Why THE VOICE Works and The X FACTOR Doesn’t:

The Voice has 4 mega talents who have all been recording/touring artists as well as singer/songwriters for years. They all seem to genuinely like each other, even politely dogging on each other the way brothers and sisters do. The Blind Audition concept is the freshest thing to happen to singing competitions in years. Plus, it actually is where the show lives up to its title – it’s about nothing else but “The Voice”. Most importantly The Voice is living proof that one can give constructive criticism and treat every contestant with utmost respect. First of all, you can tell the mentors are all literally rooting for every person that walks on that stage. They have been there and they have compassion. When they don’t choose someone, they highlight all the good things about them and even things for them to work on to get better. They know how leaving that stage (which takes balls of steel to get on in the first place) without getting someone to turn around is soul crushing on its own. The Voice does what TV should do – simply entertain and leave one with a good feeling. It’s produced impeccably well as most Mark Burnett productions are.

I’ll be honest – I watched the first 2 nights of X Factor out of obligation, as a student and fan of the TV Biz. I am admittedly not a Simon Cowell fan. I think he’s unnecessarily cruel and especially so for someone that’s never attempted to do what these contestant do. But also, I watched the first season of X Factor and it added absolutely nothing new to the singing competition genre other than make Simon somewhat richer. That being said, if the show had made major modifications I would have acknowledged it. Once again, this just feels like a weaker version of American Idol. Amidst some good singers are people who are paraded on stage to get mocked or rudely dismissed . I thought the entire Don Phillip audition was awkward to the point of cruel. I don’t think the production team made that piece compelling enough to warrant its sheer awkwardness. There were many times during the show I found myself yelling back at the TV at something mean that Simon said. Finally, at the end of the first night we are given a closeup at a tear forming out of Simon’s eye to convey his heart for the contestant who was severely bullied. Despite what the show wants me to feel, I can’t get all warm and fuzzy about Simon appearing to have a heart when he is a bully to many contestants regularly, including a few times during the prior 2 hours. The show wants to build up these all these mean rivalries in their new “docu” format. Honestly it’s a lot of “been there, done that” and I found myself getting agitated just watching it. Oh and then there’s the love of the corporate jets montages, to show us how rich and powerful (and ego maniacal) some of these judges are. Contrast that with The Voice 4, who are undoubtedly rich but don’t carry themselves that way, nor does the show). To me, X Factor adds nothing new to the genre, but I am well aware it has its fans.

The Voice has done quite well this second week and as The X Factor gets ready to roll out new eps tonight and tomorrow, I feel pretty safe in saying I don’t see it increasing its numbers like The Voice did this week. In addition to my own feelings, there seems to be little buzz about it (in my own unscientific poll). I bet NBCs Voice rerun tonight gets at least a 2.0 while X Factor should be thrilled to get another low 3.0 number which is no guarantee with Survivor premiering too.

I think NBCs smartly and hastily added Revolution encore should also do quite well tonight at 10p.

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