Home » Columns, Opinion

“Idol” vs. “The Voice”

13 March 2014 By Paige Whipple, Columnist 19 Comments

While Fox’s “Idol” has quite literally produced some of THE idols of the century, (think Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry and of course the Golden Globe and SAG award-winner Jennifer Hudson) they’ve also produced some of the biggest flops. The only reason we know Taylor Hicks is because he’s a total weirdo, and seriously, who even won season 12?

In “The Voice’s” six seasons, they have yet to produce a media sensation, with the exception of Adam and Blake’s bromance. PR at it’s finest. Cassadee Pope and Danielle Bradbury both made it big in country music, but they’re no Carrie Underwood. The coaches have said though, that they want to make their contestants into real artists that can have longevity in the business. In reality, singers don’t blow up overnight. It takes time and effort, not just puppy dog eyes for the camera.

Over the past few seasons, “Idol’s” popularity has gone down, while “The Voice’s” has risen. I think obviously this had to do with the Mariah Carey/Nicki Minaj fiasco, (but really, you didn’t see that coming?). That isn’t the only reason Idol’s ratings are dwindling. Idol has Keith Urban. Swoon. He writes Nicole Kidman a love note for every single night that they aren’t together. I’m obsessed, I watch just for him! I don’t think “likeability” is the problem, I like all of the judges on “American Idol,” but I’d much rather flip on “The Voice.”

If the judges/coaches make or break the show, “The Voice” obviously takes the cake. J-Lo and Harry Connick Jr. are super cool and everything, but the chemistry between the coaches in the red chairs is red hot. Since Usher and Shakira appeal much more to audiences than X-tina and Cee Lo, I think things can only go up from here. Seriously, how weird can Cee Lo get? Creepy. Thank God he’s not coming back.

“The Voice” perfectly balances competition and chemistry. The coaches fight about how badly they love the singers – not which one of them is the mightiest Queen-B of them all (ahem, Nicki, Mariah, ahem) for their own egos. Watching Adam and Blake bicker over a contestant never fails to entertain, but the repetition of “Idol’s” format has gotten old. Well, watching Adam do anything never fails to entertain. Am I

right, ladies?

Talent-wise, I think the two shows match up evenly. Obviously the best part of “Idol” is watching the horrible, horrible singers that show up. You know who I’m talking about when you hear William Hung, and the phrase “pants on the ground” makes you laugh. “The Voice” just cuts the crap out, and inserts a new type of comedy into the program.

Maybe “Idol”’s lackluster performance over the past few seasons relates to the key word that isn’t used on “The Voice”: Judges. While Simon Cowell’s snarky remarks made us laugh, I think that society in general is a little tired of being judged, judging others and watching other people judge other people. While, yes, this year’s judges provide guidance and criticism in a kinder manner than Cowell, the personal, mentoring style of the coaches on The Voice caters to what viewers want.

I want to see that the coaches keep in touch with contestants. I want to see them having family dinner at Blake’s house. I don’t want to hear “well, it was pitchy” ever again for the rest of my life. It’s camaraderie and unity that people gravitate to, and “The Voice” really latched onto that and executes it perfectly.

What can we conclude from all this? “The Voice” rocks and “American Idol” sucks. No, no, no. I am totally kidding! In my opinion, “The Voice” changed the game. Coaches instead of judges, a hand-picked crop of talented contestants, a quartet of talented, funny, accomplished superstars that genuinely love each other – and aren’t afraid to show it. “Idol’s” format seems outdated because it only worked when Simon, Paula and Randy sat at the judge’s table and had their own chemistry.

Any thoughts on why “Idol” is lagging behind? Or maybe you think I’m totally wrong and “Idol” blows “The Voice” out of the water.

Tell me! I’m all about it, I’d love to hear your comments. Sound off on Twitter, friends!


  • getaclue said:

    Obviously Paige, you have never met Taylor Hicks. Very likely the most talented contestant AI ever had. A gorgeous voice and a very nice looking man. He also has a restaurant, is very busy with charity and military causes. He is friends with many many musicians, sports figures and well liked every where he goes.
    Before you call someone a weirdo it would be nice if you at least knew a tiny bit about them. The only idol to have a Vegas residency, is among the top ten idol earners last year. Get a clue.

