Operación Triunfo (Spanish TV series)

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Operación Triunfo
Created by Toni Cruz, Josep Maria Mainat y Joan Ramon Mainat
Presented by Carlos Lozano (2001–2004)
Jesús Vázquez (2005–2009)
Pilar Rubio (2011)
Country of origin Spain
Producer(s) Gestmusic
Location(s) Barcelona
Running time 160–180 minutes
Original network La 1 (2001-2004)
Telecinco (2005-2011)
Picture format SD: 576i
Original release 22 October 2001 – 20 February 2011
External links
Location of different versions of Star Academy

Operación Triunfo is a reality-show talent contest which first aired on Spain's TVE network in 2001. A kind of cross between Pop Idol, Voces en Función, Star Search, and Big Brother, the show aimed to find the country's next solo singing sensation, putting a selection of hopefuls through their paces by getting them to sing a variety of cover versions of popular songs (mainly in Spanish and English, but also sporadically in Italian or Portuguese), with tutoring from various professionals, and a headmaster like a school (first 3 series, Nina, 4 and 5 Kike Santander, 6 and 7 Àngel Llàcer) and 8 with Nina.

Operación triunfo (also known as OT) has been broadcast since 2001, first by TVE and then Telecinco. Successful program and audience, was broadcast on TVE in his first three seasons and in Telecinco in the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth. In it, a series of week after week contestants demonstrated their skills as singers in a gala live one day a week. The first contest was the most successful, being 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. In his first three seasons, the top prize was to represent Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest. TVE in this way was able to build on a popularity surge the Eurovision contest was experiencing in Spain.

Each week four contestants are nominated by the jury to leave the academy, the Academy teachers and saved to a peer to another, the remaining two are left to the audience to decide the outcast, until six of them the final in accordance with the rules that three of them would get a recording career and the right to try to represent Spain in the Eurovision. This was true in his first three seasons (in the third nominees were proposed by the public voting as the 5 contestants who got fewer votes from the public were nominated, the judges, teachers and peers saved one respectively to be two were finally nominated, then in the finals, plus the three winners were chosen to fourth winner in a recent gala expulsion, which would have the same rights as the top three winners). In the fourth, fifth and sixth edition, the jury returned to have the decision to elect the nominees to the show No. 12, from there, each week the public voted, and the two nominees were voted least be challenged in "duel" songs, and at the end of the show the audience who chose continued, and was developed to be three finalists, which was a winner and got a record deal.


During the first three series hosted by TVE, the show was used to select the singer and song that represented Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest. The three finalists sang three songs each, and the public voted the song they liked the most.

The show was not an instant ratings-winner, but later ran to at least three series. Finalists were whittled down by a combination of votes from "industry figures" and the general public. The first series participants soon became media stars, but the success dismished with subsequent editions. The show became a worldwide brand known as Star Academy (or Fame Academy in the United Kingdom).

Series summary[edit]

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

All contestants appearing above (1st to 6th) are from Spain, except for Chenoa who is Argentinean (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

O.T I (2001-2002)[edit]

  1. Winner: Rosa López
  2. David Bisbal
  3. David Bustamante


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 Latino Grammy as best newcomer for his album Corazón Latino.

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

O.T II (2002-2003)[edit]


  1. Ainhoa
  2. Manuel Carrasco
  3. Beth


  • 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 didn't do well had massive success across Europe and South America, not just in Spain:

The first person out of the show, Mai Meneses, shocked the music world in 2006 when herself and a childhood friend formed the group Nena Daconte. They released the album, He Perdido Los Zapatos, which some critics hailed as "one of the best albums in Spanish of all time". The album has 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.

O.T III (2003-2004)[edit]

This was the last series hosted by TVE, and the one with the lowest ratings, so far. Finalists:

  1. Vicente
  2. Ramón - He was sent to 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 national final. The show was then offered to Telecinco, who bought it. This fourth edition started airing on June 2005 and it got better audiences than the third one, but it never reached the awesome results that the first one achieved. Though, the second placed Soraya Arnelas represented Spain at Eurovision Song Contest 2009.


  1. Sergio Rivero
  2. Soraya Arnelas
  3. Víctor


  • Idaira
  • Fran Dieli
  • Edurne

Evicted Contestants:

  • Lidia Reyes
  • Sandra Polop
  • Guille Barea
  • Guillermo Martín
  • Mónica
  • Dani Sanz
  • Héctor
  • Jesús de Manuel
  • Trizia
  • Janina

Sergio, Soraya, Victor, Idaira, Edurne, Guille Barea and Jesús de Manuel received solo record deals after the show. Guillermo Martín, Sandra Polop and Fran Dieli formed a trio and released an album together called "Generación OT". As of 2009, most of the prior have been dropped by their respective record labels. Soraya Arnelas and Edurne are the only ones active with a major label backing them up. Series 5 winner, Sergio, and fourth placed finalist, Idaira, were dropped but are currently on indie labels. Sandra Polop formed her own band later on called El Secreto de Alex and hopes to release her album with the band in 2009.

O.T V (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 release a TV Show called Operación Triunfo 2006: Otra Vez en Marcha. In this show some former OT artists (Rosa, Soraya Arnelas, Sergio Rivero, Natalia, Beth,...) performed and the new generation of contestants to participate in the new edition was presented.

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. Lorena Gómez
  2. Daniel Zueras
  3. Leo Segarra


  • Saray Ramírez
  • Moritz
  • José Galisteo

Evicted Contestants:

  • Ismael
  • Jorge
  • Eva
  • Vanessa
  • Mayte
  • Mercedes
  • Cristina
  • José Antonio
  • Xavier
  • Encarna

After the show, Lorena, Daniel, Leo, Saray and Jose received solo record deals.

Series 5 winner, Lorena has so far released 2 albums and is set to release her 3rd record (first album of original songs) mid-2009. Daniel was set to release his second album but was quickly dropped. Leo has so far released three albums. Saray is still in the works of her anticipated debut album, which may see the light of day in 2009. Jose is set to release his second album in the summer.

O.T VI (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 polemical of all because many of the critics over OT comment that this edition was not about the music but the day-by-day problems between the students.


  1. Virginia - Winner
  2. Pablo
  3. Chipper

4. Manu
5. Sandra
6. Mimi

Evicted Contestants:

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

Virginia released her debut album as an act by the name Labuat. The self-titled album (Labuat) debuted well in the Spanish albums chart, charting at number 2. Noelia and Anabel tried out for the Eurovision Song Contest 2009. Noelia with her debut single entitled Cruza Los Dedos and Anabel as part of a five piece band called Santa Fe with their single entitled Samba House. Both Noelia and Santa Fe made the Spanish pre selection final. Noelia ended up finish 11th place overall, whilst Santa Fe finished 3rd.

O.T VII (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 (Peruvian living in Spain)
  3. Jon Allende


  • 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

O.T VIII (2011)[edit]

This was the last series hosted by Telecinco. The show was canceled after 35 days due to low ratings. It ended with a 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.[1]


  1. Nahuel Sachak from Paraguay - Winner
  2. Alex Forriols - Runner-up
  3. Jefferson -Third


  • 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]