America Was Not Wanted At Eurovision. The American Song Contest Will Now Wow The World?
The closer we get to March 21st, 2022, the more people are talking about the brand new music event coming to NBC. And that is the American Song Contest! Most recently the list of competing artists has been released and it has audiences talking. The show is based on the Eurovision Song Contest which has been airing since ‘56 and is one of Europe’s most-watched televised events with an annual viewership of around 200 million people. Just how similar is the brand new American version of the show to the original? What exactly do we know about the upcoming show? And what artists can fans expect to see perform? Read on to find out!
What Is Eurovision?
To get a better idea of what the American song contest might look like it is important to know more about its predecessor Eurovision. The European version of the contest first premiered in 1956 with only 7 countries taking part, compared to the 2022 version which was set to see 41 participants. The aim of the contest was not just a music competition but to unite the continent following World War II. Since then, the contest took place every single year without fail, with the streak being broken in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The competing countries are not just the European ones but those who are members of the European Broadcasting Union, which is why countries such as Morocco, Israel, and Australia have been competing. Usually, the winning country is the one to host it the following year. Ireland is the country with the most wins is Ireland which has won 7 times, then it’s Sweden with 6 victories, and Luxembourg, France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom have all won 5 times. The votes are determined by each country's juries as well as the televote, and a country cannot vote for themselves, so if you were in Italy, with an Italian phone, you would still be charged but the vote would not be counted. Who are some of the most famous competing artists? Read on to find out.
Famous Eurovision Acts
Whether you realized it or not, several famous artists were actually winners of the contest. Chances are most of you reading have heard of the Swedish pop group ABBA. Well, winning the 1974 edition of Eurovision with their hit song Waterloo is what had kickstarted their career. Likewise for Celine Dion, who in 1988 represented Switzerland with her song Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi, which had ultimately made her career take off. Since the rise of the social media platform TikTok, several other Eurovision artists have gone viral, such as Italy’s Maneskin that won in 2021, Norway’s Alexander Rybak with his song Fairytale (2009), Duncan Laurence with Arcade (the Netherlands, 2019), Netta with Toy (Israel, 2018) Go_A with Shum (Ukraine, 2021), Sun Stroke Project featuring the guy who many know as the Epic Sax Guy (Moldova, 2010) to name but a few.
The Eurovision Movie
While Eurovision is seen as a serious music contest, over the years they most certainly had their fair share of acts that brought the fun, and sometimes several eyebrows rise for how out there they were. And if there is one thing that perfectly showed that then it was Will Ferrel’s 2020 Eurovision movie that was released on Netflix. Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga was an instant hit despite fans of the contest being a bit skeptical, and without a doubt, the Ja Ja Ding Dong guy stole the hearts of the viewers. The movie perfectly showed how weird the contest can be at times, and it also starred several past Eurovision acts such as Loreen, Salvador Sobral, and Bilal Hassani. But now is time, what do we know about the American version of the show? Read on to find out!
When Will The American Song Contest Take Place?
So what we know so far is that the premiere American Song Contest will premiere on Monday, March 21st, and Atlantic Records will release each week’s new batch of songs at midnight ET/ 21:00 PT. The series will then be broadcast live on NBC from 20:00/22:00 ET/PT from the Universal Lot. From then it will run for 8 weeks until the Grand Final on Monday 9th May, which would be the day before the first night of Eurovision taking place in Turin, Italy this year. Here is the difference between this contest and the European one. Eurovision takes place over the course of 3 nights. The first-semi final takes place on the Tuesday of the Eurovision week, the second semi-final on Thursday, and the Grand final on Saturday. Though given that most Euro fans follow each country’s national selections for the artist, the real Eurovision journey for them begins usually in December when Albania is usually the first country with a national final.
American Song contest will pit NEW song entries from all 50 states with no one excluded from the competition.— 『Coop』 (@OnAirCoop) February 15, 2022
What all-time song from a West Virginian would you submit in a national contest? What current artist from West Virginia would have the most success? pic.twitter.com/6UChcQKxZ6
American Song Contest Format
The contest, which will be hosted by Kelly Clarkson and Snoop Dogg, will feature original musical performances that will represent all 50 states, five U.S territories, and the nation’s capital, and all will be competing for the title of Best Original Song. The live competition will consist of three Qualifying Rounds, followed by the semi-finals and the ultimate Grand Final where one state or territory will emerge victorious. As of now, it is not known how many artists will make it through to the grand final. But who are the artists competing? Read on to find out.
Competing Artists - The Notable Acts
As you can imagine, with a total of 55 competing artists that is a lot. While there will be many undiscovered talents fighting for their chance to shine, there are six notable acts that will be competing for their home states. Jewel will be competing for Alaska, Michael Bolton for Connecticut, Sisqo of the Thong Song fame for Maryland, The Crystal Method for Nevada, Macy Gray for Ohio, and Allen Stone for Washington.
Other American Song Contest Competing Artist
Competing alongside the six notable acts are lesser-known musicians such as the Latin pop artist Ale Zabala who released her first single in 2019 and who will compete for Flordia. Another is a New Jersey native Brooke Alexx that was inspired by none other than Taylor Swift to start writing her own songs. There is also a Hawaiian singer-songwriter Bronson Varde and Jordan Smith who’s from Kentucky and who some viewers might recognize as the winner of season nine of The Voice in 2015.
American Song Contest Controversies
Of course, it wouldn’t be some highly expected music event without some sort of controversies and huffing and puffing online. While as of the writing of this article, there have not been any major controversies, many Euro fans have been against the American version of the contest. Some had even argued that it cheapens Eurovision and that it will never be as good. Though here it is worth pointing out that while it most certainly is based on Eurovision it will also be its own thing and the US will most likely give its own spin on things. Some were also disappointed that the American Song Contest features the states and not for example the North and South American countries.
Of course, there are many questions when it comes to voting. How will it work? Well for the time being that has not been revealed just yet and the possibility is that we will only find out on the 21st. In Eurovision, there are 12p, 10p 8-1p given to acts, with 12 being the best though it is not known as to whether the same system will be adapted. The same goes for the jury and televote as well. Though it will be interesting to find out who will be the UK of the American Song Contest, aka the state that will usually end up with zero or close to zero points. Or which states will use block voting and always vote to each other, such as Greece and Cyprus also giving each other 12p.
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