Spanish Music Program 'Operation Triumph' Cancelled

Once popular show saw audience ratings fall from 43% at launch to 12%, or 2 million viewers.


MADRID -- Spain’s iconic music program Operation Triumph, which set a precedent with its first edition 10 years ago on pubcaster Television Espanola ran its final show Sunday on Telecinco -- cutting short the 2011 season after six weeks.

Audience ratings plummeted from 17.3 percent for the first show of this season -- the worst beginning of a season for the popular program -- dropping to 12 percent for the Feb. 6 show, with some 2 million viewers. At launch, the show was attracting 43 percent of the TV viewership in Spain.

Operation Triumph, a program that has fed the local music industry, shows a group of twenty-something students living in a singing academy in Spain tutored by top professionals as they vie for recording contracts and tour sponsors.

The show’s fans, who avidly Tweeted about the program, blamed the presenter Pilar Rubio, saying she couldn’t fill the shoes left by predecessor Jesus Vazquez. Others cited the absence of controversial judge Risto Mejide.

“It hurts us that they get rid of a program that has promoted values like effort, professionalism, excellence and sacrifice,” Nina, the director of the music academy that trained the contestants said during the final broadcast.

Gestmusic Endemol recording studio has signed the program’s director Tinet Rubira as company manager.

Sunday night’s winner, the Paraguayan Nahuel who used to earn his supper singing on the street with his father, will release his own album June 4 in an event to be attended by Paris Hilton, followed by a tour.

Participants from previous editions -- like David Bisbal, Chenoa, David Bustamante and Manuel Tenorio -- have gone on to lead successful internationally singing careers.