Moment Of Glory

Does winning matter when you perform at your peak?
Forty years ago an international music festival was held in Mexico City. It was the second annual such contest, celebrating the best of Latin music. The participants were recording artists from around Latin America, some of them at the height of their fame. Most of what happened at the 1970 event has been long forgotten, except a stirring performance by a young vocalist called Jose Jose.
Jose Jose was then 22 years old, and up to then had enjoyed limited success as a crooner in his native Mexico. The protocol of the show was to have each contestant sing his or her entry song several times, in successive rounds of eliminations. Jose Jose entered the contest with a dramatic, brass-laden song called El Triste (The Sad One). At each successive elimination, El Triste gained more momentum, and by the final round Jose Jose had the whole auditorium  at his feet.
In the video, Jose Jose is presented by the announcer, and as he appears, the audience cheers wildly as it begins throwing roses on the stage. Jose Jose stands in the middle of a pedestal, accompanied by a full orchestra, and begins to perform a masterpiece that endures to this day. His voice is at once crisp, dramatic, and heartfelt. Soon most of the audience is standing, clapping, cheering and simply listening in awe as Jose Jose continues to plow through the lyrics. Indeed, as you watch this, you get the sense that this is the performance of a lifetime. One of Latin America’s greatest singers of the time, Marco Antonio Muñiz, sits in complete awe, jaw dropped, as he listens to the thunder in Jose Jose’s voice. 
As the song draws to an end, the shower of roses intensifies, the crowd is as excited as ever, and Jose Jose clinches the song with a beautiful, painful lament. A standing ovation ensues, the flowers keep falling, a fan rushes to hug him, his colleagues congratulate him, and even the drummer cheers him on as he leaves the stage.
This was Jose Jose’s moment of glory. Even though he went on to have a legendary career (including 26 platinum records and a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame), he has mentioned in recent interviews that that date, March 25, 1970, was the defining moment of his life. Yet for whatever reason the jurors awarded him only third place.
No one remembers who the first and second places were.