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‘Opening Act’ Opens With an Adorable Act Featuring Arielle + Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

It’s possible television didn’t need another “plucked from the people” talent show, but we don’t care, we welcome Nigel Lythgoe’s ‘Opening Act’ to the reality show scene. At this point, we’re all nobodies from the internet and it’s fun to see one of our own finally getting some attention for having talent. That’s exactly what happened to Arielle from Allen, Texas on the show tonight.

If you’ve ever been on the world wide web, you know that it’s full of videos of people who really really stink at whatever they’re doing. Lythgoe, who brought us shows like ‘American Idol’ and ‘So You Think You Can Dance,’ decided it would be a good idea to force a handful of music professionals, including Martina McBride, Pete Wentz and Jason Derulo, to wade through all the internet crap to find some diamonds in the rough. And, amazingly they did. They found Arielle.

The panel decided Arielle had the potential and presence to be the opening act for Rod Stewart at his show at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. After making this choice, it was time to ambush Arielle in her hometown and surprise her with the news of her big break. After she saw a video message from Rod Stewart himself and finally decided the ambushers weren’t pulling her leg, she agreed to leave for Hollywood that very day to start rehearsing, because she was going to open for Stewart in six days. No competition, no judges, no voting. Just Arielle being whisked away to open for Rod Stewart.

This first episode of ‘Opening Act’ seems to be a good indicator of the struggle we’ll watch these unknowns go through every week. The ever-endearing Arielle, who seemed so down-to-earth the entire time, battled her own inner demons who were constantly telling her she wasn’t good enough. She had to rise above the feeling that she shouldn’t be there and it wasn’t real. In one of her personal video updates she said, “This is really happening. I am performing with Rod Stewart tonight.” She had a hard time saying and hearing the words. She couldn’t believe her luck. “I’m the luckiest girl in the world,” she said.

Adorable Arielle rose to the occasion. After a pep talk with her sister, who said, “They’re gonna all see what we see. They’re gonna love you,” and after the shock of finding out that Stewart not only wanted her to open the show, but also sing a duet of ‘Have I Told You Lately’ with him, Arielle got herself together and performed like a pro. She was effervescent and really commanded the stage. Stewart genuinely seemed happy with her performance. He was a gracious host to her, although she didn’t really get to spend much time with him at all.

We love ‘Opening Act’ because we got to watch the girl next door get her big break. We love that Arielle was beside herself when she saw her name in lights and that her parents nearly exploded with pride when they heard the news and saw her live in Vegas. We would like to have seen more interaction with Stewart, but we know now that the celebrity acts won’t be a big part of the show. The only other thing that makes this show a bummer is that, unlike other talent shows, you can’t find a person or act to love and root for and follow every week. They made us fall in love with sweet Arielle, but now we have to quit her to watch next week’s show. She was a perfect opening act for ‘Opening Act.’ The following acts have a lot to live up to.

Future episodes will feature LMFAO, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and next week, Gym Class Heroes. We’ll be tuning in to see what other random delights the panel of music biz experts manages to pluck from the internet and if they can compare to lovable Arielle.

Next: See This Week's Top 20 Pop Songs

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