From the deep wound of the cancellation to the legacy of televised training: 5 years after the death of María Amuchástegui

María Amuchástegui at the opening of her program, Good Day María

A comfortable mat in front of the television was enough for the housewives of the eighties to find a safe-conduct, a moment just for them between the busy housework and raising their children. It was their only excuse every morning to get out of the routine and they had a luxury leader, Maria Amuchastegui. The scene was repeated in thousands of Argentine houses and the look was almost identical: colored tights or medibachas and a one-piece mesh on top, like the driver, which combined from the stockings to the rubber band with which the hair was held as marked by the epoch. eight more the trainer shouted and the harangue crossed the screen, and you raised your legs again to complete the series of exercises.

She was a dancer, singer and gym teacher, she emerged in news table but he rose to fame with his show good morning cheersat ATC, from where he revolutionized the mornings. Then it went through the old Channel 13 and Channel 11 with good morning Mariaalready with a more journalistic tint. Movilers and the doctor joined Eduardo Lorenzo Borocoto who gave health advice while she did gymnastics with a group of young people called The Marias. So It was baptized as “the Argentine Jane Fonda”in allusion to the American actress who put acting on pause and became a pioneer in this type of format that until now was completely unknown locally.

“Eight more” was her traditional phrase with which she encouraged the women who imitated her from their homes to complete the training sequence

María was the ally of the women of the time, who did not miss any of her programs or her televised and adapted training classes so that everyone could do them: there were no physical condition or social class impediments, everyone could follow their routines. A broomstick, two plastic bottles, a sewing elastic, every object was used to replace weights, dumbbells and other elements that were not accessible at the time.

The unfair televised cancellation

In those years he was quite a celebrity, in full swing, until Susana Gimenez He called her to teach him at homeand the big food brands hired her to be the face of their products. A confusing episode one morning turned her work and personal world upside down. María was giving her class like every day and a noise was heard in the air. Although she was on a platform that made permanent noises, the driver ran out and left her place empty in front of the camera. The urban legend established that it was flatulence and the video of her was repeated endless times making fun of her.

There were no social networks or messaging chats that viralize videos, but the condemnation was forceful: It was one of the first cancellations on television, in which everyone was complicit. For years the doors on the small screen were closed to him and although he got tired of repeating that it was an isolated noise, already society had given its verdict. An unfair and macho.

They were years of sadness and shame for María but that with tears she knew how to capitalize for herself. During those years, she raised a family. She married the polo player Juan José Alberdi, at a wedding that was covered by all the current magazines. Y They had a childwho was named after his father and who is 33 years old today. In 2016 the young man married in an outdoor ceremony and despite being separated, his parents were by his side and that was one of Amuchástegui’s last public appearances.

Maria Amuchástegui in one of her returns to television, with a small role in Graduados. In the photo, next to the character of Isabel Macedo

Little by little, timidly, María returned to having isolated participation in the media. She reappeared in saturday bus beside Nicholas Repettoparticipated in CCC, Matter of weight and played a dance teacher in graduatesthe Sebastián Ortega series that recalled the 1980s. Little by little he was gaining confidence again. That was how, In 2005, he was encouraged to fulfill one of his dreams and recorded his own album, path of mirrorswith romantic songs.

his musical roots

María was born on March 14, 1953 in the city of Buenos Aires. Despite her penchant for the world of physical activity, she grew up in an artistic environment: his mother was a tango singer and his father an integral musician. “My house was musical. The memory I have of my old people is with a guitar and a bandoneon. Dad played five instruments, he had all the records. He was a scribe but the ear he had was really incredible. My mom had a very nice voice, mezzo-soprano and she was folkloric, she played the guitar, ”she recalled in an interview on Lyrics and music fraud Silvina Chedieck by Channel A.

María Amuchástegui playing the guitar and singing Those Little Things, by Joan Manuel Serrat (YouTube)

In that same talk, she said that she met her husband when she was 13 years old and that her training was as a classical dancer, since she took classes from the age of 4 to 25. At 14, he traveled to the United States for the first time to study Tap dancea discipline that at the end of the 1960s did not exist at the local level. “I went to perfect myself there because there was none of that here, neither tap nor aerobics. But the singer always accompanied me, wherever she went she took my guitar, she wrote my own songs and sang. And if he could also dance, he did both. Television was a trigger, my program caught on a lot on TV and I popularized gymnastics”, he recalled about his beginnings and his true passion.

Maria Amuchástegui wanted to fulfill her greatest dream: record an album and sing in public
Maria Amuchástegui wanted to fulfill her greatest dream: record an album and sing in public

In those years of television stoppage, it was for this reason that he found refuge in music and was encouraged to cross the walls of his affections. So he recorded his album. “I had to sing because I couldn’t leave this world without having achieved my great dream, which is to be able to be with musicians and connect to the magic that is music.. I was able to meet Joan Manuel SerratI met him by chance at an exhibition of mine inside, he was there to give a show and we were able to talk and sing a song together. He marked a very important time in my life, ”she recounted with emotion. His warm voice dazzled the Elder brother and he gave back to María the security and the certainty that she wanted to sing until the end of her days.

In 2016, his son Juan José married.  Despite being separated, her parents were by her side and that was one of Amuchástegui's last public appearances
In 2016, his son Juan José married. Despite being separated, her parents were by her side and that was one of Amuchástegui’s last public appearances

Five years ago, on July 19, 2017, he died at the age of 64 from lung cancer. The driver, in addition, had suffered a stroke with serious consequences, which kept her hospitalized for two months. She left surrounded by her affections, by her public who still remembered her and by her famous friends, such as the case of Marcelo Tinelli who dedicated an emotional post to her. “I’m going to miss your advice, friend,” the driver wrote.

He left a legacy and a teaching, which he paid for with his own body, mind and heart. The first, the path paved for an unknown and exploited format until now, televised training sessions -which even, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, were mutated into streaming fury-. The second, a lesson that when analyzed from a distance, gains even more strength: the power of media construction and the deep wound produced by cancellation and merciless judgment.


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