Aired with great success in South Korea on SBS, where it's now in its second season, Korean format Fantastic Duo will make its debut in Spain with its first international adaptation, which stands to be the first of many.
The talent show will premiere this Wednesday on TVE's primetime in Spain, while many other Western territories are already preparing their own versions.
Its arrival in Spain came through production house La Competencia and Cuarzo Producciones, from Banijay Group, which acquired its international distribution rights.
"La Competencia and Cuarzo have an alliance to produce primetime shows every now and then. In this case, the I+D team at Cuarzo discovered a Korean format called Fantastic Duo and in a meeting they presented it. The executive producers from both sides said 'there's something here' and then we jointly presented it to the different networks in Spain," Xevi Aranda, executive producer of La Competencia, said to ttvnews.
"Banijay Rights will distribute the format and manage the adaptations across the group's territories," said Xelo Montesinos, General Manager of Cuarzo Producciones. "Banijay is now working on adaptations for France, Italy, UK, Denmark and the US," she added.
The results registered in Spain -where it will have eight episodes and be hosted by Nuria Roca- will play a big role in the format's future.
What is Fantastic Duo like?
The show starts with an online casting, in which renowned artists will record a song that can be performed as a duet through an app. Using the app, viewers can record themselves and send their virtual duet with the artist of choice.
The show's production then chooses the best three to perform live and in front of the artist in the song, who must then choose the best one to sing a duet with in the show itself.
The studio audience is who ultimately chooses the winning duo. All the shows feature a new set of contestants.
Four artists participate in each show, for a total of 32 in the first season. Some of the names confirmed for the Spanish version are Marta Sánchez, David Bustamante, Carlos Baute, Nek, Azúcar Moreno, Manel Navarro, Manu Tenorio, Rosana, Alex Ubago, Rosario and Bebe, among others.
"It's the first time in Spain that a casting is done through an app. It's an excellent tool, because before you had to make people go to a certain spot and there were many that couldn't make it there. This way, anybody can record a video, upload it and send it to us. We do a selection from all those people to show the singer," Aranda said.
"In addition to the competition, it's a show with so much talent that has many ingredients that allow it to be adapted in any country and work well: music, artists and big dreams," Montesinos said.
With its first four episodes already filmed, the show's app had over 16,000 downloads and close to 4,000 people participating.
"In Korea they also started with eight episodes, but when they aired them it was an instant success. The app skyrocketed and from there, they did it for an additional five months. And now they're already on the second season," the Cuarzo executive said.