Christer Björkman has revealed in a livestream today that plans are underway to host the first American Song Contest in 2022. This is in a change to plans revealed last year, suggesting the first contest would be held “during the holiday season of 2021”.
The contest will see acts from all 50 US states compete against each other for the win. The show will be held over several rounds – including a qualifying stage, semi-finals and a “primetime Grand Final”. The acts will be chosen by The American Song Contest Academy, which will consist of music professionals and regional audiences.
“As soon as they let us in”
Speaking on a live “Ask Me Anything” session on YouTube ahead of the Melodifestivalen final, Christer Björkman – who will produce the American Song Contest – revealed that negotiations are still underway but the plan is to be on air with the first contest in 2022.
We are, at the moment, negotiating about it and it’s very close. There’s nothing signed yet… it takes a lot of lawyers and a lot of hours for them to work out every detail in the contract and that’s what’s actually happening right now but if everything works out, we will be moving there as soon as they let us in and we will, hopefully, be on air with the first American Song Contest ever in 2022.– Christer Björkman, American Song Contest producer
Björkman, who will be leaving Melodifestivalen this year after 20 years as producer, said that his main focus going forward will now be on the American Song Contest.
All focus is on [the American Song Contest], and we’ve been focused on that for the last year and half I would say, and the last four I went back and forth to L.A. all the time for meetings and since the pandemic broke out, we have done it digitally. We have meetings like every week, several times a week… it’s very very exciting.– Christer Björkman, American Song Contest producer
Eurovision fans to attend
Björkman also revealed that there are plans for Eurovision fans to attend the contest when it launches.
We have plans for that, we will arrange specific packages for Eurofans to come over and visit us once we are up and running.– Christer Björkman, American Song Contest producer
You can watch the full interview, where he also talks about the Melodifestivalen final, below:
American Song Contest – what we know so far
Initial plans for an American Song Contest were first revealed in 2019, when a contract was signed to take the vision of the contest to the United States. More details were revealed in a press conference at Eurovision 2019 in Tel Aviv.
Around ten broadcasters, including major US networks, had already expressed interest in the contest by August 2019, with Christer Björkman later revealing that the contest would span several weeks and travel through multiple cities. The format will be similar to the Eurovision Song Contest with only original songs allowed, and there is expected to be a mix of new stars and established artists competing.
New details emerged last summer with Variety saying that the show hopes “to siphon off some of the magic of the beloved six-decade-old show”.
The United States has had a growing interest in Eurovision in recent years with the contest being aired on the Logo TV network between 2016 and 2018 and then on Netflix in 2019. Netflix’s Eurovision relations didn’t stop there with “The Story of Fire Saga” hitting the streaming service in 2020. Justin Timberlake and Madonna have also provided interval act entertainment in recent Eurovision finals.
Are you excited for the first ever American Song Contest? Do you think it will be good to see a new take on the contest?
Let us know in the comments below and on social media @ESCXTRA.