I had high hopes for Nashville but was utimately disappointed by the city. The only night I stayed, I was lazily wandering touristy parts when I heard about the BeachBody convention in town.
Knowing next to nothing about the company, I followed a large crowd into Nissan Stadium as the convention finale was being held. The event was open to the public with a VIP section in front of the large stage in the center of the field. I quickly realized that I could easily slip down as the All Access wristbands were black, matching my camera strap. I simply wrapped my strap around my wrist and took advantage of lax security.
Once down on the field I just acted as if I was covering the event, much to the annoyance of the official crew. While on the field, I took time to enjoy the sight of Steve McNair and Warren Moon's names prominently displayed at the top of the stands. As kid who grew up near Houston in the 20th century, it was kind of cool to be there and see those names.
This event was ridiculous. The majority of what was happening was honoring top "Coaches" for the year. As I came to understand it, a Coach is someone who sells their products. The most successful of these Coaches were the ones who were able to get others to work under and sell for them. This creates an Herbalife-esque pyramid structure of salesman.
Throughout the event, there were musical breaks of current-ish pop songs performed live by a very talented lady and group of oddly clad young gentlemen.
The show was hosted by three men, two of which were executives of BeachBody. The movement of the event was aided by the schtick of a malfunctioning remote that seemed to control what awards or info was coming up next.
One thing I want to point out is that these guys were salesmen.
Through and through.
The event wasn't as much an award ceremony as it was a live, public infomercial for their brand. Between (and during) every Coach being honored and musical number was plug for their products that hammered deeper at every mention. An incredibly smart marketing move.
There were obvious celebrities within the organization that made the crowd go wild at points. Showing that these guys had built such a solid brand that that members of the company have their own fans. These people ranged from other executives to the star trainers of their P90X video line. Each one had their own moment filled with terrible jokes and were catered toward esoteric knowledge of the individuals.
The end of the event was honoring the top Coach of the year. This honor went to Melanie Mitro.
Begin the weird.
After bringing her on stage, a whimsical video played of interviews with Melanie and her family with the intention of discovering info about her life to form a proper tribute at the event.
The video included Melanie herself saying that all she's good at is doing laundry, her friends saying she loves wine, and her adorable kids calling her a "hot mess."
What followed was a seemingly misogynistic song and dance about how the housewife was only good at doing laundry and drinking wine, affectionately titled "One Hot Mess."
The song included dozens of dancers on stage with comedically large bottles of wine and laundry baskets.
The night was capped by a fireworks show as these things do.
Overall was an interesting experience. I can't say that I've been to anything like it. The salesmanship and narcissism involved with such an event were like passing a car wreck. I couldn't stop staring. After a while, I snagged myself a seat in the front row and enjoyed the show.
It was a grand display of the incentives that drive this country; earning a living, being a part of a winning group, the chance of being recognized and rewarded publicly for your work. I've just never seen it so flamboyantly on display and mashed in between Katy Perry covers.