After years of rumors and talks about the topic, the United States will have its own version of Eurovision in which each of the country’s 50 states will compete.
NBC, the United States’ oldest private television, confirmed on Monday that it had acquired the European coordination rights to organize the first edition of the “American Song Contest” in 2022, in a format that mimics the traditional European competition.
In the case of the United States, 50 of the country’s states will participate, in addition to the capital, Washington, D.C., and the five autonomous territories: Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands and Samoa.
Already in 2019, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) announced that it is negotiating to export its landmark show to the North American country, which this year will reach its 65th edition.
“For 65 years, the Eurovision Song Contest has connected people from all over the world. As the owners of this hugely successful format, we have seen it find a place in millions of hearts across Europe and beyond.” Martin Osterdale, the contest’s executive producer, said in a statement: “We are now excited to have found the perfect partners.”
The new American Song Contest will see three knockout rounds before the Grand Final, one more than the Eurovision Song Contest, whose rules include only one semi-final and one final.
Musicians with original songs such as soloists, DJs, duos, or groups of up to six members can participate.
According to the first clues, the American version will be very similar to the mechanisms of Melodifestivalen, the program through which Sweden chooses its representative at Eurovision and which has been tested to broadcast as an event in the country for several weeks.
In fact, Christer Björkman is signed as producer for the new contest, having worked on Melodifestivalen since 2002.
For its part, Europe celebrates next week the 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, which is organized in the Netherlands after the cancellation last year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, in which France starts as the biggest candidate.