Negotiations have been going on for years, but Eurovision format owners in the US, the Nordic Entertainment Group, has announced the inaugural American Song Contest will be held in 2021.
With a global audience of 200 million Eurovision one of the biggest live TV events in the world, so it’s no wonder the US has been interested in the format. Unlike Eurovision, this spin-off will only be open to American performers, as representatives from each of the 50 states will do battle.
American Song Contest producers Christer Björkman, Ola Melzig and Peter Settman said in a statement: “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. The American version will be different than anything seen before on US 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 was teased with this trailer in January, ahead of the formal announcement.
According to EW, the format will be almost identical to Eurovision – artists of any genre, from rap to country, will be eligible to represent their state, with a maximum of six performers in an act.
Each act will perform original songs during the live event with musicians first going head-to-head with competing state representatives in the qualifiers, which will lead to the semi-finals and the Grand Finale.
There had been some suggestion the US might join Eurovision but, as with the MLB World Series of baseball, our American friends will compete among themselves.
There is no word yet on which network will broadcast the American Song Contest, but it’s scheduled for the “holiday season” in 2021; in other words, Christmas time.
Netflix is the US home for Eurovision coverage, having screened them in 2019. It was due to do so again until the COVID-19 pandemic led to the 2020 contest’s cancellation.
Eurovision fans had to make do with a series of stopgap programmes, such as the Will Ferrell parody Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga on Netflix.