Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza vocal winners Angélica Vargas and Virginia Stille have both moved on to the next round in the international TV reality shows La Academia Kids (TV Azteca) and Va Por Ti (Univisión), respectively. Both young ladies are doing an outstanding job of representing mariachi music, as well as stretching their talents to include other genres. They are clearly among the most talented contestants on both of these shows, which, in all honesty, are at moments tedious and difficult to sit through.
Television doesn’t always portray mariachi music in its best light. For example, last Sunday’s episode of La Academia Kids included a young boy dressed in a traje de charro and singing ranchera music. Mariachi musicians, dressed in ill-fitting trajes and cheap sombreros, popped up in the background hopping around and pretending to play along in a cheesy, ridiculous way.
Perhaps if the producers of La Academia Kids attended the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza, they might realize that mariachi music can be portrayed in an elegant, artistic way that captures audiences across the globe. Wouldn’t it be nice if TV Azteca invited the award-winning Mariachi Nuevo Santander from Roma, Texas to accompany Angélica in her final round? I have no doubt she, along with Virginia Stille, will make it to the finals, as their talent shines beyond all others.
Virginia Stille on the TV show Va Por Ti
TV reality shows should not be a claim to fame, and I know these girls do not expect that. What these shows do, however, is provide many of the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza winners with the opportunity to work with professionals outside their communities, network with other artists and celebrities, and build a fan base across the globe.
It’s a pleasure to see the best of the Mariachi Extravaganza vocalists appear on international television, but it’s also important to remember that we must always portray our music in the best manner possible. Angélica and Virginia are already doing this. Now, we need to get the networks to follow.
Virginia Stille, 2000 Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza vocal competition winner (“Best Mariachi Vocalist in the U.S.”). Virginia is a graduate of Texas Tech University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism.
Angélica Vargas, 2009 Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza vocal competition winner (1st place, Elementary School category).