entertainment

Here’s How Cuban Talk Show Host Cristina Saralegui Changed The Game For Latinos On TV

cristinasaraleguitv / Instagram

If you’re Cuban, or from Miami, you know who Cristina Saralegui is. Your mother would be in the kitchen and make you parrot everything she said on El show de Cristina from the living room. She’s the hetero Ellen Degeneres of Spanish language television, and we haven’t seen her on the TV in almost ten years.

Her show covered controversial topics for its time, including domestic violence, sex abuse and actually covering the AIDS epidemic when no research was being conducted. Let us tell you how she got her start and what she’s up to now.

Cristina Maria Saralegui is an Aquarius.

CREDIT: @DiarioLaPrensa1 / Twitter

Those airy signs can talk with anyone about anything, which is why she could joke around with the likes of Selena, Shakira, Celia Cruz, and so many other superstars. Saralegui was born on January 29, 1948, which means in her early seventies these days.

Saralegui was born in Miramar, Havana, Cuba.

CREDIT: @el_sintweets / Twitter

She’s of Spanish descent from all four grandparents. Cristina has classic oldest sibling vibes, and she’s earned it. She has two younger sisters and two younger brothers.

Her family fled Cuba during the Cuban Revolution in 1960.

CREDIT: @cristinasaraleguitv / Instagram

She was only 12 years old when her parents, Francisco Rene Saralegui, Jr. and Cristina Santamarina, settled down in Key Biscayne.

She graduated fromthe University of Miami.

CREDIT: @CeliaCruzLegacy1 / Twitter

Go ‘Canes! Cristina grew up very Catholic and attended Catholic school all the way until college. After graduating from the Academy of the Assumption in Class of 1966, she was off to Miami proper.

Within 6 years of starting an internship at Vanidades, she was editor of Cosmo.

CREDIT: @peopleenespanol / Twitter

That’s right. She’s said that the internship helped improve her written Spanish. Makes sense that if you suddenly start learning English grammar at age 12, that you’d miss some Spanish lessons. She spent a decade as editor of the Spanish version of Cosmopolitan.

It was in 1989 that she launched her own television show.

CREDIT: @katbeee / Twitter

El show de Cristina was her first shot at television journalism and Univisión was all on board. The show has received 11 Emmy Awards.

The first time Cristina met Celia Cruz, she had an emotional breakdown.

CREDIT: @elnuevoherald / Twitter

According to Cristina’s account on El Nuevo Herald, she said, “I remember that I went to interview her at the Diplomat hotel. I started the interview, but in those days I was very sad because I had lost a pregnancy and something unusual happened to me. Suddenly I started to cry, Celia asked me what was wrong, I told her and she gave me a hug and she consoled me. So much was its human warmth that my defenses collapsed and I crossed a line that I never crossed again with anyone I have interviewed.”

Her signature thumbs up al fin del show is iconic.

CREDIT: @MiamiHerald / Twitter

In classic Cuban Oprah fashion, she’d end every show with this:

“Pa’lante, pa’lante, pa’tras ni pa’ coger impulso”

Which roughly means dale, let’s go, don’t slow down.

Cristina tried to do an English language show, but it was cancelled after half a season.

CREDIT: @sophiaacarvajal / Twitter

It went by Cristina, and she launched it three years after El show de Cristina. I guess in 1992, English speakers had Oprah and Spanish speakers had Cristina y ya.

Cristina used her fame to publish her own magazine, Cristina: La Revista.

CREDIT: @smithsonian / Twitter

She’s also two books in multiple languages, one of which is called “My Life as a Blonde.” Haven’t read it yet, but I’m curious to hear the hardships la rubia life has that could even compete with the hairy morena life.

Cristina’s magazine and career has been lauded by GLAAD for its LGBTQ inclusivity.

CREDIT: @PH_Film / Twitter

In 1997, GLAAD awarded her the Media Vanguard Award, which was followed up 16 years later with the Media Award for Outstanding Magazine. Cristina and her husband have also founded the Arriba La Vida Foundation to promote AIDS awareness and education in the Latinx community.

She was part of the 1999 Class of the Hollywood Walk of Fame stars.

CREDIT: @cristinasaraleguitv / Instagram

She got her star on November 4, 1999, and its well-deserved. From running Cosmo to launching her own television show, magazine, furniture and beauty product lines, Cristina has dominated every industry she’s touched.

Her first ever political endorsement was for Barack Obama’s second run.

CREDIT: @OBAMA4ME / Twitter

She spoke at a rally in Miami, FL, and the crowd went nuts for her. Obviously, her presence worked because we got Obama for another term.

Her brother, Iñaki died in 2017.

CREDIT: @El_Universal_Mx1 / Twitter

He spent 5 months in the hospital after a liver transplant and died from complications.

Caption: “Hermano siempre estarás en mi corazon y en el de toda nuestra familia. Te amo. 👍”

Since retiring from television, she’s always posting about her beloved animals.

CREDIT: @cristinasaraleguitv / Instagram

Like every abuelita in Miami, she loves her cockateels. And her bull dogs. And her Koi.

Caption: “Miren quien se escapó de su jaula. Fígaro se admira en el espejo del comedor. 😃👍”

No really, she even competes in Koi competition shows.

