Posted by Elena del Valle on March 7, 2006
La Academia USA winner Mariana
Photos: TV Azteca
Mexico City, Mexico – Following four months of hard work, Mariana from El Paso, Texas was crowned the winner of La Academia USA following the Gran Final concert that topped off 15 weeks of live concerts, intense competition, high-performance stage presentation and voice training. Mariana and runner-up Gustavo, from Santa Ana, California, were awarded recording contracts with Warner Music. Mariana also took home $25,000 in cash and a Chevy HHR.
Audience voting through SMS and Terra.com placed Mariana in first place following her interpretations of “Paloma Negra” and “Mentira.” Second place winner Gustavo, who midway through La Academia USA season considered exiting the show voluntarily because of family pressure, finished the gala evening with $15,000 in cash a a recording contract. Gustavo, described as a former car washer originally from Sahuayo, Michoacán, sang the Vicente Fernandez hit “Mujeres Divinas” and “Al Final.”
Left to right: La Academia USA winners Gustavo, Mariana and Nohelia
Nohelia, a resident of Miami of Honduran origin, was awarded $10,000 following her interpretations of “Te Quedó Grande la Yegua” and “Que Ganas de No Verte Nunca Más.” Four and fifth place winners were Afid, from Houston, Texas and Yohigei, from South Gate, California.
Special invited guest was Yahir, the runner up of the first generation of La Academia, winner of the first Desafio de Estrellas and star of the novelas Soñarás and Enamórate, who presented two songs from his triple-platinum album “No Te Apartes de Mi.” Other invited guests included Azteca talent Pedro Sicar, Aylin Mújica and Luis Felipe Tovar.
Program host Fernando del Solar presented the final concert. The judges were Adrián Pieragostino, María Conchita Alonso, Lolita Cortés and Arturo Lopéz Gavito. The top participants of La Academia USA will be gearing up for a summer concert tour that will also feature talent from prior La Academia generations. For more information, visit the official website of La Academia USA