U.S. Version of Eurovision, ‘American Song Contest’, Is Now Accepting Submissions

Flo Rida and Senhit at 2021 Eurovision Song Contest
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

The Eurovision Song Contest has been an institution throughout Europe since 1956, but, unfortunately, due to the geographical rules of the competition, the United States has not been allowed to compete. However, that is about to change — kind of.

NBC is launching the American Song Contest, with submissions now open for artists across the U.S. and surrounding territories. Based on Eurovision, the series will feature live performances by American contestants, all competing to win the country’s vote for Best Original Song. All 50 states are eligible to enter alongside American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington D.C.

The competition is open to solo artists, duos, DJs, and bands, and all varieties of music are welcome, including country, dance/electronic, pop, rap, R&B and rock. Artists can be signed or independent but must be 16 or older and groups cannot contain more than six members. Cover and tribute bands are also banned from participating.

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Scandal rocks the annual song contest streamed live on Peacock.

There will be a series of qualifying heats to determine which states and territories move forward, followed by March Madness-style semi-finals and the ultimate grand final where the winner will be crowned. The eventual champion will be determined through fan votes and The American Song Contest Academy, a jury consisting of artists and music industry professionals. The competition will premiere in 2022.

“For 65 years the Eurovision Song Contest has connected people far and wide. As owners of this hugely successful format, we have seen how it has found a place in millions of hearts across Europe and beyond,” said Martin Österdahl, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest. “Now we are excited to have found the perfect partners to share this unique competition and its passionate celebration of music and original songs with the American people.”

The contest was spoofed in the 202o Will Ferrell movie Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. It helped launch the careers of Abba and Celine Dion, among others.

One American already has some Eurovision experience, as rapper Flo Rida helped represent San Marino at this year’s event alongside Italian singer Senhit. The guest performance from the Grammy-nominated artist wasn’t enough to help San Marino to victory, however, as the country finished in 22nd place with just 50 points. Italian metal band Måneskin would go on to win the competition.

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American Song Contest will be produced by Anders Lenhoff, Peter Settman, Christer Björkman and Ola Melzig, who have worked on over 20 Eurovision Song Contests between them. They will produce alongside Propagate’s Ben Silverman, Howard T. Owens and Gregory Lipstone, while Audrey Morrissey (The Voice) serves as showrunner.

“The Eurovision Song Contest is the biggest live music event in the world, and it is a great honour to bring it to the United States and transform our dream of American Song Contest into a reality on NBC,” said Lenhoff, Settman, Björkman and Melzig. “It’s awe-inspiring to stand at the beginning of an American legacy and it doesn’t get more exciting than that.”