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. 

El Chapo’s Wife Makes Her Debut On VH1 Reality Series And Here’s What Went Down

Entertainment

El Chapo’s Wife Makes Her Debut On VH1 Reality Series And Here’s What Went Down

Cartel Crew / VH1

Emma Coronel Aispuro is proving there is no bottom tOo low for capitalism and profiting off of many Latinxs’ pain, by starring on VH1’s Cartel Crew, a reality series that features the loved ones of notorious drug dealers — you know, the real heroes of society. The series follows descendants of the Sinaloa and Medellin cartels. While some are trying to end the vicious cycle of violence that has upended their lives, others like Coronel, the New York Post notes, are trying to capitalize off of their cartel’s notoriety. 

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was a notorious Mexican drug lord, and leader of the Sinaloa cartel, who narrowly escaped imprisonment multiple times, until finally, at 62 years old, was sentenced to life in a supermax prison in the United States. Coronel was by his side during the trials, a faithful wife. 

Reporter Noah Hurowitz who saw the trials said, “The most shocking part of the testimony, I think, just from being there the whole time, was there was a witness named Isaias Valdez Rios who told this just horrific tale of violence. He described how Guzman personally tortured and executed several rival cartel members.”

Just after El Chapo’s sentencing, Coronel registered “El Chapo Guzman” as a trademark to create a line of clothing, phone cases, and hats.

Coronel continues to stand by her man on VH1’s Cartel Crew 

“It’s sad that they judge us without knowing us,” Coronel said during her bewildering appearance. “I consider myself a normal woman, but people often judge me without actually knowing me.”

Coronel made her debut on Cartel Crew on a yacht wearing flashy clothing. Castmembers fawned over the wife of one of the most profitable kingpins in history. 

“I was very nervous and humbled to be in her presence,” Marie Ramirez Arellano, the daughter of a drug-trafficker, told the Post. “She’s not a regular woman.”

Coronel, 30, allegedly married El Chapo when she was 17 or 18 years old. While she isn’t a member of the principal cast, she will be making several appearances on the show. 

“She’s a real Latina, a real humble person, loyal to her man,” Ramirez Arellano said. “She gave off such great energy and she’s a real classy woman.”

Ramirez Arellano wasn’t the only contestant who was sympathetic toward Coronel. Her boyfriend, Michael Corleone Blanco, the youngest son of Griselda Blanco de Trujillo of the Medellin cartel and known as the “Godmother of Cocaine” or the “Black Widow,” took a liking as well. Griselda was involved in 200 murders before she was indicted on drug trafficking charges in 2012.

Blanco who helped run his mother’s business is now trying to live a less violent and legal life by selling cartel themed apparel and cannabis where it is legal. 

“We are not our parents,” said Blanco. “We’re trying to make our own way in the world. Legally.”

Blanco felt for Coronel, who he believed was in a horrible predicament as a mother of twins, and gave her some advice. 

“I gave her some advice because she is trying to make the same kind of moves that I made,” he said. “She is a really sweet person who is going through something that no wife or mother should ever go through and now she has to raise two girls by herself.”

Most people were not excited about Coronel’s appearance on the show.

“This is a sick and terrible decision by VH1 to have El Chapo’s wife Emma Coronel on its reality show Cartel Crew,” Ioan Grillo, a journalist in Mexico City, wrote on Twitter. “There is a humanitarian catastrophe in Mexico from cartel violence. This is not a glamorous reality show. Where are images of mass graves?”

Seriously, though, people are not happy.

“Society is rotten by media like this one that romanticizes criminals and murderers. No consideration whatsoever for so many families that have been affected by these criminals,” another user wrote. “Even worse the level of the viewers that think these vulgar people have anything interesting to say!”

“That this is making it to TV, like Mob wives, tells you all you need to know about the glorification of crime and corruption,” another user wrote. 

They may have a point about the glorification of the corrupt — after all, the president is currently being impeached for extorting and bribing another country. 

Politicians expressed outrage over Coronel’s television debut too. 

Republican Senator John Neely Kennedy wrote a letter to VH1 president Chris McCarthy asking him to remove the series. 

“The entire premise of the show is disturbing as it glorifies drug cartels and those who live in luxury off the wealth these criminal groups corruptly amass,” Kennedy wrote in the letter. 

While many were offended by Coronel’s appearance, others continue to be mystified and intrigued by her, according to the Washington Post.

