This is The Voice
My arms drooped.
Watching Monday night’s DVRed Top 10 show of The Voice Tuesday morning, my limbs went full-out spaghetti – just thinking about how much the audience has to applaud during the show.
See, last week, as a guest of Kia, I got to attend alive taping of The Voice results show. Have you ever wondered what it’s like to actually be there?
They tell you how to clap: with your arms up over your head. On and off for at least an hour. Ouch.
But that was only part of the experience. Which was ah. maz. ing.
Here is what I learned about attending a live taping:
You wait. Our call time was 4 p.m., but since we drove to Los Angeles from The OC, we gave ourselves plenty of time. And arrived an hour early. We spent that time sitting under a large tent, helping ourselves to bottles of water and waiting to be taken to the studio. We sat among guests of the coaches and contestants, and other VIP types. We used the posh port-o-lets. Then drank more water. We were told to wear dark colors, no artwork or logos, and if you watch the show, you’ll notice most people comply with that.
You have to give them your right arm. Did you hear that? YOUR RIGHT ARM! Okay, by right arm I clearly mean cell phone. We were told ABSOLUTELY NO CELL PHONES. Seriously. All caps. Imagine our surprise when we saw just how many people (everyone) went right through the metal detector and kept their phones. I got all twitchy. What was I going to do for hours without my phone? ACTUALLY TALK TO PEOPLE??? So while those around us in the tent were taking selfies, we curled under our chairs in the fetal position.
The studio is heated the temperature of artic igloo. With a strong breeze. The night before, the air conditioning broke and the studio went up to 105 degrees. Eager to overcompensate, it was fuh-reezing. This poor woman in the row in front of us had her hair blowing around all night as she hunched over. By the way, we were all informed that if anyone took a picture with their phone, they’d be thrown out. Hmph.
We got to see the Starbucks stand where the coaches get their drinks, and four directors chairs with a coach’s name on each one on the way to our seats. We were on the left of the stage, on a section called Blake, since we were closest to him.
There’s a guy (The Guy) who tells you what to do. When to stand, how to applaud, how loudly to applaud, when to be quiet, what’s going to happen next. We were like a bunch of trained monkeys. But in the best possible way.
Even live shows are filmed out of order. The coaches were introduced and came out on stage, with Blake flipping Adam the bird. Usher did a little dance. Shakira? Tiny. TINY!! She’s like a little miniature person. (Incidentally, the judges spent most of the commercial breaks texting on their phones while makeup and hair people fussed over them or dashing backstage.) Then Lady Antebellum recorded their performance 30 minutes before the start of the live show. The Guy told us there was a chance they’d have to do the performance twice, but they got it in one take. During the show, if you watched at home, Robin Thicke performed. But we watched it on the monitors: it was recorded some other night.
Adam. Yeah. What you think he’s like on TV? Just as that in person.
The singers don’t sound amazing because of the magic of television. They are amazing. And incredibly talented. I was truly blown away by their voices.
We were told by The Guy not to yell out who we hoped America kept during Carson Daly’s announcements. Then we were told that we should yell. It was all very confusing. Luckily my faves were safe. Have I mentioned I’m a huge fan of the show?
The Guy said there would be a special surprise after the show. A post-show taping. And it would be … Bruno Mars. Now, I’m not a huge Bruno Mars fan. Well, I wasn’t. Until…
Meanwhile, because we had to wait awhile after the end of the live taping and Bruno Mars (usually during this time the coaches tape their thoughts about the eliminations, but for some reason they didn’t do that), ushers brought around food. Not Usher. Though that would’ve been awesome. In fact, the judges and contestants were gone. Some people got boxes from Subway. We got pizza – we were handed the box and told to take a slice and pass the box. We also got Gatorade, fruit, candy and chips. Some people actually complained about the selection. I just thought it was nice of them to feed us. Tough to kvetch about free food.
The setup for Bruno Mars included ginormous disco balls suspended above the stage. The Guy came back out to tell us the taping would start soon. As he spoke, Bruno Mars and his band – all wearing red suits – walked onto the stage. Speaking of tiny, Bruno Mars and Shakira would make a perfect matched pocket set. Carson Daly reappeared and introduced Bruno Mars – and holy. shnikeys. He sang Treasure and totally rocked it. The audience went nuts. Bruno Mars has a ton of energy and put on an amazing show. And then. He had to do it again. Apparently there was a technical glitch of some sort. This time, The Guy told everyone to dance. Which we already were but whatevs. So Bruno Mars sang Treasure again. Nailed it again. Tremendous performance.
That was it. Almost. On the way out, my friend’s 16 year-old daughter touched Adam Levine’s empty directors chair. And sobbed for the next 20 minutes.
Such a great experience, and so fun to get the inside scoop on what goes on during a live taping – and how the idea that Adam Levine’s butt touched a chair can reduce a teenager to hysterics.
Thank you to Kia for providing me with a super-fun Kia Soul to drive for the week and passes to the live taping. All observations (and possible shrieking at Adam Levine) are my own.