CREDIT: @cristinasaraleguitv / Instagram

Only in Florida can you find the Central Florida Koi show. Cristina and her husband, Marco Avila, former member of the Miami Sound Machine, are very passionate about Koi.

And she has won.

CREDIT: @cristinasaraleguitv / Instagram

Caption: “Felicidades mi amor por ganarte otro campeonato con tus Koi.Central Florida Koi Show. 👍👍👍”

From the looks of the caption, the Saralegui family regularly wins the competition.

Saralegui is an avid orchid gardener.

CREDIT: @cristinasaraleguitv / Instagram

She grows a variety of species in her garden and you know how I know that? She’s constantly posting photos of potted and planted orchids. It’s kind of a Miami thing.

Saralegui has a son, Jon Marcos, with Avila.

CREDIT: @cristinasaraleguitv / Instagram

The two have been married since 1982, and Cristina also has a daughter with her first husband, Tony Menendez. Today, Cristina has grandkids to spoil rotten, gladly.

Saralegui is an outspoken feminist.

CREDIT: @cristinasaraleguitv / Instagram

It all started when her father would only pay for her brother’s education growing up. She’s said that was the moment she decided she couldn’t rely on any man for income.

In 1998, before Beyoncé pulled ‘feminist’ from a list of dirty words, Cristina told the Los Angeles Times, “I’m not afraid to say that I’m a very intelligent woman. [Latinas] cannot say that they’re intelligent. They can be beautiful, but they cannot be intelligent. And they cannot brag about it and say, ‘Yes, damn, I am smart and I am a woman.'”

After her show ended in 2011, annual rumors of her death crop up. She alive.

CREDIT: @briannnaesther / Twitter

In 2015, she told the Miami Herald, “I don’t on plan dying for a while yet. But I’ll let you know. You all will be invited to the funeral.”

Yup. She’s alive and well and you can catch her on her 24/7 Sirius XM talk show.


READ: Rare Celia Cruz Photos Are Adding Sazón To The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

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J.Lo Relives Her Fly Girl Days Thanks To Bruno And Cardi's 'Finesse' Video

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J.Lo Relives Her Fly Girl Days Thanks To Bruno And Cardi’s ‘Finesse’ Video

The Internet lost it after Bruno Mars and Cardi B released the remix to his throwback jam “Finesse,” accompanied by the amazing video that’s an homage to the ’90s sketch comedy show “In Living Color.”

The video was released just after midnight on Thursday and had everyone going nuts on social media. While the song’s ’90s R&B vibe has everyone busting out the Roger Rabbit, the video really has them going off.

People clearly love and miss the comedy show so this video brought back all those nostalgic memories. Those who are too young to remember “In Living Color” perhaps have no idea that the cast featured one talented dancer back when she was starting out in the business.

Jennifer Lopez got her big break as a “Fly Girl” dancer on the show, performing dance routines between sketches. So she obviously had something to say about Bruno and Cardi’s tribute.

Yes, that is miss J.Lo herself cutting the floor with her moves! She was one of the few Latinas viewers saw regularly on a popular TV show.

J.Lo appeared on the show on Seasons 3 and 4, between 1991-1993.

Lopez credits “In Living Color” host and creator Keenan Ivory Wayans for discovering her and placing her on primetime TV.

He just saw something in me,” Lopez once said, according to Us Weekly. “He would always tell me, ‘You’re going to be a big star.'”

“I’d been there hours and seen every dancer in New York, and then this young girl steps up and a spotlight landed on her and she captivated everyone in the room,” Keenan once recalled in a 2019 episode of VH1’s “Behind the Music.”

However, another famous Latina credits herself for discovering J.Lo and placing her as a dancer on “In Living Color.”

Rosie Perez was the lead choreographer of the Fly Girls and says she discovered J.Lo.

In 2014, Rosie released her memoir “Handbook for an Unpredictable Life,” and shared a juicy tidbit in which Lopez made it very clear that she should be front and center.

According to the book, Jennifer once went off on Rosie, screaming, “You pick on me, me and only me, every f**king day! Every f**king day! I work my ass off, deliver and you keep pushing me aside, treating me like s**t! I know I’m good! I’m better than any of these girls, and you know it.” Apparently there’s still some beef between the two. :sips tea:

Some fans wondered why Rosie wasn’t in the “Finesse” music video.

That would have been amazing!

Lopez wasn’t the only one that responded to the “Finesse” remix release.

Jossie Harris, who was also a Fly Girl, posted this image on Instagram, saying, “And love tribute to my girls #FlyGirls.”

“In Living Color” actor and comedian Shawn Wayans also tweeted that he loved the music video.

Bruno Mars responded to him by saying: “In living color was it growing up. Pop culture, Comedy, Fashion, Dance & all y’all superstars. There has never been another show like it.”

Other members of the Wayans family that appeared on the show also responded.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BdijMVhD1G8/?hl=en&taken-by=marlonwayans

https://www.instagram.com/p/BdicADuFpgG/

All this love should indicate that people need an “In Living Color” reunion ASAP!

For those of you craving more Fly Girls, I leave you with this…

READ: Bruno Mars Is Slamming Down Those Who Say He Changed His Name Because He’s Ashamed Of Being Latino

Do you remember J.Lo as a Fly Girl? Let us know by sharing this story and commenting below!

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