Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton have always had a friendly rivalry. But what was once was lightheaded competition just turned into a fierce battle, thanks to reality television. Bryan is a judge on the ABC American Idol reboot. Shelton is a coach on NBC’s The Voice. The two shows are appearing on the same night, so now the two are in a serious ratings race. So who will come out on top?
Idol vs. The Voice
When Fox canceled American Idol after 15 seasons, the show’s future was uncertain. But ABC picked up the reality competition show, complete with a former host (Ryan Seacrest) and new judges. This season’s judges are Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie, and Katy Perry.
But now the Idol contestants won’t just be competing with each other for votes. They’ll also be competing with The Voice. ABC announced that beginning March 11, their reboot will appear on Sundays and Mondays. And it’s that second night that makes things so interesting. Because that is the night that The Voice is on.
Shelton vs. Bryan
So with Idol and The Voice happening on the same night, Blake Shelton is now competing twice. Once with his fellow Voice coaches for the show win and secondly with ABC for ratings (enter his longtime friend and foe, Luke Bryan). Blake won 6 of the 13 previous seasons, but can he do enough this year to win on his own show and keep his ratings up against Idol?
Historically, Shelton has the advantage. The two shows were in competition during the first three seasons of The Voice. As Entertainment Weekly noted, “The Voice caught Idol in the ratings during the NBC show’s second season and then outright surpassed it in its third.” And Shelton has another advantage.
2018 is an Olympic year, so NBC gets the ratings boost from the big event. During those intense weeks, NBC has prime television real estate to promote the 14th season of The Voice. That certainly gives Shelton some edge. But Bryan has an edge in that he’s on a show that is returning with a new cast. This means something new and novel, which usually piques some interest.
So what will happen? We will all stay tuned and find out. American Idol premieres March 11 on ABC. The Voice is back on NBC on February 26.