Watchworthy

The Best Singing Competition Shows Ever Made 

Ranker TV
Updated May 7, 2020 1.5k votes 316 voters 22.7k views 42 items

List Rules Vote up the most enjoyable competitive television series where the contestants put their voices to the test.

It’s almost impossible to turn on a television these days and not find a reality television program of some sort. Ever since the great Writer’s Strike of 2007, so-called “unscripted” television has taken over, and it isn’t showing any sign of stopping. One of the many popular genres in the field is the singing competition show. These are programs made to challenge people’s skills at singing by diving into numerous styles and genres of music with the winner often taking home a ton of cash, recognition in the industry, and sometimes, a record contract.

Competition shows have been around forever with talent searching platforms like Star Search often focusing on music. While that show is certainly legendary, it wasn’t 100% about the music, which is why this list is focused on only those competitive shows that center entirely on singing. Shows like American Idol and The Voice are obvious contenders, but there are other more amazing series out there you may not have seen!

There truly are tons of examples of this genre, many from the UK, but not all singing competition shows are as good as the tracks they produce. There’s so much to choose from, but there are a few series that are considerably better than others thanks to the intense competition found in each episode. This list highlights the very best reality TV shows in the singing competition genre so don't forget to vote up your favorite while you’re here, and it’s possible your favorites are missing, so make sure you add and you don’t see!

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list ordered by
1
The Voice is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Singing Competition Shows Ever Made
Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Carson Daly

Premiered: 2011

The Voice (NBC, 2011) is an American reality television singing competition hosted by Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Nick Jonas, Blake Shelton, and Carson Daly. Based on the original The Voice of ...more
2
American Idol is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Singing Competition Shows Ever Made
Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, Ryan Seacrest

Premiered: 2002

American Idol is an American singing competition series created by Simon Fuller and produced by 19 Entertainment, and is distributed by FremantleMedia North America. It began airing on Fox on ...more
3
The Masked Singer is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Singing Competition Shows Ever Made
Nick Cannon
The Masked Singer (Fox, 2019) is an American reality competition series based on the South Korean show King of Mask Singer. Hosted by Nick Cannon, the show features celebrities singing in a ...more
4
Eurovision Song Contest ... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Singing Competition Shows Ever Made
Terry Wogan

Premiered: 1956

The Eurovision Song Contest is a TV program broadcasting the annual song competition of the same name.
5
Rhythm + Flow is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Singing Competition Shows Ever Made
Cardi B, Matthew Carter, Chance the Rapper

Premiered: 2019

Rhythm + Flow (Netflix, 2019) is an American competitive reality television series. Judges Cardi B, Chance the Rapper and T.I. search for the next breakout hip-hop star.
6
Songland is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Singing Competition Shows Ever Made
Ester Dean, Shane McAnally, Ryan Tedder

Premiered: 2019

Songland (NBC, 2019) is a singing reality competition television series. Contestants are selected to work with producers, including Ryan Tedder, Ester Dean, and Shane McAnally, along with a ...more
7
The Sing-Off is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Singing Competition Shows Ever Made
Nick Lachey, Shawn Stockman, Ben Folds

Premiered: 2009

The Sing-Off is an American television singing competition featuring a cappella groups. It debuted on NBC on December 14, 2009, and is produced by Sony Pictures Television and Outlaw ...more
8
The Four: Battle for Sta... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Singing Competition Shows Ever Made
The Four: Battle for Stardom Fergie, Sean Combs, DJ Khaled
The Four: Battle for Stardom (Fox, 2018) is an American reality television music competition show hosted by Fergie with judges Sean Combs, DJ Khaled, Meghan Trainor, and Charlie Walk. ...more
9
The Glee Project is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Singing Competition Shows Ever Made
The Glee Project Nikki Anders, Ryan Murphy, Robert J. Ulrich

Premiered: 2011

The Glee Project is an American reality television series from Oxygen. It served as an audition for the FOX musical comedy series Glee, and the prize for the winner was a minimum seven-episode ...more
10
Duets is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Singing Competition Shows Ever Made
Kelly Clarkson, John Legend

Premiered: 2012

Duets is a singing competition reality television show that premiered on May 24, 2012 on ABC. The show starred Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Robin Thicke, and Jennifer Nettles as mentors who ...more
11
Nashville Star is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Singing Competition Shows Ever Made
Anastasia Brown, Jewel Kilcher, John Rich

