This Chilean Competition Show Featured Juanga And Chente Impersonators And They Did Not Disappoint
Unless you have been living under a rock your whole life, you are well aware that Juan Gabriel and Vicente Fernández are two of the biggest stars in Mexican musical history. For your abuelas and tías, and perhaps for you as well, they are like Elvis, Lady Gaga and the Pope combined. This duo has basically drawn the emotional X-ray of generations of Latinos. The scene feels like home: the smell of mole on the stove and the radio blasting a ranchera.
We know that Juanga shockingly died in 2016 (please, let him rest in peace and ignore the ridiculous claims that he is still alive, don’t go all Pedro Infante conspiracy theory on us!). In that same year Chente announced his retirement after an epic concert in Mexico City. But a television homage brought them back for a fleeting instant. Ay, dolor!
Yo Soy is a popular television show where impersonators compete against each other.
The show is produced by Chilevision and is a local version of the European program I Am. Three judges chose the best impersonators based on physical appearance, singing ability and of course stage presence. There are other Latin American versions. In Peru, for example, contestants have brought to life the likes of Roberto Carlos, Emmanuel, Adele, Leo Dan and pero por supuesto Luis Miguel.
This year four great ones came face to face in the record-breaking final: Juanga, Chente, Gustavo Cerati and Aretha Franklin.
The season was full of nostalgia for Latin Americans. Besides Chente and Juanga, who we will never hear live again, the Argentinian rockstar Gustavo Cerati, the lead singer of Soda Stereo, was one of the finalists. Cerati is rock royalty. He died in 2014, four years after falling into a coma. If you are a fan, you can’t miss this great performance by the contestant (but you gotta sing “Persiana americana”).
But right away Vicente Monsalves impressed everyone basically bringing Juanga back to life.
Credit: Instagram. @fansdevicentevozdejuanga
This young man is hoping to become a veterinarian. He has a stage presence that reminded us of the younger years of “El Divo de Juarez”. Of course, he performed a variety of greatest hits throughout the season, including “Hasta que te conocí”, “Se me olvidó otra vez” and “El Noa Noa”. Get a taste here.
His ability to channel all those Juanga vibes got people talking.
We are sure the similarity brought some to tears. Thread carefully if you wanna show this video to your abuelita.
But Cristofer Mera, aka Chente, no se quedó atrás
Mexican mariachi music is extremely popular in South America. In countries like Chile, films from the Golden Age of Mexican cinema featuring the likes of Jorge Negrete and Pedro Infante constantly air on public television. So it is no surprise that Cristofer did such a great job capturing the strong but somewhat vulnerable masculinity of a true ranchera singer. Of course, “El Rey” brought the audience to a climax, but this performance of the classic “Volver, volver” brought the audience to their feet.
But could he beat the Juanga sassiness of the other Vicente?
It was uncanny to see Vicente Monsalves serving us that devilish Juanga smile and adopting his mannerisms onstage. Did Juanga resurrect like a modern Mexican kitsch messiah?
Twitter sent all kinds of good juju to the contestants!
That sure looks like a powerful varita mágica. But did it work?
Chente also got some good old Internet encouragement.
This charro cantor had a lot of viewers feeding out of his hand.
But of course there could only be one winner… Juanga! Queridaaaaaaaa!
Look at that face. He won $12 million Chilean pesos, which translates into roughly 17k USD. Not bad at all! He will use the money to pay for his university fees. Muy bien muchachito, muy bien.
Fans were of course pleased.
Awww… that’s cute. A bit too many emoticons, though.
Some called for a national celebration.
OK, this dude was just being a bit dramatic, people didn’t actually congregate in downtown Santiago.
But Twitter also had strong negative reactions to Juanga’s win.
Some didn’t take the result very well at all. Cerati had some pretty committed fans and took on Twitter to voice their enojo. There will always be some controversy in a show like this, that is exactly what makes TV contests such a delightful guilty pleasure!
You can’t keep everyone happy. Did the best contestant win?
Some Twitter users argued that Juan Gabriel won because of his acting abilities, and that Vicente Fernández and Gustavo Cerati were far more musically talented. But what is done is done, and Yo Soy history has been written.