When NBC’s rival singing competition The Voice returned in February, I felt like I was the only Idol fan left in America. Media outlets championed NBC’s chair-spinning competition, with its flashy format — an audition style that’s admittedly superior to Idol‘s — and sass-spewing judges, Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton. “The Voice is more relevant, more meaningful, more compelling and more entertaining right now,” said Alex Strachan of the Montreal Gazette. “After a decade, we no longer believe in the Idol factory,” wrote EW’s Mark Harris. Those barbs stung me (an American Idol junkie) personally — these critics’ concerns had me worried that the freight train of Idol might be chugging to a stop. The Voice briefly legitimized this fear by pulling ahead in the coveted 18- to 49-year-old demographic and beating the Fox stalwart in the ratings race.
Still, I stuck with Idol this season, and I’m glad I did. After three months of watching, I remain convinced that American Idol is a viable singing competition — with the best vocals of any show on TV. American Idol kept its focus on the contestants and their singing, and over the course of the spring, it reclaimed its title as the highest-rated television show on television.
Here’s why Idol reigns supreme: