American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance producer Nigel Lythgoe is done with voting.
No, Idol and SYTYCD are not eliminating their voting elements, but Lythgoe has decided against using the same tactic for his new E! music reality series, Opening Act…
Instead, the show follows a handful of wannabe singing superstars who posted performance videos only to find themselves handpicked by Lythgoe to become opening acts for major headliners like Lady Gaga, Rod Stewart, Jason Mraz, Nicki Minaj and Jason Aldean, among others.
While there's no Idol or X Factor-like competitions taking place, each singer is put through a grueling five-day performance boot camp leading up to their big opening act gig. On the scene to assist are Martina McBride, Pete Wentz, Jason Derulo, vocal coach Nick Cooper and uber-producer Antonina Armato of Rock Mafia.
"There are enough competitions out there," Lythgoe told me earlier today. "There are enough American votes and besides, it's so hard to find judges nowadays. We didn't really need judges going, 'Pack your suitcases, you're going home' or 'Go sue your singing teacher.'"
The premiere episode, airing on E! on Monday at 10 p.m., showcases Arielle, a Dallas singer who has been picked to open for Stewart in Las Vegas.
"I've been asked what's going to be different on every show if you don't have a competition," Lythgoe said. "The people are different. The scenarios are different. Just look at the kid opening for Lady Gaga who is so thrilled but his mom is a Jehovah's Witness who thinks Lady Gaga is the devil's spawn."
Lythgoe thinks "three or four" of the acts have what it takes to make it in the business. "There's also one act that I think is going to have a really good recording career that has no talent whatsoever," he said. "But they are just fabulous and fun. You just want to be with them. They're party people."
For more on Opening Act, check out E! News tonight at 7 and 11:30 p.m.