“American Idol” vs. “The Voice”

“American Idol” and “The Voice” are both reality television shows that are all about finding the next singing sensation of the music world. With each show consisting of a panel of judges, an audition process, surprise musical guests, and giving the home viewers an opportunity to vote for their favorite singers, it leaves many to wonder what the difference is between the two and which is better.

“American Idol” first aired in 2002 as the first singing competition show. Soon, the show became one of the most popular shows in American television history. The concept of the show is to find a new solo recording artist completely chosen by the public.  But, there is a panel of judges that critiques the contestants on their performances.

The show has done what it set out to do and that was to find great singers and turn them into big name stars. If it were not for “American Idol,” we would not have Kelly Clarkson, who has sold more than 11 million albums; Carrie Underwood, who has sold more than 12 million albums; Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson, or lead singer of the band “Daughtry” Chris Daughtry.

Ten years later, the show continues its run and not much of its original premise has changed aside from gaining new judges.

However, last spring, for the first time, “American Idol” found itself with some competition from the new breakout show “The Voice.” “The Voice,” another singing show, has quite a different dynamic than “American Idol,” bringing in a new twist to an already existent idea of televised singing.

“The Voice” consists of three stages: the blind auditions, the battle phase and live performance shows. It also has four, Grammy Award winning recording artists, Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green and Adam Levine, who serve as coaches to mentor and develop their team of singing hopefuls.

The blind audition is something new that started with “The Voice.” The idea is for the coaches to pick contestants just by the way they sound and not by their looks. It forces the coaches to focus beyond how a person looks and on the real reason the show was created  and that is to find the next best sound in music.

In the battle phase, coaches have their team member battle against each by singing the same song together. The coaches then choose which contestants from each battle get to move on to the live shows. Once in the live shows, the audience and coaches have equal say on which one person from each team vies for the opportunity to win “The Voice” and that final winner is solely decided by the public vote.

When it comes to “American Idol” vs. “The Voice” the numbers don’t lie. Since the new season of “The Voice” premiered after the Super Bowl it has surpassed “American Idol” in ratings. “American Idol” fell 16 percent in the ratings since this season started. “American Idol” attracted 15.9 million viewers with a 5.1 rating for adults 18-49 while “The Voice” had 16 million viewers and a 6.0 rating in the same demographic.

It is still too close to pronounce a clear winner between these two shows, but the ratings alone may be an indicator of things to come. Right now it seems both shows are maintaining their popularity with the American public. In the end, will “American Idol” be able to maintain its high rating as America’s number one singing show or will “The Voice,” with its fresh dynamic, be able to come out on top?

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