Premiered: 2003

Nashville Star is an American reality television program. It was last produced and transmitted during mid-2008 on NBC, following five seasons on USA Network. It premiered on March 8, 2003, and ...more
12
Celebrity Duets is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Singing Competition Shows Ever Made
Lea Thompson, Little Richard, Chaka Khan

Premiered: 2006

Celebrity Duets was an American reality television show, of the progressive game-show type, which combined celebrities of different backgrounds with professional singers in a weekly elimination ...more
13
Last Choir Standing is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Singing Competition Shows Ever Made
Jonathan Barrington, Tiarnan Branson, Sharon D. Clarke

Premiered: 2008

Last Choir Standing was a 2008 talent show-themed television series produced by the BBC in the United Kingdom. Broadcast on BBC One in July and August 2008, the series saw amateur choirs ...more
14
Fame is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Singing Competition Shows Ever Made
Fame Debbie Allen, Shannon Bex

Premiered: 2003

Fame is a television series that ran on NBC in the summer of 2003. The show was essentially NBC's attempt to duplicate the success of mega-hit American Idol, right down to their selection of ...more
15
Rising Star is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Singing Competition Shows Ever Made
Rising Star

Premiered: 2014

Rising Star is an American reality television singing competition which began airing on ABC on June 22, 2014. It is based on the Israeli singing competition HaKokhav HaBa made by Keshet ...more
16
Sing Your Face Off is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Singing Competition Shows Ever Made
Sing Your Face Off

Premiered: 2014

Actor John Barrowman (Torchwood, Arrow) will host the show, where five celebrity contestants take on the identity of an iconic music performer each week.
17
Showtime at the Apollo ... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Singing Competition Shows Ever Made
Whoopi Goldberg, Steve Harvey, Mo'Nique Imes-Jackson

Premiered: 1987

Showtime at the Apollo is a syndicated music television show, first broadcast on September 12, 1987 to May 24, 2008 with 1093 episodes, and is produced by the Apollo Theater. The show features ...more
18
High School Musical: Get... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Singing Competition Shows Ever Made
High School Musical: Get in the Picture Vanessa Hudgens, Madeline Carroll, Sammi Hanratty

Premiered: 2008

High School Musical: Get in the Picture was a reality-based TV series, which debuted July 20, 2008 on the television channel ABC. Stan Carrizosa was named the winner on September 8, 2008. ...more
19
P. Diddy's Starmaker is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Singing Competition Shows Ever Made
P. Diddy's Starmaker

Premiered: 2009

P. Diddy's Starmaker is an American interactive talent show that first aired on MTV in August 2009. It is currently presented by Kimberly Caldwell, with P. Diddy, Rodney Jerkins, Tamara Conniff ...more
20
Rock Star is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Singing Competition Shows Ever Made
Ryan Star, Dilana, Storm Large

Premiered: 2005

Rock Star is a television series produced by Mark Burnett, David Goffin, and Lisa Hennessy in which aspiring singers from all around the world competed to become the lead singer of a featured ...more
21
The X Factor (U.S.) is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Singing Competition Shows Ever Made
Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato, L.A. Reid

Premiered: 2011

The X Factor is an American reality television music competition created by Simon Cowell and produced by FremantleMedia North America and SYCOtv, a partnership between Cowell and Sony Music ...more
22
But Can They Sing? is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Singing Competition Shows Ever Made
But Can They Sing? Larry Holmes, Kim Alexis, Joe Pantoliano

Premiered: 2005

But Can They Sing? is a reality television series that premiered on October 30, 2005 on VH1 as part of its celebreality programming. Hosted by Ahmet Zappa, the series was partially based on ...more
23
Can You Duet is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Singing Competition Shows Ever Made
Naomi Judd, Joey Martin, Rory Feek

Premiered: 2008

Can You Duet is an American reality-competition show airing on CMT. The show is produced by FremantleMedia, the same company that produced American Idol. The show premiered on April 14, 2008 and ...more
24
CMT's Next Superstar is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Singing Competition Shows Ever Made
CMT's Next Superstar

Premiered: 2011

CMT's Next Superstar is a music competition series specializing in country music. It is launched by American Country Music Television specialty station CMT in partnership with producer Nigel ...more
25
Platinum Hit is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Singing Competition Shows Ever Made
Platinum Hit
Platinum Hit is a 2011 reality competition series on Bravo, in which 12 singer-songwriters compete through innovative songwriting challenges that tested their creativity, patience and drive. The ...more