3 things that make “The Voice” more interesting than “American Idol”

By Kim Palacios

hollywoodnews.com: Let’s face it—the “American Idol” format is a little played out. Singers perform. Narcissistic judges give inconsistent (if not biased) feedback. America votes. (Wash. Rinse. Repeat.) If you need proof that the format is failing, note the revolving door of judges, which holds the show’s ratings hostage to new judges’ ability to entertain.

Enter “The Voice”. It’s a show with a format so intriguing that it doesn’t need outlandish celebs to keep audiences interested. Here are three things that make it more interesting than “American Idol”:

Coaches, not judges. Does it sometimes seem that the “American Idol” judges’ only function is to create suspense and supply arbitrary critique? On “The Voice”, the celebs’ role is far more defined—instead of disappearing all week and showing up on performance night only to judge, celebs spend all week personally working with performers.

The coaches are competing, too. The show’s draft-style format finds coaches hand-picking talent to populate each of their teams. Like “American Idol”, “The Voice” culminates in America voting, but the four finalists will have been whittled down from an original thirty-two, with each of the final four from one of the coach’s teams. As coaches pick their talent, they must also be thinking about their own ability to turn their picks into singers who can win the competition. They’ll be looking to prove their chops as producers.

The coaches had to blindly pick their talent. If video killed the radio star, “The Voice” aims to bring real talent back to life. In an era when record deals are granted based as much on good looks and “star power” as they are for talent, “The Voice” outperforms “American Idol” through its design to favor the latter. If the volume of hot girls with mediocre voices who made it through on “American Idol” irked you, you’ll probably appreciate “The Voice”, where looks don’t matter—at least in the audition round.

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About Kim Palacios

Kim Palacios is a San Francisco Bay Area transplant whose epicurean tendencies are matched only by her wanderlust. While not covering food, wine, and luxury travel for her column on Examiner.com, she guest writes for Travel Writers Exchange and a number of other varied-topic blogs. She is quadrilingual and holds an M.B.A. in Finance (neither of which she uses much these days). While not mourning the death of free markets and grumbling about the tax treatment of Californians, she enjoys film, and all things Twilight.

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