'Eurovision' Coming to US with 'American Song Contest'

Friday August 7, 2020

Austrian singer and "Eurovision" winner Conchita Wurst
Austrian singer and "Eurovision" winner Conchita Wurst  (Source:AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

The United States is getting its own version of the "Eurovision Song Contest," according to Variety.

"The American Song Contest," will debut during the 2021 holiday season and be similar to its European counterpart.

"Professional musical artists — solo singers, duos or groups up to six members — from each of the 50 states and across every musical genre will perform all original songs on the live televised event," Variety writes of the new show. "The format, as it is currently conceived, will position the artists head-to-head against other states' representatives in a series of televised qualifier competitions, leading to semi-finals and the ultimate primetime Grand Finale March Madness-style.

"Propagate Content will create 'The American Song Contest' Academy, a group consisting of music professionals based in the U.S. that represent all genres and backgrounds, from which juries of artists and music industry notables who, along with the regional audiences, will select top talent from all 50 states to compete," Variety adds.

Producer Christer Björkman spoke with the outlet about the Americanized version of the singing competition show.

"Eurovision has been a dream project ever since I was a child," he told Variety. "To have a chance to use everything you know about the format and redo it from the beginning and to bring it to an audience that has no history with it is such a privilege."

Executive producer Ben Silverman added: "When America is more fractionalized than ever and we are dealing with so many issues that divide us, the one [thing] that truly unites us is our culture. ... It can unite it by celebrating its diversity, its distinctions and in pulling everyone around its love of music and its love of song."

"It's a competition where you root for your home state and your home town and there isn't another show out there that does that," Björkman said.

"Eurovision" began in 1954 and has gone on to become part of LGBTQ culture while launching careers for some of the most popular international artists like ABBA, Celine Dion, Julio Iglesias and Olivia Newton-John.

In March, it was announced the annual musical spectacular was canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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