The search is on for the next Latino boy band. Co-producers Simon Cowell and Ricky Martin unleash a new reality show competition, premiering next month on the biggest Spanish-language broadcaster in America, Univision.
“There is a generation in Latin America that is desperately waiting for something like this,” Martin told Billboard. “It’s a phenomena that happens every decade, and now is the time.”
Hundreds of aspiring singers auditioned for the chance to appear on La Banda. Judges Alejandro Sanz, Laura Pausini and Martin narrowed entries down to a select few, with contestants representing both the United States and Latin America. The first season will run for 14 episodes and will be hosted by Alejandra Espinoza, Univision’s first Nuestra Belleza Latina winner. As the show progresses, fans will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite singers via social media. Finalists who make La Banda score contracts with Sony Music Latin and SYCO Music — Cowell’s label that represents One Direction.
“I’m delighted to be partnering with Univision on this new format,”Cowell said. “They are fantastically ambitious and most importantly for La Banda they are totally focused on discovering and creating the next music superstars. There is a huge opportunity for this band and we are going to be giving the power via this show to the millions of teenage fans.”
This is Cowell’s first time working with Spanish-language television. Univision hopes his pivotal influence on 1D will attract a younger audience, given that he’s also the face behind American Idol, X Factor, Britain’s Pop Idol, and the Got Talent franchises. Co-producer Martin, of course, will add his own flair to the show as someone who got his start with boy band Menudo. Today, the LGBTQ advocate is a Grammy-award winning artist and a judge on The Voice Australia.
Think you have what it takes to be in the next Latina supergroup? Cowell and Martin have already secured another season, dedicated to the ladies. Keep your eyes peeled for later details on auditioning.
La Banda premieres Sunday, Sept. 13 on Univision at 8 p.m./7 CT.