Luis Coronel, host of EstrellaTV’s “Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento,” is experiencing many of the same emotions as he faces the start of the 25th season of the competition series as when he was a boxer and was heading into the ring for a big bout.
There is the anticipation for what’s ahead and the excitement of all the possibilities. The big difference is all he has to do is help guide the contestants from across the country looking to be America’s next big Latin superstar and he doesn’t have to deal with being punched in the face.
“It’s a lot different but it is the same excitement,” Coronel says. “I love being the host of ‘Tengo Talento’ because the show has been super amazing.”
“Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento” is the longest-running talent competition in U.S. Spanish-language television. Unlike the music competition series “American Idol” or “The Voice,” the talent being judged on “Tengo Talento” includes music, comedy, dance and other types of acts.
The new season begins at 8 p.m. Sept. 20 on EstrellaTV seen in Bakersfield on KBBV 19. It is carried by most major cable carriers and streamed everywhere on Samsung TV+, The Roku Channel, Xumo, and FuboTV.
Joining Coronel are the panel of judges that include: music legend Ana Bárbara; Spanish-language radio host, composer and music producer Pepe Garza; and TV and radio personality Don Cheto. Joining the judges this year is Mexican Regional superstar El Fantasma.
Coronel officially has been part of “Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento” since 2019. But, the Arizona native was a contestant years ago. That’s why he is feeling butterflies in his stomach for the TV show the way he did before a fight. This time, the nervousness is not solely based on how well he will do his job but empathy for those who are competing.
“It doesn’t matter who it is. If it is a younger woman or an elderly lady, I love seeing their story. I love being able to acknowledge them because I come from that,” Coronel says. “I remember my first time when I went on national TV. I remember the emotions that I was feeling backstage.”
The memory of being in front of the cameras under the hot studio lights and facing a panel of judges is still vivid. That’s what triggers Coronel’s concern for each one of the contestants.
If it was up to him, everyone who stepped on the “Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento” stage would be declared a winner. The reality that won’t happen often leaves him heartbroken for the contestants especially those who for some reason just don’t present their best performance for the judges.
His concerns are equal for all of the contestants because the one thing Coronel has learned is that it is a huge mistake to judge a person by just looking at them. He has seen contestants who he thought would be great turn out a disappointment and those who didn’t appear to have a chance came through with a great performance.
The desire for everyone to succeed and the emotional connection Coronel makes comes from his own life experiences. His early years were so rough that he turned to boxing as a way of dealing with his deep, dark anger.
Eventually, Coronel found a better way to express himself than letting another human pound his face and body. He had grown up singing – often at the insistence of his maternal grandfather – and after a boxing match, Coronel sang a song from the ring. It went viral on YouTube.
That’s when he traded in his gloves for a microphone and began uploading renditions of songs to YouTube and Facebook. His massive social media following earned him a record deal when he was 16.
He found that using music to deal with his emotions had far more positive results. Coronel became the youngest solo artist in 13 years to hit No. 1 on Billboard’sTop Latin Albums with “Quiero Ser Tu Dueño.” His matinee idol looks and smooth voice propelled him to musical success. Coronel won the “Artist of the Year” award at the Billboard Music Awards and was nominated for Male Artist of the Year in the regional Mexican category.
One thing Coronel has noticed when he travels across the United States to perform is that fans of “Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento” come in all ages. The younger people who approach him are more interested in being contestants while those who are older have just been fans of the series for years.
Coronel is focused less on his own musical career at the moment and more on the new season of the completion series. He anticipates this year to be one of the strongest in the long history of the show.
“It’s going to be a great season,” Coronel says. “I can see the emotions of the people being super stoked. The participants heading into it are super, super stoked.”