Reality Check Dissects the Voice and X Factor Finales! Plus: How to Make 'Em Better Shows

cassadee pope the voice winnerThe X Factor and The Voice have concluded their respective Season 2 and Season 3 installments, and with the celebratory confetti swept up and carried off to a Los Angeles-area landfill, it seems like the right time to do a post-mortem on how the reality singing competitions’ final results played out.

In this week’s Reality Check, my cohost Melinda Doolittle and I examine how The X Factor‘s Tate Stevens lost the battle of the Top 3 performance finale, but still managed to win the war. (Hint: An unfortunate duet between his arch rival and an embattled country diva probably helped his chances.) We also talk about what the show’s producers should try to change for Season 3 — and yes, we get more specific than “Burn it to the ground and start from scratch!”

PHOTOS | X Factor: The 25 Best Performances of Season 2

Melinda and I also take a deep dive into The Voice‘s Season 3 outcome: How Cassadee Pope turned the performance finale into a victory lap; why the two-hour results show was infinitely more enjoyable than The X Factor‘s; and how Adam Levine’s particular style of coaching should serve as a template for incoming panelists Usher and Shakira.

RELATED | The Voice: 25 Best Performances of Season 3

So press play below for your weekly dose of Reality Check, and for all my reality TV recaps, commentary and interviews, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Lili Ann Noln says:

    America loves dimples. Tate has dimples. And so does Cheryl Cole.

  2. Marianne says:

    For The Voice I would like to have them slow down the eliminations – at least for the top __?__ . I know they can’t do too much, or they wouldn’t be able to do 2 shows per year. But I think that’s why I prefer Idol’s format.

    • I totally agree though for both the Voice and the XFactor. In the UK the XFactor starts in August. Why not? That would help expidite the baseball issues we know we are going to have in October. I think the double eliminations also affected Fifth Harmony’s chances. Given more time to blend, the girls could have done much much better. Kudos to Melinda for sort of alluding to that when she asked for the X-Factor to let their contestants grow without all the hoopla on stage. I think they are related. It was like I blinked and the season was over. Slow and steady wins the race.

    • DrummerDave says:

      For the Voice, there was too much weight put on iTunes sales versus other forms of voting.

      • teatime says:

        I disagree. It was an improvement to add iTunes sales as part of the voting. Why should any other form of voting count more? The real shame is when a contestant who sells well get cut because they did not get as many votes.

        • Flower says:

          Totally agree! I think the ability to sell music is the most relevant, or else it will be a popularity contest by the tweens.

        • bbl says:

          The problem there is that song choice takes a more important role than ever before. I might really like a certain contestant, but don’t want to spend money on a particular song. Or I might be in love with a particular song so much that it doesn’t really matter who is covering it and I’ll buy it anyway. Or I would be buying music if they offered it from some other source than iTunes. There are several reasons why it’s a bad idea.

  3. Please compile a compilation of your suggestions/complaints/tweaks/snark and send it Simon Cowell’s way. He could possibly learn something. Kthanks.

  4. Kathy says:

    I only watched the X Factor during the auditions, not when Klhoe and Mario became hosts so definitely them. The Voice, I loved how they changed it up with the steal and not all the coaches having a contestant in the finale. I cant wait to see Usher and Shakira on The Voice to see how they mentor a contestant. The X Factor, if they stay the same, I will pass, again.

    • darclyte says:

      X-Factor: Get rid of Khloe, get rid of Demi, LA is leaving already, make it less like American Idol, don’t show bad contestants, and let the singers perform on the finale not “stars.” Go down to 3 judges. Get rid of the group category. Have young girls, young guys, older women and older men. If there are any REAL groups, mix them into the category they’d fit (like younger men or older women.)

      Voice: Get rid of the “battle round.” Ugh. That is so stupid and pointless. Every time they make a bad pairing of 2 bad singers and 2 good singers so a good singer leaves and a bad singer stays. Just have them perform and get voted out individually. Go down to 3 coaches. The Voice is smart that they start off with all the really bad singers gone already. AI and XF need to do that as well.

