Backbeat: El Frente Wins 3rd Annual Vive Tu Musica 5 Battle of the Bands
Backbeat: El Frente Wins 3rd Annual Vive Tu Musica 5 Battle of the Bands

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The Big Pick: Members of EL Frente celebrate their Viva tu musica win with a giant Wrigley's 5 trophy.

El Frente, an eclectic alt band comprised of former Berklee College of Music students whose sound fuses rock and Latin rhythms where the winners of the third annual Vive tu música with 5 battle of the bands contest.

The Wrigley's-sponsored event included a contestant reality show on LATV and a series of live concerts that led up to last month's standing room only finale with celebrity judges at Los Angeles' Club Nokia. Wrigley sent street teams to universities across the country to promote participation in the contest.

Judges for the grand finale were Mexican electro/pop trio Belanova-who performed later in the evening-A.B. Quintanilla, pop superstar Cristian Castro and Billboard's executive director of Latin content and programming, Leila Cobo.

El Frente battled it out with five other bands from around the country that played from reggae to rock, underscoring the vitality of emerging Latin music in the U.S.

Wrigley's is planning to expand the program for 2012. The finale and episodes of the show can be seen at www.latv.com.

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The Heavy-Handed Hand Gesture: Cristian Castro-center, was one tough judge, equally firm at praising and criticizing and offering incisive comment on everything from execution to onstage demeanor. A.B. Quintanilla, left was more the nice guy, while Billboard's Cobo, right, tried to strike a balance. Castro launched his U.S. Tour two days later at the Greek Theater.
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Denisse Guerrero, center, lead singer of Belanova, flanked by Richie Arreola (left) and Edgar Huerta (right).