There’s something unusual going on right now in the Reality TV world. Gone are the days when all we had to complain about was American Idol. Now we’ve added The Voice and X Factor to the list of singing competition shows. And in a particularly unusual move, two networks decided to put their shows on during the same season. And on a few occasions, the shows have gone head-to-head.
In the end, the ratings battle will decide which of the two shows reign supreme, but we’ve got our own battle going on here. Reality Nation writers Branden Barker and Jana Waring cover the two shows week after week, and a recent idea about which show is the better of the two lands us here. In the middle of an argument. The topic is simple: which show is better? Defending The Voice is Branden and defending X Factor is Jana. Time for a throwdown.
The Voice is better than The X Factor by Branden Barker
There are two types of people: those who watch The Voice and those who watch The X Factor. And then there are crazy lunatics who watch both. Like me. So, since I suffer through both, I feel like I’m an expert. So when I say The Voice is a better show than The X Factor, I think you should listen. Ha.
I have a number of different points and will break them down in categories. Here goes nothing.
The format: I love that The Voice only gives us serious contenders and none of those idiots dressed in bird costumes like X Factor inherited from American Idol producers. I also love that The Voice has different stages of competition (Blind Auditions, Battle Rounds, etc.). That means the show refreshes itself every few weeks. And that’s important to me.
The coaches/judges/mentors: The Voice calls its panel coaches, which in itself is less offensive than “judges.” Being judged sucks. Being “coached” has a better ring to it. I like that The Voice doesn’t force their coaches to bicker and spat like like the X Factor panel. Instead, we get hot homoerotic tension between Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. You cannot beat that. And you can count on some Xtina cleavage and a parrot on Cee Lo’s head. Now that’s fun for the whole family.
The host: Carson keeps his job simple. He introduces the acts and that’s that. He doesn’t have his nipples hanging out, nor does he flash his A.C. Slater dimples. He knows he’s not the star and he’s not fighting the contestants and coaches to be such *cough* Khloe *cough*
The contestants: And finally, the most important part of any singing show is the talent pool. I prefer The Voice contestants because they actually sing. They’re artists. They’re not some factory-made pretty face that will spend their careers relying on auto-tune, half-naked back-up dancers and everything-but-the-kitchen-sink production. And what’s with EVERY contestant on X Factor claiming this game show is their last shot at life!? I mean, even the 12-year-olds are saying stuff like “OMG if I don’t win the X Factor, the bank is going to foreclose on my house and my six kids will be taken away.” You’re 12! Go to school if this doesn’t work out! Geez.
Final thoughts: I like that The Voice keeps everything toned down. The production numbers are tasteful, the contestants wear clothes instead of costumes. Let me just say you won’t see this:
… or this:
… on The Voice. I rest my case.
X Factor is Better than The Voice by Jana Waring
Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. I once was a fan of The Voice until I became bored to tears, which occurred some where in between Cee Lo stroking his fat, white cat and then his becoming a perch for a peachy-keen parrot. Like the movie Christmas Story on Christmas Eve, the episodes just seem to go on and on and on and never does there seem to be an end in sight. Even after Branden challenged me to this talent show face-off and I went back to NBC in attempt to watch one last episode of The Voice, I found myself switching channels to Dateline by the fourth contestant. Dateline! The only show that awards single people comfort and justifications for a lonely lifestyle because it’s always the spouse that is guilty of murder. And so while I can admit X Factor has flaws, at least it is a show I can watch from start to finish, episode after episode. It’s also a show I appreciate and continue to be entertained by with each new, surprising performance. I’ve read your complaints Branden and let’s see if I can address them properly.
Here is my case for why X Factor is a much better show than The Voice.
The X Factor Breakdown:
The Format: It’s no secret that The Voice has had better ratings than X Factor ever since the start of this season. However, the season is not over yet! The Voice has taken too much liberty with it’s new prime time ratings and are now milking every second of TV possible. For example, take a look at the long drawn out audition phases. First the coaches XTina, Blake, Adam or Cee Lo must turn around while the contestant auditions. Then the contestant has to pick a coach, which goes on until each coach has a team of 10-12 contestants. Next, the coach picks two of his or her’s own team members to compete in a boxing ring in order to ultimately send someone home and reduce the team to its best performers. Although–wait–at the end of this round of battles any coach can save a couple contestants, only to add more rounds of battling in the boxing ring later. And then it’s battles, battles, battles until the end, if there’s ever an end. Once second it’s like, the contestant is in! Then it’s like, no he’s not. Then it’s, wait he’s been saved! Only to finally learn, no he’s got the boot once again. Are you exhausted yet? I am.
