American Idol and The Voice: A Comparison
by Faith Pang on Friday, June 7th, 2013
American Idol is the original and arguably the most famous televised talent competition, taking skilled amateurs and turning them into stars. The success of American Idol has even inspired many countries around the world to create their own version of Idol with the audience’s votes determining the winner.
After Kelly Clarkson claimed Idol’s first season in 2003, she quickly emerged as one of America’s preeminent pop stars. However, ratings for American Idol have declined in recent years, and many longtime fans find the current season (Season 12) to be disappointing. Many named the unlikeable, dismissive judges as the main reason for the show’s slow demise. Tiara Sharma (IV) reports, “Nicki Minaj is over-the-top and loud; Randy’s catchphrases are extremely repetitive; Mariah [Carey] doesn’t have it in her to say anything bad about the contestants … The only capable judge is Keith Urban, and it is a pity that he is getting fired as well…”
While American Idol suffers a ratings slide, a new, popular singing competition has emerged. In 2011, The Voice aired its first season and awarded its grand prize to Javier Colon. This show differs from American Idol in that The Voice, as its name suggests, focuses primarily on vocal ability rather than performance. Its judges face the audience, turning their chairs to face the singer only when they are drawn to “the voice.” However, some believe that the show focuses too much on its judges, which makes the outcomes “predictable,” according to Alex Yu (III). In addition, the show’s winners also make little impact on the music world. Have any singers from The Voice charted on iTunes Top 10 list? In contrast, American Idol’s stars such as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Phillip Phillips, David Cook and David Archuleta have all had hit songs that have sold successfully in not only America but around the world.
Although The Voice may be a feel-good, entertaining show at the moment, it will not last, and American Idol will remain a classic. The high-profile success of many American Idol winners suggests that with slight changes the show can bounce back from its slump and retain its longevity.
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