Puerto Rico will launch its own version of "American Idol," titled "Idol Puerto Rico," in July. The show, which will be produced locally by television station Wapa TV and FremantleMedia, will feature as judges singer/songwriter Ricardo Montaner, salsa singer Jerry Rivera, singer/songwriter Erika Ender and producer and concert promoter Topy Mamery; the news was confirmed to Billboard.biz by Rivera's publicist.
It's a versatile panel of judges -- one that differs markedly from those seen in past Latin music shows, where judging panels have been made up more of television or radio personalities rather than established stars. In particular, tapping Montaner, one of the biggest names in Latin music as well as a seasoned TV personality who has judging experience (in the 2006 Televisa-produced Mexican show "Cantando por un Sueño") brings added sizzle to the Puerto Rican version of "Idol."
The show will select contestants from two auditions to be held May 7 and May 14 in Puerto Rico, according to Ender's rep. The winner will receive a recording contract with an as yet-unnamed label, $10,000 in cash and a Ford car. Contestatns must be between 16 and 18 years old and be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.