A little tired and in a hurry, Ion Aramendi (San Sebastián, 45 years old) comes to the interview. The recording he took part in took longer than expected, but he immediately pulls himself together and allows himself to take the photos and ask the necessary questions while sitting in the stands of the dark set survivor. He moves through the tortuous corridors of Mediaset as if he were at home: after all, this is his second station in the communications group. Between 2009 and 2016 he was one of the most famous reporters in save me, and there he became hooked on television. He later went to the Basque public broadcaster ETB, then to TVE, where he hosted the daily competition The hunter and various other formats, and now back to the beginning. But before television, this journalism graduate had a thousand other lives, from being a professional basketball player to being a waiter in Australia and Salamanca, working quality control in a factory or the family butane business. in the survivorSunday before the gala Honduran connection, his natural enthusiasm served as a boost for Telecinco’s star format, which this week will announce its winner: Nacho Palau, Marta Peñate, Ignacio de Borbón or Alejandro Nieto. But at the same time his thoughts are elsewhere: he is counting the days, even the hours, to be a father for the third time.

Questions. Let’s start at the end. How do you rate your experience? survivor?

Answer. A ten, at least as a professional committed to it. It was being part of a spectacular team, a return to my home country of many years and a program development that I was happy to witness first-hand.

P Did you have to be upset in any way to come up with such a format?

R I’ve always been a big fan of realityand in fact I was a staff commentator Big Brother in three editions. Being a part of enjoying it and living it was just enjoying it. Yes, it’s true, just as I could have been more scared at first, it turned out phenomenal.

P What is wrong with that survivor specifically with it, compared to others reality You went back, are you holding your train?

R I don’t know if he’s the king of the reality, but as a viewer you watch it and you see it at the end: as the weeks go by and they lose weight, they get absolutely tanned, they take on a set of habits, a complicated coexistence and that makes someone like me very rewarding , he sees it from a psychological, sociological point of view, he likes to analyze it, what reactions they have, how they deal with living together… Because I put myself in the role of what I would do in this situation or in front of this character. And second, you see people you know more or less who are having a hard time, which is also cool.

P Why do you think you fit into this universe?

R Talking about yourself is complicated… I knew I had to have a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of energy and joy. I broadcast a lot when I’m angry when I’m happy, cheerful when I’m happy… I brought desire, enthusiasm and the experience of having participated in other programs and leading other sets.

The presenter Ion Aramendi at the entrance of one of the sets of the Mediaset facilities in Madrid this Wednesday. Daniel Ochoa de Olza

P would you go survivor of the candidate?

R I don’t think he qualified. Bugs repel me, a mosquito makes me nervous, I wake up, turn on the light… Imagine being surrounded by crabs, spiders, snakes, lizards. Not eating has made me very bad milk since I was a child, my mother tells me. I’d be a real devil if I stood there pissed off or screaming all day. It’s not. No, I wouldn’t dare.

P How was the moment when they called you from Mediaset and offered you Honduran connection? Did you have any doubts?

R No, the offer that Mediaset made me at a certain moment in my professional career and in my personal moment was exceptional. I didn’t have to think about it too much. He had to appreciate what he left behind, that too. But it was a time when I wanted to take that leap and get to a big format and present survivor It is an irrefutable offer to anyone who champions it.

P But I guess he would get comments like “but where are you”…

R Yes, yes, and people who followed me in The hunterthis is a very white program and you get into a reality show on Telecinco… There were people and friends who were more or less amused. But I don’t live for people’s opinions, I don’t live for what people think about what I do or don’t do. I live for my career, for giving my children the best security and life, and for me it was an offer I couldn’t refuse.

P We continue backwards. Prior to TVE and ETB, he spent seven years in save me. What do you learn as a reporter in save me?

R Many things. Professionally, the world of the heart has never interested me. But being part of this family for 7 years gave me a lot of experience to face live shows, tell stories, I’ve done thousands of videos… You learn how to manage a live show, what you do has to say how to do it Say it despite the circumstances to specify and synthesize it… And I’ve met a lot of famous people. I don’t know, asking Brad Pitt a question, dating Morgan Freeman, Mel Gibson…

Ion Aramendi, during his time as a reporter for Sálvame.
Ion Aramendi, during his time as a reporter for Sálvame.