      American Idol: Replace the Judge’s Save by having the bottom 2 sing off and then the judges toss the worse of the 2 (much like AGT.) This would have eliminated people like Sanjaya and Tim Urban MUCH earlier as they judges would have kicked them off and kept the other, and kept in people like Tamara Grey and Chris Daughtry as the judges would have kept them in and kicked out the other singer. Go down to 3 judges by eliminating Nicki Minaj. Stop showing the bad contestants, show us ONLY good singers. They KNOW who is in the top 24-36 by the time the show starts airing, so show us the 36 best singers from the get go so they get equal air time.

      ALL shows need to stop asking, “how do you feel” and “what does this mean to you?” We KNOW it means a LOT for ALL of them. They all WANT to do their best and they all WANT to win. Nobody “needs” it any more or less than anyone else (for the most part,) so we don’t need their flipping sob stories. Just sing darnit! Ask them how they think they did, not how they feel.

      • flutiefan says:

        while i don’t disagree with any of your suggestions, i have to ask: in your Daughtry scenario, the other contestant in the bottom 2 was Katharine McPhee. she is a phenomenal singer and the judges clearly loved her voice on the show. do you know for certain they would’ve kept Chris and kicked Kat out? i honestly don’t know.

        • darclyte says:

          Nothing is 100% but he was sort of the “star” of that season. When they first started airing promos that Idol would be returning, it was his audition that got shown. That week, the Judges seemed to suggest that they were surprised that he was even in the bottom, while they universally panned her performance the night before. After the episode, she admitted that she thought she was going home, and the Judges seemed shocked that he got booted, and Simon looked visibly ticked off. So, now I can’t say for certain, but based on what happened that night, the night before, and what has been said or alluded to in the years since, yeah, I’m 99% certain they would have booted Kat over Chris.

      • Kath says:

        Spot on suggestions darclyte. Stop with all the talking, What is a fourth judge for? How man people does it take to host a show? Also, stop with all the celebrity drama. Take it to the alley before the show starts taping. dartclyte

  5. Jason geller says:

    Change the following : 1) get rid of Chloe. Why have her cuz of her name ? Which she keeps for advertising purposes. Simon trust me no one cares for her and her fakeness. 2) no more kids. It serves no purpose to have young singers as seeing them crack under pressure is disheartening 3 ) get judges that matter. Demi is a good singer but 20 and has little street credit. Britney was a good choice until she had to talk. 15 million to hear her make faces. 4) perhaps a second chance episode : did 5th element really deserve to be in the top 3 over emblem 3 ? Lyric 145 was good too. Make is so even if u lose u have a chance

    • luli says:

      Emblem 3 didn’t deserve to be in the top 3 and i’m glad they were eliminated before that, they were horrible singers! And fifth harmony was great and would have been more great if they’ve given them more time to blend as a group…

  6. Tusk says:

    I started reading and following TV Line and M Slezak starting with S10 Idol and the epic stories of Pia’s early elimination, the elimination of performers of colour, Casey’s Save, The Power Puff Girls, Scotty’s ‘slow and steady’ wins the race and of course Haley’s epic comeback week after week as the Slayer.

    Was it because that was as epic a season as I remembered? Or was is it in part due to the mulitple episodic presentation each week that was so enjoyable? Maybe a little of both.

    Now that you’ve reduced your webisodes to half a show each week (one week…two shows worth of reviews), there is no longer the drama or build up that I looked forward to each week. Admittedly, I don’t believe the seasons that followed AI S10 were near as fun or dramatic, but the one webisode per week format that you have used these past years have reduced what used to be a fun ‘checking in to see what Michael and Jason have in store’, to a “Huh, another review is up” :P

    I realise there are probably financial and time constraints that prevent you from returning to the old format of mulitple episodes a week to highlight the drama, I just wanted to say that they are missed and if you can at least give us more than one episode a week…heck give each show it’s own episode instead of two sharing a paltry 10 minutes of reviews…it would be very appreciated.

