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Is talent competition a false American Idol?

By Lorenzo Tijerina

La Prensa de San Antonio.- Chicago-based talent search event scheduled to come to SA, suddenly cancels amid allegations of foul play.


Amid controversy and allegations of foul play Riverwalk Plaza Hotel cancelled sponsorship of Hispanic talent competition Festicanto.

According to an advertisement placed in La Prensa Newspaper–which was also pulled after the paper received complaints–the event was scheduled for February 27 at the downtown hotel.

The director of corporate sales at Riverwalk Plaza, Johnny Carrasco, canceled the event after receiving complaints about the Chicago-based organizers of the event.

“As soon as we heard anything negative we cancelled,” said Carrasco. “We did not feel comfortable.”

Nevertheless, the show will go on, according to Festicanto CEO Victor Soberanis, although he would not disclose the new location of the event, citing fear that the venue would again cancel due to complaints of ex-employee Hector Hildalgo.

The majority of the active disgruntled calls received by Festicanto sponsors have indeed originated from Hildalgo, who describes himself as a former consultant to Festicanto. Hildalgo said he worked with the company for a total of one month and 12 days.

“During that time I saw many deceitful practices of the company,” said Hildalgo, who claimed the organization misled participants and behaved unprofessionally.

Starting in Chicago, Festicanto has traveled to several cities, including Chicago, San Diego and San Francisco, inviting resident singers to audition in front of judges American Idol-style.

In each city five to 10 performers are chosen as winners. These winners will then compete for $100,000 in cash and prizes during a nationally televised event, according to Soberanis, who was also unwilling to disclose more information, such as place and exact time, regarding the final competition.

In every city Festicanto has changed the way and amount they charge participants and audience members…

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