My guess, Q’Viva is one of the best talent shows I’ve ever watched. Frankly, I don’t understand why the word actually means ‘the chosen’, while all I could think of, watching its five weeks search round, is ‘celebrating life’.
Since my day 1 seeing J-Lo on American Idol, and following her idol judging journey for a couple of seasons, I could say she was a way better judge than numerous other Diva, or ex-Diva, judges. Don’t you think so? I bet none of you could name anyone who’s more all-rounded, caring, yet objective and professional than she is. (It’s unfortunate that Steven Tyler isn’t a she, otherwise I would’ve given him the ultimate judge title! Well, not really…)
So, honestly I first watched Q’Viva because of J-Lo. I wanted to see the show she left Idol for.
Watching the first five weeks of Q’Viva search round has given me the privileges to simply get in touch with my emotions, dwelling into miracles, beauty, humility, and uniquely exotic people and cultures. Unlike other talent shows, which conduct their preliminary search in static locations public enough for all participants to access, Q’Viva sponsors its judges — J-Lo, her ex, and some dude I initially wasn’t aware of, Jamie — on flights and road trips across countries, cities, towns, suburbs, rural areas, and jungles of Latin America.
While the constraint of rigid audition room and judges’ table (and chairs) setup has definitely affected judges’ interaction with contestants in most talent shows, Q’Viva does otherwise. Thanks to either its extremely generous sponsors, or its heavily-loaded (with money) producers, Q’Viva delivers these elite, Hollywood judges to the decent vicinity of the participants’ home and whereabouts. Who wouldn’t be touched, or thrilled, having J-Lo or Marc Anthony knocking at your door; sitting in your living room; enjoying musics together with your family and neighbours; or being teased by your notorious grandmother? It certainly is a memory and fascination of a lifetime. Audience has surely shared this enchantment.
The show has cleverly brought these exclusive judges down to earth, so much so that their genuine interactions with the contestants, family members, neighbours, and local communities have become one of the main highlights of this talent show. Contestants’ and judges’ tears become the audience’s as well. Simply beautiful!
I could still recall how this Puerto Rican Conga musician, who plays the drums so incredibly fast but still melodic, captured not only Marc Anthony’s attention but also touched his soul deeply, listening to the former’s life struggle and hoping to become a father his children could be proud of. Marc’s visit has not only shone some light to the musician and his family, but also spread joy to his whole village. You can see how people share uplifting joy for the other’s success, and how with the support of others could one survive.
The friendly and outspoken Jesus, a Mexican Mariachi singer who captivated Marc with his heartfelt performance. Despite not understanding Mexican, anyone hearing his songs would be moved by his in-depth immersion. In spirit, enjoying his soulful singing made us, the audience, overcome with the sadness of separation, passion of love, or flare of patriotism and heroism.
Watching the show we will also be fascinated on how communities have evolved into self-help groups by engaging the youths into creative and artful activities such as tango and salsa dancing, communal bands, and Murga — that is poetic expression of the soul in rhythmical movements of jumping and rolling following the beats.
Q’Viva brought vibrant cultures and personalities of different regions of Latin America into our living room, so close to heart that we could immediately relate to individual conflicts, heart-rendering struggle, self-transformation, and inspiring aspirations. Despite wars and dispute between different groups and countries out there, the show reminds us that hope, love, and compassion are still the main ingredients found in such unnoticed and humble kinships and community bonds across the world.
The show has opened our vocabulary of reasons why we should only treasure life and all it has installed for each and every one of us. Like the colourful costumes, lively persona, and animated cultural performances on the show, Q’Viva has subtly showcased the unlimitedly varied possibilities and opportunities (read: colours) life could bring, and therefore inspired its global audience — me included — to always seize the day. Thus, celebrating life IT IS!