With no fewer than four singing competition shows on the broadcast networks this season, reigning reality champ American Idol is facing more competition than ever before.
Aided by a boost from its Super Bowl lead in, The Voice is pulling spectacular ratings, while X Factor USA had a disappointing debut, and The Singoff and American Idol both saw their ratings decline significantly from last season. Is The Voice actually better than the rest or will its Super Bowl-inflated numbers decline in the coming weeks?
The “blind auditions” concept is really the aspect that makes The Voice different from all its competition. By having them sit with their backs to the contestants during auditions, the judges are forced to select contestants based soley on the quality of their singing, rather than on which contestants they feel have the most marketable look. This tactic also allows The Voice to create drama and interest in the audition rounds without needing to fill the show with horrible singers. The audience gets to speculate about which of the judges will turn his chair around and then enjoy the spectacle of a contestant getting completely shut out or two or more judges competing to win a particularly choice prospect. Sure, it’s a little depressing when a contestant who just got some sad backstory before walking on stage doesn’t get a judge to turn his chair, but overall it’s a lot less mean spirited than the audition rounds on other shows.
The uniqueness of the blind auditions isn’t the only thing that makes The Voice more compelling in the audition rounds than its competition. The four judges seem to genuinely like each other. Technically, they are competing, but it seems like a friendly competition. The judges engage in some friendly smack talk, but there is no bickering. They all seem geniunely interested in finding a new talent and molding them into the next big thing. This positive vibe makes the show a lot more fun to watch than the manufactored drama and humiliation tactics employed on X Factor and American Idol.
Thanks to the unique aspects of the blind auditions, the lack of horrible singers being humilated for entertainment purposes and the overall feel good vibe of The Voice, The Voice is by far the best of the current competition shows through the audition rounds. What remains to be seen is whether The Voice can maintain that momentum when it reaches the actual competition portion of the show.
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