Have you ever watched American Idol or The Voice? From the outside, both shows look a lot like one and the same: A singing competition for undiscovered artists. Every week, a group of talented unknowns performs their songs of choice. And based on how bad or well they do, they get to stay or go home.

But here’s what’s interesting…

For as long as it’s been on the air, The Voice has never had a breakout star. On the other hand, American Idol has a track record of many. In fact, every American Idol winner, back to Kelly Clarkson, all go on to have a legitimate music career.

Why is that?

Two words:

Commitment and


If you break down how American Idol works, you’ll notice its genius is how it consistently asks you to commit. And it’s really simple: You, the audience, vote for the artists. You like how they sing your favorite songs, so you vote… and vote… and vote. And by the time that artist wins American Idol, you’re invested.

You helped them get to the top, so you feel responsible. And guess what? You will jump right on it as soon as the winner comes out with an album. Because, in a way, their success is also your success. You’re a big part of it.

Now… what about The Voice?

The fundamental difference in The Voice is that the focus is not on the artist and who wins. The focus is on the coaches. It’s always “Blake won The Voice”… or… “Adam won The Voice”. It’s all about the coach. And even though the audience votes for the singers, the coaches make the final decisions. They’re taking all the credit, and people don’t feel as invested at the end of the run.

This means they don’t care as much about the artists who win The Voice. Commitment and consistency are powerful. But only when people see their actions contributed to an outcome. Because that’s what makes them feel like they’re part of the “success story”.

For more on Commitment and consistency, go to the More Cheese Less Whiskers Podcast.