that, several casting rounds will be organised to further reduce the number of candidates.
In the end, only 18 will remain, who will participate in the first show, the “Gala 0”. Then, only 16 will enter the Academy. This year once again, a 24h stream of the Academy (located in Catalonia), where all the candidates will be living between the TV shows (the galas), will be available online.
What do you think? Should OT be used to select the next Spanish act? Do you plan on following OT18? Tell us more on the comments below or on social media at @ESCXTRA !