Reality TV Contest Upsets That Changed the Face of Music

There have been several reality shows on TV about singers that compete for their chance at fame. Three of the most popular shows, however, are American Idol, The Voice, and The X Factor. Each of these shows relies on votes from either the audience or judges (or both) to determine the winner. Of course, this scenario often leads to upsets — and yes, there have been plenty.

yeah!Image via Flickr by briantologist

American Idol was the original singing talent reality show. It has been on TV since 2002, where the original judges were Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, and Paula Abdul. Several celebrity judges have come and gone from the show since the first season including Kara DioGuardi, Ellen DeGeneres, Steven Tyler, and Jennifer Lopez. The current judges are Randy Jackson, Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban, and Mariah Carey.

Here are some historical upsets seen on American Idol:

  • Fans exploded when Jennifer Hudson was voted off the show in 2004, speculating about racism and lack of votes due to a power outage in her home city.
  • Katharine McPhee beat out Chris Daughtry in 2006, but he went on to sell over 5 million copies of his first song.
  • In 2008, David Archuleta won the hearts of young girls around the U.S., but was voted off the show in favor of David Cook on the last show.
  • Adam Lambert was surprisingly voted off the show in 2009. Some people claim it might have been because his sexual orientation was not entirely clear.
  • In 2011, Casey Abrams was saved by the judges when he received the fewest amount of votes.
  • Nobody knows why Pia Toscano got the fewest amount of votes, but it certainly shocked the judges when she was voted off the show in 2011.

The Voice on NBC

The Voice on NBCImage via Flickr by Music Star22

On The Voice, contestants are judged based on their singing ability, but the judges are not as harsh as the judges historically seen on American Idol. Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera, and Cee Lo Green give constructive criticism to the contestants. The gimmicky clips of bad auditions are also left off this show.
Here are some of the upsets seen on The Voice in its short run time:

  • Juliet Simms, a Rocker chick, and favored winner, was beat out by the R&B crooner, Jermaine Paul, on Blake Shelton’s team in 2012.
  • Disgruntled contestant, Hailey Steele, was booted from the show after a sing-off against Moses Stone where she refused to talk to the cameras.

X Factor on Fox

X-Factor on FoxImage via Flickr by rocor

This reality show debuted in the U.S. in 2012. It was originally a U.K. series that was very similar to both The Voice and American Idol. The judges are Simon Cowell (originally from American Idol) Britney Spears, L.A. Reid, and Demi Lovato. The twist this reality show brings is that each of the judges mentors the contestants, instead of just providing criticism.

There haven’t been many upsets yet because the show is so new, but here is one:

  • Astro was put in the bottom two after an awesome performance of “I’ll Be Missing You.” Some people believe it might be simply because of his hip-hop, rap genre. Others say it might be because of his age (15).

Both The Voice and The X Factor are newer reality shows, so they have not seen as many upsets as American Idol. Of course, even if your favorite contestants get voted off a show, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to hear their music again. Some go on to perform top hits. You can also go to their concerts to support them. Previous contestants from American Idol perform on American Idols live, and some contestants from other shows have their own concerts.

Comments are closed.