  7. CherokeeRose says:

    The Voice and the iTunes rolling over the votes and multiplying then by 10 so that at the point of finale time there is no chance any contestant but Cassade could win bothered me. By finale night she didn’t even need to sing. She could have walked onto the stage and taken a giant dump and then walked right off and she still would have won. I consider it voting manipulation by TPTB in an unveiled attempt to prevent another Javier or Jermaine win.

    • beckstle says:

      Oh, they were taking no chances – that’s for sure. Tweaks galore this season. LOL! That’s why I found the message of not needing to win to have a great career, and that the contestants would have the coaches support beyond the show were good moves. It helped the performers – but it also I think calmed the viewers down a bit. Things like having Raelynn back from season two talking about being on tour with Blake and Miranda and her collaborating with other artists from that season also helped a lot. I felt much better about the behind-the-scenes artistic integrity of the show – even though Cassadee was being shoved down my throat.

      • Jamey says:

        I think one thing the Voice needs to do better throughout the year is letting people know what is going on with past contestants. I somehow got to Wikipedia for some reason about the Voice and found Pip had created a single. I bought it and thought it was great. It shouldn’t be that hard to find out about past contestants dropping singles, albums, etc.

      • validviewpoint says:

        The Voice probably did not anticipate the whirlwind of negative reactions from savvy viewers to the so obvious unpopular tweaks and maneuvers to push the scouted heads ( ie: Cassadee and Terry/both of which have made public statements that the show scouted them to be on it…..ding,ding,ding…monetary investment no doubt before the show even began airing. ) The show has now lost credibility for me and countless other viewers, and I noticed many questionable itunes chartings, additional photo and media exposure too numerous to mention here, but the point being exactly what you stated…Cassadee was being shoved down our throats. Many unhappy viewers stating comments like” Cassadee does not have to kowtow to County music fans just to get the vote to win….” to people commenting about “how she should not think that jumping over to this Country thing will give her the music fame she so desperately is looking for…as there are many “true” female Country artists that have been paying their dues to win over Country radio for a long hard working time ,ie: Kelleigh Bannen, Kristen Kelly,Jana Kramer, Kacey Musgraves to name just a few.” She best stay out of that lane and focus on her pop/rock fan base and see how they embrace her… or not.

    • Dean says:

      I agree that it was a bit unfair, but it is understandable that they didn’t want another Javier or Jermaine. Who wants to watch a show where the winner doesn’t even do anything? This new format may not be perfect, but at least the winner is going to be famous and reflect well on the show.

      • CescaL says:

        But what makes Cassadee better than former winners? Certainly not her Voice or her lack of originality. Javier worked hard at putting out an album and got zero promotion by the record label, because they assumed that a black artist who didn’t sing R&B wouldn’t work. But if anyone deserves the success it’s him. If Cassadee does well it will be because the Voice and the label chose to back her more, not because she’s more marketable. Furthermore, Javier’s songs charted very well on itunes, and unlike Cassadee, he didn’t need an itunes top ten bonus incentive to get viewers to start downloading his songs.

        It’s one thing to make itunes songs carry more weight, but why not multiply all downloads by ten, instead of only giving the bonus to those who make the itunes top 10? Maybe because the other contestants were getting more votes than Cassadee and this was the only way to ensure her win? If itunes was really a measure of marketability, that would be fine, but since the show also allowed viewers to pay for up to 10 downloads, the downloads lost any value as an indicator of marketability. Instead, it favored contestants like Cassadee, with a large pre-existing fan-base (from her Hey Monday Days), loyal enough to download multiple copies. Even worse, it put more weight on voters with the financial means to waste $13.00 on 10 copies of the same song. It was obvious the Voice wanted Cassadee to win, which is why they kept altering the rules and why they kept letting her sing last. In a season with such better singers, it was a shame to not give everyone the same fighting chance. I’ve lost respect for the Voice.

