Operación Triunfo (Spanish TV series)

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)
Roberto Leal (2017–)
Country of origin Spain
Producer(s) Gestmusic Endemol
Production 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
23 October 2017 (2017-10-23) – present
External links

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 aims 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 season was 10.2 million.[1] Due to its ratings success, it was renewed for a further season.[2]


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

SeriesYearWinnerRunner-upThird placeFourth placeFifth placeSixth placeHostHeadmaster
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 Fernández Fran Dieli Edurne García Jesús Vázquez Kike Santander
5 2006–2007 Lorena Gómez Daniel Zueras Leo Segarra Saray Ramírez Moritz Weisskopf José 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 2017–2018 Amaia Romero Aitana Ocaña Miriam Rodríguez Alfred García Ana Guerra Agoney Hernández Roberto Leal Noemí Galera
10 2018–2019

All contestants appearing above (1st to 6th) are Spanish-born, except for Chenoa who is Argentinian-born (from series 1), Moritz Weisskopf who is German (series 5), Chipper Cooke 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)

  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. In addition, Gisela was hired by Disney Spain and started a career in musical theater; and represented Andorra in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008.

Season 2 (2002–2003)

  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
  • Enrique 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 Latin 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)

This was the last series aired by TVE until 2017, and the one with the lowest ratings until 2011.

  1. Winner: Vicente
  2. Ramón
  3. Miguel Cadenas
  4. Davinia
Other finalists
  • Marío Martínez
  • Leticia Pérez
Evicted contestants
  • Noelia Fonte
  • Beatriz Porrúa
  • Nuria Elosegui "Nur"
  • Borja Voces
  • Israel González
  • Jorge Asín
  • Sonia Poblet
  • Miriam Villar
  • José Giménez
  • Fede Monreal
  • Isabel Fernández

Runner-up Ramón was chosen to represent Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest 2004. He scored 10th place with the song "Para llenarme de ti".

Season 4 (2005)

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

Season 5 (2006–2007)

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)

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. Runner-up Pablo López went on to launch a successful recording career in 2014.

  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)

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 Noemí 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)

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.[3]


  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

Season 9 (2017–2018)

Six years after the series was discontinued and thirteen years after the series last aired on TVE, RTVE approved to revive the talent show. The total cost of the new season was 10,2 million. Casting auditions for the ninth season were held from 14 June 2017 to 18 July 2017 in Barcelona, Las Palmas, Palma, Valencia, Santiago de Compostela, Bilbao, Granada, Seville, and Madrid.[4] On 18 July 2017, Noemí Galera, a member of the jury panel on previous seasons, was announced as the new "headmaster" of the Academy.[5] On 28 August 2017, it was revealed that the jury panel would consists of singer, songwriter and producer Mónica Naranjo, marketing director Joe Pérez-Orive and music executive and producer Manuel Martos, who would be accompanied every week by a fourth guest juror.[6] On 30 August 2017, Roberto Leal was announced as the new host.[7] The season premiered on 23 October 2017. The final took place on 5 February 2018, and Amaia Romero was announced the winner.[8] In addition, Amaia and Alfred were selected to represent represent Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 with "Tu canción", and finished in twenty-third place out of 26 countries.

Contestant Age Residence Episode of elimination Place finished
Amaia 19 Pamplona Winner 1st
Aitana 18 Barcelona Runner-up 2nd
Miriam 21 A Coruña Second runner-up 3rd
Alfred 20 Barcelona Gala Final 4th
Ana Guerra 23 Tenerife 5th
Agoney 21 Gala 12 6th
Roi 23 Santiago de Compostela Gala 11 7th
Nerea 18 Barcelona Gala 10 8th
Cepeda 28 Ourense Gala 9 9th
Raoul 20 Barcelona Gala 8 10th
Mireya Málaga Gala 7 11th
Ricky 31 Palma Gala 6 12th
Marina 19 Seville Gala 5 13th
Thalía 18 Cáceres Gala 4 14th
Juan Antonio 23 Bilbao Gala 3 15th
Mimi 25 Granada Gala 2 16th
Joao 21 Madrid Gala 0 Not selected

Season 10 (2018–2019)

On 28 February 2018, RTVE's Governing Board approved the renewal of Operación Triunfo for a tenth series.[2] Casting auditions for the tenth season will be held from 30 May 2018 to 10 July 2018 in Barcelona, Alicante, Valencia, Majorca, San Sebastián, Vigo, Tenerife, Málaga, Seville and Madrid.[9]

See also


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