  • Kathy said:

    Love The Voice too. The back and forth between the judges makes the show. I’m over Idol. Never liked Idol anyway until they were past the horrible auditions. I think the reason Idol created recording stars is they focused on that in the beginning and put money into them pushing their music to radio. But around the time I-Tunes came around they found they could make just as much money with I-tunes and not have to shell out as much promoting the CD. One never knows who is going to have a hit record or not. That doesn’t mean they are not talented. You may not like Taylor Hicks but he has many fans and he has one of the most recognizable names and sounds of all the Idols. He has done Broadway, jam fests and so far a 2 year run in Vegas. No one can touch Carrie and Kelly they are in a class all their own. And Daughtry has already started to run out of steam judging by his last two CD’s. Several of the winners from Idol will continue to have long careers. They may not be radio stars but few are nowadays. Just the fact that Idol has made millionaires out of most of the winners including Hicks is quite an accomplishment.

  • Paige Whipple said:

    Apparently I need to clarify. I never said I didn’t like Taylor Hicks, I think you need to cam down, “getaclue”. I was trying to be funny about it, but maybe before you tell other people what to do at 2:30 in the morning, you should take a breath and calm yourself down. I never said that he wasn’t talented, nice, or ever commented about his number of friends. I love Katy Perry and think she’s amazing, but she’s a total weirdo. So, I really think your rude comment was completely unnecessary.

  • getaclue said:

    I’m not at all sure what I said that was rude. But whatever it was its not nearly as rude as calling someone a weirdo. I wouldn’t call Perry that either since I don’t really know her.
    I love how so many people think its perfectly fine to insult someone if you just follow it up by saying “I was just making a joke”. Sure. I think it was the fact that you said that it was the only reason we remembered him. Didn’t see any mention of talent. But I am very glad to find out that you like him and think he is talented.
    Anyway, I was perfectly calm last night and I am very calm right now. I seldom get all excited. LOL

  • Nancy said:

    I think Taylor Hicks’s strategy was to stand out and be entertaining, not just stand at the mic and have a good voice. He’s mentioned in interviews that TV sets don’t always have the best sound, so viewers can’t fully appreciate a contestant’s voice, anyway. The viewers sitting in the Lazy-boys with remotes in their hands, they’re going to pick up the phone and vote for the contestant who *entertains* them, the one they want to see in their living room again next week. Hicks knew this. And yes, people thought he was a bit crazy, (like the Saturday Night Live parody they did of him,) but it also helped him win Idol by a landslide! Hicks is not a “weirdo,” just a genial, funny guy who doesn’t take himself too seriously. And behind that good-natured persona is an enormous amount of talent. As Kathy said, Daughtry is running out of steam, but Hicks will have the last word.

  • Anonymous said:

    Getaclue is a weirdo. Almost as weird as Taylor Hicks.

  • SpeakTheTruth said:

    I’m a big supporter of Taylor Hicks – a self made man. He’s incredibility talented and one of the best performers in the biz today. Apparently this ‘writer’ has no clue as to what she’s talking about. He is no ‘wierdo’. He’s a smart business man, who is also a part owner in a very successful restaurant in his hometown of Birmingham – Saw’s Juke Joint – fabulous BBQ! Hicks made 2.5 million last year, ranked #7 on highest paid Idols, has headlined a Vegas residency for almost 2 years, been on Broadway, and is still going strong in the biz after almost 10 years. How about you, Ms. Whipple? How are you making out? Oh yea, you work as a blogger for The Towerlight. “Nuff said.

  • getaclue said:

    I don’t remember meeting anyone named anonymous. lol

    And I’m way weirder than Taylor. :-)

    Sorry Paige, Taylor has many fans and sometimes the insults get a little old.

  • Dan Puziss said:

    I’ve tried multiple times to get into The Voice, and for whatever reason I just can’t. I occasionally watch clips and there are definitely some talented singers, but I can never bring myself to watch the show. I really hate the blind auditions; I find them too much like one big political campaign.

    Idol, on the other hand, is my addiction. I think a lot of why I like Idol better is because the singers are competing for themselves rather than the judges, and the singers are typically true amateurs (The Voice has a lot of contestants who have already had failed record deals).

    Taylor Hicks is awesome!

