Eurovision Song Contest isn’t just a recent movie starring Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams. It’s also a popular television competition series that has taken place for six decades and assisted in breaking out popular artists like Abba. Now, a version of the series is officially heading to the US, titled American Song Contest.
Premiering in 2021, American Song Contest will feature professional musicians and bands from across all 50 states as they perform original numbers and compete for the winning glass trophy. Following Eurovision‘s format, artists from each state will be competing against each other in a series of qualifier competitions. Representatives from each state can elect to feature either a well-known artist or up-and-coming talent.
According to Variety, the show’s producer Christer Björkman was a Eurovision contestant himself in 1992 but eventually pivoted behind the scenes. “Eurovision has been a dream project ever since I was a child,” Björkman said. “To have a chance to use everything you know about the format and redo it from the beginning and to bring it to an audience that has no history with it is such a privilege.”
Ben Silverman, the show’s executive producer, said American Song Contest has been long in the making. “I’ve spent 20 years trying to pursue this,” Silverman said. “When I was chairman of NBC, when I was an agent at William Morris and when I started at Reveille. I just love the format.”
Silverman added that the show will have the power to unify and “celebrate diversity” in the US: “When America is more fractionalized than ever and we are dealing with so many issues that divide us, the one [thing] that truly unites us is our culture. […] It can unite it by celebrating its diversity, its distinctions and in pulling everyone around its love of music and its love of song.”