Missy Elliott's Reality Show Set To Premiere, Show’s Road Manager Talks

Viewers of Missy Elliott's

new UPN reality series The Road to Stardom, premiering Wednesday (Jan. 5), will

catch a strong dose of real tour life as music hopefuls compete for money and

recognition on the quest for the next big sensation, said the show's road manager

Steve Lobel.

"Everybody just watches TV and sees these artists in videos

and they think it's just about that," Lobel told AllHipHop.com. "They

forget about the people behind the scenes, all the managers, the road managers

and the tour managers who keep everything going day to day."

The Road to Stardom spotlights the gritty realities of touring

as thirteen aspiring rappers and singers travel on a dingy tour bus and contend

for $100,000 and a recording contract.

The group is introduced to music industry executives and insiders

as the cameras roll, and presented with various challenges under Missy's supervision.

Lobel, the manager of all members of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony excluding

Bizzy Bone, can be seen in promos for the reality show badgering the promising

hip-hop prospects.

"In the beginning, the first couple of episodes and the

first couple of days I met these kids, I needed to get these kid's respect,"

Lobel said of his tutelage. "Otherwise they would think I'm just some joke

or some actor."

Lobel added that severe training is a necessary step for these

new performers hoping to hit it big.

"They haven't sold a record yet. You gotta let them know

it's not just about their talent. They gotta be in shape," Lobel said. "They

have to know how to wake up on time. They have to be healthy, eat right. The

road is not easy."

The battle-tested Lobel has been in the music industry for 20

years and said he has no gripes about his portrayal on the show.

"God has given me the opportunity now to show the world

on primetime TV, what a road manager does on the road with an artist,"

said Lobel, who's worked with Run-DMC, Fat Joe, Eazy E, Big Pun, and The Outlawz

among others. "I'm not acting. I'm not changing it up. As you see in the

commercial, people who know me [know] that's how I am on the road."

Missy serves as co-executive producer of the series and judges

the budding talent along with R&B singer Teena Marie, producer Dallas Austin

and Violator Management President Mona Scott.

The panel eliminates

one contestant each episode until one remains. Missy will sign the winner to

her record label and release his/her first single.