  • Mary Hughes said:

    This year’s AMERICAN IDOL is the worst ever. And I’m loving THE VOICE far more. I like the Judges on AI fine, but the talent is mediocre at best. I probably won’t bother to watch AI next year, which will be the first season I’ve missed.

  • Clark Kent said:

    You lost me at “Talent-wise, I think the two shows match up evenly.”

    The talent on The Voice blows the ‘talent’ on AI out of the water, and its not even close.

  • Voice Fan said:

    I was talking with friends last night and we all agreed that AI talent this year is horrible – sometimes cringe worthy. The talent and entertainment on The Voice has been incredible. I find myself smiling throughout almost the wholes show! I can’t even root for one judge over another this year – love them all (most) and their singers are cra-cra-crazy talented!

    Harry Connick Jr definitely brought back something to AI, but after watching back last night’s show it seems like the judges have their favorites week in and week out. Once I actually hear a performance that I enjoy – they cut it down – but then some lame-o gets up there and stands in place and sings something and they are out of this world. It was very off-putting and I’m thinking about not watching anymore – except these are easy shows to watch while on treadmill without having to concentrate too much.

  • Aiteacher said:

    Idol is for teenieboppers; The Voice is for adults. After suffering years of mediocre Idol singers walking away with the prize, I was very pleased to finally be entertained by Voice contestants who can actually sing; that means the greater majority of them. The Adam Lambert and David Archuletta fiascos convinced me that Idol doesn’t care about quality. Those Idol judges steered “America” away from those two fantastic performers and gave it to, Who?” (remember their names?). Simply corrupt and awash in Itune downloads and the like.

  • justajoe said:

    I enjoy both shows but have been seeing The Voice more than AI. I actually stopped see AI for a while this season because I felt that the talent was better on the Voice, however after tuning back in to AI it seems that the top 4 or at least 3 of them actually do have really good talent. I guess we’ll see which one of the winners end up selling more after its all said and done. Judge or Coach it doesn’t really matter much they all still get the same guidance from the shows.

  • SixSlinger said:

    Looking at both shows from the outside, I have to ask… What multiple platinum artists has The Voice produced? Grammy winners? Oscars? Yeah…American Idol has been around longer, but they got that badge right off the bat. I think that American Idol has had one year that was a huge disaster. I also know that all good things eventually come to an end. This year has Jena Irene who just might be the next Grammy award winner. One of the comments above said that American Idol is for “teenieboppers” (which I believe is supposed to be two words)and The Voice is for Adults…Hmm, Well, if that’s true and it might be…who are the biggest percentage that buys CD’s or downloads? Teenagers.

    You can bash me for my opinions all you want, but if you look at the shows and what they’ve done, it’s American Idol the winner hands down. Every show will eventually end. Is this American Idol’s last year…who knows. The Voice could possibly have a sub-par year…then what?

  • LedHead said:

    I think AI has improved from last year. The chemistry of the judges improved, too. The contestants were not bad, some are horrible, some are halfway there , and some are ready. The voice is great. So much talents with good coaches. And in my opinion, AI is slowly getting up from where they drowned last year. And the Voice is getting better and better. But if I am going to compare of these two, I would prefer AI. Because even after the whole season, they supporting the runner-ups and the winners to make a records and albums to continue their journey. Just like what happened to those Idol Alums who received many awards.
    No offense to the voice fans.

  • Dorvell said:

    The Voice hands down! I never really cared for ”Idol” because, to me anyway and with a few exceptions, whether someone could actually sing went out the window and was replaced by who looked the best on-stage according to the teenyboppers and cougars. At least with ”Voice”, you have to actually have vocal talent! and even better, instead of just criticizing the contestants, the judges/coaches actually take the time to work with them; and consistently I might add!

    It’s time for ”Idol” to go.

  • Alan said:

    The Voice’s talent is a lot better than Idols now. I watch both shows. Don’t get me wrong, Idol definitely has some standouts. But the overall competition in the Voice is much stiffer. Watching Idol, I see good singers. Watching The Voice, I see true artists. There’s always so many upsets in the voice because there are so many fan favorites and they’re all so different. The voice’s overall talent blows Idol out of the water. Also the judges are perfect. This season with Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Pharrell and Gwen Stefani is sure to be great. They have the best coaches from all different genres. They have Pop, Rock, Country, R&B and Hip-Hop.

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