Team American Idol Takes on NBC's The Voice: The Top 5 Zingers (Plus Scoop on Season 11)

Get More: News, TCA Press Tour

There’s no love lost between American Idol and The Voice. That was the key takeaway from Sunday’s Television Critics Association press tour panel for Season 11 of the Fox juggernaut, where NBC’s breakout hit was Topic No. 1. Herewith we present the top 5 zingers Idol producers and judges lobbed at their Peacock rivals.

1. Exec producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz on The Voice‘s lack of zany auditions: “They cast their show; we hold open calls.”

2. Fox reality president Mike Darnell on Kelly Clarkson joining The Voice as a mentor: “It’s a compliment to Idol. We’re not hiring a lot of people from The Voice to be on our show.”

3. Randy Jackson on how Voice Season 1 champ Javier Colon entered competition having already once been on contract at Capitol Records: “It was almost like second chance people; it wasn’t some new artist.”

4. EP Ken Warwick on Idol‘s unarguable point of difference vs rivals: “This is the show that produces the stars.”

5. Judge Randy Jackson on The Voice‘s trademark red swivel chairs: “We will never, ever rip of Star Trek like The Voice did with the chairs.”

Other, non-Voice-related highlights from the Idol sesh:

* Warwick addressed talk of tweaked middle rounds, saying that the Las Vegas performances simply will again change up themes. Namely, for Season 11 “they had to sing as a small group a late ’50s song, close harmonies. And the next round is back to ‘one voice, one instrument.’ That will get them down to the Top 24.”

* Regarding Seacrest’s soon-to-expire contract, Darnell expressed confidence that Idol‘s emcee will be back in 2013. “We love Ryan. I can’t imagine this show without him. … Our expectation is that Ryan will stay with the show [beyond this season].”

* Jackson (sort of) resisted an opportunity to bask in X Factor‘s relatively disappointing ratings performance. “Simon and Paula are dear friends of ours. They started this idol tradition with us. We’re the original. … Simon has done well with his show, probably not as well as he wanted. We wish him well.”

* Asked if there’s concern that the last four consecutive Idol champs have been male, Jackson shrugged, “May the best talent win. If it’s another boy this year that’s the most talented person, that’s who should win…. Look at the success of Justin Bieber; there are a lot of girls who vote for boys, that’s just what happens.”

Comments (45)

  • The problem with Idol AND The Voice and the labels which sign their winners is neither camp knows how to promote them. Their use of social media is a joke.

    Comment by Kiki – January 8, 2012 05:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Except Scotty McCreary and even Lauren Alaina are selling like hotcakes with their music. Yeah some years, some of issues with selling. But not this. Both 1 and 2 are selling extremely well compared to recent seasons…

      I agree, Voice was a utter disaster in promoting their lineup. And their winner. But this year on Idol; they did find a winner and runner up who sells music!

      Comment by Stacey – January 8, 2012 05:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • ITA. I got my Rolling Stone in the mail yesterday and Scotty is still in Billboard’s top 20, although Lauren has dropped off the chart.

        Comment by Toto – January 8, 2012 08:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • The “Idol” producers are wrong…. “The Voice” DOES hold open calls. I would know… I tried out, but didn’t make it. “The Voice” doesn’t “cast” their singers any more than “Idol” does.

        Comment by Erin – January 9, 2012 06:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I guess under a million is considered “hotcakes” in the music biz nowadays. Especially considering it hasn’t sold at all outside North America.

        But who cares? Why doesn’t everybody involved with Idol just give soundbites saying, “We’re pathetic!” because that’s all I hear every time they talk about The Voice.

        Comment by KevyB – January 10, 2012 01:06 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Totally agree KevyB. I feel like the only time I hear about American Idol anymore is if they’re being compared to or trash talking The Voice.

          Side note: I have no idea who Lauren Alaina is, and I only vaguely know who Scotty McCreary is. Haven’t heard either of them on the radio.

          Comment by juva1 – January 10, 2012 07:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ugh.

    Comment by Dessy – January 8, 2012 05:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So this is what people from a dying show sound like. Idol stopped being good years ago (read: after season 3), and The Voice has a concept that appeals to people with fully functional ears and brains and doesn’t bet on the audience wanting to see people get insulted. Just please, FOX, put Idol out of its misery.

    Comment by Jim – January 8, 2012 05:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • “… entered competition having already once been on contract at Capitol Records: ‘It was almost like second chance people; it wasn’t some new artist.’”

    Yes, Randy, because Idol does no such thing (Carly Smithson, Michael Johns…).

