The Voice vs. American Idol: A Monday Night Ratings Showdown

Same time, same place. Well, if that place is in front of your television as you decide if you want to tune into one of these hit talent shows. Because you can only tune into one, now that NBC’s ‘The Voice’ and ABC’s revival of ‘American Idol’ will both air on Mondays this spring.

That is a BOLD move, television Gods! Just upping the stakes here: it’s not just between competitors on the same show anymore, but the battle for ratings will be even more intense now that they’ve got both competitions in the same time slot.


Oh yeah baby, those were the days.

I admit, I grew up watching American Idol. I went to the Season 2 “tour” at the Pepsi Arena (now Times Union Center), wore an American Idol t-shirt and thought I was the COOLEST second grader on the planet. Pretty sure I was rockin’ corn rows that summer, too.

But now in my adult life, when I’m cozy on the couch trying to stay awake until 8PM, The Voice motivates me to give it an extra hour (I never make it through the full two) and provides some good ol’ quality time with my mama as we gaze into the eyes of the surprisingly sweet (not necessarily sexy) Sexiest Man Alive, Blake Shelton.

The decision to switch to The Voice also came out of pure necessity since American Idol called it quits after 15 consecutive seasons. So, for fans of one or the other OR both, what are we going to tune into this spring now that both are back in the mix?

American Idol

Oh boy, I gotta say this lineup of judges is NOT getting me excited. Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan? Thanks but no thanks. Luke is clearly just Blake 2.0, another calculated move by ABC to cast him as a way to dig into The Voice and country music fans who watch these shows.


Ms. Perry has not been relevant since the stupid shark performance at the Super Bowl, and even then, the sharks got more publicity than she did. Lionel Richie? I got nothing to say about you bro because I cannot name a single song of yours off the top of my head. You are Nicole’s dad, though, and she is a style icon & the petite famous person I wish I could be, so you get some points for all of that.

Here’s the other thing: American Idol’s appeal, largely, was the audition round. Fans ATE IT UP watching truly terrible performers come in and get annihilated by Simon Cowell. They lived for the “It’s a no from me, dawg” coined by Randy Jackson (side note: apparently that phrase suddenly is popular again –I’m happy about that). But the squad for this year says there will be no more of that mean stuff, they want to take everyone seriously which means only airing clips of serious talent.

So, overall things are not looking good for me and American Idol this year. I’d say:


The Voice

Here’s the number one thing The Voice has going for it for me personally, it’s on NBC, AKA the best news network ever. I purposely don’t watch any other network television, so that’s a start. My only hangup with The Voice is that I don’t understand how it literally feels like it’s on all year long –it’s a chore to keep up with it. My research into this confirmed my suspicions that they had to do two seasons a year, which is correct and obviously answers my question.

It’s a big commitment if you want to stay in the loop on this show because not only is it on twice a year, but when it’s running it’s on for two to THREE days a week with at least one two-hour special in there. That is so much airtime and infringes on my bedtime.


But here’s The Voice’s ammunition against American Idol, the OG American Idol from Season 1, Kelly Clarkson is the next guest judge for the season premiering this spring. Clarkson made a few appearances on the last season to pump up her new role in the revolving seat, and she’ll be joined by the returning judges Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Alicia Keys. I am no a huge Kelly Clarkson fan (she desperately needs a new stylist, but actually all of the judges do), but she’s sweet and relatable to the contestants in a way only a former competitor can be relatable.

So, you probably guessed it but I think I’m going to stick with The Voice on this one. There’s nothing that gets me going like a four-chair turn on a Monday night.

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1 Comment

  1. Julia Wills

How do you feel?

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