The constant push and pull process to attain The Voice’s Top 12 takes up too much time. And who wants to spend weeks, months even, getting to a know 40 contestants? It seems more exhausting and stressful than an extended family Thanksgiving dinner. X Factor simply cuts and moves forward (with the exception of returning contestant Diamond White). And while the X Factor may take risks with crazy costumes and stage dynamics, at least each performance is creative and entertaining. A dude standing in front of a crowd giving a mediocre karaoke performance is not, like for instance Cody Belew’s performance of “The Best” last night (and yes, coincidentally that’s his real last name). Now that the contestants are down to the Top 12, I’d argue the format of both shows are somewhat the same. It’s the production that is much different–and I just happen to prefer newer songs and sometimes an explosive, glittery performance. Wouldn’t you?
The Coaches/Judges/Mentors: If The Voice coaches are so wonderful why must they bring more recording artists in to validate the show? The truth is all The Voice coaches are simply muscians that have been through the music industry grinder. So can they offer advice? Yes. Coaching? It’s debatable. Having two legends in the music production side of business, Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid, brings a bit more credibility to the X Factor process. It’s true that the judges (who were necessary to wade through the riff raff) have shifted to mentors now that America has the vote, but it’s been fun to witness the judges become mentors–it means they get to have a competition of their own. I don’t think the mentor disagreements are acts of “being forced to bicker” like Branden says, but instead the result of a bunch of egomaniacs wanting to win first place. Love him or hate him, Simon Cowell’s brutally honest comments to the contestants are often hilarious, unlike the carefree comments from Blake Sheldon and Adam Levine. Can we agree that those two are less concerned with the contestants and more worried about taking digs at each other to gain Twitter followers?
The Hosts: At least X Factor is an equal opportunist show. For the men there is Khloe Kardashian, pointy nipples and all. For the women, there’s Mario Lopez… that is if you’re into the AC Slater Saved By the Bell kind of fantasy. Me personally, I’m more of a Zach Morris kind of girl. So while I can agree that Lopez’s dimples are too much, Carson is just one more weight watcher meal from having the same dimples in his cheeks, just in more sunken in, I’ve-lost-too-much-weight-kind of way. What is more distracting than deep dimples is Carson Daly’s fake celebrations backstage with parents. The high-fiving, jumping around and giving hugs to strangers like he cares. Please. He knows–just like we do–the backstage family interviews are a step backwards from his glory days at MTV’s Total Request Live, back when he used to interview the hottest musicians and actors in Hollywood. C’mon Carson, there’s no reason to pretend a nobody’s parents are the coolest people on the planet. Let’s turn the enthusiasm down from brown nosing to being earnest and hopeful.
The Contestants: I think it’s fair to say both shows have a deep talent pool. What X Factor has done that The Voice has not is capture the younger demographics. You can not tell me that 13-year-old Carly Rose Sonenclar and Diamond White are using auto-tune. Both girls have serious chops and are bringing in a younger fan base with each performance. X Factor also does a good job at choosing contestants of every music genre. Rarely is hip hop featured on The Voice, nor is creative mash ups of current pop hits. Which leaves me wondering what demographic does The Voice cater to? The forty-somethings, the might-have-beens and the missed-opportunities? What a snoozefest.
Final thoughts: The Voice is the perfect show to watch if you’re having trouble sleeping. While X Factor may be extravagant at times, there’s no denying it’s entertainment between the extraordinary talent and the high-dollar stage productions. Add Khloe’s nipples, Simon’s horniness, Britney’s craziness and Demi’s naivety and that’s an exciting LIVE show, simply because you never know what might happen. Britney could pull her weave out or Khloe could makeout with Simon. Stranger things have happened to these people.
In conclusion, X Factor is the better show on air to date because it has more well rounded, qualified mentors, a wider variety of talent and a bigger budget for creative performances. The Voice, while not awful, will never reach the same caliber as long as they continue to confine their talent to that lame boxing ring. If perhaps the super sexy Adam Levine starts coaching in the nude, then call me. Only then will you have my undivided attention Branden.
I, too, can now rest my case.
Now it’s up to you. Tell us which show is better. Share your thoughts in the comments section below and in our poll.