Wherever you're reading this, there's a fair chance you have a version of The Voice on local TV. (If not, all you really need to know is that it's another singing competition.) The Spanish version - La Voz - has been such a hit that there is now a spin-off show, La Voz Kids, which has been featuring a young girl called Yudit Romero. After progressing through the early rounds, last night she was finally voted off, which, as you can imagine, was an emotional moment for her. In the video above - shortly after we see the heat winner celebrating with her family - Yudit says, fighting back tears, "I just want to say thank you for giving me this opportunity...thank you..." At this point the hostess leans down and says, "What opportunity? You've got here because you deserve it. Nothing else." Then back to Yudit, who by now is close to the edge..."Y...y...y que viva el Betis!" is what she just manages to get out as the tears start falling.
Cue uproar in the studio (somewhat patronisingly, if you ask me), and a genuine explosion on the Betis Twittersphere, where several players and about a billion other Béticos revealed they'd been watching, and quickly got the hashtag #Yvivaelbetis trending throughout Spain. Yudit's last words on the show (right at the end of the clip) were: "I dedicate my performance to Betis, the best in the world..."
This might sound silly but there's something about the video that is more affecting than perhaps a 10-year-old girl remembering her favourite football team on TV should be. The way she manages to capture exactly the right balance of despondency and defiance that is the hallmark of the club motto - Manque pierda - is unexpectedly moving, and surely anyone can see from how deep down in her heart those words are plucked. (Or, to borrow the words of Bético poet/Twitterer @atilaladinsky, "If you don't feel it, you won't understand.")
Such as been the sensation around these few seconds of television that Gaby Calderón was asked about her in his press conference today - "Extraordinary," he said; "it just shows how great the Betis fans are - it's something unique. I just want to thank her" - and I think we can take it for granted that the club are working behind the scenes to get her to the Villamarín as soon as possible. In fact, tomorrow would be perfect at it's officially Día de la Mujer Bética - Betis Women's Day, if you like - when female fans can get in for €5, the players will have the name of woman particularly special to them (mothers, wives, daughters, etc.) stamped onto their shirts and the board have invited a number of Betis-supporting businesswomen and prominent fans to watch the game from the directors' box. Let's hope young Yudit Romero is among them.
UPDATE: Sorry - I didn't realise the above video was only available in Spain. Here is the key moment, thanks to YouTube.
By the way, of course Yudit (who comes from the town of Écija, not far away from Seville) has now been invited to the game tomorrow after president Miguel Guillén phoned her personally. I doubt if there's ever been a more popular guest of honour.
Oh, and this is how she sings.