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[06/21/12 - 10:07 AM]
E!'s "Opening Act" Premieres Monday, July 9 at 10:00PM ET/PT
The selected acts will open for Nicki Minaj, Rod Stewart, LMFAO, Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean, Jason Mraz, and Gym Class Heroes, among others.

[via press release from E!]

THERE ARE NO AUDITIONS, NO JUDGES AND NO ELIMINATIONS AS UNDISCOVERED TALENT GET THE SURPRISE OF THEIR LIVES AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO OPEN FOR THE BIGGEST NAMES IN MUSIC WHEN E!'S "OPENING ACT" PREMIERES MONDAY, JULY 9 AT 10:00PM ET/PT

The Artist Development Team of Nigel Lythgoe, Martina McBride, Pete Wentz, Jason Derulo, Nick Cooper and Antonina Armato Skyrocket Singers fromInternet Obscurity to the main stage of This Summer's Biggest Concert Tours

Los Angeles, June 21, 2012 - The intoxicating but elusive dream of music stardom moves a significant step forward for a diverse group of young singers in "Opening Act," the wholly original new series from E! International Emmy(R)-winning producer Nigel Lythgoe and his Artist Development Team scoured the Internet, searching for the very best performers, singers and songwriters for the sole purpose of opening this summer for the likes of Nicki Minaj, Rod Stewart, LMFAO, Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean, Jason Mraz, and Gym Class Heroes, among others. "Opening Act" is a one-of-a-kind series that promises a chance to fulfill the dream of a lifetime for some of today's hottest yet undiscovered sensations, with no auditions, no judges, no eliminations and no competitions! They don't even know they're being considered for this opportunity until the show's host surprises them, in unusual ways. "Opening Act" premieres Monday, July 9 at 10:00pm ET/PT, only on E!.

Grammy(R) award nomiated 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, make up the experienced and well-connected Artist Development Team. Along with Olivia Lee as host, they set the course for the acts 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, songwriting 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, singer Arielle's life changes forever when she comes into a Dallas cafe hoping for a spot in the lineup for the next open mic night. She settles in with Olivia who she thinks has something to do with the artists for the evening and opens up about her love for music and performing, and is completely stunned when Olivia Lee reveals Arielle is about to get her wish times 1,000. Lee tells Arielle has been handpicked by Nigel, the Artist Development team and Rod Stewart to open for the Grammy(R) award winning and platinum-selling artist in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace. Still coping with the initial shock of the opportunity she never saw coming, she's equally shocked to find out she must be ready to take the stage in just five days. After hearing the news, Arielle is whisked off to an 5 day intense boot camp to prepare for her tour date, which includes an emotional session with voice coach Nick Cooper, and working with Antonina Armato to get her performance just right. After going through a rough childhood, music has been Arielle's greatest comfort. Still, she's nervous about being able to open up and really give her all to her opening act performance for Rod Stewart.

Throughout the season, the Artist Development Team will choose acts to open for a superstar headliner during their current world tours, and Lee will guide them through the process, from helping them pack to giving them encouragement along the way. The acts' emotional journeys from relative obscurity to potential national attention will be captured as the Artist Development Team prepares them for their shot at fame. The search consisted of fun and talented musicians from across the entire music spectrum, including R&B, pop, rock, dance and country, among others. The headliners and thevenues where they're playing include:

-Nicki Minaj - James L. Knight Center, Miami, Florida

-Rod Stewart - Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada

-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

Be sure to check out all the up-to-date information on the series and follow the show on Twitter @OpeningAct and Facebook.

About E! Entertainment

E! is television's top global destination for all things pop culture. The network is currently available to 98 million cable and satellite subscribers in the U.S.and E! content is available on all platforms any time and anywhere from E! Online to social media to mobile to VOD to the latest emerging platforms. Popular programming includes E! core franchises, "E! News," "The Soup," "Chelsea Lately," "Fashion Police" and "True Hollywood Story," as well as the network's hit series "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Khloé & Lamar," "Kourtney and Kim Take New York," "Ice Loves Coco" and "After Lately." Additionally, E!'s "Live from the Red Carpet" signature events keep fans connected to their favorite stars on pop culture's biggest nights. E! is a network of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience.

About Nigel Lythgoe Productions (NLP)

NLP is a Los Angeles-based television production company headed by CEO Nigel Lythgoe, executive producer of American Idol and co-creator, executive producer and judge on So You Think You Can Dance. Founded in 2011, NLP already has a slate of unscripted and scripted projects in place. Lythgoe is supported at NLP by industry veterans Kary McHoul who serves as president and George David Monas as vice president of production.





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