    • Jamey says:

      I so agree with this! I thought they made sure the opposite of those two won…sadly

  8. Beckstle says:

    What I loved best about The Voice was how they kept reminding the performers that they could have successful careers even if they didn’t win, and the sense that they actually cared about the performers. I loved Adam as a coach also. I think that part of his coaching style came from the fact that was he wasn’t as concerned about trying to create a pop star and was more about really giving his team a chance to grow and showcase their talents. As for the pimping of Cassadee, yeah it would have been good if they were less obvious about what their game plan was.

    X-factor….just start from scratch. Maybe go back and look at the original British Version again, because that is NOT what was going on here.

  9. Yo' says:

    The difference between The Voice and Xfactor is that The Voice is a positive, upbeat show and Xfactor is the opposite. All of these reality shows may ultimately be cynical, but The Voice at least did not let the audience see it, except at the end with the excessive pimping of Cassadee. The Voice, by ordaining a winner, took the drama out of their own finale.This seemed self-destructive until the Xfactor finale, because the Xfactor seems to think self-destruction is high art. Very boring show, and some talented contestants, even without bad accompaniment, did not perform well.

  10. Billy says:

    Things to change:
    X-FACTOR: THE JUDGES-L.A. is gone now (miracles do happen lol) now they need to get rid of Demi and replace them with Bruno Mars and Sharon Osbourne (or peotple like them) they will have a great panel (Britney would be the crazy Paula type every panel needs lol)
    THE HOSTS- I know Khloe is a little iffy but she’s way better than Mario…so if they get rid of him and let her try it alone without so much script and let her use her own personality with talking points it would be way better
    THE PERFORMANCES-start slow and grow bigger like they did with fifth harmony (they really didn’t go all out till give your heart a break/anything can happen) the acts can get used to it and won’t be overwhelmed
    TAPE PIECES-I like the idea of them showing the fight over songs and arrangement that sounds very interesting
    THE VOICE: THE JUDGES-they need to actually judge not everyone is his gift to song…they need to yell them what’s really going on with the performances
    TAPE PIECES-we don’t need to care about any of the contestants that don’t go past the knockout rounds so don’t waste soo much time on them if they are going to be gone in two episodes (also the auditions are great and all but we don’t need 13 episodes full of them get on with the season already)
    EPISODES-their respective networks need to start showing episodes earlier so there can be single elimination episodes and not double eliminations each week it goes by way to fast for the acts to develop on the stage…

    • beckstle says:

      Yelling and insulting people isn’t helpful. When someone is off-pitch they are told but it’s done politely. What I’d like to see done is having the outright lying go away. Cassadee is great, but she DOES sound like several artists already out there. Every time Blake said, “and you don’t sound like anybody else” in regards to Cassadee, he lost a bit of integrity. I mean, you could barely tell the difference between her and Avril Lavigne during their duet. Talk about what they did right, but for Pete’s sake don’t make stuff up to push an agenda.

      I can see Cassadee having some successful singles. I like her. But there are other contestants from this season who are going to be The Voice’s version of Jennifer Hudson: true, legendary stars. The thing I do appreciate about The Voice is the true desire to develop talent and create artistic relationships. I’m a lot more interested in what happens with some of the artists who didn’t win than with who actually won, and while I might buy a single of Cassadee’s I wouldn’t pay to see her in concert. Amanda Brown, Melanie Martinez, De’borah, Cody Belew, Terry McDermont – they were all powerful performers with incredible stage presence, and UNIQUE. Concerts are where singers are making the most money these days. With some of the other artists, I’d not only buy their singles, I’d go see any one of them. In that sense, Cassadee reminds me of Jermaine Paul in that she’s safe and mainstream with a radio safe sound. If they move quickly with her (which is another issue) and she has decent producers I expect she’ll do fine.

