For decades, the Eurovision Song Contest has served as a sort of unique institution in our cultural landscape, uniting fans of music and flashy theatrics on an annual basis (and even spawning a hit Netflix movie). While the music competition has developed a lot of fans in America, its concept has yet to officially come stateside -- until now. On Thursday, it was announced (via Variety) that "The American Song Contest" is officially in the works, and is expected to debut in the 2021 holiday season. The event will keep the general concept of the Eurovision Song Contest, pitting professional musical artists from all 50 states and across all genres in a live televised event.
The American Song Contest 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.
“Eurovision has been a dream project ever since I was a child,” producer Christer Björkman, who competed in the 1992 contest for Sweden, explained. “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."
“I’ve spent 20 years trying to pursue this,” executive producer Ben Silverman, who previously worked on the US versions of The Office, Big Brother, and The Weakest Link, added. “When I was chairman of NBC, when I was an agent at William Morris and when I started at Reveille. I just love the format.”
"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," Silverman continued. "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 great product on so many levels," producer Anders Lenhoff echoed. "You want to use all your expertise and bringing it to the biggest market in the world is so exciting.”0comments
“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," Bjorkman added.
What do you think of the Eurovision Song Contest getting an American update? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!