by Tahnayee Clendinen, Guest Writer

America has always loved to watch its regular people rise to fame. It is that sacred love that has led thousands to tune in to shows such as “The X-Factor” or “The Voice,” both of which kicked off new seasons this month.

The basic platform of both shows is the same. Unknowns perform popular singles with his or her own twist for a panel of celebrity judges, which then eliminate contestants.

At the end, only one remains who judges and fans declare to have “the voice” or “the x factor” that it takes to make it in the business.

The question is what sets the two shows apart. In a head-to-head competition, a few subtleties make all the difference.

Beginning with the format of the shows, “The X-Factor” auditions are almost identical to the “American Idol” process.         The contestants who are selected to perform do so for the judges in front of an audience. They are then further refined to a group of 16 or 17.

This newly formed group of competitors performs before judges and an audience, and public polling determines who is eliminated each week.

“The Voice” uses the blind audition setup. Judges sit with their backs to the performers and only turn around to view those they find most talented. From there, the contestants perform in battle rounds, leaving the elimination decisions up to the judges and later the public.

As for diva and eye candy appeal, “The Voice” gives it with full force. Christina Aguilera serves up a healthy dose of diva during playful banter, which usually comes out when one of her picks is in danger of being lost to a fellow judge, especially CeeLo Green. Eye candy for the show comes in the splendid form of “Maroon 5’s” Adam Levine and country singer Blake Shelton.

“X-Factor” doesn’t serve as much of either category. All of “X-Factors’s” female judges share the caring, encouraging role. None of them stick out as being diva material.

As far as eye candy goes, unless rude, aging and British is your style, Simon Cowell just isn’t it.

On “The Voice,” judges Levine, Aguilera, Shelton and Green are all fair. They give criticism where it is due but it’s always constructive.

Encouragement on the show always feels genuine and non-scripted.

“X-Factor’s” judges Kelly Rowland, Demi Lovato, Paulina Rubio and Cowell seem to be sitting with an extreme divide.         Cowell is his usual self, giving props where they are due but harshly insulting those who are talent-challenged.

Rowland, Lovato and Rubio all seem to only give hope to contestants. Their criticisms are constructive but seem a bit more rehearsed.

Comedy and suspense can turn a show with an overdone concept into a weekly thrill worth tuning in to.

“The Voice” rarely has a comedic moment that doesn’t consist of the judges laughing at something they said, but the talent on the show is serious.

The acts are so stellar that suspense is highlighted  by the wait for an elimination to be announced.

“The X-Factor” has many comedic moments, because they allow those who are talent-challenged to audition. These moments make the show seem like it’s all comedy, but there are some powerhouse acts that come through and remind us that it is serious business.

Both shows have their own respective pros and cons.

To sum it up, “The Voice” brings the diva and eye candy action, fair criticism, comedy and suspense. “The X-Factor” gives us comedy, suspense, encouraging or harsh criticisms but lacks in the diva and eye candy department.

It all boils down to preference in the end, but in a show-to-show battle, “The Voice” emerges victorious. ◼︎

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