American Idol is about to start its 11th series, an unprecedented run in singing reality shows that's seen it reach hundreds of millions around the US as well as spawn megastars including Kelly Clarkson , Carrie Underwood and Jennifer Hudson. However unlike previous years it won't be alone in contesting the share of the spring reality ratings, with NBC's 'The Voice' set to rival the previously untouched competition after a successful first season last year.
'The Voice' is much like 'American Idol' yet with one key difference - judges are not allowed to see what the contestants look like, making their judgement solely on, you've guessed it, the voice. Debuting this season post-Super Bowl, the show won't directly go up against 'Idol,' but clearly the Fox-shown program's chiefs are wary of its challenge to their throne. Entertainmentwise reports that a number of disparaging comments were thrown the way of 'The Voice,' with judge Randy Jackson leading the way, saying "The winner of The Voice, I will remind you, was an artist who had a deal at Capitol Records for several years, a failed contract," in reference to JAVIER COLON, "That show was almost 'second chance people.'"
Reality programming boss Mike Darnell meanwhile reacted to news that former winner Clarkson had joined 'The Voice's' judging panel by commenting "It's a compliment to Idol, that other shows want to use our superstars on their shows. We're not hiring a lot of people on The Voiceto be on our show," and Executive Producer Ken Warwick even mocking Simon Cowell's 'X FACTOR UK' when suggesting former winner Leona Lewis was "a one-and-a-half hit star for 10 minutes." The gloves are off!