TV

'The Voice' vs. 'American Idol': Who has the better bromance?

March 18, 2014 at 10:22 AM ET

One of the big selling points on “The Voice” has been the bromance between coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. Their relationship has more ups and downs than a sitcom romance, and now, "American Idol" is borrowing the successful formula to give "The Voice" some competition in this area.

Image: Keith Urban, Harry Connick Jr., Adam Levine, Blake Shelton
Getty Images file / NBC
"American Idol's" Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. are giving "The Voice's" Adam Levine and Blake Shelton some competition in the bromance department.

"Idol" introduced its own funny duo this season when Harry Connick Jr. joined Keith Urban at the judges' table. Their relationship has already featured serenades, cradling and the offer to sign body parts — and that was just during the auditions.

Do Shelton and Levine have something to worry about? Let’s take a closer look at which show has the better bromance.

The new Ross and Rachel?
Levine and Shelton have lasted as a bromantic couple for six seasons and are still going strong. (They even manage to keep things alive between seasons!) At the rate "The Voice" is going, the two will wind up as the longest-lasting NBC prime-time couple since Ross and Rachel on “Friends.”

Connick and Urban are sweet together, but let’s give it some time before we put them in the same boat as the long-running "Voice" coaches. "Idol's" duo are still in the honeymoon period, after all. What happens the first time one of them loses a favorite because the other won’t agree to use the save? Or when Urban inadvertently says something derogatory about the New Orleans Saints?

Point: "The Voice"

The third (and fourth) wheels
Much like any good comedy, “The Voice” has put a lot of obstacles in Shelton and Levine's way. Will Shakira come between them by playing one off against the other to improve her own chances? Does adding Shelton's wife, Miranda Lambert, to the mix as a mentor (and not for her husband's team) throw a cold shower on the men's relationship? And what can Usher do to get involved? He’s the biggest strategic thinker of the coaches, so he might be planning a strike to get in between them later in the season.

But on "Idol," the only person sitting between Connick and Urban is Jennifer Lopez. The two men should be so lucky as to have her try and get involved in their flirtation. Their only obstacle to bromantic success is themselves.

Point: "American Idol"

They keep going, and going, and going ...
Between them, Shelton and Levine have all five “Voice” trophies and have helped make the show the ratings behemoth that it is today. They’re more than just pretty faces — they’re really good at coaching their singers to the top while entertaining the audience at the same time. Both will stick around to poke the other as long as the show will have them, and it's unlikely anyone would want to give up the magic these two offer.

The “Idol” duo lacks that security. This is Connick's first season as a judge, though he has mentored hopefuls before. Urban's only stint on the show was last season, the dullest in the show’s history. That certainly isn’t his fault, but considering the show’s ratings slide, who knows how many more chances he’ll get?

Point: "The Voice"

Touchy feely
Levine and Shelton might have shared a chair during “The Voice” auditions, but they're otherwise on opposite ends, with Shakira and Usher planted firmly between them. While on "Idol," Connick picked up Urban and cradled him backstage. (Awww!) Let’s just say the “Idol” guys look more prepared for the honeymoon.

Point: "American Idol"

Settling in
Levine and Shelton are like an old married couple at this point. They can mimic each other’s accents, recite each other’s sales pitches and annoy one another to no end. Though they sit far apart on the stage, their hearts appear to beat as one.

Connick and Urban were close during the auditions and still appear on good terms, but sometimes the country crooner gets a look on his face that seems to suggest that instead of tweeting during the next commercial break, he’s going to text his lawyer to get a restraining order against the new judge.

Point: "The Voice"

Game point: Give “Idol” credit for livening things up with its changes on the judging panel this season, but the best bromance on reality TV remains Adam Levine and Blake Shelton.

"The Voice" airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC. "American Idol" airs 8 p.m. on Wednesdays and 9 p.m. Thursdays on Fox.

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