As contestants compete against each other, programs compete for viewers

by emmaKLEBE ’13

Student Survey: Arlingtonian asked 200 students which singing competition show they preferred.


image courtesy The Voice


 Network: NBC

 Season 4 returns March 25

A specific aspect that makes “The Voice” unique from other shows is that it begins with “blind” auditions. In these auditions each judge sits in a chair facing away from the contestant, causing the judge to pick contestants for their team based on what they hear alone. The conclusion of Season 3 not only presented a record deal to the overall winner, Cassadee Pope, but two new judges were announced for the upcoming season. Throughout the series the artists chosen to judge and coach the contestants have changed, but “The Voice” continues to bring in long-time legends from the music industry. Returning judges from previous seasons include Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, while new judges Usher and Shakira will be replacing Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green. Musical variety is brought to the show through the judges’ range of genres, which include pop (Levine), country (Shelton), R&B (Usher) and latin pop (Shakira). Not only are these judges coaching the contestants, they are also competing against one another to create the longest-lasting team.


image courtesy The X Factor


 Network: Fox

 Season 3 Returns fall 2013

Originating in the United Kingdom, “The X Factor” is the newest singing competition to America. Unlike other shows, “The X Factor” makes a point of including contestants from a variety of ages and genres. The four main categories formed this season were Teens, Young Adults, Over 25’s and Groups. The matchup between each category and judge is completely random. This season, Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid continued as judges while pop-icon Britney Spears and rising artist/actress Demi Lovato were added. Lovato coached the Young Adults, Cowell coached the Groups, Spears coached the Teens, and Reid was in charge of the Over 25’s. Last season the show was hosted solely by Mario Lopez, but this year Khloe Kardashian-Odom was also added as a co-host. The winner of “The X Factor” receives a $5 million record deal with Syco/Sony Music. “The X Factor (UK)” has had a strong track record in discovering rising artists, including music sensation One Direction. “The X Factor (US)” is hoping to continue this trend in future seasons.


 Network: Fox
 Season 12 premiered Jan 16 at 8 p.m.

Out of the three shows, “American Idol” is the veteran of singing competitions, with its first season beginning in 2002. The competition starts with open auditions in front of the four judges, continues in Hollywood week and concludes with live shows that allow for viewer voting. According to Idol’s website, the show “has been the No. 1 entertainment program among total viewers for the past nine consecutive seasons.” More recently the judge’s table has begun changing every season, considering only one judge, Randy Jackson, has been on the panel for the entirety of the series. Music legends Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, and Keith Urban are all new to Idol and will be joining the 2013 cast. Apart from the speculated upcoming drama this season between Carey and Minaj, the judges also bring genre variety to the singing competition. “American Idol” will continue to be hosted by Ryan Seacrest, who has acted as the reigning host since the show’s debut. Idol has produced many of the top names in music, spanning from Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson and Jordin Sparks to the most recent 2012 winner, Phillip Phillips.