The other day I asked my grandma who she liked on the current season of The Voice because it’s the only show where the format’s interesting enough to watch while other shows are reruns. She said Lazaro Arbos. It seems these shows are morphing into one big ball of “why are these even still on?” On the surface, they’re the same. To argue one is better than the other would mean peeling back the layers, which is what one must do because there’s a clear winner when you put American Idol against The Voice.

While it’s the hard to understand all the rounds when it starts, and it’s most likely rigged because their contestants are sometimes artists who’ve had a chance in music before, The Voice reigns supreme for a few reasons; it’s still fresh in TV watcher’s minds, their judging panel is more likeable, and the level of talent is superior in most ways (although questionable, more on that later).

The Voice is in its fourth season, but for some reason it still seems like a new show to many because it hasn’t outworn its welcome yet. Viewers aren’t used to the format, so they’re not tired and bored with it. Plus, the change up in judges makes it seem like it’s starting anew this season. American Idol is in what, season 35? It’s outworn its welcome. People still watch, but it seems like it’s mainly middle America. Idol is no longer the must-see water cooler talk it once was. Once upon a time even people who didn’t like reality TV knew the Idol contestants, now you can’t really remember the winners. People are only talking about the judges thanks to Nicki Minaj’s antics.

american-idol-vs-the-voice-nicki-minajYes, both shows have resulted to relying on the star power of their judges and switching them when necessary, but America keeps tuning it so it’s working to a degree. But Idol is in the headlines more because of Nicki Minaj’s rash behavior and “beef” (still believe it’s staged for ratings) with Mariah Carey, but when you actually do tune in to Idol, the judges have nothing relevant to say. Nicki compares people to pancakes and waffles. No matter who the four are in the spinning chairs on The Voice, they’re not only entertaining, but they do offer the contestants on their teams actual advice they can take with them after the show.

The judges might be the one’s people know most on either one of these shows, but some still do watch for the actual competition and the artists. It’s still surprising that Idol produced the likes of Phillip Phillips since they haven’t had a huge mainstream hit in a while. Come on, when’s the last time you really heard Lee Dewyze on the radio? Now here’s when it gets tricky because it seems like Idol still picks people from Nowhere, USA to come on the show. The Voice only outdoes them in the talent department because it’s obvious their contestants are heavily screened and a lot have come from backgrounds with some musical success already.

The Voice - Season 3Season two runner-up Juliet Simms was already well-known in her little pop rock scene with her band Automatic Loveletter, as was last season’s winner Cassadee Pope. She toured the world and had a song on Glee thanks to her band Hey Monday. The Voice may pluck their contestants from a pool of artists who’ve had a chance already, but the talent hasn’t been all that great for American Idol in the past couple years with the exception of Phillips, so talent wise, The Voice has it in the bag.

American Idol was the king of reality TV for so long, but they really messed up when they started shifting around their judging panel because America was in love with the original three. They also slipped up by pretty much giving up on finding memorable acts. Again, Lee DeWho? The Voice came in at the right time and has been able to sway a lot of fans to their format and ways thanks to remaining interesting, getting well-groomed contestants and having judges who aren’t incredibly annoying. Nicki Minaj…possibly the worst thing Idol’s done since Sanjaya.