The Voice 2013 and American Idol 2013 are battling it out in the ratings this spring and, so far, The Voice is winning hands down. American Idol ratings keep plummeting, while The Voice is running strong with two new judges and a rabid fan base who can’t seem to get enough of the show. So is it any surprise that some former American Idol contestants are taking their chances on trying out for TV’s rising star talent show?
So far this season on The Voice, we’ve seen several former American Idol contestants take the stage. Jon Peter Lewis, who makes up half of the folk duo Midas Whale, is one former Idol competitor (Season 3) who hopes he’ll make it a lot further along in his reality TV journey this time around.
The Morgan Twins, who competed early on in American Idol Season 2, are also hoping they will make it to the end this time around. Teenagers when they auditioned for American Idol, Cara and Rhian Morgan are now 27-years-old and seem to be appreciated on The Voice far more for their vocal ability as a duo than the fact that they happen to be identical twins.
So what’s so attractive about The Voice for former American Idol contestants like Jon and The Morgan Twins? Jon spoke to Wetpaint on a conference call and said The Voice has a “very supportive atmosphere” and you “don’t have to stress out about getting in front of a judge who might ridicule you for millions of people to watch.” That has to be a nice change for Jon, who was rudely called a “pen salesman” by Simon Cowell on American Idol.
The Voice has also proven to be a safe space for openly gay contestants, something that has always been controversial on American Idol. Although a number of Idol contestants have come out after being eliminated, and several of this year’s finalists are rumored to be gay, no finalist has ever been openly out on the show. The Voice coach Adam Levine blasted American Idol last year over keeping the orientation of its contestants carefully under wraps.
“What’s always pissed me off about 'Idol' is wanting to mask that, for that to go unspoken,” Adam told Out Magazine. “C’mon. You can’t be publicly gay? At this point? On a singing competition? Give me a break. You can’t hide basic components of these people’s lives. The fact that 'The Voice' didn’t have any qualms about being completely about it is a great thing.”
Promising American Idol contestants who were thrown off the show for various controversial reasons, like Frenchie’s topless photos or Jermaine Jones’ undisclosed arrest record, have also found The Voice to be a more accepting and open competition. Frenchie finished overall on The Voice Season 1, and Jermaine Jones announced on Twitter he would be auditioning for The Voice 2013 in February, although we don’t yet know if he made it onto the show.
Less stressful, less ridicule, more openness and acceptance to a wider variety of contestants — maybe there is a lesson here to be learned by American Idol producers? They say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, but with American Idol ratings the lowest they have been since 2002, maybe it’s time to admit something is broken!