    Comment by Spinfusor – January 8, 2012 05:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree Idol has used 2nd chance people. But the most successful Idol alumni never had contracts. Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia, etc. have all been successful & never were 2nd chance contestants. The 2nd chance contestants like Carly Smithson, Michael Johns, Kristy Lee Cook, etc. have actually not really had good careers post-Idol.

      Comment by Tiffany – January 8, 2012 06:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Who cares if a singer has had a contract with a label before? If they’re not a household name, that means they didn’t “make it.” It’s about turning someone into a star who wasn’t a star before the show.

        Comment by Younguns – January 9, 2012 06:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Here’s the real difference between the two shows: One show doesn’t take to a public forum to belittle the other.

    Comment by Josh – January 8, 2012 05:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Amen to that. All the points made by the Idol people are valid (if not 100% true), but is this really necessary?

      Comment by Timm – January 8, 2012 05:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I though some of the remarks were funny and true. And The Voice’s judges have been badmouthing Idol to promote their show. They are constantly making remarks about the show in the press. So neither show reframes from making them!

        Comment by Stacey – January 8, 2012 05:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • The trash talking goes both ways. Just listen & read some of the interviews Adam Levine gave during The Voice run last year. For all his talk about how The Voice is so much better than AI & will produce stars, the winner & runner-up had opening sales that were far below that of even the 4th place finisher from AI10.

      Comment by trei – January 9, 2012 05:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I thought the same thing as I was reading the story.

    Comment by Scott – January 8, 2012 05:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Lack of zany auditions…. Thank God. Idol uses that crap to be able to inflate their episodes to 2 hours. It does nothing to enhance the show at all. Every year I am thankful for the 30 second skip button on my DVR so I can get through Idol.

    Comment by Kristoffer – January 8, 2012 05:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • same here. i can’t stand the trainwreck auditions.

      Comment by flutiefan – January 8, 2012 05:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am really embarrassed for them! They sound like catty school girls.

    Comment by Kate – January 8, 2012 05:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • those aren’t zingers. those are potshots.

    Comment by flutiefan – January 8, 2012 05:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I don’t even watch Idol until they get to Hollywood; I hate the stupidity of the earlier auditions. What a waste of my time! I wish Fox would please at least change the results shows back to 30 minutes, if not pull the results show altogether.

    Comment by Karrie – January 8, 2012 05:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Cracks me up that idol thinks they are better because they show the bad auditions. The bad auditions make it through like 3 rounds before seeing the judges. They eliminate tons of good people to keep some bad people just for TV. How does that make them better!?

    Comment by JeniLee – January 8, 2012 05:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Done with IDOL ’til I rest for the finale in May but THE VOICE seems fair to me even with the amazing “blind auditions” that looks even better than those insane AI auditions.

    Comment by kevin – January 8, 2012 06:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • They have a point. Javier and Dia’s album failed to even make it into the Top 100 on the Billboard chart. Even Lee Dewyze did better then them.

    Comment by Sam – January 8, 2012 06:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • they made the top 10 on itunes

      Comment by SonR – January 8, 2012 07:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That’s my point. I didn’t even know Javier’s had finally been released.

      Comment by Kiki – January 9, 2012 12:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • When Ken Warwick said the difference between Idol and its competitors is that “they produce stars” did he not also realize that they’ve been on 9 more seasons than either The Voice or X-Factor? I mean, X-Factor people haven’t even had a chance to make any albums yet so no one can say what will come out of that show and The Voice only has one year done and let’s face it, the first year of Idol bore Kelly Clarkson and no one else and they just happened to be lucky enough to have had her audition in the first place.

    Cracks me up that still X-Factor is said to have had relatively disappointing ratings but The Voice is considered a success with lower ratings…I get the Idol peeps being more worried about The Voice because they’re both on in the spring and are different channels but last I checked, Idol was still the ratings champ so why resort to mudslinging? They ought to look into their own pasts too if they think they’re above “casting” since they have not only had contestants who have had their chance once before but also in the general sense, they always aim for certain types of people, i.e. the belter, the rocker, the quirky girl (who usually is a folksy-alternative type), the country crooner, a WGWG, a throwback singer, and someone to cover every racial demographic they can manage to cover…etc.

    Comment by Tess – January 8, 2012 06:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It may have had one year. But if it was such a success; why didn’t any of finalists place even on the billboards in a respectable place. None of them placed. American Idol may have more years, but they did produce a star in it’s first year. The Voice didn’t. X Factor is unknown yet. But I am not confident at Melanie’s prospects in the current market!

      Comment by Stacey – January 8, 2012 07:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Sure Idol produced a star its first year but, at that time, it was the only big time singing show around. Obviously that’s no longer the case so it’s hard to judge the shows (and winners) against each other in that regard.

