It seems like there’s constantly some new singing competition show debuting on a major TV network. With all the different shows, it can be hard to keep them straight. Here’s a handy guide to keeping them all straight:
American Idol (FOX): One of the first shows of its kind way back in 2002, American Idol looks for the next big American superstar. The show features a panel of judges, but the winner is determined by the public through telephone, Internet, and text messaging. It has consistently been one of the most-watched shows on television and jump-started the careers of performers like Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood, Clay Aiken, Jordin Sparks, and Chris Daughtry. Over the past few years, the winners have not ended up being as successful as in earlier seasons, and there has been a lot of controversy regarding the departure of judges. Original judges were Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Simon Cowell; recents have included Ellen Degeneres, Steven Tyler, and Jennifer Lopez.
The Voice (NBC): Celebrity judges Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, and Blake Shelton pick contestants to be on their team in a blind audition round–people auditioning have 1 minute to impress the judges, who decide based on only the person’s voice who to offer a spot. If more than 1 judge says “yes” to a contestant, the contestant gets to choose who they would like as their vocal coach. Contestants then advance to battle rounds, competing against each other for 2 spots in the final live performance round. The show ultimately ends in a head-to-head competition between the final contestant from each coach’s team, with public vote determining the winner.
X Factor (FOX): The show consists of 4 categories of entrants–boys 12-29, girls 12-29, individuals 30+, and groups. Each judge is assigned a category, and then serve as mentors for the contestants chosen in their group while still judging the competition in other categories. The judges therefore compete against each other to have the winner come from their category. Judges for the first season were Simon Cowell, LA Reid, Paula Abdul, and Nicole Scherzinger; Abdul and Scherzinger will not be returing for Season 2. This show has the largest prize in reality TV–a $5 million dollar payout separate from a recording contract.
The Sing-Off (NBC): This Nick Lachey-hosted show is a competition between acapella groups. The third season ended in late 2011, with Pentatonix winning the title. Judges for the show are Ben Folds, Shawn Stockman from Boyz II Men, and Sara Bareilles (originally Nicole Scherzinger). Groups compete each week, with judges making the eliminations until the finale, when the voting public choosing the winner.
Other popular singing shows over the years have included The Glee Project (competing for a spot on the show), America’s Got Talent (not only singing), and Nashville Star (country music themed), as well as various other shows about winning a spot in a band or Broadway production.
Entertainment Weekly posted an article comparing The Voice to some of the other competition shows, which you can find HERE. The Hollywood Reporter posted a piece stacking up The Voice versus American Idol, which can be read HERE.
With all the talent competition shows out there, tell me: Which is YOUR favorite?