American Idol vs. The Voice: Which One is Better Show?

Now that the Voice has been on for two or three weeks, this may be a good time to compare it with American Idol.

Casting director Michelle McNulty of The Voice didn’t necessarily look for singers similar to those who appear on American Idol. Instead she has focused mostly on singers with a past history of success in the entertainment field like former American Idol contestant Frenchie Davis.

The youngest contestant is Raquel Castro at the age of 16, but she appeared in the movie Jersey Girl with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, so she is not new to the entertainment scene.

It was a surprise to see her on the show since the last I knew she had appeared on Broadway, but apparently she must have hit a rough patch and wanted to rejuvenate her career. Tarralyn Ramsey was similar in that she used to sing for Ray Charles who died seven years ago, so it could be even more than seven years since she sang with Charles.

Tim Mahoney is 39 and was on The Voice till he lost a battle round against a younger Casey Weston, who will advance to the live shows portion of The Voice.


Unlike American Idol, The Voice only focuses on good to great singers, while overlooking the American Idol types, that will dress up in crazy over the top costumes, just to be seen on national television. You will never see those type of singers on The Voice, because the producers want it to be known as a serious singing competition.


The Voice had an unique concept in that the coaches Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton would sit in chairs, not facing the singers. This was done so the coaches would not to be able to focus on the looks, but instead were hearing the singers without seeing them.

This portion of the competition gave everyone an equal chance to advance in the competition.


The first battle round last week pitted two singers singing the same song in a boxing ring. Some may like the battle round concept, but to me it was in some cases a shouting contest, in which you can’t really enjoy the song.

Since only four of the 32 singers advanced last week, it makes me wonder how long this portion of the competition will last. The four singers who lost the battle round have gone home leaving 28 remaining in the show.

Each coach still has seven singers remaining on their team. If The Voice wants to pare down the contestants to 16 for the live shows, giving each coach four singers, that would make a total of 16 singers on the live shows. That is all conjecture, though since as far as I know NBC has not announced how this will all play out.

The Voice is as far removed from American Idol as possible with the chairs turning around, the battle rounds and using coaches instead of judges.

Host Carson Daly is more lowkey than Ryan Seacrest and lurks in the background for the most part. Now that the auditions are over, the producers hope the battle round concept catches on with viewers. The show did lose two million viewers from the previous week.

Once American Idol finishes their season the week after next, the show may move back up in the ratings, or the ratings may continue to tumble the rest of  the season.


For me the American Idol concept of having 13 finalists, without having battle rounds is better than the battle round concept adopted by The Voice. At time the battle rounds have been more of a shouting match than a singing competition.

I am rooting for Vicci Martinez to be The Voice at the end of the season. She has her own band and has many You Tube videos to watch.

The poll question is if The Voice and American Idol came on at the same time, which show would you choose to watch live?


Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

4 thoughts on “American Idol vs. The Voice: Which One is Better Show?”

  1. I watched Idol for the first few years and now I really can’t stand it – Simon or no Simon. I like The Voice much better because while it is still commerical, at least the singers tend to be more varied in their styles and looks. I guess if you want real diversity in terms of styles and singers, it’s best to look for online contest – I follow one called MakeAStar and the talent there is very original and interesting. It doesn’t get the exposure of the other two, but that a shame for the particpants.

    1. 5 million other viewers agree with you since that is how many less viewers are watching American Idol. They are down to 15 million viewers after having over 20 million almost all of the last season. The Voice seems to be catching on its second year.

  2. I wasn’t watching Idol in 2004 so I can’t really comment on which was better then but now The Voice blows Idol away. Absolutely NO contest! The current season of Idol only has a couple of singers who are consistently in tune.

    Kelly Clarkson was on the other night and talked about how she would have never made it which is absurd! They showed her audition tape and it was 10 times better than any of the Idol singers are now!

    1. American Idol ratings show that 11.20 million viewers watched the Season 14 premiere on January 7, but only 8.48 million watched the episode last week.

      The Voice ratings show that 13.97 million viewers saw their Season 8 premiere on February 23, while 10.97 million watched the most recent show with rating results. However, only two episodes of The Voice Season 8 have had less than 10 million viewers, while 12 American Idol Season 14 episodes have attracted less than 10 million viewers.

      I still like the format of American Idol better, but The Voice is clearly winnng the ratings battle. Tonight both shows will be on at the same night, so it will be interesting to see what the TV ratings show when they are announced.

      I can’t say which show is better, since I haven’t watched The Voice this season. I do know that The Voice has yet to produce a winner, who has sold a million albums. Correct me if I am wrong. Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Chris Daughtry have all sold a million records, after appearing on American Idol.

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