In a new interview, Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine blasts 'American Idol,' claiming the show discourages gay contestants from being open about their sexuality.

Levine -- who's one of the judges on the rival singing competition show 'The Voice' -- told Out magazine, “What’s always p***ed me off about 'Idol' is wanting to mask that, for that to go unspoken. C’mon. You can’t be publicly gay? At this point? On a singing competition? Give me a break. You can’t hide basic components of these people’s lives. The fact that 'The Voice' didn’t have any qualms about being completely open about it is a great thing.”

Four contestants on 'The Voice' were openly gay, and two -- Beverly McClellan and Vicci Martinez -- reached the finals. Two past 'American Idol' contestants -- Adam Lambert and Clay Aiken -- did not reveal they were gay until after they competed on the show.

Levine recognizes that he's taking on a mammoth opponent. “I can’t f*** with 'American Idol.' It’s a cultural institution," he says. "On 'The Voice,' we just care about a different list of things. It’s for a different type of person, I guess.”

'The Voice' host Carson Daly has also praised his show's gay-friendly aspects, saying, “The thing about 'The Voice' is no one knew anything about anybody. It’s not like it’s a gay-friendly show on purpose ... There wasn’t any bias, but we embraced the fact that the gay community was so well represented in our show, and we were very proud of that.”

[Out]