There's something so magical about watching people battle it out in terms of their vocal prowess. As a singer myself, I'm a sucker for these types of shows, but I've noticed that non-musicians seem to love them even more than singers do. Seeing so many talented people, getting such rich backstories, and the competitive nature of it all is hard not to become addicted to. Many of us have found ourselves even going to Youtube to re-watch some of our favorite performances from some of the best seasons of these shows.
The thing is, the amount of these shows is getting out of hand. Some newer additions do prove to be a bit better than some of the older ones, like American Idol, but some are just a waste of time and not worth getting invested in. While IMDb ratings give most of these shows awful ratings because live TV just doesn't rate high most of the time, some are hidden gems that you may want to check out. Here is my list of top 10 singing competition shows that have aired.
The Four: Battle for Stardom first aired on FOX in 2018 and has had two seasons so far. It featured popular rapper Sean Combs, rapper and music producer DJ Khaled, and singer-songwriter Meghan Trainor as celebrity judges, that were also very entertaining to watch as singers competed for record deals with Republic Records under Universal Music Group.
Unlike other competition shows, there was not a focus on auditions at all, but it focused on getting straight to the battle and the competitiveness of it all. The last four standing had to always fight to keep that spot until the end when the best of the four would win the season.
Pitch Battle was a competition show geared towards singing groups that premiered in 2017 and was unfortunately short-lived. The battles would be pretty excited and included riff-offs and performances with all of the groups combined.
This show had a great mix of different singing group styles, which included acapella groups, jazz groups, gospel groups, and show choirs. the problem with the ratings may have been that their ideas were a bit too lofty for the average music fan to appreciate, whereas I, on the other hand, loved the eclectic and sometimes advanced format.
Showtime at the Apollo is a long-running singing competition that started TV syndication in the late 1980s. Rich with African American culture, the show was hosted by many well-known names, including Whoopi Goldberg, Rick Aviles, Martin Lawrence, Sinbad, Donna Summer, Mark Curry, Steve Harvey, and Mo'Nique.
The non-televised version of this epic production was first created in New York over 70 years ago and has launched the careers of several talented singers, including Ella Fitzgerald, Lauryn Hill, H.E.R, D’Angelo, and Jazmine Sullivan.
Eurovision is an international songwriting competition that originated in the 1950s, making it the longest-running annual international televised music competition in the world. In this contest, each country that participates sends in one original song to be performed, making it a good mix of songwriting and a singing contest.
This contest's origins were made to bring the European countries together as a community following the Second World War. At the start, only seven countries participated, but now over 50 European countries have sent in original songs to be performed.
Songland is another show that puts an emphasis on the songwriting aspect of the music industry in addition to singing and performing, which a lot of people take for granted. Songwriters, that are often singers as well, are invited to compete against other talents for a chance to get their winning song released and heavily promoted on all major platforms.
This competition really allows people to get a look at the creative process that singers, songwriters, and music producers go through, which is really refreshing to me since I involve myself in all three aspects. It's a great way to change how people view the talent that is behind the scenes.
America's Got Talent is not just focused on singers, but it certainly features many amazing ones and has a pleasant mix of other artists that can keep your attention. Performers of all ages and types compete for a huge prize of a million dollars.
The fresh mix of performances that includes singers, dancers, rappers, magicians, and many strange talents makes for great entertainment, and that's why the show is currently in its 17th season. The show puts a lot of focus on each character's back story, which can be compelling and tear-jerking for sure.
The X-factor is a UK-based singing competition that was created by Simon Cowell, known for his role as an American Idol contest judge. Many celebrities, including Sharon Osbourne, Dannii Minogue, Cheryl, Kelly Rowland, Nicole Scherzinger, Mel B, and Rita Ora have held the judge positions on X-factor.
Similar to American Idol, this contest featured tons of stellar performances by singers and groups that include Little Mix, Leona Lewis, and One Direction, although the popular Boy Band didn't make it that far in the competition. It was also heavy on the entertainment factor and included many joke performances and crazy backstories.
The Masked Singer is a franchise that was started in Korea, where well-known singers hide behind unique and outlandish outfits, and the reveal only happens if the singer gets voted off of the show. Hosted by Nick Cannon, judges, including Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke, vote along with the audience for who is most entertaining.
The uniqueness of the show alone makes it great, and the dedication to keeping these singers' identities a secret includes disguises, bodyguards, code names, and non-disclosure agreements. The costumes are truly out of this world and the surprise reveal, in addition to the competitiveness of it all, makes this program truly shine.
American Idol debuted in 2002 and was based on the UK's Pop Idol competition. It follows the basic format of getting people from all over the country to audition for a chance to be in the competition that airs live on TV. Huge singers including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Fantasia, Jennifer Hudson, Clay Aiken, Adam Lambert, and Jordin Sparks were contestants that became famous after the show.
The popularity of this show is beyond evident, but some younger people reading this may not truly know how many people were watching this when it came out. This show was ranked number one in US TV ratings for eight years straight between 2003 and 2011!
The Voice is a competition that focuses on bringing the spotlight to underrated singers across the US. The judges take a more involved approach, where the singers get to pick a judge as a mentor to inspire their future performances and help them win the grand prize.
While many shows will focus on all types of talent, including people with barely any talent for kicks (a jab at American Idol), The Voice focused on verified talented musicians who were always putting on great performances. The judges, including Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton, and John Legend, are singers who can provide great feedback to each performer. The only problem with this format is that they all deserve to be winners for the most part.
As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 200 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, features, nursery rhymes, and DJ drops, she currently spends her time engulfed in creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Her most recent creative collaborations include work with PBS Sound Field, Tribe of Noise, and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Check out Yona’s latest music releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share the music if you like it!
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