‘American Idol’ vs. ‘The Voice’: Which should survive?

And then there were two. As pretenders like “The Glee Project” and “CMT’s Next Superstar” have gone away, “American Idol” has chugged along, enjoying a sort of legacy status as the American originator of the reality TV singing competition. Presuming that “The X Factor” stays dead, its lone competitor is NBC’s “The Voice,” which came to the game nearly a decade later than “Idol” but has run year-round since 2012.

But if there can be only one, which singing show should survive? We’ve got the tale of the tape.



Judge Star Power

‘American Idol’: Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj bring the wattage, but the latter two only stayed for one season a piece.

‘The Voice’: When Christina Aguilera and CeeLo Green needed to take a season off, the producers signed Shakira, Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams and Usher. That’s a deep bench.

ADVANTAGE: “The Voice”



Contestant Star Power

‘American Idol’: Carrie Underwood is one of the biggest country music stars in the world, while Jennifer Hudson will be on big screens and Billboard charts for decades to come.

‘The Voice’: Cassadee Pope’s debut album did well briefly on the country chart, but overall there’s no one from “The Voice” that’s even touched “Idol” runner-ups.

ADVANTAGE: “American Idol”




‘American Idol’: Ryan Seacrest is an executive producer on “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” so blame him.

‘The Voice’: Say what you will, but Carson Daly has routinely given interesting bands a shot on network television via “Last Call with Carson Daly.”

ADVANTAGE: “The Voice”




‘American Idol: A different “theme” each week guarantees that the jack-of-all-trades will go further in the competition than the singer who already has an idea of his or her strengths and plays to them.

‘The Voice: The “blind” auditions are a nice gimmick, and having coaches select and mentor individual singers allows them to develop with specific, er, “voices.”

ADVANTAGE: “The Voice”



Top Annoyance

‘American Idol’: “Idol” is the television equivalent of a NASCAR racer, with every moment covered in sponsorship opportunities. Why even bother with commercials at that point?

‘The Voice’: Committing to watching “The Voice” means three hours per week, every week, throughout the entire television year. That’s a lot of cover songs.

ADVANTAGE: “The Voice”



On TV: “American Idol” debuts tonight on Fox/5 at 8 p.m.

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