Telemundo will premiere the Spanish-language version of NBC singing competition The Voice in 2019, with “Despacito” star Luis Fonsi as the first coach for the show. Auditions for La Voz will kick off this summer in Miami, Puerto Rico, New York, Chicago, San Antonio and Los Angeles.
La Voz will follow the same template as The Voice, with a major differentiator: It will be in Spanish.
“We’re looking at bringing Spanish-language singing to the table,” said Telemundo president Luis Silberwasser when asked if performances in English would be a major part of the equation as has been the case in other reality competitions on Spanish-language television. “The Voice in English is already out there, and we are The Voice in Spanish,” he added.
Although The Voice has been successfully exported to multiple Latin countries, including Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Peru and Spain, a Spanish-language version has never been produced here in the United States.
“It’s the first time we’re doing it with U.S. Hispanics. And we’re going to bring a great selection of coaches and we’re working closely with Talpa and NBC to make sure it’s huge,” added Silberwasser.
Silberwasser has reason to be bullish. From 2013 to 2016, Telemundo produced four seasons of La Voz Kids, the kiddie version of The Voice, delivering big ratings for the network’s Sunday night.
In addition, the Latin American versions of both The Voice and The Voice Kids have done well, establishing the competition as a household name for Hispanics of many origins. Telemundo, and its competition Univision, have tested the waters with new reality show formats with varying degrees of success. But the brand name advantage of The Voice could be huge.
“We think we need to give our Hispanic consumers the best and this is the best singing competition in the world,” says Silberwasser.