For the past 64 years, the Eurovision Song Contest has entertained audiences across Europe (and beyond) with a night of music and glitz in one of the world’s biggest televised events. Last year’s competition had a live audience upwards of 182 million viewers in 41 countries.
Now the US is to get its very own version, Variety has reported.
For obvious reasons, the name will change, and the project will become The American Song Contest. The contest will see performers from each of the 50 states pitted against each other in a live televised event, presenting original songs in any genre.
The Eurovision contestants all perform their songs and then each is awarded points by the member-countries’ judges. The one with the most points is the winner. However, the format currently envisioned for the US version is more like the March Madness NCAA Basketball tournament with single-match elimination rounds culminating in a Grand Finale.
Producers Propagate Content will set up The American Song Contest Academy. The Academy will contain music professionals from all genres and backgrounds based in the US, from which juries, alongside regional audiences, will select the entry for each state.
Producer Christer Björkman was himself a Eurovision entrant for his homeland of Sweden, and later a contest producer and creative director. In an interview he told Variety that Eurovision was a dream project since childhood. “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,” Björkman said about the American version.
Executive producer Ben Silverman has a track record of taking European and British programs to America. His previous projects have included The Office, Big Brother and The Weakest Link.
The Eurovision Song Contest is the hardest concept to take across to the US, Silverman says. But he also loves the format and claims to have spent the last 20 years pursuing the project.
The American Song Contest is due to make its debut over the holiday period next year.
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