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It could probably only happen in Spain, but the Spanish television station Canal Sur has started a flamenco talent show – a flamenco version of X Factor or American Idol specifically for children. The programme first broadcast at the beginning of July this year featured seven dancers, four singers and three guitarists, aged between 8 and 15, who were selected from 300 applicants from all over Andalucia.

The children are each expected to present two performances, and there are four teachers involved with the programme to give them advice on their performances. The other advisors for the programme are of the highest calibre: dancers Matilde Coral and Lola Greco, the singer and composer David de María and the producer Ricardo Pachón. The programme is presented by the singer Pastora Soler, from Seville.

As well as the performances of the young competitors, Mi primer olé will feature performances by youngsters from flamenco academies and peñas in each show.

The programme has a prime time slot for the Spanish lifestyle, that is, on Thursdays at 9.45pm. The 11 programmes in the Mi primer olé series are a coproduction RedAcción 7 and Canal Sur.

If you can’t get access to Spanish television, then head for YouTube. The performances are quite impressive: here is Fermín Fernández singing the tangos performed so often by Camarón Como el Agua.

Fermín is just eight years old but has been singing Camarón de la Isla’s repertoire since the age of threeComo el Agua he apparently learned in just one day.

© 2010 Thérèse Wassily Saba