13 Spanish Language Reality TV Shows to Improve Your Listening and Speaking Skills
Reality shows and Spanish reality TV pave the way for you to learn Spanish!
Have you heard of America’s Got Talent, American Idol, RuPaul’s Drag Race, or MasterChef? They’re all reality shows. Of course, you might be already using movies, shows, music, or other forms of entertainment to improve your Spanish.
But have you ever thought of using reality shows? Keep reading to find out why you should give them a try and access 13 top-notch recommendations!
Table of Contents:
What is Reality TV?
What makes a TV show “reality TV”? On reality shows, there are no actors—or, if there are, they’re not following a script. Instead, reality shows aim to show how ordinary people behave in certain situations.
This includes cooking shows, talent shows, adventure shows, fashion shows, as well as the “classic” reality shows where people share a house and talk on camera about what it’s like to live with a bunch of strangers.
One of the best ways to challenge your Spanish is with Spanish reality TV. Seriously! How often do you hear slang and colloquial expressions? The reality TV shows you watch are the next best thing if you’re not fully immersed in a Spanish-speaking country.
Granted, the premise of some of these shows might be silly, but with their spontaneous moments, you’ll have access to unprecedented genuineness. So, here are 13 Spanish Language Reality TV Shows that can help you improve your listening and speaking skills!
1. Nightmare In The Kitchen – Pesadilla en la cocina
You may have Heard of Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen. Well, this is a Spanish version of Ramsay’s infamous show. In it, you’ll meet Gustavo Maurelli, a Chilean master chef who tries to help a decaying restaurant to get better.
During this show’s only season, Muarelli helped Italian restaurants, Japanese restaurants, Chinese restaurants, Peruvian restaurants, and local restaurants that cook traditional Chilean cuisine.
The show is available on Dailymotion here.
Hand-picked for you: 10 Delicious Traditional Argentinian Dishes
2. Case Closed – Caso Cerrado
If you know Cuban-American lawyer Ana María Polo, you know drama! In Caso Cerrado, Ana María Polo mediates between two parties who are allowed to bring witnesses, evidence, and field experts.
Throughout its 18 seasons (2001–2018), Ana María handled marital issues, violence, theft, fraud, all with her characteristic fiery temper, and charisma. No one stepped out of line when lawyer Polo held her gavel.
Watch Caso Cerrado on its official website here.
3. That’s How You Dance – Así Se Baila
Think of Así Se Baila as Latin America’s Dancing With the Stars. In its first season, which premiered in 2021, this show featured 11 dancing partners or 22 dancers who danced every week to move to the next round.
With Así Se Baila, you might also get to know some of Latin America’s most sizzling musical acts today, like Prince Royce and CNCO. Salsa, tango, bachata, reggaetón, pop music, and Spanish—need I say more?
Check out the official website of Así Se Baila.
Recommended reading: 80 + Dance Vocabulary Words in Spanish
4. Big Brother Mexico
In 2002 Mexico’s Televisa released its version of the now worldwide famous reality show, Big Brother. A group of people who’ve never met are put inside a house, isolated from the world, and surrounded by cameras that record everything, 24 hours a day.
Big Brother México ran for nine seasons. Though it was canceled in 2015, there are rumors that Televisa is working on a new season.
Watch several episodes of Big Brother México on YouTube here.
5. Looking for Timbiriche: The New Band – Buscando a Timbiriche: La Nueva Banda
Timbiriche is one of the most influential and ground-breaking Latin American pop groups of all time. It was the starting point of legends such as Thalia, Paulina Rubio, and Benny Ibarra. In 2007 Mexico’s Canal De Las Estrellas (Star’s Channel) released this reality show to find the members of a new Timbiriche. Thirty contestants, 16 episodes, and great music.
See contestants’ performances on YouTube.
6. Who Wears The Mask? – ¿Quién es la máscara?
Based on a Korean show called King of Mask Singer, this Latin American adaptation pits singers against one another. They’re all wearing costumes and masks; they’re covered from head to toe.
What’s more, when they talk, their voices are distorted. Judges then vote who gets to stay another week based entirely on the performance, not knowing who’s behind the mask.