        Comment by Kat – January 9, 2012 01:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • As a sort of homage to the awesome-looking “Once Upon A Time” (I unfortunately haven’t had time to watch it; if you’ve seen it, please tell me how it is), here is a fairy tale that I created to explain the success of “American Idol” and its alumni through the years.
    A long time ago, the earliest civilizations were held together by music. Music was the great, force that helped maintain peace and unity. It was a Gift, and all around the world, there were special people with unique abilities chosen to protect it. They were called the Guardians of the Gift, and they would sing (some also played instruments) and share the Gift with the World. But their happy existence was brought to an end when a great Dark Force descended upon the Earth, leading to massive war and division. The Gift wasn’t strong enough to stop it, and the Guardians were forced to go into hiding. However, they left behind a message saying that they would appear again sometime in the future, in the land where people are free, at a time when said land is in distress and the Gift will be cherished once more.
    One of the producers (I’m not sure which one) knew about the Guardians and the Gift and wanted to bring them back into the spotlight so that they might be able to share the Gift with the world. So when he/she heard that Simon Cowell was taking a show called “American Idol” to the United States, the Land of the Free, and that the country was in panic after 9/11 and needed comforting, he signed on to the production team. And as the team traveled across the country searching for the next music superstar, he/she looked at the auras of every individual who auditioned and found the Guardians. And as the number of remaining contestants whittled down, he/she made sure that the Guardians were put in the final rounds. So if you suspect that the voting was at all rigged at any point in the show’s history, or that the judges made a bad call in Hollywood, that producer did it to make sure the rightful Guardians ended up in the Top 10/12/13. And it was in those finalist rounds that the Guardians of the Gift were re-introduced to the world.
    Mind you, the producer never told the other staff members about the legend, for he/she feared they would call him crazy and fire him, and he/she never told the alumni about their capabilities for fear of scaring them away from the show. So whenever it appears that someone was unjustly eliminated in the semi-finals, it was only because that contestant was not a Guardian. And when Mario ended up in the Top 12 in Season 4, he was subconsciously told to drop out by whatever power of the universe created the gift so that the rightful Guardian, Nikko, could come back. And when it seems that a talentless individual mistakenly made the finals, it is just the workings of that power, as a sign that even poor singers have a place and a purpose.
    So far, 120 guardians have been discovered, but the message did not specify how many there were all together, and the show cannot be canceled until they have all been found and brought back into the spotlight. Only then, when they have been re-united, will they be able to access their wide array of powers.
    I hope you enjoyed that. Go ahead, make fun of it all you want. (I don’t actually believe in this; I just thought it was a fun story).

    Comment by IdolFlash-7-9-35 – January 8, 2012 07:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • One last detail:
      The reason why all of the Guardians will flock to Idol instead of other shows like The X Factor or The Voice is because Idol was the first and original in the era of American reality singing competitions. They will unknowingly follow the example of Kelly, the Head Guardian and most powerful of all the Guardians, and the other Leader Guardians (Ruben, Fantasia, Carrie, Taylor, Jordin, David C, Kris, Lee, Scotty).

      Comment by IdolFlash-7-9-35 – January 8, 2012 07:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The Voice, X Factor and Idol are all the same. If you think about it nothing much changes once live shows start. They are all after one thing just the format is slightly different. Personally i prefer The X Factor because i have been watching it for years before it came to America and there is something great about it. Idol comes 2nd and The Voice comes a distant third. Its basically a rip off of the other 2 in some shape or form.

    Comment by Guy – January 8, 2012 09:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Idol is so stale and boring after the audition rounds. Once it gets into the live competition it just gets repetitive and doesn’t seem current anymore. And as for the claim that they are the ones that Idol is the show that still makes the stars – it hasn’t made a big one in a really long time. And some of their biggest stars aren’t even the winners. So many of the winners are forgettable and there isn’t any diversity. They have to change the voting and get rid of the ridiculous theme nights. The X Factor was such an improvement and Melanie will be a bigger star than has come out of Idol in a long time. The Voice is a lot more entertaining than Idol and it’s nice to see people get second chances. We’ll see what happens but I’m sure it will end up stale after the audition rounds like normal.

    Comment by David – January 8, 2012 09:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m glad the Idol judges tried to show personality, but think about it. Do they REALLY want to get into the trenches with Blake Shelton, the best tweeter of all time?

    Comment by Satchvai – January 9, 2012 05:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • That last paragraph by Randy…just wow. At least the Voice has intelligent judges.

    Comment by RTW – January 9, 2012 06:10 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • lol, agreed. Why is he still on Idol anyway? ….

