"American Idol" vs. "The Voice": Who's the best singer? Vote here.

Week of: April 30 - May 7, 2012

"American Idol" vs. "The Voice": Our judges (and you) sound off on the best performances of the week.

"The Voice" and "American Idol" are down to the top four. On NBC's "The Voice" that meant Juliet Simms, Katrina Parker, Jamar Rogers and Erin Willet all are out. On Fox's "Idol" Skylar Laine is headed home.

Has America made the right call? Cast your vote for the top performers below and see what our experts had to say about how "The Voice" and "Idol" contestants compared this week.

Roll over the photos below to watch the performances. Explain your vote in the comments and you could end up featured.

Full coverage: "American Idol" | "The Voice"

Advertisement
Who's the best singer? Our experts and you rank

Chris Barton

Music Writer

Joshua Ledet,

Joshua Ledet

"idol"

This week's song:

"To Love Somebody"

A quick study

On a night where Ledet seemed in a bit of a slump given his clumsy duet with Phillips (which was a little like tying a washing machine to a speedboat), Ledet was back to his usual self by lighting up this soft-focus ballad with raw, soulful power. Seriously, this only took the guy 15 minutes? — Chris Barton

Play performance

Juliet Simms,

Juliet Simms

"the voice"

This week's song:

"It's a Man's, Man's, Man's World"

Sounding like a world-beater

Sure, the TV-ready backstory of Simms' struggles against the male-dominated world of rock might've been underlined a bit heavy, but there was no denying the emotion behind Simms' voice in her ferocious turn. Not that it matters, but it would've made a certain hardest-working man proud. — Chris Barton

Play performance

Jermaine Paul,

Jermaine Paul

"the voice"

This week's song:

"Open Arms"

Finding more in the well

Eventually Paul's going to have to get out of his '80s flashback loop, but every week he somehow wrings something moving and new from something very old. Just how did he find the blood and blues in a Journey tune best suited to middling high school reunion movies? — Chris Barton

Play performance

Jamar Rogers,

Jamar Rogers

"the voice"

This week's song:

"If You Don't Know Me by Now"

Was nice knowing you

Rogers could've run into trouble by inadvertently bringing back the memory of Ledet's stormy turn with this song a few weeks back, but Rogers' updated, electro-accented take had its own appeal. Simms deserved the win this week, but at least Rogers went out on a high note. — Chris Barton

Play performance

Chris Mann,

Chris Mann

"the voice"

This week's song:

"Ave Maria"

Oh, fine

Why, yes, it turns out the guy who was trained in opera sounds pretty good when you put an opera song in front of him. Who knew? Still, it was nice to hear Mann in his element, and you'd have to have a heart of beaten lead to not be won over by his moment for the classics. — Chris Barton

Play performance

Todd Martens

Music Writer

Cee Lo Green,

Cee Lo Green

"the voice"

This week's song:

The sweet lullaby of fashion

A fashion meowthful

Now this is rock 'n' roll. Monday night Cee Lo cut through all the nutrition-less frosting of reality TV and showed the power of simplicity. His custom-made heart-shaped Purrfect the Cat shirt was no ordinary tee because this was an irresistibly blinding sunbeam spreading the cheer of feline companionship. How anyone performed before its grandeur is a mystery. — Todd Martens

Play performance

Juliet Simms,

Juliet Simms

"the voice"

This week's song:

"It's a Man's, Man's, Man's World"

Take that, song!

Simms wrestled this song. She took it, straddled it by its throat and smashed it into viewers' faces. Of course the populace voted for her. The target of her anger was unknown — perhaps an ex, perhaps a feminist statement or maybe just general frustration that her career is currently dependent on how well her fans can press redial — yet resistance was futile. — Todd Martens

Play performance

Lindsey Pavao,

Lindsey Pavao

"the voice"

This week's song:

"Skinny Love"

Vocals like a knife

The tendency on these shows is to slick it up, yet Pavao's take on Bon Iver was slyly understated. Here, she was a less-seasoned Feist, breezily strumming the song while adding hints of tension with her sharp phrasing. — Todd Martens

Play performance

Steven Tyler,

Steven Tyler

"idol"

This week's song:

Unimportant

Blissfully out of the loop

Just when I'm ready to write off Steven Tyler as a stammering skeleton covered in charred flesh, he proves he can still be a vital contributor to popular culture. Against all odds, Tyler didn't recognize "Bleeding Love" from "X-Factor" winner Leona Lewis. Tyler's gap in pop song knowledge was a reminder that music can exist entirely outside the world of talent shows. — Todd Martens

Play performance

Phillip Phillips,

Phillip Phillips

"idol"

This week's song:

"The Letter"

