‘Idol’ vs. ‘The Voice’: It’s getting nasty

Tyler, Lopez, Jackson and Seacrest explain why the original is still the best

Yesterday at the TV press tour in Pasadena, a few reporters ambushed Fox’s reality czar Mike Darnell and tried to tweak him with the news that Kelly Clarkson, inaugural American Idol winner, was going to serve as a mentor on The Voice, NBC’s upstart singing competition, which like Idol, is about to launch a new campaign.

“It’s a compliment to Idol that [our] show is creating superstars,” said Darnell, before sniffing, “We’re not hiring anyone from The Voice to be on our show.” Translation: Kelly Clarkson is dead to me and NBC’s show stinks.

In Kelly’s defense, maybe she has a deal with NBC. She did perform, as you can see in this video, on Saturday Night Live this weekend.

But the American Idol crew wasn’t through taking shots at the competition. Later in the day, during a panel made up of judges Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, Jackson said, "We're the original. We kind of invented this whole game that everybody now copied.”

Of The Voice, R.J. noted, “I will tell you one thing: We will never rip off Star Trek like The Voice did with spinning chairs.” Set the phasers on sting.

You’d think the Idolators would go easy on The X Factor. After all, the show was spun-off by Idol’s founding father Simon Cowell and it airs on their own channel and thus is, at least ostensibly, one of the family.

The arrows still came out yesterday. “Simon has done well with his show,” said Randy. “Probably not meeting the expectations he wanted, but we wish him well." Zing.

Darnell went him one better, saying that compared to Idol, The X Factor is "over the top, campy, [and] louder." OK, find the kind word in that statement.

Obviously TV’s karaoke champ is not going down without a fight.

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