Last night Primer Impacto nearly killed me twice. First, physically; I was eating a bowl of corn chips with Valentina hot sauce and lime — these Mexican habits of mine — and I almost choked on a handful of them when they broadcasted a preview of El hijo secreto de Juan Gabriel, a exclusive interview with a supposedly unknown, unheard of, secret son of Juanga.
Like I’m sure most of you right now, I too was struck by caution because, well, Prime Impacto is Univision’s equivalent of your hysterical, boozy, Percocet-addicted aunt — and you know she’ll say anything to get attention. But besides taking whatever comes out of Primer Impacto‘s mouth with a grain of salt, I stuffed my mouth with more salty, soggy, spicy chips.
Just like millions of bored Latina housewives (Primer Impacto‘s core demographic), I kept watching their exclusive because it was Monday night and my fat-ass had nothing else was going on. Since the interview took place in Arizona, at first I figured Univison paid some random Mexican in some horrible suburb of that God-forgotten state to play the part of Juanga’s illegitimate offspring. But five minutes into the interview, Primer Impacto nearly killed me for a second time, but this time from over gasping and psychological trauma because listening, observing, analyzing, and scrutinizing everything Luis Alberto Aguilera said, I have no doubt in my mind that he really is Juan Gabriel’s son. It’s either that or he’s the best actor in the world — and one with a healthy budget for plastic surgery — or, like, some sci-fi clone in which Juan Gabriel implanted himself in.
Unlike Iván Aguilera, Juanga’s socially-accepted biological son and the one ‘El Divo de Juárez’ procreated with a woman named Laura Salas, Luis Alberto’s face, his mannerisms, his voice, his demeanor — everything resembles Juan Gabriel. I thought I was tripping and imagining things at first — I mean, those Valentina manufacturers are probably putting some illegal-ass condiments in their deliciously addictive hot sauce — so I consulted with all my comadres. And by “consulted,” I mean I started reading YouTube comments from other scandalized señoras, such as one Marisabel Vasquez Romero:
This kid really is my Juanga’s son. I mean he’s identical to him from the inside out; he’s straightforward, humble, his gestures, the way he speaks, his voice, and his astonishing face. He’s exactly like my Juanga when he was young.
Primer Impacto didn’t want to
continually make fools of themselves, so they thoroughly investigated Luis Alberto, who’s currently 26 years old, and forced him to produce a birth certificate, pictures, emails, and even a house deed, all of which check out. After all, El Divo just died last month, so plenty of charlatans have come forward and everyone and their dog is now claiming to be a friend-cousin-lover-doctor-therapist of la Juanga.
Turns out that Luis is the son of Guadalupe, one of Juan Gabriel’s housekeepers and, according to the Spanish reporter doing the segment, Luis was conceived “naturally.” Because the devil is in the details, you’ll probably want to know that Iván, Juanga’s first biological son who’s now in his mid 30’s, was a test tube baby (“conceived through in vitro,” said one rep to Raúl de Molina).
Earlier this month, Iván gave a kind of disastrous interview to Raúl de Molina. The awkwardness was understandable because his father had just died and he was very emotional, but he still came off as dry, nervous, uncomfortable, and irritable. The fact that Iván doesn’t speak good Spanish didn’t help his cause at all.
On the other hand, last night Luis completely nailed every single question with the perfect answer. He was endearing, charming, well-spoken, and very accesible. He spoke of the great relationship he had with his father and how he respected the other family, their privacy, and their decisions. Quite gracious, he was.
So why did Juan Gabriel keep the existence of Luis under wraps? Possibly because Laura Salas, his first baby mama who’s also a mother to Juanga’s three other adopted children, wanted to be seen as his main squeeze. Also, I’m not sure if Guadalupe was a housekeeper at the house where Laura lived (Juan Gabriel had many homes), though that seems to be hinted at by Luis, who says his mother and Laura did know each other. Knowing this, I have to assume Juan Gabriel wanted to avoid pulling an Arnold Schwarzenegger, meaning he didn’t want to force his Maria Shriver to live with his Mildred Baena.
Note: You can only watch the original Primer Impacto interview if you live in the US. If you don’t, check out the pirated interview, which has been split two, below before it disappears:
Shakira & J-Lo are the most difficult people María Elena Salinas has ever interviewed
Last August María Elena Salinas, a veteran news anchor, formally announced she was leaving Univision. After working for the network for over 35 years, Salinas, a beloved Mexican-American personality who’s often considered Jorge Ramos‘ counterpart, made it clear she didn’t get fired from the network, but was simply moving on to other projects:
“They haven’t been fired, I have not resigned, I’m not retiring, and I’m going elsewhere to do the same thing that I do here.”
The anchor’s job has already been filled by Ilia Calderón, a Colombian journalist, but María is still participating in Aquí y Ahora, the 20/20-esque program she’s been hosting with Teresa Rodríguez for close to two decades.
Last week’s Aquí y Ahora seems to be a sort of farewell for María. The YouTube clips Doñavision recently uploaded show women figuratively pulling out the fancy china, a box of pan dulce, and giving the kids NyQuil before going to town on some of most [in]famous Latino celebrities.
