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Another singing competition is heading to television, and this one is a long time coming. Eurovision is finally coming to the United States, but with a considerable twist. If you watched Will Ferrell’s recent Netflix movie, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, and desired that America had a companion to the competition seen there, your wish has now come true!
Instead of bringing Eurovision proper to America, America is putting its own spin on the format, with the focus being put on musical acts from the U.S. How will it work? Variety reports that The American Song Contest will feature professional musical artists from across the country performing original songs during the live televised event. Solo artists, duos, and groups with up to six members will reportedly qualify to compete. Juries and notable music industry staples, with the help of regional audiences, will choose the talent that competes on behalf of each of the 50 states.
From there, the chosen artists will square off, with the competition whittling down the artists in rounds that lead into the semi-finals, and then to the “March Madness-style” Grand Finale. It is unclear which network (or streamer) will carry the show. It comes as there is no shortage of singing contests on American television. However, Eurovision, and now The American Song Contest, have a distinction from their genre counterparts.
Contestants will not be covering well-known artists’ songs, as they do on already popular shows like American Idol. Instead, The American Song Contest will feature competitors using original songs to achieve musical glory. It will be intriguing to see if hopefuls will be able to take to an actual stage to perform by the time the 2021 holiday season arrives, which is when the contest is slated to bow.
For its part, American Idol recently announced plans for virtual auditions for its spring 2021 season. A lot can happen between then and the holiday season of 2021, so we might be able to see the contestants, judges and an audience gather in one spot to witness what these singers have to offer for The American Song Contest.
Eurovision has taken viewers’ breath away with its stunning, signature stage set-ups and production values, so I think that The American Song Contest hoping to achieve the success of its predecessor without that component would be tricky. That said, the competition could not come at a better time, as American viewers who may not have been aware of Eurovision earlier this year recently got an education thanks to the Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams film.
The Eurovision Song Contest movie actually brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion. So, I can only imagine what the real series has done for people’s emotions. It is pretty cool that American fans of Eurovision will be getting a spin on the competition, though I am sure many would be content to watch the original on television.
Only time will tell if The American Song Contest can have the same global success or reach as Eurovision. Meanwhile, American Idol and The Voice have been the TV shows most prominently filling our singing competition needs. Earlier this year, both series had to switch to at-home formats in the face of the ongoing health crisis. Will things have changed by the time The American Song Contest arrives? Stay tuned.
An exact premiere date for The American Song Contest is pending, outside of the holiday 2021 season release window, so in the meantime, keep yourself entertained with this fall’s schedule. You can watch the movie, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, on Netflix. It was one of 2020’s premieres, and there will be more soon.