The producers of the Eurovision Song Contest will bring the long-running competition to American televisions in 2021.
Similar to its continent-spanning cousin across the Atlantic, American Song Contest will feature musical acts from all 50 states, with each artist trying to win the live television event with the best original song.
American Song Contest arrives during the 2021 holiday season, with the Eurovision rights owners Anders Lenhoff, Christer Björkman, Ola Melzig and Peter Settman teaming with television exec Ben Silverman.
“Imagine if music was an Olympic sport and artists from all over the world came together to compete for the gold. That’s the Eurovision Song Contest,” Lenoff said in a statement. “The American version will be different than anything seen before on U.S. television, marrying the fanfare and excitement of March Madness and the NFL playoffs with the artistry and beauty of world-class performances. The American Song Contest is a competition that happens to be televised, rather than a contest created to make a television show. And it’s open to all singers with a song, whether they are amateur artists or already signed to a major record label. No one is excluded from the competition.”
In addition to the competition itself, the event will be preceded by American Song Contest Academy, where juries of artists and music execs will handpick artists from all 50 states. “The format, as it is currently conceived, will position the artists head to head against other states’ representatives in a series of 5-10 televised Qualifier Competitions, leading to semi-finals and the ultimate primetime Grand Finale March Madness-style,” producers added of that series.
Silverman added in a statement: “The sheer spectacle is amazing. It is a pure celebration of the best in music and the best of what music can be, produced by the world’s elite artisans in all fields of production. The Eurovision Song Contest has shown that it can unite different countries and artists for a few nights every year to focus on their mutual love and respect for music. Bringing American Song Contest and the Eurovision brand to the U.S. is an incredibly ambitious project, but one worth doing, since we think these inherent values are intrinsic to uniting a fractional America through its greatest export and global impact … culture!”
The official announcement of the American Song Contest follows the cancellation of Eurovision 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as a Netflix comedy that poked fun at the annual extravaganza.