Nigel Lythgoe's new reality series Opening Act premieres on E!, July 9

Celebrated executive producer and Emmy Award-winner Nigel Lythgoe (American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance) brings singing competitions to a whole new level with the debut of his new one-of-a-kind series OPENING ACT, premiering exclusively on E!, Monday, July 9 at 10 p.m. ET, following a special episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians at 9 p.m. ET (visit for local listings).

Opening Act is an inspiring series that delivers the chance of a lifetime for some of today’s hottest yet undiscovered internet sensations, with no auditions, no judges, no eliminations, and no competitions.

These talented artists from all genres of music do not even know they are being considered for this opportunity until they are surprised at their doorsteps with the chance to open the show for today’s hottest stars, including Nicki Minaj, Rod Stewart, LMFAO, Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean, Jason Mraz, and Gym Class Heroes.

Hosted by Britain’s fastest-rising female comedian Olivia Lee (Olivia Lee: Dirty, Sexy, Funny), Opening Act takes viewers on a thrilling and emotional roller-coaster ride, witnessing the transition from YouTube to the main stage as amateur acts give it their all to achieve musical stardom. Throughout the season, the experienced and well-connected Artist Development Team comprised of Lythgoe, Grammy-nominated and platinum-selling country superstar Martina McBride; author, Fall Out Boy member, platinum-selling artist and Decaydance Records founder Pete Wentz; singer and BMI Songwriter of the Year award winner Jason Derulo; chart-topping producer Antonina Armato from Rock Mafia; and Nick Cooper, a vocal coach who has worked with Beyonce and Katy Perry, choose acts to open for a headliner during their current world tours.

Along with Olivia Lee, they set the course for the newcomers to open for some of the biggest acts in music today. However, there’s more involved in opening on stage for the first time than vocal coaching, song writing, and seemingly endless rehearsals. The openers often have personal challenges to overcome, including family members who don’t support their dreams, cash flow woes, medical issues, and picking up and moving to a completely different city where they don’t know anyone ­– just to be in the thick of the music industry.

In the premiere episode, (Monday, July 9 at 10 p.m. ET on E!), singer Arielle is approached in a Dallas café while waiting to hear if she was picked for a spot in the next open mic lineup. Arielle gets the surprise of a lifetime when Olivia Lee reveals that she has been specially selected by Nigel, the Artist Development team, and Rod Stewart himself to open for the Grammy Award-winning and platinum-selling artist in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace. She has only five days to prepare for her tour date in an intensive boot camp mentored by voice coach Nick Cooper and producer Antonina Armato. Viewers join Arielle’s emotional and personal journey of coping with the realities of the music industry.

The Opening Act headliners and the venues where they’re playing include:

Rod Stewart – Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada
Nicki Minaj – James L. Knight Center, Miami, Florida
LMFAO – Amway Center, Orlando, Florida (Part of the ‘Sorry for Party Rocking’ Tour presented by Redfoo and Cherrytree Records)
Brad Paisley – Shoreline Amphitheater, Mountain View, California
Jason Aldean – Oak Mountain Ampitheatre, Birmingham, Alabama
Jason Mraz – Waikiki Shell, Honolulu, Hawaii
Gym Class Heroes – El Paso, Texas

About the author