Esta página no está disponible en español.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Telemundo Tries Its Hand At Foxy Reality Series
March 19, 2003
Its titillating promos claim that the reality program La isla de la tentación will take four committed but unmarried couples to a deserted island to explore the strength of their own relationships.
But the truth is, this made-for-controversy series -- the Spanish-language version of Fox's sleaze-fest Temptation Island -- is all about sex and its selling power.
The original Temptation Island, which also featured real people and bikini-clad temptresses on an island paradise, was a huge hit for Fox, averaging 17.1 million viewers and scoring especially strong numbers with young adults.
America, including Latinos, ate this trash up.
Now NBC-owned Telemundo, which experienced the audience-luring power of unscripted television with its Protagonistas series, is counting on La isla to resuscitate its stagnant ratings. The show, which airs weeknights at 10, premiered Monday, bumping the rather unsuccessful Brazilian telenovela Terra Esperanza.
Telemundo's Isla has the potential to make Fox's Island look like an innocent stroll on the beach. And while mujeres en bikini are a staple of Spanish-language TV, La isla de la tentación features steamy scenes that may prove too hot even for Latin audiences.
Here is the premise: The show's four couples romp with two dozen scantily clad, and rather aggressive, babes and hunks on a deserted island. The tempters will use sexual wiles to lure the allegedly monogamous couples away from one another.
There are no prizes if any of the contestants cheat, but there are no prize incentives for those who stay faithful, either.
U.S. Latin television, just like the rest of the world, was unable to resist the ratings allure of reality shows; so far, Telemundo and Azteca America have successfully explored this increasingly popular genre.
Two years ago, Telemundo launched its reality-based competitions Protagonistas de novela and later Protagonistas de la Música, in which a dozen aspiring actors and musicians competed to win TV and recording contracts.
Azteca America airs La Academia, which is produced in Mexico by parent company TV Azteca. This show, with a format similar to that of American Idol, is the most watched reality series on Mexican television.
Recently, Telemundo premiered a Spanish-dubbed version of the NBC series Fear Factor, in which six participants eat cow brains, swim in eel-infested water and do other outrageous stunts to win $50,000.
La isla de la tentación is a co-production of Fox World and Argentine company PromoFilm US, which also produced the other reality series on Telemundo.
Hosted by Colombian novela hunk Manolo Cardona (¿Por Qué Diablos? and the upcoming Ladrón de Corazones), La isla was filmed at two resorts on the Samui Island in Thailand.
The telegenic couples include Silvana, a 23-year-old Colombian student, and her beau of three years, Francisco, a Venezuelan student. Karla, a Mexican dancer, and Fernando from Colombia have also been together for three years; they met in Cancun, where Karla worked as a nightclub dancer. Vanessa, an Argentine aerobics instructor, and Giovanny, a Cuban store clerk, have been dating for four months.
Mari Pili and her boyfriend Guillermo, a photographer, have known each other since childhood in Puerto Rico. They have a two-year, long-distance relationship. They also display the most honesty in admitting why they're participating in this tawdry show: Mari Pili, an aspiring actress, thinks this is a great opportunity to parlay her 15 minutes of fame into a lucrative acting career.
Unlike other reality shows, where contestants experience humiliation in search of profit, in La isla de la tentacion there are no prizes.
Except for the network, that is.