Entertainment

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.

Credit: Instagram. @chilevision

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.

Credit: Instagram. @chilevision

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.

Credit: Twitter. @_tennieten

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

Credit: Instagram. @chilevision

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? 

Credit: Instagram. @fansdevicentelavozdejuanga

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!

Credit: Twitter. @maiki485

That sure looks like a powerful varita mágica. But did it work?

Chente also got some good old Internet encouragement.

Credit: Twitter. @ingcivilubb

 This charro cantor had a lot of viewers feeding out of his hand. 

But of course there could only be one winner… Juanga! Queridaaaaaaaa!

Credit: Instagram. @fansdevicentelavozdejuanga 

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.

Credit: Twitter. @hillbilliees

Awww… that’s cute. A bit too many emoticons, though. 

Some called for a national celebration.

Credit: Twitter. @JavierSapbe69

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.

Credit: Twitter. @elias_putrefakto

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?

Credit: Twitter. @abarca_patricia

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. 

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This Month, Isabel Allende Is Releasing a Memoir and HBO Is Releasing a Mini-Series Based on Her Life

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This Month, Isabel Allende Is Releasing a Memoir and HBO Is Releasing a Mini-Series Based on Her Life

Photo via Getty Images

March is a busy month for Isabel Allende. The most successful Spanish-language author of all time released a new memoir, “The Soul of a Woman”, on March 2nd. On March 12th, HBO released a mini-series based on her life entitled “ISABEL: The Intimate Story of Isabel Allende”.

Both of these projects focus on the unifying themes of Isabel Allende’s life. How she has defied the patriarchy, bucked expectations, and pursued her dreams while the odds were against her.

The HBO mini-series, entitled “ISABEL: The Intimate Story of Isabel Allende”, covers a lot of ground. From Allende’s childhood in Chile, to the chaotic years of her uncle’s assassination (who happened to be Chile’s president), and her subsequent flight to Venezuela.

The series will also touch on different phases of her life. Her career as a journalist for a progressive feminist magazine. Dealing with her all-consuming grief when her daughter died in 1992. Publishing her first novel–“House of Spirits”–in 1982.

A scene from the trailer of “ISABEL” sums up the hurtles that Allende had to overcome to create a career for herself in the male-dominated world of publishing. “They are going to raise the bar because you’re a woman,” her agent tells her bluntly. “You’ll have to work twice as hard as a man in order to obtain half the prestige.”

Allende’s memoir, “The Soul of a Woman“, on the other hand, reflects on her life through a distinctly feminist lens.

Her publisher describes it as “a passionate and inspiring mediation on what it means to be a woman.” And it doesn’t appear that Allende is shying away from the label of “feminist”. One of the first sentences of her book states: “When I say that I was a feminist in kindergarten, even before the concept was known in my family, I am not exaggerating.”

Despite being 78-years-young, Allende’s beliefs–about feminism, freedom and intersectionality–are incredibly modern. Throughout her lengthy press tour, Allende has been candid about the life experiences that have shaped her beliefs–mainly how witnessing her mother’s suffering at the hands of her father contributed to her “rage against chauvinism.”

Today, Allende remains incredibly in touch with the progressive issues of the moment, like the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements.

“In patriarchy, we are all left out: women, poor people, Black people, people with disabilities, people with different sexual orientations,” she recently told PopSugar. “We are all left out! Because it divides us into small groups to control us.”

Above all, Allende believes that we all–especially women–should recognize that we have many of the same goals and dreams. And we’re stronger when we’re united. “Talk to each other — women alone are vulnerable, women together are invincible,” she says.

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This Is Why Alberto Aguilera Valadez Took The Stage Name Juan Gabriel

Entertainment

This Is Why Alberto Aguilera Valadez Took The Stage Name Juan Gabriel

Juan Gabriel is without a doubt one of the most iconic and influential entertainers out of Mexico ever. His songs have been covered by some of the most popular musicians in the world, including Roberto Jordan, Rocío Dúrcal, José José, among many others. However, before reaching fame as JuanGa, he was known only by his original name, Alberto Aguilera Valadez.

So why after breaking into the music industry using his original name did he decide to change it? 

JuanGa wasn’t always known as Juan Gabriel, here’s why he made the change.

Like so many of the world’s most famous artists, Juan Gabriel – or Alberto Aguilera Valadez – didn’t have the easiest upbringing. In fact, he faced many problems during his childhood as the youngest of his brothers. He didn’t get to spend much time with his mother since he was enrolled in boarding school so that she could focus on work. And Alberto lost his father at a very young age, so he never actually had the opportunity to even meet him. 

In an interview on The Story Behind The Myth, Juan Gabriel explained why he had been named Alberto: “They named me Alberto because at that time the telenovela called El Derecho de Nacer was in fashion, and the main character was Alberto Limonta.” However, when he grew up and lived at the Escuela de Mejoramiento boarding school in Ciudad Juárez when he was a child, he met Juan Contreras, a piano and guitar teacher who taught him music.

“He told me that I had an ear for music and that he was going to teach me,” recalled Divo de Juárez in an interview. Juanito, as the singer called him, became his greatest confidante. “The times I was with Juanito, he would talk to me and listen to me and I would cry because my mother was not going to come see me or because I was locked up.”

And Juan Gabriel wasn’t the singer’s first stage name.

Upon finishing boarding school, Alberto started looking for a career in music. In 1965, he appeared on the nightly talk show, Noches Rancheras in Ciudad Juárez and the show’s host began to call him Adán Luna, which would be the singer’s first stage name. 

However, over the years and with the opportunity to record his first album, Alberto Aguilera Valadez decided to change the name of Adán Luna to Juan Gabriel. The origin of this name is derived from two of the most important men in his life and whom he was most fond of.

The first, Juan, is in honor of the teacher that the Divo de Juárez met in the boarding school where he lived when he was a child, while Gabriel was his father’s first name.

Throughout his successful career, Alberto Aguilera Valadez managed to establish himself as one of the best artists in Mexico, despite the fact that he died almost 5 years ago, his legacy continues.

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