      Comment by Mick – January 9, 2012 06:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Because he has nothing else to do.

        Comment by Me – January 9, 2012 01:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I find this whole dissing thing a very cheap publicity stunt it is a different show and they don’t need to hate on it, they don’t diss X Factor even though someone should!The Voice is a great show I agree Javier didn’t do very well with his album but he is very singer-songwritery and in a world of country and dance music he didn’t have a great chance in the charts anyway the aim of The Voice is to find the best singer whereas Idol looks for well an Idol someone who can sell out arena’s,sell albums and be a music star.

    Comment by Elle – January 9, 2012 07:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Both of these shows need to go, they are just a waste of broadcast space.

    Comment by Jake – January 9, 2012 08:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The funny thing is that nowadays having a best selling album is not as big a deal as selling a high amount of digital copies on iTunes. That’s what the difference is between the stars of Idol and The Voice. Sure McCreery could be in the top 20 on billboard but it’s not going to be for top 20 altogether, it will be for top 20 country. And with album sales being paltry as they are, he could be number 18 but with having sold ohh maybe 500 copies. That’s the state of the music industry these days.

    Everyone I know buys digital. And the winner/runner up on The Voice did sell quite well on Itunes for a while. Plus at least they aren’t cheesy and picked because a million stupid teenage girls can text really fast.

    I used to find Idol enjoyable, even funny. But two years ago was horrendous when half the good singers went home before landing in the top 12. Then Lee won? oh dear god. He’s the worst selling idol and got dropped from the label this past year. Last year was just an abomination. I wanted to drop kick the judges half the season. Lopez is useless, Tyler was sleeping half the time and they need to stick a fork in Randy. He’s done.

    The one contestant that I hated last year ended up being my favorite halfway through, and honestly the best singer out of all of them-Haley. And she got shafted for two aww shucks teenagers who could barely remember their words half the time. Cue the most unexciting season finale. gag.

    The comments in that article by Randy just prove how ridiculous he is. Sorry but if another boy wins the competition this year the show is done. I don’t see how they can possibly keep going and NOT irritate the potential female contestants.

    I actually dig The Voice. At least there aren’t gimmicks, the singers(even some of the worse ones) are good, and the judges actually come off as knowing something about talent.

    Comment by JB – January 9, 2012 09:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Honestly, the only reason I watched The Voice was because I knew who the judges were and I actually wanted to see what they had to say. I stayed mainly because I was waiting for Blake Shelton to either break down in tears at the prospect of eliminating one of his girls or to just flat out attempt to abduct them.

    I haven’t watched American Idol since the second season and I’ll watch The Voice this season only for Blake and Kelly Clarkson.

    Comment by Anneka Jameson – January 9, 2012 12:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • OK where do I start. I went to “audition” for the Voice in LA on April 1st with my fiance’ and best friend. We barely slept and woke up at 3 to get there to stand on line by 5am. This is a recap of my experience. The were probably a good 3-4000 people by my estimates maybe more. In all I didn’t hear a bad singer in the bunch. People were rehearsing in all different places in the venue. I literally dropped my jaw at some of the amazing talent that showed up…. There were people who drove from Texas to be there…TEXAS! These girls were even attractive, very talented and served in the Army currently. What’s to say about the actual audition…. A verse and a chorus is what you were allowed. I heard amazing renditions all over the place. But take note by the time abouit 3/4 of the group had gone I saw NOT ONE RED TICKET GIVEN OUT. I didn’t even see the judge in my room HAVE ANY TICKETS. This confirmed to me that this is all precasted and no mattter if you are a supermodel with an angelic voice, you’re wasting your time and gas and resources to audtition for a show that’s been precasted for months now. Mark Burnett even openly admitted to press that for the first season of the how he sent his assistants out all over the country to studios, clubs, all different types of venues and scoured youtube to recruit. Then they choose 250 acts and personally fly them to LA to privately audtition. At which point they choose 100 poeple to perform for the 4 judges. Anyone else that miraculously gets a RED ticket was also invited to audition from producers at the general call. Shocking… people are even given lessons on how to react on tv for the show when they are cast or their children ar casted. Reality it ain’t people. I just feel sorry for all those extremely talented poeple who waste personal resources and hope to simply drive ratings to this obviously hopeless endeavor. I bet they even say “OK find us a normal looking fat guy/girl to grab us that demographic and increase ratings.” I’d love to see these guys lose cred because its totally exposed that nobody goig to the general auditions have a snowballs chance. Gotta love “Reality” Hollywood! If you guys think I’m being overly negative, all ya gotta do is google a bit. – Frankie

    Comment by Francesco (Frankie) Buldo – April 2, 2012 10:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
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