7. LOL: Last One Laughing
In LOL: Last One Laughing, famed comedian Eugenio Derbéz makes 10 Mexican comedians try to make each other laugh. The one who laughs loses! The winner takes home one million pesos.
With its luchador masks, awful singers, people wearing sumo suits, and people breathing helium, we’re sure that Last One Laughing will make you laugh. Plus, you’ll learn many Mexican colloquial expressions right on time for your next trip south of the border!
Stream LOL: Last One Laughing on Amazon Prime.
8. The Academy – La Academia
Think of this show as American Idol or The Voice meets Big Brother. Each season, a group of singers is placed inside a house.
They spend the week taking singing and dancing lessons and preparing a song for the Sunday show, which is broadcast live to millions of viewers worldwide. Every week, the judges eliminate one person.
Watch clips of La Academia on YouTube.
9. The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America
The premise is simple: two professional mixed martial artists train amateur fighters to become the “ultimate fighter.” 16 fighters compete. There are two winners: one for the bantamweight category and one for the featherweight.
Watch clips of the show on UFC’s YouTube channel.
10. The Amazing Race Latin America
11 teams, 22 native Spanish speakers running across Latin America. Every week, the last couple to arrive at that episode’s final destination is eliminated.
On this exciting show, you hear regional accents from all over the continent and learn countless new words and colloquial expressions.
The show ran for six seasons (2009–2014), and contestants went to Buenos Aires, Valaparaíso, Cuzco, Cartagena, Tikal, and more. By watching the 78 episodes, you get to visit all of Latin America.
Watch clips of The Amazing Race Latin America on YouTube.
11. Your Face Sounds Familiar – Tu Cara Me Suena
Tu Cara Me Suena introduces up to 10 singers every season who must imitate famous singers in any language. Contestants have imitated Shakira, Freddy Mercury, Eddie Vedder, Celia Cruz, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Beyoncé, and Bad Bunny.
The resemblance is uncanny! Originally the show aired in Spain, but countries across Latin America such as Costa Rica, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico have released their own versions of the show.
Watch clips of Tu Cara Me Suena on YouTube.
12. Flamenco Needle – Aguja Flamenca
This lesser-known Spanish reality show is based entirely on flamenco and its fashion.
In Aguja Flamenca, you’ll learn about the history of this bit of Spanish culture, listen to fantastic music, watch people dance, and see how talented fashion designers come up with beautiful and often flamboyant dresses.
Watch entire episodes of Aguja Flamenca on Canal Sur’s YouTube channel.
13. Nailed It! – Niquelao!
Based on Netflix’s series Nailed It!, Niquelao! is called a “bake-off competition.” If you have a sweet tooth and enjoy comedy, this show is for you.
Every week, amateur bakers try to bake or replicate challenging cakes. The results are hilarious!
The show is available on Netflix.
Now It’s Time to Speak Spanish
After binge-watching hours of reality TV and learning how to say “cutting board” in Spanish on Niquelao!, you can do even better by speaking the language yourself.
Did you know that Spanish is the official language of 21 countries worldwide, mainly in Latin America? Sign up for a free trial class at Homeschool Spanish Academy today and get ready to run your Amazing Race across the continent. HSA offers fun and accessible programs for beginners, intermediate, and advanced Spanish speakers, kids, and adults alike. Our friendly, certified teachers are here to help you!
Join one of the 40,000 classes that we teach each month and you can experience results like these
“It’s great being able to interact with native speaking people and having a conversation with them not just doing all the work on paper. It’s also an amazing opportunity to speak with native Spanish-speaking people without having to travel to a native Spanish-speaking country.”
“HSA offers very affordable, quality, one on one classes with a native speaker. My son has greatly benefited from taking classes. We have seen his confidence increase as well as his pronunciation improve, because he learns from a native Spanish speaker. HSA has quick, personal customer service. Our family has been very pleased with our experience so far!”
– Erica P. Parent of 1
“My Son, Heath, is taking the classes. He’s been with Luisa the entire time and we absolutely love her. She is always patient and is a great teacher. Heath’s dad speaks Spanish so they get to have little conversations.”
– William R, Parent of 3
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