Enough of the reality-talent competitions

By Gillian McGoldrick
Entertainment Editor

From the first season of American Idol, America has been hooked on finding talent through reality settings. Idol pulled the nation to a hault on every Tuesday and Wednesday evening to vote for their favorite talents, or the best looking. Now almost ten years later, the amount of talent-based shows is unbearable.

The Voice, the X-Factor, and even the struggling Idol fight for the most viewers and best ratings. Attempting to be different from one another, each show is causing a clash of completely different talents that seem hardly marketable together.

Coming straight from NBC, The Voice’s brilliant coaches (Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton) and unique idea of having no image of what the artist looks like beforehand – to focus only on their voice – gives the Voice an upper hand. From there, the show moves on to a competition amongst team members to reach the live shows. At that point the viewers can decide whom will take the title of having “the Voice”. A lot of the talent has had some sort of fame or professional training prior their audition, which takes away the real aspect of a deemed reality show.

After Simon Cowell’s upsetting launch of the X-Factor last year, he amped up his judges: teen idol Demi Lovato, superstar Brittney Spears, record producer L.A. Reid, and Cowell himself. The fan bases of both Lovato and Spears brought in many new fans, pouring in a great number of viewers to the Fox network. The judges each get assigned an age group, or small groups to coach and bring the contestants to the next level, where they could one day acquire the almighty title of “the X-Factor”.

Lovato coaches the young adults, Spears coaches the teens, Reid coaches the over 25s, and Cowell handles the individuls that participate in groups. Competition starts in Boot Camp, where it travels to the Judge’s Houses, and finally to the live shows, leaving many twists and turns to the show’s plot. The talent is quite the mash-up: almost as if someone threw a bunch of different genres together to pull in all sorts of audiences, which in turn pulls many audiences away.

Idol is still struggling, leaving the ‘shows to watch’ The Voice or the X-Factor. In the end, the decision is between how much a person enjoys a good show, or the purity of a performance.