Listening to Salinas gossip about celebrities is especially fun because 1) she’s usually serious and composed, 2) looking back, Salinas has interviewed a shit load of important people, from Obama to Subcomandante Marcos, and 3) María calls herself a music “groupie,” and even a reggaetonera (¡Dale hasta abajo, comadre!).
At first, Salinas gloats about scoring certain coveted interviews, such as the time she spoke exclusively to Ricky Martin right after he came out of the closet.
But the real chisme gits gud when María starts throwing motherfuckers under the bus like it’s going out of style. These are my favorite bits:
1) Luis Miguel is all about the fantasy, not the music
María claims it took her years to get an interview with Luis Miguel, Mariah Carey’s cabana boy. When she finally got it, Luismi’s manager sent her up to the singer’s room, and there el Sol earnestly asked her not to question him about his personal life.
“I asked him why [I couldn’t ask personal questions], and he said ‘Today artists make a living thanks to their image, not selling records.'”
Salinas essentially ignored Luis Miguel’s petition, and during the interview proceeded to ask “Why is it so difficult for you to talk about your personal life?”
Poor Luismi. First women try to figure our his dick size using a plate full of sausages, and now this.
2) Shakira & J-Lo were difficult
to listen to interview
María looked at the camera with a devilish grin and, after being asked which artists had been “the most capricious” out of all the ones she’s ever interviewed, the anchor gleefully spoke the perpetrator’s name: “sorry, but Shakira.”
Shocking absolutely no one, Salinas made it clear that Truth Hips was very amable (kind), “but also very cautious with her image. She wouldn’t allow a camera to be positioned on her sides. She wanted no profile shots.”
Sadly, right when Salinas is about to tear into J-Lo, Doñavision’s editing room cuts her off, and instead splices in one last venomous comment: “Sometimes it’s easier to interview a president than an artist.”
3) Pitbull, a horrible artist, is a great person
Now, María never says Pitbull is a horrible artist – that’s just my personal opinion – but she definitely goes out of her way to claim he’s super cool. It’s a bit surprising because Latina moms – the anchor has two daughters – generally don’t like Pitbull types, no matter how many accolades they keep in their condom drawer.
So, you know, props to María for keeping an open mind.
Check out the full interview below.
Anonymous threats, suits for torturers and blow jobs: The explosive allegations of Don Francisco’s unauthorized biographer
It wasn’t that long ago that we thought we had bidden adieu forever to Don Francisco and his decades-long, sad TV circus. But as you probably know (if you are like us and pay attention to these things), his retirement was shorter than the time we spent considering respecting Mitt Romney: he came back shortly after on Univision’s arch-enemy Telemundo, just to show he could continue doing sad, unimaginative TV for many years to come. At this point, calling him “the Fidel of Latino TV” is not that much of a stretch. But I digress.
While all of this was happening, Chilean journalist Laura Landaeta published her unauthorized biography of this “gigante,” titled simply Don Francisco. In a surprise to no one, since its publication in February the book has was largely ignored by mainstream media both in Chile —where Don Francis has powerful ties to corporations and networks, through personal investments and his involvement in the millions-moving Teletón— and in the Latino Hollywood. (That would be Miami, in case you were wondering.)
Which is shame for people like us, always in the look for the naked truth behind our great Latino forefathers. According to an interview with Chilean website El Ciudadano that was published around the time the book was launched but just caught our curious eyes, there are many, um, gigante stories surrounding the book and our favorite TV creepy uncle:
- Landaeta says Don Francisco would regularly pick women from his show’s audience to bring them to his dressing room and give him blow jobs in exchange for some of the prizes he had at his disposal. Like a fridge.
- The many roadblocks she encountered in the years she researched the book included anonymous phone calls insulting her and warning her not to mess with the TV personality.
- These threats were not new to Landaeta: in her interview, she recalls her first encounter with Don Francisco. She was working for Chilean magazine Qué Pasa, and shortly after writing a story on the sexual harassment suit a former Sábado Gigante model had filed against the TV host, she was assigned to interview him. She recalls being invited Don Francisco to get on her car and give her the interview while he drove to his countryside house, only to be insulted by Don Francisco for writing about his sexual harassment conflict, telling her not to mess with him, and dropping her at the entrance of his countryside property, far away from the city or a bus station. “He has an incredible skill to instill fear in you,” the reporter said.
- Landaeta also claims to have found out that department store Johnson’s, one of the stable sponsors of Sábados Gigantes in Chile, gave suits and clothing for free to the agents of DINA, the sinister intelligence agency of the Pinochet administration, thanks to the relationship of “mutual benefit” between Don Francisco and the head of DINA, convicted human rights criminal Manuel Contreras.
We haven’t gotten our hands on a copy of the Landaeta book, but we can’t wait to do it. We’ll let you know when we do.
In the meantime, you can watch full episodes of Don Francisco Te Invita here.
At your own risk, that is.