Despite doing what he loved, Daniel Ariano was unhappy. He was working in Brazil as a television producer and director, but he was contemplating changing careers. But, sometimes, it just takes one opportunity to change your life, and that is exactly what happened to him when he was offered to produce the hit reality singing competition Idolos.
Idolos was Brazil’s version of American Idol. The production went across the country looking for the hidden singing talents of civilians. There were a variety of judges throughout the years, from music producers to singers, such as Paula Lima, Luiza Possi, and Fafá de Belém.
“The idea of looking for the next Idol is amazing,” said Ariano. “It gives the unknown and the people with less resources to show their talent to the world. Every country needs to find new talent, so any country is able to have a show like the Idol franchise. Music is an international language.”
Prior to working on Idolos, Ariano had no experience working on reality television. What really hit home for him was working with real people and hearing about their true life stories, rather than actors playing a character.
“In the deep north of Brazil, City of Fortaleza, we find this kid singing Brazilian country music who was very shy and quiet. He slept on a net at his family farm and he didn’t even have an ID to travel to São Paulo to shoot the show’s finals. We had to help him get one. His name was Marcos Duarte and he was the first contestant to ever give up on the top 10, because he felt that this life wasn’t for him. He preferred to stay quiet on his family farm,” said Ariano. “I love the contestants’ histories.”
Fernando Viudez was a director on the show that worked alongside Ariano since 2009. They worked so well together on Idolos, that they decided to work together on the Brazilian verson of The Apprentice titled O Aprendiz.
"Daniel is one of those unique characters you have the luck to run into in life. To accomplish such perfect reality television, you have to be up for it. You get no holidays, no time to enjoy family and friends, you have to live your work for a period of time. Spending that time with people that make it enjoyable for everyone is very important, and Daniel always made that happened for the whole crew,” said Viudez. “I met him when he was only a kid, but a bright kid with an extraordinary talent to see things. He is also humble, caring about people, very organized, and professional. He is a lot of fun to be around. He became an amazing and talented man. I see no limits to what he can and will do in the industry."
Ariano’s goal on set was to always keep the energy up. He had a lot of responsibilities as producer, which included vetting the talent, working with the host and directing him on external shootings, as well as working with the judges, but he wanted to take on the extra responsibility of creating a positive working environment.
“Keeping the energy up was a very important part of my job. Maintaining the crew’s happiness and making sure people were enjoying the work, despite being an extra of my job, is important,” said Ariano. “I believe that, if the energy is always up and everyone is working happy, the job is easier and the quality is way up.”
Part of doing this was to help guide people rather than tell them exactly how to do their job. Ariano assisted many facets of the production, but he always gave tips rather than criticism.
“A big part of the job is the quality of our talents. And if everyone who went to participate left with a good experience, they will come back,” he said.
While maintaining that good atmosphere on set, Ariano had his work cut out for him. It is easy to tire with the long hours that were required of the production team, and the amount of travel, but that is one of the things Ariano loved best about his experience on the show.
“The best part is to travel and to see what the different regions of Brazil had to offer, while experiencing new cultures and meeting new people. Every day I got to see something new and something different,” he said.
Ariano cites Idolos as a turning point in his career. Because of his work on the show, he started to love what he did again, and now he is a successful director and producer.
“I enjoyed so much that I would do it forever if I could. I would tell myself to enjoy the madness from the star. I guess I started a bit shy, and during the process I throw myself to the craziness, and that was the best part.
“The worst part is that it ended,” Ariano concluded.
Despite Idolos coming to an end in 2012, Ariano’s experience to help Brazil find its next singing star has proved vital, and he has begun working on Brazil’s first season of X-Factor Brazil.