Singing shows are one of the most popular types of reality shows on television. They take talented singers and put them in front of a panel of judges who decide if they are good enough to continue, or if they get sent home. These shows give singers a chance to showcase their talent on a national level and provide a platform for the best singers in the country to be recognized. In this article, let’s learn about a few shows which have left their mark in this era and helped individuals rise to fame.

1. The X Factor

Created by Simon Cowell and produced by FremantleMedia North America and SYCOtv, this famous American reality TV show first aired on Fox on September 21, 2011. Not only groups but also solo artists above the age of 12 years participated in the reality show.

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The contestants were selected through public auditions and went to further rounds based on judges' remarks and audience votes via telephone, the internet and SMS. Usually, the winner received the golden opportunity of signing a recording contract with Simon Cowell’s record label, Syco Music. The show lasted for a total of three seasons and Melanie Amaro, Tate Stevens, and Alex and Sierra were the winners of season 1, 2, and 3 respectively. The show also gave rise to the famous music band Fifth Harmony, through which all the members went ahead and launched their solo careers as well.

2. American Idol

A Fremantle North America production created by Simon Fuller, this American singing competition first aired on Fox, started from June 11, 2002, and continued till April 7, 2016, for a total of 15 seasons. Based on a famous British television show, Pop Idols, the show focused on finding the most talented singers out of the public. Individuals anywhere within the age range of fifteen to twenty-eight years could participate.

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There were several rounds starting with the Initial Auditions, followed by the Hollywood week, then there was audience voting, post which come the semi-final and the final rounds. Winners were selected by audiences via phones, the Internet, and SMS. A panel of judges assessed the performance of each contestant and approved their advancement to the next level in the initial levels of the competition. For almost eight years, beginning from 2003-04, American Idol was ranked at number one in the U.S. The winning contestants got an opportunity to sign a record deal with major albums along with cash rewards. Kelly Clarkson was the winner of the first season.

3. Neue Stimmen

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One of the oldest projects, this international singing competition is organized every two years by the Bertelsmann Stiftung in Gütersloh. It was first launched in 1987 by Liz Mohn in order to provide support to opera singers. Female singers up to the age of 28 and male singers up to the age of 30 could apply here, amongst which the jury selects the finest 40 or 45 talents in the first round. The requirements included that the contestants must have learned and performed a role. The Neue Stimmen has been organized for over 30 years now and usually is conducted in cities like Beijing and New York City. Post this, the topmost singers are invited to Gütersloh for the semi-final and the final rounds. The best of the singers from around the world participate in the competition and the best ones win the first, second and third positions.

4. International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition

Considered as one of the best platforms for opera singers, this international singing competition is held every year for young opera singers only. The jury includes opera managers, agents, and media representatives. It is also referred to as “singers’ stock exchange, the ‘Wall Street of Voices’”. It started in the year 1982 to bring out the best opera artists from around the globe. The qualifying round is held in over 50 cities. Prizes include cash and opera engagements.

5. The Voice

The Voice is an international singing competition franchise and many countries have adopted the format of it and aired their own similar versions since 2010. It has a format that starts with Blind Auditions as the first round, followed by Battles, Knockouts, and Live Shows as the final performance. In the Blind Auditions the coaches listen to the contestants without seeing them, and on finding the best ones, press their buzzers to select them.

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If multiple judges select the same participant, the latter gets an opportunity to choose their coach. On successfully passing the first round, the contestants move on to the battle rounds, where a number of members from under different team leaders have a face-off. The third round is the Knockouts- which was first introduced in the year 2012. Contestants select their own songs and are analysed according to them. Further ahead, in the final round, the top contestants from each of the teams compete on the live stage. The television audiences vote for each of these contestants with the final judgment of the coach to select the one amongst all to move ahead to the next round. In the second level of the same round, the audience along with the team coach selects the best one for each individual team. In the third level of the final round, the contestants perform an original song, of which one is named The Voice and hence receives a cash prize and signs a recording contract.

6. MTV Hustle

The first-ever rap reality show of India, MTV Hustle quickly gained a lot of fame. It aired on MTV India and the jury included Raftaar, Nucleya, and Raja Kumari, and first premiered on 10th August 2019. M Zee Bella was announced as the first season winner on 13th October 2019. All the participants registered online, out of which 40 auditionees were selected for studio auditions, out of which again only 15 were able to make a way into the show. The final judgements were made according to the writing, rap flow, and overall performance delivery of the contestant.

7. India’s Raw Star

This Indian singing competition first aired on Star Plus on 24th August 2014. Some of the finest singers of the decade, Rituraj Mohanty, Darshan Raval, and Mohit Gaur, were recognized in this show. Rituraj Mohanty won the first season on 30th November 2014, while Darshan Raval and Mohit gaur were the first and second runner ups respectively. The show was created by Gajendra Singh and was hosted by model-turned-actor Gauhar Khan. The panel of judges included the famous rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh and Himesh Reshammiya. Since 2017, only one season with 15 episodes has aired.

8. Indian Idol

And how could we dream of leaving Indian Idol out of this list? Indian Idol is a reality television singing competition, based on the British show Pop Idol. It is one of the most popular TV shows in India. The first season of Indian Idol was broadcasted on Sony Entertainment Television (India) and Star Plus, as well as its sister channels, from 4th September 2003 onwards.

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The series found immense success among the masses and became one of the most-watched shows in India. To this day, Indian Idol remains to be a beloved singing show which gives the best singers of India a shot at fame. And, it's inspiring to see how people from every nook and corner of India, be it the streets of Delhi or the business areas, and from every background, can be seen on this platform.  

FrontRow has one of the gems from Indian Idol, Neha Kakkar, as a mentor. She has created a course to train aspiring singers. So why not follow in the footsteps of India's singing superstar and learn singing?

Happy learning!