Photo Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC
There's no playing nice in the world of reality singing competitions! Shortly after American Idol's Randy Jackson went "there" by taking a jab at The Voice during a Television Critics Association panel, Adam Levine came to his show's defense.
"The winner of The Voice, as I will remind you, was an artist that had a deal at Capitol Records for many years, a failed contract over there," said Jackson. "So it’s almost like that show, it was almost like second chance people."
During an appearance on Ellen, Levine responded to Jackson's recent comments -- watch here:
"Shame on Randy Jackson for saying that," he said. "Because he of anybody should know that if you’re in this business you need second, third, fourth and fifth chances. So we love and embrace having that being part of the show."
Well played, Levine! It must have been tough to respond to Jackson while avoiding being catty, especially after Randy also dissed the show's set-up when he said, "we will definitely never ever rip off Star Trek like The Voice did with spinning chairs." Ouch.
When The Voice kicks off its second season (Sunday, Feb. 5, after the Super Bowl on NBC), it's returning as a hit that averaged more than 12 million viewers last season. It's actually in position to give American Idol (Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET, on FOX) a run for its money as the highest-rated show on TV, considering Idol is down more than 20 percent in the ratings from last year at this time.
As this sneak peek demonstrates, the format of The Voice is different enough that the show does a good job of separating itself in its crowded space:
Yes, many contestants' stories are edited to tug at viewers' heartstrings, but the mentoring aspect of the competition -- with Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton -- is a winning detail. Also, the fact that the four judges, who are all up for Grammys this year, compete against one another in coaching a group of contestants -- and each hopes to have the winning singer on his or her team -- adds another dimenion to the competitive aspect of the show.
Considering The Voice had such a successful rookie season, executive producer Mark Burnett has made only some slight tweaks to its second season. The teams will be bigger, with 12 acts each instead of eight. And the blind auditions and head-to-head battles will be extended. Also, the interactive component of the show has been given a little boost of star-power now that singer Christina Milian has joined the cast as a social media correspondent.
"If you thought last year was amazing, wait till you see this year," says Shelton in this preview trailer. And Levine makes yet another mention of how his show is different from Idol. "At the root of it, it's singers guiding other singers to where they need to be," he says. "That's why there's something very special about this show." We couldn't agree more!
Get ready for Sunday's premiere by watching the full trailer here: