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The Number of Performances on ‘The Voice’ vs. ‘American Idol’ Will SHOCK You

Kyle Montplaisir

Kyle Montplaisir

There has been a long debate about why American Idol makes stars while The Voice doesn’t. Everything from promotion after the show to the focus on judges/coaches on-air has been to blame.


But the truth is, it all comes down to the numbers! And the amount of performances on The Voice compared to American Idol will shock you.

The Voice Performances
NBC

The Voice Performances

On The Voice, Season 16 finalists will perform only 10 songs total during seven episode appearances. This includes the Blind Auditions, Battles, Live Cross Battles, Top 24, Top 13, Top 8, and Finale. That number assumes that each semifinalist will perform twice in the Top 8 episode (one cover and a duet with another contestant) and each finalist will sing three songs in the Finale (historically an original song, a cover, and a duet with their coach). And actually, that number can be added to if artists compete in any Instant Saves.

But that also means the most any other singers (who don’t make it to the Finale) will perform is SEVEN times. Seven songs over an ENTIRE SEASON of television for the 5th-8th place finishers. And that’s assuming every performance is shown! Plenty are montaged in the Blinds and Battles as well. There’s definitely some truth to the fact that not enough time is spent on contestants and their performances on The Voice.


American-Idol-Performances-Jeremiah-Madison
Getty Images

American Idol Performances

To show you just how insanely small that number is, American Idol will have each finalist sing 19 songs over the course of this season. That is almost TWICE the amount of The Voice contestants!

In fact, artists sing SEVEN times on American Idol before live performances even start. Yes, that means the top 20 artists on Idol sing more times in a season than anyone on The Voice, with the exception of the four finalists. And The Voice had an extra week of shows too, starting in late February while Idol premiered in early March.

Walking through the Idol performances, there’s the audition; Hollywood Week, which includes Lines of Ten, Group Round, and Solo Round; Showcase Round (Top 40); Top 20; All-Star Duets; two Top 14 performances; Top 10; Top 8 performances and duets; two Top 6 performances; two Top 4 performances; and 3 Finale performances. That makes for a grand total of 19 songs!


Now, of course not all of these performances are shown. Especially in the earlier rounds, we don’t see everyone perform every round. But still, from the Top 20 on, all performances are shown. That means at the VERY least, if ZERO performances by an artist are broadcast before then, they would still have 15 shown by the Finale. Maddie Poppe, last season’s winner, had 16 performances aired.

The-Voice-Idol-Performances

To Sum It Up

That chart is for our visual learners! As you can see, American Idol focuses much more on having the singers perform more frequently. And that’s true at every stage of the competition! It’s pretty easy to see why their winners have a better track record after the show.

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About the Author

Kyle Montplaisir
Kyle Montplaisir is a contributor and host at Talent Recap. He is the lead detective for the site on 'The Masked Singer' and an encyclopedia of knowledge on 'The Voice' and 'American Idol'. A graduate of Pepperdine University, Kyle is originally from Arizona, but now lives in Los Angeles. When he isn’t watching talent shows and game shows, Kyle loves eating dessert, singing karaoke, and spending time with his wife, Hannah, and dog, Stella

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