I enjoy watching television competition shows. The Amazing Race, The Voice, Top Chef, Project Runway, American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance. All these shows have something in common: all contestants have special skills they use in order to audition, play and win the show. If you can’t make risotto or a craft a sheath dress from a bag of trash, you don’t belong on Top Chef or Project Runway. If you can’t sing, American Idol and The Voice aren’t for you.
Well, maybe that’s not always the case. Just because someone can’t sing doesn’t preclude that person from auditioning for either singing competition. Either their family and friends are tone deaf and tell the person they can really, really sing, or the contestant just wants his or her 15 minutes of fame on television. All these years later, Sanjaya is still the answer to an American Idol trivia question.
I was late to join the American Idol fanbase. At the time, I didn’t want to watch one more reality show, yet I eventually got sucked in. To me, some of the judges were insightful (Simon) and some were useless (Paula and Randy). I was okay when Idol went off the air a year or two ago, and now it’s back and I’m sucked in once again. I can’t like all the judges (I’m looking at you Katy!) and there seemed to be a lot of contestants to follow. But early on in the Idol episodes, the producers edited the show in such a way that you just knew who were going to end up in the top 24. I can’t remember anyone’s name, but I’ll admit that there are some talented young people this year.
And then there’s The Voice. I’ve watched the show from the first season, and I’ve liked all the judges (er, coaches) except for Cee-Lo. There have been talented singers on past seasons of this show too, but no one winner has claimed as much attention as either Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood from Idol. I’m fine with that.
What I have trouble with is that both Idol and Voice are on concurrently and I can’t keep track of the contestants. There’s a 15-year old female and a long-haired rocker on each show. Two redheads, several touching back-stories, and I can’t pick winners for either show. This week, they are both starting to air live shows and the public-at-large will now start voting. Will America pick a drag queen as its next American Idol? Will a Michael Buble wanna-be win The Voice? We’ll find out in a few short weeks.
By that time, Dancing with the Stars and America’s Got Talent will be ready to take up some of my summer TV viewing. Help!