Last Sunday finished the third season Sounding in Cuba. Still being the most spectacular show in Cuban television, but it certainly could rethink a few aspects…
Of course it was difficult, very difficult to choose a winner this season of Sounding in Cuba, taking into account the quality of contestants. Almost all participants experienced a growth in these weeks, they improved technically and expressively… that is one of the virtues of this competition: the work of coaches as well as the work of those in charge stage setup are patent in the quality boost: let’s just remember the performance of the singers in their first auditions and compare it with what was seen (heard) in the last shows.
Most of these singers have gained confidence, domain of their voices and on stage, in the stage presence, in the expression of dissimilar styles. Finally Anthony Puig won with a brilliant performance of this Sunday show.
The other two finalists (even, the semifinalists and not few of those eliminated who put up great performances in their last presentation) are ready to take upon a career… and that is another virtue of Sounding in Cuba: it refreshes and renovates the panorama of Cuban popular music. We’d wish companies, record studios, the media offered more chances to some of these singers, because, frankly, they usually offer a more overwhelming proposal than those of many experienced singers.
Far passed the rewards of singers and key polemic elements for the decisions made by the coaches, Sounding in Cuba consolidates as the flashiest show in Cuban Television. It has seduced a considerable amount of public that every Sunday evening sits in front of the Television and participates with enthusiasm in the voting.
The fact that the chosen repertoire is exclusively Cuban could seem a bit closed to many viewers, but it’s a decision of principles: there is a large heritage and up to a point unknown of our music; in times of quick globalization of the culture, it’s worth highlighting autochthonous features that anyhow dialogue with the universal wealth.
But in this season that job of exploring was more near the surface. Contestants and their coaches were almost always chose a list of proven authors (of dissimilar qualities), to creations of the contestants (not always meeting the standard of a national competition) and songs of the very coaches they had, particularly remarkable circumstance in the eastern zone.
Sounding in Cuba could rescue that archaeological vocation, to delve into the catalogs of record studios, to get interested in the creations of important composers… to enrich the spectrum, making it more suggesting, inspiring. Cuban popular music still surprises part of the public with too narrow goals.
Another troublesome point of this edition: the rules. We won't enter the debate on whether the show copy or not formulas of the most commercial television. We are convinced that the formats either work or they don't… and if they work, we need to accompany them with some cultural dignity which to a certain extent is the case of Sounding in Cuba. Now then, the rules must be clear since day one. And that didn’t happen this season.
As the competition advanced, and by the "spontaneous" initiative of organizers, modifications were made that contributed little or nothing at all; these changes rather confused the audience and created unfortunate situations for some competitors. What was the meaning of those steals without previous notice?
In the penultimate show they tried to fix the problem gathering the singers selected in trio song; and later the presenter affirmed that "at first the steal choice was not understood". Actually never nor at the beginning neither the end. In contests based on progressive elimination of participants you cannot improvise neither add rules at the last minute.
A show filled with steals never took place.
All in all, everything indicates that Sounding in Cuba is here to stay, and has responded the audience’s demand, the artists and the television itself. This season has sounded well, but in the future it could certainly sound better.
Amilkal Labañino Valdés / Cubasi Translation Staff