“I will follow him to wherever he is,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “I am in love with him. He is the father of my children.” 

Mon Laferte Goes Topless At 2019 Latin Grammys To Protest Violence In Chile

Entertainment

Mon Laferte Goes Topless At 2019 Latin Grammys To Protest Violence In Chile

MonLaferte / Instagram

Mon Laferte stunned everyone on the red carpet of the 2019 Latin Grammys in Las Vegas last night. The 36-year-old singer-songwriter and winner of Best Alternative Music Album appeared topless to make a political statement about police brutality in Chile. 

There have been violent protests in Chile after the government announced a new hike in subway fares during a time when wealth inequality has left many Chileans wanting. No doubt, Mon Laferte’s move was attention-grabbing — she’s making headlines and bringing the struggle of her people to the public’s attention in the process. 

Mon Laferte bares it all to make an important statement. 

Laferte appeared on the red carpet wearing a long black trench coat with black pants and a green bandana tied around her neck. She stunned photographers when she stepped forward, opened her coat, and revealed that she was completely topless. Written across her decollete in capitalized letters was “En Chile Torturan Violan Y Matan,” or “In Chile, they torture, rape, and kill.” 

On Instagram, she captioned a photo with her nipples censored to meet Instagram’s nudity guidelines, “My free body for a free country.” In another pose, Laferte shared that Instagram banned the hashtag #monlaferte because photos of her bare breasts circulated on the social platform. 

Laferte won Best Alternative Music Album for the album Norma. She dedicated the award to Chile in her speech. 

“I want to thank my colleagues … and especially to the public, the people, the fans that are there; without people nothing could happen,” the “El Beso” singer said. 

Laferte released a new protest single with Guaynaa, “Plata Ta Tá.”

Laferte’s new single with Puerto Rican artist Guaynaa, “Plata Ta Tá” is about fighting for your rights. The single artwork is a censored photo of her breasts. 

 “This generation has the revolution, with their cell phone they have more power than Donald Trump,” Laferte sings on the track. 

The reggaeton track is an anthem sure to get you hyped at the next protest.  “Go out, go out / go fight, go fight / Let’s make the world listen,” Guaynaa chants in his verse. 

Chileans protest the government’s increase in subway fares. 

Chileans began demonstrating against the government’s subway fare hike in October, but things quickly escalated as police began to use force, killing at least 20 people so far. One million people took to the streets of one of the wealthiest countries in Latin America to protest economic inequality. 

“The promise that political leaders from the left as well as right have made for decades — that free markets would lead to prosperity, and prosperity would take care of other problems — has failed them,” according to the New York Times

Protests have gone on for weeks. President Sebastián Piñera decided against the fare increase but he also deployed the military on civilians for the first time since the country became a democracy in 1990. The protest continued and the President promised better social programs on TV, but the demonstrators were not convinced. 

Violence has escalated in Chile with reports from the Associated Press saying police have begun shooting protestors in the eyes with shotgun pellets. At least 230 people, according to the country’s main medical body, have lost sight after being shot in the eye while demonstrating last month. At least 50 people will need prosthetic eyes. 

 “This means that the patient doesn’t only lose their vision, but they lose their actual eye,” said Dr. Patricio Meza, vice president of the Medical College of Chile. “We are facing a real health crisis, a health emergency given that in such few days, in three weeks, we have had the highest number of cases involving serious ocular complications due to shots in the eye.” 

Chile’s congress agreed to reform the country’s constitution. 

Today, Chile’s congress agreed to reform the nation’s constitution in hopes of ending the ongoing protests that have been run amuck with police brutality. “This has become possible thanks to the citizens who have been mobilized,” Chilean Senate President Jaime Quintana announced at a news conference in Santiago today. 

Quintana promised the new constitution would “build a true social contract” that would be “100 percent democratic,” according to CNN. The referendum will ask voters if the current constitution, created in 1980 by the dictator Augusto Pinochet, should be replaced. 

“This agreement is a first step, but it is a historic and fundamental first step to start building our new social pact, and in this, the citizenry will have a leading role,” said Interior Minister Gonzalo Blumel.

There will be different models for the body proposed. Voters will be asked if they prefer the body consist of elected representatives, political appointees, or a mix of both, according to Al Jazeera. Whether the new promises will be enough to satisfy the unrest in Chile will remain to be seen.