Opening Act

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Opening Act TV Poster Image
New talent performs, plus occasional drinking, swearing.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series showcases new talent, and shows some of the effort that goes into helping them prepare for major live performances. The importance of working hard and having confidence in oneself is highlighted here.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The artistic team supports the talent, but not all the folks selected for this opportunity make the most of it.


Occasionally folks react angrily to criticism or the lack of professional behavior.


Occasional curses like "f--k" are bleeped. Rude gestures are blurred.


Folks are invited to become opening acts for LMFAO, Rod Stewart, Nicki Minaj, and others. Southwest Airlines planes and venues like Caesar's Palace are visible.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Occasionally talent is shown drinking (hard liquor, shots) and getting drunk. Champagne is sometimes consumed after successful performances are over.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Opening Act is fine for most teens, but it contains some drinking (hard alcohol, champagne), occasional drunken behavior, and salty bleeped language (like "f--k"). Shouting and insults are occasionally audible and not all performers behave professionally. While big names in the music industry, including Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga, and Selena Gomez are talked about, shown, and/or make appearances, the show mainly features the performances of the opening acts.

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What's the story?

From the creator of American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance comes OPENING ACT, a reality series that features an artist development team headed up by award-winning producer Nigel Lythgoe choosing amateur performers for the sole purpose of opening for the the likes of LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, and Lady Gaga. After scouring the Internet for talented performers, musicians, and song writers, the gang -- which includes country singer Martina McBride, R&B singer Jason Derulo, record producer Pete Wentz -- chooses performers based on their talent, as well as how well they fit the artist's tour. After host Olivia Lee surprises the person chosen as the opening act, he or she gets flown to Hollywood to work with other artistic team members like A-list record producer Antonina Armato and renown vocal coach Nick Cooper to prepare for the performance. After five days of hard work, frustrating moments, and a makeover, some folks will kick off a major tour performance live on stage, while others struggle to make the most of their opportunity to shine.

Is it any good?

The series introduces TV viewers to a new crop of talent that is emerging around the country, and who are using Internet outlets like YouTube to draw attention to their work. It also underscores how even the most talented performers must continue to work hard to prepare for performances, as well as continually cope with the monumental pressures they face to perform well on stage.

The show has some inspiring moments, especially when the folks selected to perform share their personal struggles and/or their efforts to achieve their musical dreams. But while some performers take this opportunity very seriously, others can't seem to pull themselves together to make the most of the once-in-a-lifetime chance being offered to them. No doubt you'll find yourself rooting for some folks, while wanting to give the boot to others.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how YouTube and other online sites are generating interest in and promoting new talent. Did you know that Justin Bieber and screenwriter Diablo Cody were "discovered" on the Internet?

  • What message does the show send about drinking? When is it appropriate to drink alcohol?

  • Do you think that people considered "Internet celebrities" are as big as TV and film celebs? Are their risks to promoting your creative work online?

  • What kind of work goes into preparing for a large-scale live singing performance? Is it enough to have a good voice? What other things do performers have to work on in order to be stage-ready? Is it possible to be good on small stages or on videos, but not a good large-venue performer?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love music and dance

Themes & Topics

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