The Voice takes on American Idol in not-so-friendly competition
It appears Adam Levine may be trying to take on Steven Tyler as King of Cool. Fotopedia/DaigoOlivia/CC-BY-SA.

The second episode of NBC’s reality singing competition show, “The Voice,” aired May 3. In the first episode, it was clear the judges felt a healthy rivalry with each other. On the second episode, it was clear that at least one judge, Adam Levine, wants to win another competition as well: “The Voice” versus “American Idol.”

Adam Levine disses ‘American Idol’

It has been clear since previews of the show started airing months ago that “The Voice” aimed to capitalize on the popularity of “American Idol” and be considered unique at the same time. Tuesday night’s episode of “The Voice” made it clear that the show’s judges consider themselves and their show better than “American Idol.” As consolation to one of the contestants that was rejected, Adam Levine said “The people that we’re not turning our chairs around for could win ‘American Idol’.”

David and Goliath

Many viewers find the “blind audition” format used on “The Voice” refreshing. The judges are each seeking eight singers to be on their teams. Judges — Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green and Levine — turn their backs to the contestants as they perform. Thus, team members are chosen because of their voices only and not their looks. Despite its fresh perspective, if “The Voice” wants to compete with “American Idol” to be the most popular singing competition show, it has its work cut out. The premiere of “The Voice” drew 11.8 million viewers, which is less than half the average viewership “American Idol” experienced in its first season. While “American Idol” viewership peaked in season seven and has been declining since, the show has several things “The Voice” will need time to develop: a 10-year history, widespread notoriety and several walking billboards in the form of famous singers.

A positive outlook

Though it will be tough for “The Voice” to overtake the “American Idol” franchise, the attempt is well-timed. It is apparent, based on ratings, that viewers are becoming disenchanted with “American Idol.” The lack of huge, corporate sponsorship, the somewhat edgier approach and the varying levels of competition taking place in the show are a breath of fresh air to many bored “Idol” fans. Pitting “The Voice” judges against each other and letting several singers choose which celebrity coach they wanted, rather than the other way around, provides an interesting complexity and twist. One thing is sure, if “American Idol” decides to call it quits, “The Voice” will be in a prime position to make NBC the winner of the competitive singing show competition.


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