American Idol, X Factor, The Voice, Sunday’s Best, Duets, Making the Band, Sing-Off, and Major & Minors are just a few of the recognizable titles of singing competitions that have graced (or disgraced) television over the past decade or so.
With its modern-day format pioneered by the FOX-aired ‘Idol’ to once record ratings (though ‘Live at the Apollo’ is the true grandfather of the genre), the last few years have seen a steadily declining interest in the singing competition themed reality show – despite reigniting interest in some of music’s top stars (see: Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, etc).
Until…NBC’s ‘The Voice’. But, even with its winning ratings, it has yet to produce a quality star in three seasons:
‘The Voice’ has proven itself a steady anchor in its four season tenure. With its first three seasons sailing on the names of judges Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, and Adam Levine, the show not only consistently dominated its time slot but also the competition – trumping ‘X Factor’ on a regular basis when the two aired at the same time.
Even with the replacement of Aguilera and Green with Shakira and Usher respectively, the show’s season 4 debut this week came in with ratings higher than its season 3 inaugural episode (indicating this ship isn’t slowing down any time soon).
Interestingly, despite consistently winning ratings battles, The Voice has yet to produce a discernible star in three seasons.
Historically, FOX’s ‘American Idol’ has been one of the highest rated shows and rarely failed to see itself topping Nielsen ratings tallies. But, while the last 5 years have seen some of music’s top stars aboard its judging panel (Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj), the show has been on a steady decline in viewership.
The past week saw it notch its lowest Wednesday night ratings ever! And, much like ‘The Voice’, has arguably not produced a top quality star in the last 4-5 years (or one period since Jordin Sparks).
After becoming the fan favorite you hated to love on American Idol, Simon Cowell jumped ship to bring his internationally known ‘X Factor’ brand to the U.S. Since then, it has consistently been last place of the top rated singing competition shows. Not even the star power of juggernaut pop star Britney Spears could save the series from its declining ratings report.
Such failure has acted as the main citation those who argue against the genre’s existence use as proof that maybe it is time to hang it up.
Some say it’s a great forum for otherwise unseen talent to break into the industry. Others say its a tired concept that has run its course. What do you say?