Familiar Faces, New Setting for ‘La Voz Kids’

Telemundo is gearing up for the spring premiere of the Spanish-language television version of NBC’s popular reality competition, The Voice, by setting up shop in a popular Sunshine State theme park and securing the return of its first-season hosts.

La Voz Kids, which will bow its second season on a yet-to-be announced Sunday evening, will once again feature TV veteran Daisy Fuentes and entertainment reporter Jorge Bernal as co-hosts. The two will take turns as presenters from a production studio at Universal Studios Florida, giving the NBC Universal-owned network an increased presence with its corporate sibling.

"This partnership is a clear example of how we are leveraging the NBCUniversal properties to develop and produce relevant content for the Hispanic market,” Joe Uva, chairman of Hispanic enterprises and content for NBCUniversal, said. “We look forward to working with them on many more projects to come.”

Modeled after its English-language sibling, La Voz Kids pits the country’s best young vocalists aged 7 to 15 against each other for the chance to win a recording contract with Universal Music Group and cash toward a scholarship.

As announced in late December, Natalia Jimenez, lead vocalist of Spanish pop act La 5ª Estación, will join the returning Prince Royce and Roberto Tapia as coaches for season two.

"Having the opportunity to join the La Voz Kids team this season is incredible," Jimenez said in a statement. "There is nothing more rewarding for a singer than getting to help others with their craft. I can't wait to start the show and get to know the amazing group of kids."

Telemundo vice president of content development, non-scripted Daniel Cubillo said: “Natalia brings to La Voz Kids a fresh and young energy that will surely connect with the contestants and our audience. Her international experience, unique voice and charming personality will add to the show a very special touch that we are sure will inspire and motivate the young contestants to give their best on the La Voz stage.”

The coach Jimenez replaces from season one — Paulina Rubio — has been quite vocal about her departure from the show. As first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Rubio has filed a lawsuit against Telemundo, claiming the network has reneged on a $1,325,000 deal for her to star in La Voz Kids’ second season.

According to the Reporter, Rubio claims Telemundo’s concern about her dual role as a judge of Fox’s The X Factor served as a “pretext” for voiding her contract. In a statement, a Telemundo spokesperson said, “The suit filed by Ms. Rubio against Telemundo is meritless. Telemundo does not have any deal with her for season two of La Voz Kids.”

La Voz Kids is a presentation of Talpa Media USA and is executive-produced by Dutch show creator John de Mol, along with Stijn Bakkers and Katrina Fernandez, whose resume includes stints as a supervising producer of Telemundo’s Vas o No Vas, the U.S. Hispanic version of NBC reality show Deal or No Deal.

Meanwhile, Telemundo has announced that its 2014 Upfront presentation is set for Tuesday, May 13 at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall — the same venue as in 2013, where the addition of La Voz Kids to the network’s lineup was first publicly disclosed.