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2012 winter TV preview: 'American Idol' vs. 'The Voice'

The reality TV megahits will share the spotlight this season, so we asked ”Idol” judge Steven Tyler and ”Voice” coach Blake Shelton to explain why their singing competition is the one to watch

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Steven Tyler’s Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Watch Idol

1. It’s the most emotional season yet

”There are really sad, sad tears, but the tears of joy are most outrageous. People were up all night, and they had to sing songs that they’d never sung before in genres they’d never tried before. A lot of people were fainting because of nerves. So I got to hug every girl. I like female energy! Was I kissing contestants? Well, yes. I’m very passionate.”

2. We’ll sing Elvis songs — on the King’s stage

”We’re shooting in Vegas at Elvis Presley’s new ride [Cirque du Soleil’s Viva ELVIS stage show], so that gives us a chance to do ’50s music, Elvis and other good songs with great melodies. I miss melody. I want to bring that back.”

3. We show you the superstars before they’re superstars

”Are there any Lauren Alainas this year? Yes. Are there any Jacob Lusks? Sure. There’s one who’s even taller than Lusk was. But one of the best things is that you get to see them coming off the truck, all down and dirty, before they’re superstars. I keep saying [to the contestants], ‘I bet you wash up good, girl!’ And Randy’s like, ‘You can’t say that on television!”’

4. Idol‘s got sex appeal

”You know what? There’s sex in songs. If you don’t put it in there, you ain’t gonna get listened to. You know [that Dean Martin line] ‘The object of my affection can change my complexion from white to rosy red’? All songs need that. And I bring that sexuality to the table.”

5. Oh, and two more things…

”You know what sticks out most this season compared to last season? J. Lo’s breasts.”

Blake Shelton’s Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Watch The Voice

1. Our coaches sell a whole lot of records

”All four of us are nominated for Grammys this year. We have hits. So when we give advice, you’d better listen up.”

2. Divalicious guest stars

”I can tell you that there’s several girls that are very dear to my heart making appearances on the show. [Shelton’s wife, country singer Miranda Lambert, and Kelly Clarkson, who will join the couple on the roster of Super Bowl performers, will both be on The Voice this season.] You’ll see some amazing talent this year.”

3. We know country stars when we see them

”Some contestants think they can put on some boots and a hat and sing with a twang, and they’re country. Luckily, me doing what I do, I can recognize genuine country talent, and this year, there’s a lot of it here.”

4. We’ve got real diversity

”We have a blues guitarist and an MC and an opera singer competing. And my song choices are all over the map. I’ve actually had several battles with the network about my song choices. But I’m an ’80s guy, and that includes country, pop, and rock. I don’t care how cheesy the synthesizer sounds, I’m putting my foot down for certain songs. If my artist can’t pull them off, then I guess that shows weakness.”

5. No one else has such cool chairs

”You feel like you’re in a throne with drink holders. There’s always some sort of alcohol floating around on that set. If we’re watching somebody perform and it’s not a make-or-break situation, you’re damn right I’m drinking a beer or a mixed drink. That’s just me. That’s how I enjoy music.”