      • Billy says:

        It was supposed to say tell not yell…my phone auto-corrected out to yell for some reason…same with his gift it was supposed to say Gods gift

  11. MeMe says:

    1. Judges should ONLY judge. No stakes in mentoring. No stakes in a particular singer.
    2. Therefore, separate mentors.
    3. Let the singers choose their own songs more often. They usually do a better job.
    4. Pare down the background singers/dancers and flash. We want to get to know these singers and the rest is just distraction and drowning them out. At least wait until near the end to add all the flash once we’ve seen how they develop over the weeks.
    5. Enough with the sob stories already. That’s only interesting the first couple of weeks; after that, it becomes irritating. We want you to win because you’re the best singer/xfactor NOT because of your sob story. (God, I wish we could strike statements like “I’ve wanted this all my life”; “I’m doing this for my famiy and so on, I’ll SCREAM).
    6. This year’s host experiment was a failure. They both have to go. If I had to pick one, Khloe.
    (Still think Kelly Osbourne would have been an excellent host.) Didn’t really enjoy either of them though.
    Let’s make this a singing competition, not a “my life/family/brother/sister/mom/dad/wife/girlfriend is so pitiful”. I dunno. Maybe that sounds a tad cruel, but I guess I’m at “cruel” right now when it comes to singing competitions. Let’s make the show about the contestants’ voices, not the judges egos. Amen.

  12. Allyson says:

    I think the X-Factor should only keep Mario as the host. I am sorry throughout the entire season Khloe was awkward. Please less Kardashians for 2013.

  13. CB says:

    I now know why X-Factor exists. It is so we can enjoy Michael and Melinda’s recap. They are the best and I cannot wait for American Idol to begin for the same reason.

    • CAM says:

      HAHAHAHA! Yes – best thing about X-Factor = Michael and melind’as recap!

    • jalahyacinth says:

      Exactly. I never even watch X-Factor (I thought about it and then I saw the recap show…) but I get weekly laughs from them thanks to Michael and Melinda. Keep it up you two! Can’t wait for AI (I’ll watch you two first to see if it’s worth bothering this season. Ever since Sanjaya I haven’t really been able to get myself to watch AI… though I did watch a bit of Scotty’s season) :D

  14. DQ says:

    The one thing I would change on Ghe Voive now (it’s almost perfect) is slow down the eliminations after you get the top 8. It gives them more time to grow and we get more time to be familiar with them. The first two seasons, they cut them so fast, we never got a chance to develop as fans and barely remember them. Blow the bloated XFactor up. It was awful.

    • DQ says:

      Hmm, big fingers, small typing keys. That was critique for The Voice…

      One more comment that I am surprised wasn’t remarked on: I love that The Voice coaches act as a respectful audience during the performances of both contestants and guest performers. It always irritated me when I see that Simon and Paula were poking and whispering while someone is singing their heart out (good or bad).

  15. Spycigal says:

    I think all the shows – AI, X-Factor & The Voice – need to go back to single eliminations so the contestants can have more time to connect to a fan base. AI & The Voice seem like they really care about the contestants growing as Artists and that’s what we get to see each week. Meanwhile X-Factor, once it gets to the live rounds, BAM, we get overly fussy production numbers with distracting dancers and backing tracks – we don’t really hear the contestants and we don’t see them grow, they enter the live rounds as the ‘finished product’, which is why I largely tuned out nevermind the horrible hosts and silly judging panel.

    So things I would changed…

    AI – go back to Top 24 and eliminate 1 girl & 1 guy until we get to Top 12 in the big venue then make the lowest 2 vote getters sing and Judges choose who stays – get rid of the ‘save’.

    X-Factor – let us see the contestants grow, no overly fussy production numbers straight out of the gate, let them build as the competition builds. Have 1 Host out front and 1 Host behind the scenes.

    The Voice – loved it this year since we had more control with the vote this year than last year however regarding iTunes, I’m fine with contestants getting a bonus if the hit Top 10 but I don’t think it should be accumulative. This way each week is a new week and it leaves it open for any of the finalists to win. Also should be just 1 elimination per week. Oh and production wise they need to work out a better way to present the results because they pretty much telegraphed who would be eliminated!

