Eurovision is finally coming to the States with American spin-off
The international Eurovision Song Contest still won't include the United States in this year's competition, but America is getting its own version. So... cue "Jaja Ding Dong"!
The American Song Contest, a stateside spin-off of one of the world's largest televised events, is in the works for the 2021 holiday season. The organizers of Eurovision partnered with Propagate Content to make this a reality, and an early promo was released on Thursday to accompany the announcement.
With more than 200 million viewers tuning in annually, Eurovision has featured contestants from predominantly European nations since the first contest in 1956. It famously helped launch international singing sensation ABBA. Last year, Duncan Laurence of the Netherlands emerged the victor, though this year's event was canceled in light of the global coronavirus pandemic. But the contest did inspire this year's hit Netflix original film starring Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams. ("Jaja Ding Dong" forever!)
American Song Contest will operate by similar rules as Eurovision: artists from across the nation and across every genre will rep their state (instead of country) and each act can consist of anywhere from 1-6 members. Each will perform original songs during the live television event with musicians first going head-to-head with competing state representatives in the qualifiers. Those will then lead to the semi-finals and the Grand Finale.
The American Song Contest Academy, consisting of U.S.-based music professionals from every genre, will serve as juries. In typical Eurovision style, artists will be chosen to compete based on jury and regional audience selections.
Anders Lenhoff, Christer Björkman, Ola Melzig and Peter Settman, and Ben Silverman serve as producers and own the rights to the U.S. spin-off.
In a joint statement, Björkman, Melzig, and Settman said, “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 U.S. television, marrying the fanfare and excitement of March Madness and the NFL playoffs with the artistry and beauty of world-class performances."
As for Eurovision proper, Netflix is the new home for U.S. fans who want to watch the competition, having picked up streaming rights to the 2019 and what would've been the 2020 events.
Variety was the first to report the news.