Talent Recap

Battle of Singing Competitions: Which is Better, ‘The Voice’ or ‘American Idol’?

Niall Horan, Reba McEntire, John Legend, and Gwen Stefani for 'The Voice,' Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Ryan Seacrest on 'American Idol'Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC, Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Here’s one fact: TV marathons are incomplete without a singing competition airing on screen. Admittedly, it’s been joyful to watch how aspiring singers belt their way through each week, determined to snatch the coveted prize. American Idol and The Voice are two of the talent show staples that survived through the years—and it’s not hard to tell why.

Yet, while shows provide incredible television experience, fans have their own preferences. Thus, in a game of comparison, which is better between the two?

American Idol, The Voice Have Long Been Predominant Competition Shows

American Idol began in 2002, quickly becoming a pop culture phenomenon in the United States. Since its debut, millions of viewers watched the show to see artists compete for fame. Meanwhile, The Voice came in the picture relatively late, gracing screens in 2011. It’s fair to say that these two competitions are the only the ones in the singing category that have stood the test of time.

Being the most known singing competition shows in the United States, each program has its own process. Their most obvious difference is their format. During auditions on American Idol, contestants are judged based on all aspects of their performance, from vocals to appearance. On the other hand, The Voice auditions happen with the judges not seeing the artists, only judging them based on their vocal abilities.

Rising stars begin their journey in the audition, then they compete in the competition until Finale. In the end, winners get their well-deserved national exposure and a shot at a record deal. While these two differ in format, they have long been people’s outlet for entertainment, making them the most tuned in singing competition shows.

Both Shows Have Unique Assets

It’s easy to know why American Idol and The Voice coexist. Both shows have distinct differences, which make the comparison between the two tougher.

To be straightforward, American Idol is the clear winner when it comes to production of megastars. Over the past two decades, it has boasted the rise of Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. Even ones who didn’t even win the show proceeded to have magnetic careers like Adam Lambert, Jennifer Hudson, Chris Daughtry, and Jordin Sparks.

Meanwhile, not to undermine the artistry of The Voice alums, it’s valid to say that the show hasn’t exactly produced household names. Cassadee Pope and Danielle Bradbery can be hailed as its top winners, but they’re obviously not close to Clarkson nor Underwood.

Yet, when it comes to format, The Voice feels more riveting. With the NBC series, it’s thrilling to witness how artists try their best to make the coaches turn their chairs. In the same vein, it’s wonderful to see how coaches persuade the artists to join their team. American Idol, on the other hand, employs the usual format of audition. Personally, this routine can get a little boring sometimes as it somehow lacks the element of excitement. The show’s unintentional comedy remains nonetheless, and as fans, we’re definitely not complaining.

It’s also worth noting that American Idol and The Voice are nothing without its judges and coaches. Over the years, both shows have casted worthy people to be in the panel. Doubtlessly, these people have played a pivotal role in the artists’ vocal improvement.

Which is Better Between the Two?

Ultimately, it will really boil down to preferences. Nevertheless, in my point of view, The Voice gives a more wonderful viewer experience. From Blind Auditions, fans are already taken into a roller coaster ride due to the unpredictable techniques of coaches.

Furthermore, it’s fair to argue that The Voice is more favorable on the part of deserving singers as it doesn’t largely rely on public votes. That is, before they go on with the live show, coaches have already chosen the best of the best on their team. American Idol begins its live shows with the Top 24. Arguably, this paves the way for the show to be a game of fandoms.

Plus, it’s personally more enticing to watch how coaches become so hands-on with the growth of their artists. Over the years, we’ve seen how Blake Shelton and Kelly Clarkson trained their team to trim down their group into a powerful few. Before each team member belt out their performance, they first have to undergo an intricate creative process alongside their coach and mega mentor.

That’s not to say that American Idol alums didn’t experience a complex artistic process. However, with The Voice, they emphasize the contestants’ creative development as well as their established connection with their coaches.

Be that as it may, it’s true that fans are not forced to choose just one. Both American Idol and The Voice provide inspiring and amazing entertainment. To witness the journey of aspiring artists on both shows will definitely be an amusing process.

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