The artist who seemed unbeatable in the run for a ticket to Riga, Tony Santos, has been voted out of the Spanish selection series Operación Triunfo after a close race with outsider Joan Tena (pictured), who received 51.7% of the more than one and a half million televotes.
By beating Tony Santos, the singer who has been appointed the favourite of the televiewers during almost every single one of the live shows, Joan Tena managed to become the sixth and last singer to qualify for the crucial show to be broadcast on 27 January.
It seems like the accusations that Tony Santos only was appointed favourite because local companies of the Canary Islands, where he lives, payed for free phone calls in order to encourage the televoters to support him by ringing his personal number, were indeed true. Another possibility may have been that he seemed too strong, so that all the viewers who favoured Beth, Ainhoa, Manuel Carrasco or any of the other artists, dialed for Joan Tena during the last seven days.
Last night the six participants qualified for the next show, where the three finalists will be announced, performed the same songs as they sang in the introducing show last autumn, which was held on 7 October 2002.
To avoid massive voting during the next seven days, the broadcaster TVE has introduced a security measure which allows a maximum of 25 daily phone calls to the Operación Triunfo centre from each telephone.
The six remaining artists of the Operación Triunfo academy are the following: Ainhoa, Beth, Hugo, Joan Tena, Manuel Carrasco and Miguel Nández.