P dosave me is in crisis?

R It’s a program that has revolved around itself since… I joined in 2009, three months after it started and I lived there for seven years. It was already a program that grew, that made itself, that didn’t make the famous people but the collaborators the protagonists of the stories… save me it has always rotated. One of the most incredible things about it is that from the directors to the production company to the network itself, they never make up. They’re always trying to twist things and that’s what keeps a show alive. To say that save me is in crisis is absurd. It continues to deliver great viewership and continues to have great stories.

P What did you learn from everything you did before television that was later useful for television?

R It helped me a lot, especially doing interviews, being a waiter, I worked nights for three years, and you learn a lot, how to deal with people, knowing where the shots go, interacting in a simple way, but that leaves you see things beyond. in the save me, for example that I had to ask, it was very useful. Working in a factory also helped me understand what kind of work watching TV is. We don’t save lives, we don’t have the stress and strain you experience in a productive company. I used to work for a company that made bumpers. When the customer didn’t receive bumpers, it created tension, constant calls when the bumper wasn’t received in good condition… It was work stress. Now I’m faced with this and they say, ‘Isn’t that stressful?’ Well, no, it’s not stress, for me it’s enjoying. I’ve had other jobs that have taught me to appreciate the work of television, to take away my fears, and to be a better journalist.

P What drew you to television so much?

R I don’t know but it’s true that I’m absolutely addicted, I’m in love with the work I do. Also, the growth and development of my career has been so dizzying at times, always upwards…

Ion Aramendi on the set of Survivors in front of the picture of Lara Álvarez from Honduras.
Ion Aramendi on the set of Survivors in front of the picture of Lara Álvarez from Honduras.

P Doesn’t it make you dizzy that everything was so ascending? Aren’t you scared the moment it starts sinking?

R Usually I’m not afraid of what might happen. I don’t think about what will happen if one day they stop calling me or I feel uncomfortable. Well boy when it comes it will come and I gotta do something else or I’ll do something else. With that in mind, it’s very important to keep your feet on the ground. The problem with people moving up the ranks or getting jobs that have more influence or popularity is that you get caught in a kind of balloon where you live outside of reality. My children, my family continue to tie me to reality. I don’t believe in anything else, I do my job just like I did my job as a reporter, just like I did my job as a waiter, just like I did my job, whatever it was. If at some point it doesn’t go on like this anymore, then I think that I have to devote myself to something else after all.

P What’s wrong with the television?

R Uncertainty. Will I keep working? Will they keep calling me? How long does this project take? What will I do after this project? But not only for me as a presenter, but for everyone who is committed to it. Often the products are very short and you jump from one to the other. My wife has dedicated her entire life to television and the same has happened throughout her life.

P Where would you like to go for a career if you had the choice?

R On TV, and that’s shared by a lot of people who campaign for it, and once I heard Jorge Javier say that [Vázquez], people think you choose, but you never choose. I don’t choose, I don’t say that I will do this or that. Maybe if it’s you, I don’t know, Buenafuente, who is absolutely a star, a brilliant guy who creates his own universe and who can make the product himself … But not even he can often choose it. What will I do in the future? I just hope to keep working and continue to bring peace of mind and security to my children.

P Since you mention Buenafuente, do you have any moderator for reference?

R Everyone who is on TV is a great professional. Anne Igartiburu has been doing this for a long time and still does it fantastically, with incredible energy. Jorge Javier is a brilliant presenter who can print a stamp that is very difficult for you to print. Buenafuente is a great reference. But come on, there’s only one Buenafuente, even if you want to think you’re going to be Buenafuente, there’s only one, just like Jorge Javier, there’s only one. I can play and try to be funnier or less fun, but if you put your stamp on it and you have a stamp, a way of doing things, that’s enough. Look, Roberto Leal is a presenter who gives him a lot of impact, who puts his personal stamp on him and he loves movies.

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