One of the great pleasures of reviewing for ASSIGNMENT X, is the various opportunities the KIA motor company has extended to the magazine to review their various vehicles.
From the Sorento to the Soul, we’ve experienced the power and imagination of this company throughout it’s various vehicle experiences.
That’s what made the latest event so intriguing. The chance to go on a KIA road trip to the taping of NBC’s musical competition series THE VOICE which KIA is an official automotive partner of.
It being a very hot and sunny Southern California afternoon, I took my niece Rachel with me to THE VOICE. We headed out in the KIA RIO EX which is a small, compact and very gas efficient vehicle.
The air-conditioned blasted during the super smooth half and hour trip on last Tuesday afternoon as we arrived at our destination on the Universal Studios back lot. Most parking structures can be a bear to get around in, especially with traffic going in both directions, but the compact nature of the RIO added for great flexibility in not only waiting for the traffic flow going into the structure to dissipate, but also in finding a great spot. I’m used to driving a truck, so those larger spaces are a premium, the smaller spaces are much more readily available, as I found out in the Universal structure.
Once on the back lot, it took about an hour to get through the check-in process (no cameras allowed, stay the course, don’t stray, etc.).
Once we arrived at Stage 12, it was a pretty quick process being taken to the seats. One of the more interesting things about the behind-the-scenes of THE VOICE is a full-service Starbucks inside the stages for cast and crew to partake in (my niece thought that was extremely cool).
The special seats KIA provided were in the area to the left of the coach’s chairs. The seats gave a perfect view of the stage and also of the coach’s themselves. The stages were also adequately pumped with cool air (especially with the muggy temperatures outside being a bit overwhelming outside). The most amusing thing about the row, is the three seats to the right of us, were also directly under the air conditioning flow, which resulted in four different sets of people moving from the seats to elsewhere.
The biggest surprise about THE VOICE stages is how big it looks on TV and how small it actually is in living color. It’s a pretty impressive feat and it makes you appreciate the production design even more.
As the show drew closer, the audience was given a refresher course in how to act once the show begins – namely, stand up when everyone stands up, clap throughout, cheer and when your favorite contestant is close to elimination, call out their name.
Meanwhile, the Coaches including Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Usher and Shakira were treated to a cavalcade of make-up artists doing final touches before the show began.
This being an elimination show, it was a nice compact hour as the final five contestants stood on stage and Carson Daly announced two of them would be going home.
Frankly, the reason AMERICAN IDOL has failed so miserably this past year, is it’s uneven group of contestants. The final five of THE VOICE are pretty amazing artists, all unique in their own right and any one of them would have been a gift to IDOL if they were on the show this past season.
My of two favorites are country singing brothers The Swon Brothers and Danielle Bradbery – both Blake Shelton team members. I also think Michelle Chamuel is an amazing talent (she’s Team Usher), while Team Shakira has fantastic vocalist Sasha Allen and Team Adam has the super talented Amber Carrington.
The first saved is Chamuel, which is pretty awesome.
More performances continued, including a pre-taped segment with Fall Out Boy featuring Chamuel and live performances by former THE VOICE contestants Nicholas David, Tony Lucca and Terry McDermott.
Next to move forward is Bradbery who has some serious and amazing pipes for her young age.
The final five contestants also performed a group number, Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” Usually group performances (particularly on IDOL) are absolute train wrecks, but this song complemented everyone’s voice perfectly, especially The Swon Brothers who took the sort of lead on the tune.
Finally, it’s down to three and only one will advance on to the Finals this week. My choice is the Swon Brothers, and of course, they advance – giving Shelton two contestants in the Final Top 3.
While much has been written about singing competition shows being somewhat rigged to curry favor to producer choices, I made a point to watch the Coaches as the final announcement was being made. Shelton was clearly nervous that the Swon Brothers were going to be eliminated and when they were announced, it was clear by the look and conversation between Shakira and Levine, that they were shocked and disappointed one of their final singers didn’t make it through (and that Shelton bested them).
Watching how fast the crew moved props in and off the stage was very impressive, and in some cases, watching the show at home, didn’t do justice to all the nuances and care that went into the creation of the sets (remember, the cameras fly around with lightening speed on TV).
After the show was over, everything was cleared out, the audience left and it was time to drive back home in the KIA RIO.
My niece loved the experience of seeing THE VOICE live and getting the chance to drive in the Eco friendly Rio. Special Thanks to our friends at KIA for inviting us to this event.
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Article Source: Assignment X
Article: KIA RIO EX Road Trip to NBC’s THE VOICE