Please, go away

Let's revisit the pompous disaster that this acoustic-strumming terror delivered on Wednesday. Foolishly thinking he could improve upon the Box Tops original, Phillips dug deep into his tuneless crate of mugging-for-the-camera blandness, whipping up yet another serving of his faux bluesiness for the Applebee's set. Worse, the judges were still wowed by his artistic gift of turning every song into bargain-basement banality. — Todd Martens

Play performance

Amy Reiter

Television Writer

Juliet Simms,

Juliet Simms

"the voice"

This week's song:

"It's a Man's, Man's, Man's World"

An anthem for the underappreciated

This wasn't just a deeply visceral performance; it was a rallying cry, a raised fist against male favoritism. That it helped secure Simms' spot as the sole surviving female "Voice" contestant going into next week's finals is a deliciously ironic payoff. — Amy Reiter

Play performance

Jessica Sanchez,

Jessica Sanchez

"idol"

This week's song:

"You Are So Beautiful"

Solidly in her sweet spot

Shunning stage commotion, Sanchez offered a moment that was magnified by its intimacy. Zooming in on Sanchez's voice, we could focus on each detail: clarity and vibrato, breath and tone. The performance was simple, pure, honest and … so beautiful. — Amy Reiter

Play performance

Jamar Rogers,

Jamar Rogers

"the voice"

This week's song:

"If You Don't Know Me by Now"

Jamar, we hardly knew ye

Song title aside, we learned things we didn't know about Rogers this week, not least of them his heretofore-unheard lower register. He seemed as shocked as the rest of us by his elimination. But we know his talent well enough by now to predict he's poised for success regardless. — Amy Reiter

Play performance

Lindsey Pavao,

Lindsey Pavao

"the voice"

This week's song:

"Skinny Love"

I blame Christina

Pavao — with her quirky pronunciation, beautiful tone and shy smile — captured my attention anew in her final performance. Those "my my mys" were particularly arresting. Had Christina Aguilera not been so off-puttingly aggressive an advocate, my love for Pavao may have been less skinny all along. — Amy Reiter

Play performance

Joshua Ledet,

Joshua Ledet

"idol"

This week's song:

"To Love Somebody"

Gibbing it all he has

Ledet sang this song as if it had been written for him — or by him. Midway through, he seemed to be ripping whole hunks of pain off with his teeth, chewing them up and spitting them out. We may or may not know what it's like to love somebody the way he does, but he sure made us love him. — Amy Reiter

Play performance

Your Favorites

Poll Closed

Jessica Sanchez,

Jessica Sanchez

"idol"

This week's song:

"You Are So Beautiful"

29.36% of over 64,000 votes

"Jessica is the best singer on this idol's batch. She doesn't need to scream like Johua....that perfect pitched voice, charisma...she's the complete package." Carl Francisco via latimes.com

"jessica halllelujah you're voice is magnificent all other contestants are really great but jessica makes me cry over and over again..." Lloyd Vilbar via latimes.com

Play performance

Juliet Simms,

Juliet Simms

"the voice"

This week's song:

"It's a Man's, Man's, Man's World"

29.07% of over 64,000 votes

"Juliet Simms, is incredible, she is natural born star" Maria Pizzo-Gabriel via latimes.com

"Juliet Simms is pure power! She commands the song and the stage...." Deborah Blum via latimes.com

Play performance

Hollie Cavanagh,

Hollie Cavanagh

"idol"

This week's song:

"River Deep Mountain High"

12.82% of over 64,000 votes

"i always love hollie cavanagh, and that girl nailed the song last nite, hope she's saved again and Phillip just go home" Anis Rahmantika via Twitter

"Hollie Cavanagh's improved so much! Voice quality's always been wonderful..." Klaire Yapyuco-Reyes via latimes.com

Play performance

Joshua Ledet,

Joshua Ledet

"idol"

This week's song:

"To Love Somebody"

9.85% of over 64,000 votes

"Josh is a truly polished performer. His confidence, poise and grace are palpable..." Patrick Powers via latimes.com

"...he has the moves, the dress, he is the whole package!" Kathy Parkhill via latimes.com

Play performance

Phillip Phillips,

Phillip Phillips

"idol"

This week's song:

"The Letter"

5.25% of over 64,000 votes

"If Phillip Phillips goes home tonight I think I'll cry" Ayliah via Twitter

"Since Phillip Phillips is so popular on #Idol, thinking of changing my name to Michael Michaels, or perhaps Awesome Awesomes." Mike Roe via Twitter.

Play performance

Photos: "American Idol" contestants / Michael Becker/Fox | Photos: "The Voice" contestants / Mitchell Haaseth/NBC.

Design and interactivity: Lily Mihalik. Interactivity: Armand Emamdjomeh/@emamd

Use the poll below to vote. Make your case in the comments. Poll remains open until Monday. Check back daily for new results.