American Song Contest

Article

May 22, 2022

The American Song Contest is an American adaptation of the Eurovision Song Contest in which all fifty US states, five territories and Washington DC compete for the title of best original song. Christer Bjorkman, Anders Lehnhoff, Ola Melzig and Peter Settman served as producers, with Ben Silverman as executive producer.

Background

Eurovision is an international song contest organized annually by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) since 1956, in which mainly European countries take part. It ranks among the most watched non-sporting events in the world each year, with hundreds of millions of viewers worldwide. The earliest known television broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest in the continental United States was in 1971. Two years earlier, the contest was first broadcast in Puerto Rico. The contest was broadcast in both countries in 2003 and 2004. American cable network Logo TV aired the finale from 2016 to 2018 with commentary by Carson Kressley and Michelle Collins (2016); Michelle Visage and Ross Matthews (2017); and Matthews and Shangela (2018) [significance of the fact?]. Viewing figures have been low, ranging from 52,000 viewers in 2016 to 74,000 viewers in 2018. WJFD-FM, a commercial radio station in New Bedford, Massachusetts, broadcast the 2018 and 2019 finals with commentary in English and Portuguese. Netflix has licensed video-on-demand rights for the 2019 and 2020 contests. The OTT platform planned to release the musical comedy film "Eurovision: The Story of the Fire Saga" along with the 2020 contest. However, due to the cancellation of the competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the film was released a month later on 26 June. The film became the most watched content on Netflix in the US in its opening weekend. "History of the Fire Saga" also introduced viewers to the Eurovision format and its popularity in Europe. The song from the film Husavik (My Hometown) was nominated for Best Original Song at the 93rd Academy Awards. As early as 2006, there were plans to develop an American version of Eurovision when Ben Silverman (then chairman of the production company Reveille) developed a contest for NBC to challenge American Idol. Silverman (currently co-CEO)