  16. ThatBob says:

    Want to fix X-Factor?

    1. Better hosts.

    2. Better Songs. Give the singers more say in their look, song choice, and staging so we get to see their personality come through instead of making them their mentor’s puppets.

    3. Better Judges. Dump the celebs and replace with actual experienced record company execs and producers who know what they’re doing.

    4. Better Evaluations. Limit voting and let the Producer/Judges bid against each other for the singer’s contract like the venture capitalists do on Shark Tank. Then you’d see what they really think of the individual contestants.

  17. Shaun says:

    The answer to Xfactor is Cat Deeley….why can’t she host Xfactor and SYTYCD?

  18. Jazzy says:

    The Voice needs better contestants. Most of their contestants are highly-skilled karaoke singers, not artists. I can see most of The X-Factor contestants from this season being ways more successful than Cassadee/Nicholas/Terry.

  19. Teeny Bikini says:

    I would change 2 things:
    I think the audience should be to save one contestant that was eliminated from each team like AI used to do – during the Battle Rounds – so when XTina eliminates let’s say… oh… De’Borah. I think I would be even more involved if I were participating earlier in the season. Also, I want CeeLo to never pick another song. I hate to single him out, but for such a cool guy he picks the most old-school songs – and not even “good” old school songs. Great season. Glad Cassadee won. I was not a fan until the second to last show.

    • teatime says:

      Remember, when De’Borah went home the public voted. The public saved 3 other contestants on XTina’s team. After that she did not save De-Borah out of the 2 that were remaining.

  20. Sam says:

    Here’s the thing: There is no reality show contestant I love more than Melinda Doolittle. But Michael, you NEED a nasty, sarcastic foil again! There isn’t much I enjoyed more than watching Kristen tear into Danny Gokey, or have Annie critique clothing. Please get someone to judge Idol with you who has a mean streak. Or get a helluva lot meaner yourself.

  21. Rotis says:

    Thank you for making it so clear Slezak, XFactor cannot improve because they are lazy and cynical. Its a production that only wants to smell its own farts and collect money for doing it. Everything else is an interruption of their stolen vision of a televised karaoke contest.

    As to what has to change next season, nothing. Nothing has to change because No. Matter. What. It is the last season. Huge budget cuts are coming as the show winds down, we already lost the trips to the French riviera this season and the prize was downgraded to a shady recording industry contract. My only hope is that it gets moved to FX or some other cable graveyard by mid season next year so that something redeeiming can be put in its timeslot.

    I’ll be so happy when north american singing shows arent infected by Simon Cowell anymore. Back to England with ye.

  22. blizz says:

    kinda miss the original songs from season 1 of the voice, kept hoping the top 3 (esp cassadee) 2 perform 1 of their own original songs

  23. Gale says:

    The Voice: Discontinue the chit-chat portion with Christina Milian. It’s boring and she is too. Tell Blake to stop making references to “celebrating” and being hung over. I just picture him getting in a car and driving after that. Otherwise, I think it’s great.
    X-Factor: Get rid of Khloe – she is terrible. Britney too. I don’t mind Mario. The whole production is so self-important. They need to not take themselves so seriously and have fun.

  24. Scott says:

    I wouldn’t get rid of all of the X-factor judges. I though Demi was great – she was often the only one willing to give honest feedback, and whilst she lost all of her contestants first she did have a really weak category (after she sent Jillian home, her only big mistake), and she somehow helped Cece to the top six. She definitely didn’t put in only five minutes per week. I’d also enjoy seeing Simon again, but Britney should go.

    Host wise I think Kelly Osbourne would’ve been a better choice but Khloe is better than Mario at least. Did she ever get any of the important lines all season? I can’t remember her announcing an elimination once. The other change I’d make is getting rid of all of the double-eliminations, the contestants barely had a chance to grow.

    For the voice I’d maybe add one save per judge to the knockout rounds (for people like Suzanna, MarissaAnn, Teresa Griffin etc.) to give the judges a top 6 like in previous seasons, and make those saves happen (also in the battle rounds) at the end of all of the battles like you mentioned in an earlier blog.

