Viewers are used to the whole singing reality show rundown at this point: A bunch of people sing, some get sent home in tears and one competitor comes out victorious. But new series “Opening Act” is singing a different tune with a format in which the artists are all winners from the get-go and no one goes home defeated.
Producer Nigel Lythgoe and a posse of industry vets like Martina McBride, Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz, and Jason Derulo handpick unknown singers, songwriters and musicians from the internet to open for a major act like Nicki Minaj, Rod Stewart, Brad Paisley and Gym Class Heroes. Comedian Olivia Lee plays host and fairy godmother of sorts to the unsuspecting performers, surprising them with the good news.
Wentz and Lee tell Zap2it just what it’s like to give these up-and-comers their big break.
“It’s authentic. What you see is real,” Wentz says. “It’s talented people who are maybe just a little rough around the edges … it’s real excitement when the people are surprised.”
“It goes from disbelief … then shock, then excitement … and then the tears come … and then the cuddles come,” Lee says, demonstrating by cuddling up to her co-star Wentz. “What’s weird is it takes them awhile to realize that they’re not going to be sent home at any point.”
Check out our full conversation with Wentz and Lee below, and find out who they’d each want to open for if given the chance. And tune in Monday (July 9) at 10 p.m. on E! for the premiere of “Opening Act.”