Operación Triunfo (Spanish TV series)

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Operación Triunfo
Created by Toni Cruz
Josep Maria Mainat
Joan Ramon Mainat
Presented by Carlos Lozano (2001–2004)
Jesús Vázquez (2005–2009)
Pilar Rubio (2011)
Country of origin Spain
Producer(s) Gestmusic Endemol
Location(s) Barcelona
Running time 160–180 minutes
Original network La 1 (2001-2004; 2017-)
Telecinco (2005-2011)
Picture format SD: 576i
Original release Original series
22 October 2001 (2001-10-22) – 20 February 2011 (2011-02-20)
Revived series
External links
Website www.rtve.es/television/ot/
Location of different versions of Star Academy

Operación Triunfo is a reality television talent show which first aired on Spain's TVE network in 2001. A music talent contest with viewer voting and reality show elements that originated Endemol's Star Academy franchise, the show aimed to find the country's next solo singing sensation.

Operación Triunfo (also known as OT) first aired in 2001. On its first run between 2001 and 2004, three seasons were aired on TVE, which also served as the national final to select the Spanish entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. The first season of OT was particularly successful in ratings, becoming one of the most popular shows in the history of Spanish television and featuring singers that went on to enjoy long-term recognition from the public: notably Rosa López, David Bisbal, David Bustamante or Chenoa. After the third season, TVE decided not to renew the show and its rights were acquired by Telecinco, which aired seasons 5-8 of the series. Season 8 in 2011 was cancelled due to poor ratings and its finale was rushed as a result.

On April 26, 2017, RTVE approved a new season of the talent show produced by Gestmusic Endemol, returning to TVE after 13 years. The total cost of the new season will be 10,2 million.[1]


A selection of hopefuls is boarded in "The Academy", managed by a headmaster, where they are coached by various professionals in several artistic disciplines and are filmed with cameras (an idea borrowed from another of Endemol's major reality shows Big Brother). Once a week, the contestants have to face a prime time show, where they sing a cover version of a popular song they have prepared during the week before, as well as recapping their trials and tribulations at The Academy from the past week. The live show will often feature special guest stars, with whom some of the contestants have the opportunity to sing. Based on the judges' verdicts and viewer voting, the weakest contestant is dropped. The eventual winner is awarded a record deal and/or some amount of money.

Series summary[edit]

Series Year Winner Runner-up Third place Fourth place Fifth place Sixth place Host Headmaster
1 2001–2002 Rosa López David Bisbal David Bustamante Chenoa Manu Tenorio Verónica Romero Carlos Lozano Nina
2 2002–2003 Ainhoa Cantalapiedra Manuel Carrasco Beth Rodergas Miguel Nández Hugo Salazar Joan Tena
3 2003-2004 Vicente Seguí Ramón del Castillo Miguel Cadenas Davinia Cuevas Mario Martínez Leticia Pérez
4 2005 Sergio Rivero Soraya Arnelas Víctor Estévez Idaira Fernandez Fran Dieli Edurne García Jesús Vázquez Kike Santander
5 2006–2007 Lorena Gómez Daniel Zueras Leo Segarra Saray Ramírez Moritz Weisskopf Jose Galisteo
6 2008 Virginia Maestro Pablo López Chipper Cooke Manu Castellano Sandra Criado Mimi Segura Àngel Llàcer
7 2009 Mario Álvarez Brenda Mau Jon Allende Ángel Capel Patricia Navarro Sylvia Parejo
8 2011 Nahuel Sachak Álex Forriols Mario Jefferson Alexandra Masangkay Niccó Josh Prada Pilar Rubio Nina
9 2017 TBA TBA

All contestants appearing above (1st to 6th) are Spanish-born, except for Chenoa who is Argentinian-born (from series 1), Moritz who is German (series 5), Chipper Cook who is from the United States (series 6), Brenda Mau who is from Peru (series 7), Alexandra Masangkay who is from the Philippines (series 8) and winner of season 8 Nahuel Sachak who is from Paraguay.

Season 1 (2001-2002)[edit]

  1. Winner: Rosa López
  2. David Bisbal
  3. David Bustamante
Other finalists
Evicted contestants
  • Nuria Fergó
  • Gisela
  • Naim Thomas
  • Alejandro
  • Juan Camus
  • Natalia
  • Álex Casademunt
  • Javián
  • Mireia
  • Geno Machado

All three finalists of the first series released debut albums, but while Rosa (accompanied by some fellow contenders as backing singers) scored seventh place in the Eurovision Song Contest 2002 with the song "Europe's Living a Celebration", and had notable success with her albums, it was Bisbal who went on to international success, even winning a Latin Grammy Award for Best Newcomer for his album Corazón Latino.

Other participants of this first edition (Chenoa, Nuria Fergó and Manu Tenorio) also launched successful solo careers. Also, Gisela was hired Disney Spain and started a career in musical theater; and represented Andorra in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008.

