Adolfo Guzmán 2019 Contest: Week 1
With the Guzman it happens as with Dracula, A Star is Bornor It. Embalmed bodies in perfect condition, so they are recycled every time. The bad thing with these recycling is that the "perfect state of preservation" is a euphemism because the seams become increasingly noticeable and the smell of rancid becomes progressively unbearable. It doesn't matter if RTV comes feat. Manolito Ortega and his scheme of "modern audiovisual goldsmithing"; it doesn't matter that they assimilate structures of reality, who try to sell more contemporary dizque sounds or that dress composers and performers with the last regret of fashion: the contest is a wounded beast of the past that seeks to sublimate the cheesy in an era that has ceased to be cheesy (at least the way in which the 20th century traditionally understood it).
This week the basic scheme of operation of the contest was presented in its first stage: with the conduction of the singer Luna Manzanares (charismatic, but they either give him a richer script or she must win in ease and resources like entertainer) the participants (composers and/or interpreters) are succeeding whose performance is evaluated by a jury composed of Beatriz Márquez, Edesio Alejandro, Adalberto Álvarez, Yianela Pérez, and Israel Rojas. This cycle is interspersed with the familiar interviews in which participants talk about their motivations (which could be shorter), and brushstrokes of the process of "construction" of the song.
Surprisingly, given the lavishness of the image, exist certain mismatches of audio quality at times, an irony considering that it is the focus of the event. Regardless of the genre of the song or the content of the lyrics, it is in the presence of the typical sweet arrangements and performance that characterize the competing song of the Guzman, I do not know if on the initiative of the conductor, Carlos Gaytán, or the direction of the Program.
Interestingly, what puzzled me most about the program were not the things I could foresee (style, structure, staging, and others) but the jury's performance. Leaving aside my disagreement with basically every decision they made at night, I was very frustrated to see how they, ignoring their pedigree, reacted to each song with insipid comments of little critical depth. Essentially all participants and songs were good and there was nothing particular to point to their performance. And yet, somehow, they managed to give non-perfect and different scores.
We continue dragging that vice of saying nothing that compromises our criteria, even if your job is precisely to exercise your criteria. To be a juror (and more to be a juror of a television contest) is about riding a character that has to connect with the viewer, it is about being charismatic and argumentative, of earning the passion or hatred of viewers, but never their boredom. The lesson, which at this point should be more than learned, is simple: being good at something does not make you good at judging it. Bad for them because they do not value their musical knowledge and end up being just some celebrities who go on TV, and bad for the direction of the program for not stopping that practice.
Although at times unjustifiable mischief was perceived in a production of that caliber (a cut to an intervention by Edesio Alejandro, a certain throat of Israel Rojas when he sang Buena Fe, to mention a couple of examples), in general it is an effective, bulky television product the way RTV Comercial has accustomed us. He still has many weeks to go, and there may be some (or not) some deficiencies along the way. I don't know what Adolfo Guzmán would think of all this, he would probably be happier if they just sang his music. If second parts have never been good, I don't know what's left for the fourths.
That August night (composer: Alieny Abreu; performer: Yasniel Siscal) / Score: 81.2.
A son that did not seem much to me but that seen in retrospect was not so bad, considering what came next.
Poison (composer and performer: Camila Daniel) / Score: 83.
A bowling alley that could have run with better fortune. I like the passion with which its composer defends the song, passion that unfortunately fails to convey the same way on stage. It was one of the two songs of the night that I enjoyed.
Like a song life (composer: Orestes Espinosa; performer: Yaremi Verdi) / Score: 83.2.
Too bad. An insufferable song in an insufferable voice. Somehow he managed to convince the jury that it should happen.
hopefully (composer and performer: Yamohe) / Score: 86.4.
hopefully, Seriously?! It is obvious to that imposing mulatto that there is plenty of courage to name hopefully to a song in Cuba, and also to plant an intertextuality that tastes like plagiarism.
What you miss me (composer: Andrés Ramírez; performer: Omar Ross) / Score: 85.8.
The air is forgiven - that I say the air, the window - to Luis Miguel of the interpreter for his vocal conditions. I see you future in a contest of this kind.
And everything else (composer: Aris Garit; performer: Thalía Martínez) / Score: 83.
My favorite song of the night, a good text packaged in a son, a challenge for the young performer who was able to get quite airy.
Rafa G. Escalona
Certified Journalist. Father of a music magazine.