A version of this story first appeared in the June 28 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
The Voice wrapped its fourth season on June 18 with a star-studded finale that included appearances by Cher (her first TV performance in a decade), Bruno Mars, OneRepublic, Nelly and Hunter Hayes, among others. Compared to American Idol’s season 12 closer on May 16, which featured a Frankie Valli group number and Aretha Franklin singing via satellite, the NBC show felt fresher. How did the two singing competitions stack up in other key areas? THR investigates …
AVERAGE PERFORMER AGE
Mars and Hayes helped bring down the average performer age to 38, more in line with the show's younger viewer demo.
With 18 for Franklin and five for Carey, Idol reigns supreme -- though ratings for the Fox series were down 44 percent from 2012.
Voice: “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes
Idol: “Glad You Came” by The Wanted
The Voice goes with the hipper choice, complete with "Hey" grunts.
Idol: Aretha Franklin
In the battle of the divas, Cher comes out on top since the Queen of Soul couldn't make it to Idol's live show and sang via satellite.
Voice: Pitbull with Christina Aguilera
Idol: Pitbull with Jennifer Lopez
The Latino rapper performed with alumni of both shows.
Voice: Hunter Hayes
Idol: Emeli Sande
One's a Grammy-nominated country artist, the other a Scottish singer-songwriter with loads of promise.
Voice: Florida Georgia Line
Idol: The Band Perry
The Voice nabs the band that currently holds the No. 5 song in the country; Idol goes with a slightly more seasoned act whose latest album is already gold.
FINAL VERDICT: NBC's saving grace squeaks out a victory over the 12-year-old Fox show -- much like the ratings for the series' most recent seasons.