Season 2 (2002-2003)[edit]

  1. Winner: Ainhoa
  2. Manuel Carrasco
  3. Beth - She was chosen to represent Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest 2003. She scored 8th place with the song "Dime".
Other finalists
  • Miguel Nández
  • Hugo
  • Joan Tena
Evicted contestants
  • Tony Santos
  • Nika
  • Vega
  • Dani Úbeda
  • Elena Gadel
  • Tessa
  • Marey
  • Cristie
  • Enrrique Anaut
  • Miguel Angel Silva
  • Mai Meneses

The second series of Operación Triunfo became an anomaly in the category of popular reality TV music shows. First of all, the winner had very little success after the show. Second of all, many contestants who did not do well had massive success across Europe and South America, not just in Spain:

The first person out of the show, Mai Meneses, rose to prominence in 2006 when herself and a childhood friend formed the band Nena Daconte. They released an album, He Perdido Los Zapatos, which was highly praised by critics. The album sold over 200,000 copies in Spain alone, an amazing feat as an average album to get to number 1 in Spain needs around 20,000 sales.

Vega, who came 9th, managed to release the best selling single of 2003 in Spain with her own composition, "iGrita!", with over one million copies sold.

Season 3 (2003-2004)[edit]

This was the last series aired by TVE, and the one with the lowest ratings, as of 2011. Finalists:

  1. Winner: Vicente
  2. Ramón - He was chosen to represent Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest 2004. He scored 10th place with the song "Para llenarme de ti".
  3. Miguel Cadenas
  4. Davinia

O.T IV (2005)[edit]

TVE refused a fourth series, choosing to select its Eurovision Song Contest entry using a multi-artist national final. The show was then offered to Telecinco, who bought its rights. This fourth season started airing in June 2005 and got better ratings than the third one, but it never reached the results that the first season achieved. Runner-up Soraya Arnelas would represent Spain at the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 and sixth-placed Edurne would represent Spain at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015.

  1. Winner: Sergio Rivero
  2. Soraya Arnelas
  3. Víctor
Other finalists
  • Idaira
  • Fran Dieli
  • Edurne
Evicted contestants
  • Lidia Reyes
  • Sandra Polop
  • Guille Barea
  • Guillermo Martín
  • Mónica
  • Dani Sanz
  • Héctor
  • Jesús de Manuel
  • Trizia
  • Janina

Season 5 (2006-2007)[edit]

Telecinco announced in May 2006 that the fifth series of the program was to be released in October 2006.

In July, 25 Telecinco aired a special show titled Operación Triunfo 2006: Otra Vez en Marcha. In this show some former OT artists (among them,Rosa, Soraya Arnelas, Sergio Rivero, Natalia, Beth) performed and the new selection of contestants was introduced.

The fifth series started on Sunday October 8, 2006 with 18 finalists, but two finalists had to leave and they didn't enter the academy. It created some controversy as one of the first two people out that night was the first black person, Claritzel, ever to be on the show (she had to pull out of last year's show). She had to leave the show because of a heart intervention.

  1. Winner: Lorena Gómez
  2. Daniel Zueras
  3. Leo Segarra
Other finalist
  • Saray Ramírez
  • Moritz
  • José Galisteo
Evicted contestants
  • Ismael
  • Jorge
  • Eva
  • Vanessa
  • Mayte
  • Mercedes
  • Cristina
  • José Antonio
  • Xavier
  • Encarna

Season 6 (2008)[edit]

Castings started in Barcelona for the new series on February 18, 2008. The sixth season began on April 8, 2008, with 18 candidates to enter the academy (two of them didn't). This season has been the most controversial because many critics pointed that the season centered more on the reality show aspect than on the contestants' performing talent.

  1. Winner: Virginia
  2. Pablo
  3. Chipper
Other finalists

4. Manu
5. Sandra
6. Mimi

Evicted contestants
  • Iván
  • Noelia
  • Anabel
  • Tania S
  • Reke
  • Esther
  • Tania G
  • Ruben
  • Paula
  • Ros
  • Patty

Season 7 (2009)[edit]

The castings were made on March and April 2009 in all Spain. The first gala from OT 2009 was televised on April 29, 2009. Once again, Risto Mejide was a part of the jury pannel, along with Noemi Galera, Coco Comín and Ramoncín.

  1. Winner: Mario Álvarez
  2. Brenda Mau
  3. Jon Allende
Other finalists
  • Ángel Capel
  • Patricia Navarro
  • Silvia Parejo
  • Cristina Rueda
  • Samuel Cuenda

Evicted Contestants

  • Rafa Bueso
  • Alba Lucía López
  • Elías Vargas
  • Diana Tobar
  • Maxi Giménez
  • Nazaret Tebar
  • Pedro Moreno
  • Guadiana Almeda

Season 8 (2011)[edit]

This was the last series aired by Telecinco. The show was cancelled after 35 days due to poor ratings. It ended with a rushed finale featuring contestants from previous series. Despite the low ratings, fans of the show made the Twitter hashtag #VivaOT the highest trending topic during the airing of the finale.[2]


  1. Winner: Nahuel Sachak
  2. Alex Forriols - Runner-up
  3. Jefferson -Third
Other finalists
  • Alexandra Masangkay
  • Niccó
  • Josh Prada
  • Róxio
Evicted contestants
  • Nirah Robles
  • Naxxo
  • Coraluna
  • Juan Delgado
  • Moneiba Hidalgo
  • Geno Machado
  • Ramil
  • Charlie Karisen
  • Silvia Román
  • Sira

See also[edit]


External links[edit]