  25. Kristen says:

    Get rid of Khole Kardashian!!!

  26. jj says:

    Make voting count only through purchasing of a studio version of the song.

  27. Craig Hansen says:

    Melinda and Michael, you two are from another planet. I by far prefer X-Factor to The Voice, and I feel like you’re just following a pro-NBC template storyline by always ripping on X-Factor.

    X-Factor is superior because of the presence of Simon Cowell because no other show has anyone who’s even close to honest with the contestants and hopefuls, It’s really sad to see CeeLo or Steven Tyler kissing the rears of contestants who are consistently flat or too karaoke-ish. Cowell is one of the only truth-tellers on these types of shows.

    Although I will say that the departing LA Reid, as well as Britney, learned to be less rear-kissy this season, and more real.

    I didn’t care for the clueless Demi Lovato, who sent home the talented Jillian Jensen and tried to shove the completely unlikable CeCe Frye down our throats instead. Anyone could replace Demi and do a better job.

    But I watched both shows (or tried to) and consistently found myself tuning out of The Voice early because the judges are just to “you’re a superstar, America loves you, never give up,” even with people they just cut… in the opening audition rounds. Even with people who can’t carry a tune.

    I agree that X-Factor’s hosts Khloe Kardashian and Mario Lopez were busts, but I think Lopez could have come off better had he not been saddled with Khloe.

    It’s going to be hard to replace LA Reid, though. Although he sometimes differed with Simon, he was a great element on the show because he was honest enough not to give false praise and false hope to acts that were not good.

    If I had my wish come true, next season X-Factor would return with Simon and Britney, plus two new judges who are equal in their truth-telling. And probably new hosts. Ideally, maybe they could sign Ryan Seacrest away from the train wreck that will be a third season of America Idol without Simon Cowell.

    But to be honest, the only way this season could have turned out better would have been to have CeCe sent home at the final 12 cut, and Jillian Jensen kept around for America to decide on. I think Jensen would have been Top 3 with Carly Rose and Tate Stevens.

    And frankly, I think that Top 2 of Carly Rose and Tate Stevens beats out ANYONE who has ever competed in, or even won, The Voice.

    • teatime says:

      Simon on the X Factor has become a complete joke. He is not honest at all. On X Factor he highly praises acts where on Idol he never would have had a single kind word to say. Imagine Emblem 3 on Idol. There’s no way Simon would have liked them at all. In fact, Carly and Lyric might have been the only X Factor contestant Simon would have ever said anything positive about when he was ‘being honest’ on Idol.

    • analythinker says:

      As far as I know, The Voice does NOT have judges, they have coaches and they are not there to judge, so what did you expect, exactly?

      For me, I would rather watch a singing competition whose big portion is actually about the contestants singing. Your post talked about the judges more, so maybe that’s why you disagreed with Michael & Melinda.

  28. Craig Hansen says:

    Count on this: Carly Rose Soneclar and Tate Stevens will surpass any sales records ever set by anyone who’s been on/won The Voice, and will outsell, in their first five years, any of the contestants who’ve won American Idol since Taylor Hicks (including outselling Hicks.)

    The last superstar created by American Idol was Carrie Underwood (with the exception of Jordin Sparks being pretty good, but not a superstar yet).

    Also, I whimsically suspect that the last several AI champs… David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, Scott McCreary and Phillip Phillips… are ALL the same person.

    • teatime says:

      How interesting of you to claim white guys are all the same person. I never heard that nonsense complaint before. I wouldn’t even say all-country-all-the-time-Scotty sounds like all-country-all-the-time-Tate.
      Only time will tell if any of the top 2 from XFactor this year sells as much as Hicks. The deck is stacked against them. For one thing, XFactor has a fraction of the viewing audience. For another, the show format was a bit of a train wreck where they did not really push these guys to fight for the top positions. To stay on top they just had to sing well each week and not have a lot of dancers or other commotion on stage. That kept them at the top of the leader board with the help of the judges who sent home good competition every chance they got.
      BTW all your statements about AI are confused. For one thing, almost every winner since Hicks has sold more than him, especially Sparks, Cook, and McCreery.

