The Voice (NBC) versus American Idol 2011 (FOX)
This is a going to be a big year for singing shows. American Idol is on right now and doing very well in the ratings. Starting tomorrow night NBC is betting on the star power of their celebrity judges to draw viewers to their newest foray into the singing reality show world. This show, called The Voice, won’t compete head to head with American Idol since they are on different nights, but it will still compete indirectly with it in that it will test the public’s appetite for singing shows.
The Voice has a star studded judging panel made up of Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Christina Aguilera. These four know plenty about singing and making hits and it would safe to say that they likely can recognize a great singer, but it remains to be seen if they are good judges. These four won’t just judge the singers. In a nod to X-Factor the judges will also act as mentor and coach to eight different singers. A lot of great artists are amazing at what they do, but they have difficulty teaching other people how to do it. So it remains to be seen if they will be any good in these roles. I actually think Cee Lo might be the best judge. In addition to being a singer he is a producer who has been involved with a lot of artists over the years so he knows how to communicate with them and get his ideas across.
Since The Voice and American Idol will be airing on different nights it could greatly benefit The Voice. American Idol is getting down to the final few contestants. Fans of that show are not going to tune out from it in order to jump to another show. However, fans of singing shows might give The Voice a shot as something to fill that void waiting for Idol to come on. If it is good and the judges are compelling it could do very well.
Something I like a lot about The Voice is that the judges will have a lot of say in who is voted out. This way there is less potential for tampering or issues of families recruiting phone banks and entire towns to vote for their family member. It may help really find the best singer, not just the most popular. While the two shows have some in common they are very different at their core. It seems to me that The Voice has more in common with Simon Cowells X-Factor which will be airing in the fall. We are only a few weeks away from the American Idol crowing a winner so maybe The Voice can act as that filler for singing fans between the end of Idol and the start of X-Factor.
Will The Voice beat American Idol in the ratings? I highly doubt it. American Idol has a tried and true format that has worked very well for them for 10 seasons. This doesn’t mean The Voice can’t carve a niche out for itself. I think The Voice will draw viewers at the start because we want to see the auditions and are interested in what the judges have to say. I for one will be watching. How the judges do and how the contestants perform will determine if it has a future. By the time American Idol crowns a champion we will know if The Voice is going to be a legit show that can stand on its own, or if it is just another victim that crumbled against the mighty wall of American Idol.
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