The X Factor USA Auditions: Season Premiere Puts Adam Levine and Britney Spears in a Ratings War

America is officially obsessed with singing competitions. Millions of Americas nightly tune in to watch people from across the country take to the stage, give it their all, and -- 99.9% of the time -- get shut down. And we love it. Why we love it is thanks to a healthy cocktail of voyeurism and celebrity personality. We are hooked all the way from from the laughable auditions to the tear-jerking finales. Yes our addiction is thanks to the performances, but it is also in large part thanks to the celebrity judges. 

Tonight, NBC and FOX will take the gloves off and battle it out to see not which network has found the best performers but which shows have managed to secure the best table of critics. On NBC's The Voice audiences have been wooed by Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, and Blake Shelton. Recaps of the show are often more about the judges dynamics than the best singers. The Voice has even gone the extra mile in judge inclusion by making their celebrity judges active additions to the show through the inclusion of teams 

The big show Wednesday night will be The X Factor. A British import from the mind or Simon Cowell, it is safe to say that audiences will come in by the millions not to see the acts but to see Britney Spears and Demi Lovato take their turn at the judges table. The question at hand is whether or not the two pop-divas will be a bigger draw than the judges table over at The Voice. If I had to make a prediction, I'd say The X Factor will win. 


On the two-part season premiere The X Factor judges will travel across America looking for the best acts to compte on the show for the grand $5 million recording contract. If the excitement of Britney Spears, who is rumored to be the harsh judge, isn't enough audiences are guaranteed some pretty heavy-duty musical guests. In it's debut season the program featured (amongst many others) Justin Bieber, 50 Cent, and Willow Smith. 

Perhaps tonight the Britney-Christina war will finally claim a victor. We'll have to tune in to find out which pop diva officially gets the ratings crown.

The X Factor airs Sept. 12 and 13 on FOX at 8 p.m. EST. The Voice airs Sept. 12 on NBC. 

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Elena Sheppard

Elena is the Arts & Entertainment Editor at Mic. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, Time Out New York, The New York Times Upfront, ABC News, and various travel publications. She is also a Princeton alum, a former Thailand resident, and a Brooklyn native.

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