The EBU have just revealed that the American Song Contest is happening! The show will hit the screens for the first time next year, in 2022. Broadcaster NBC have won the hosting and organising rights for the show.
Three rounds, one winner
The American Song Contest will consist of more shows than the Eurovision Song Contest normally does. Before the USA crown their winner in a Grand Final, they not only get semifinals, but also qualifying rounds to determine who’s progressing.
Having extra shows is presumably down to the amount of participants set to take part in the contest. All fifty states in the USA will take part, as well as Washington D.C. as a district. Furthermore, five U.S. territories will also be taking part. They are American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and Puerto Rico. That means a total of 56 entries will enter the contest.
What can the states send to the American Song Contest?
The American Song Contest will go on a quest to find the Best Original Song. Each participating state or territory can choose a solo act, a band, duo or DJ to represent them. Whether the DJ would need to have a guest vocalist, has not been confirmed.
Hosting the show is broadcaster NBC, in cooperation with Propagate. Jenny Groom, who is the Executive Vice President of Unscripted Content at NBC has commented on the news, stating:
American Song Contest combines the competitive spirit of rooting for your home team along with epic performances that will introduce viewers to the musical cultures that make up America. We are excited to showcase the universal power of music in a spectacular multi-week live musical event.Jenny Groom to Eurovision.tv
NBC as a channel are famous for many of the world’s most beloved shows. Just think about Friends, Scrubs, Seinfeld and The Office, which have all aired on NBC. They are also one of the three alternating broadcasters for the world famous Super Bowl, alongside FOX and CBS. The broadcaster won’t organise the contest on their own though, as they have partnered up with Propagate. Ben Silverman, Chairman and Co-CEO and Howard T. Owens, Co-CEO of Propagate, commented as well and said:
After years of chasing this unparalleled global hit, it is truly one of our greatest professional thrills bringing the American Song Contest to this country. This is a contest unlike anything the United Staes has seen before and who better to partner with us on this spectacular live musical event of Super Bowl magnitude than NBC, with their love of music television and proven track record launching global hits. We can’t wait!Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens to Eurovision.tv
A whole new world…
With the American Song Contest, the Eurovision brand is crossing the big pont for the first time ever. Of course Netflix also released a film about the contest, titled Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, in 2020, but this is the first proper spin-off we’re seeing.
Plans for the contest had been in the making for a while, with Christer Björkman announcing in March that talks were ongoing. The first reports about the ideas came out in May 2019, with both Björkman and Ola Melzig hosting a press conference. Ola Melzig will also be involved in the first edition for 2022. Soon after the first announcement, organiser Peter Settman confirmed that multiple broadcasters were interested in the rights. This presumably included NBC, who have ended up landing the gig.