  29. Tara d says:

    I actually found myself enjoying the voice for the first time this season with a big help from the save during knockout rounds ,but I think their biggest problem is that they are basically the recap show .every time they cut to commercial they come back and show us the last 5 minutes we already saw and this happens every break so the whole show could really be 25 minutes…but it’s 2 hours.
    I also think perhaps having a mentor is would be great if they were not also the judges because having to hear them comment after the performances was a waste of time …especially Christina who was extra mean this year for no apparent reason. but overall it was 1,000,000 times better than X Factor which was a complete and utter train wreck.

  30. jalahyacinth says:

    One HUGE suggestion for The Voice… Get rid of Christina Millian. Please? pretty please? That role is completely unnecessary and I skipped her segments each time because they were SO unwatchable. She’s annoying.

    • Lmom says:

      I couldn’t think of a single thing to be critical/change about the Voice, but you just reminded me. I watch it online and I always skipped her segments.

  31. dj says:

    I don’t know what to do to fix x-factor, I just know what I don’t like. Everything seems so fake to me, starting right from the auditions. I hate the drawn-out pauses for dramatic effect. Once the live shows start, the singers are suddenly all singing old boring songs we’ve heard a million times. Certain songs should be banned from ever being sung on these shows. The hosts are terrible. The judges seem to have alliances going that make them lie after certain performances. The banter between Demi and Simon seems weird and makes me uncomfortable. The finale was boring and didn’t include the singers that were voted off in previous weeks. The costumes and staging are cheesy and lame, especially when compared to what the pros, such as Bruno Mars, do when they come on the show. The whole show was lame and pathetic this year, and I was sorry I wasted my time on it. The Voice was much better, but I agree with whoever said get rid of Christina Milan.

  32. Nermal says:

    I loved Reality Check, and really love Melinda Doolittle as cohost. Thanks for a great season!

  33. CescaL says:

    I think the Battle Rounds was one of the big improvements on the Voice, in addition to only eliminating two contestants at a time during the top 12, instead of 4. This gave people more time to develop fans. However, I think that by the top 6, they should have just eliminated 1 contestant at a time. Also, I agree with whoever said that the contestants should always get to pick their own songs. I’m not a fan of who Blake selects on his team, but ultimately, his contestants do better because he lets them pick their own songs, unlike some of the other coaches.

    Also, a lot of the good things about the battle rounds were undone by the knockout rounds, where once again, two good singers were pitted together, resulting in the elimination of great contestants. Many of the show’s best contestants didn’t even make the live rounds because of bad pairings. Contestants like Aquile, Gracia, Suzannah (?), Avery, Nicole, Mycle, Nathalie or Laura Vivas (or even that duo on Xtina’s team…I forget the name) should have made it to the live rounds. For starters, they were all better than Cassadee during the knockout rounds (who had a very weak showing with “Payphone”), yet they never got the same chance to grow. The outcome could have been very different with some of these guys around. Maybe if they allowed one steal during the knockout rounds, then the coaches like Blake and Christina would be less likely to use those rounds to eliminate the competition of their favorites.

    I have no suggestions for X Factor. That show is beyond repair.

  34. Scott says:

    My suggestion is to get rid of having Melinda as your guest host every week and go back to having a different guest each week… your show was so much better and more entertaining then. I hope you take this under advisement and go back to your old format when Idol starts next month!!!

  35. Lmom says:

    I really liked the suggestions made for the XFactor. I would like to see some background drama, how the contestants interact on a daily basis. They kept telling Sister C that we don’t know who they really are, but how are we suppose to when they (the producers) don’t show us. I know it’s a singing competition but it’s also a reality show.
    As for the Voice, the only thing I’d change is that I wouldn’t let CeeLo go next season!