Pop

The Eurovision Song Contest Is Headed to the U.S.

Duncan Laurence
Michael Campanella/Getty Images

Duncan Laurence, representing The Netherlands, performs live Arcade after winning the Grand Final of the 64th annual Eurovision Song Contest held at Tel Aviv Fairgrounds on May 18, 2019 in Tel Aviv, Israel.

The wildly popular Eurovision Song Contest is coming to the U.S. next year with the American Song Contest, which will bring together artists from all 50 states during the 2021 holiday season.

After six decades of massive TV viewership, and launching such superstars as ABBA, Julio Iglesias, Lordi and Celine Dion, the American version of the show will invite groups of up to six members, solo singers and duos to perform original songs on the series.

Producer and TV exec Ben Silverman's Propagate Content is behind the U.S. launch, whose air date had not been announced at press time. More than 200 million people tune in annually for the Eurovision Song Contest, making it one of the biggest televised events in the world.

“For more than 20 years, I’ve tried to bring the Eurovision Song Contest to the United States because it is the greatest and most successful format yet to be adapted," said Silverman in a statement. "Before I found Who Wants To Be A Millionaire or there was a Pop Idol, Eurovision was dominating the ratings and charts. Put simply, there is nothing else like it on television."

"The sheer spectacle is amazing. It is a pure celebration of the best in music and the best of what music can be, produced by the world’s elite artisans in all fields of production," Silverman continued. "The Eurovision Song Contest has shown that it can unite different countries and artists for a few nights every year to focus on their mutual love and respect for music. Bringing The American Song Contest and the Eurovision brand to the U.S. is an incredibly ambitious project, but one worth doing, since we think these inherent values are intrinsic to uniting a fractional America through its greatest export and global impact … culture!!!”

In the run-up to the live shows, Propagate and the American Song Contest production team will launch The American Song Contest Academy, a group of U.S.-based music professionals representing multiple genres who will gather juries of artists and music industry figures, who will join with regional audiences to select the top talent from all 50 states. The artists will then go head-to-head with acts from other states in a series of 5-10 televised qualifier competitions, leading up to the semi-finals and then the primetime March Madness-style Grand Finale.

The Eurovision contest was recently spoofed in the Will Ferrell Netflix movie Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, which gave the comedian his first entry on the Billboard songs chart when "Husavik" debuted at No. 16 on the Digital Song Sales chart dated July 11 with 8,000 downloads sold in the U.S. in the week ending July 2, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

Click here to watch a trailer for American Song Contest.