UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. (AP) _ Pope John Paul II, who met with thousands of teen-agers at the Universal Amphitheatre Tuesday, found himself in competition with a ''Miami Vice'' thrill show.

''The pope is to the left, the studio tour is to the right,'' usher Cedric Dillard shouted through a bullhorn at arriving crowds.

The popular Universal Studios tour, which now features a flaming speedboat chase from ''Miami Vice,'' draws up to 30,000 people a day.

A musical group warmed up the pope's crowd by playing such songs as ''La Bamba,'' setting the stage for a question-and-answer period with the leader fot the world's Roman Catholics.

''It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience,'' said Lisa McBryde, a 15-year-old from Rosary High School in Fullerton.

Preparations were hampered by a prief power outage, and a priest with a megaphone asked the crowd to join in a prayer for help.

''We want to welcome Pope John Paul II and, if you would, just please give us a little power,'' the priest prayed. A few minutes later, technicians had the lights back on.