If you recently watched Netflix’s Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga and thought, “Hey! That was fun. But what if it were more… American?” then you’re in luck. Variety reports that America is getting its very own version of Eurovision - the world-renowned European singing competition that’s wowed audiences for over six decades - in 2021 with a less cool name, “The American Song Contest.” Just in time for the holidays, “The American Song Contest” will
bastardize attempt to emulate the Eurovision formula by pitting contestants from each of the 50 states (sorry D.C.) in every musical genre performing original tunes. The contestants will be comprised of “professional musical artists” selected by a jury of “artists and music industry notables” who with the help of regional audiences will select “top talent” from 50 states. There will be a series of televised qualifier competitions and then a semi-final round leading to “an ultimate primetime Grand Finale March Madness-style” which will crown the American version of ABBA, Celine Dion, and/or Conchita Wurst.
“The American Song Contest” is the brainchild of producer Christer Björkman who, like Will Ferrell’s character in Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga grew up as a fan of the show and went on to compete in Eurovision in 1992 representing Sweden (he didn’t win, that year belonged to Linda Martin of Ireland). “Eurovision has been a dream project ever since I was a child,” Björkman told Variety. “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.” The show also boasts executive producer Ben Silverman who’s responsible for bringing The Office, Big Brother, and The Weakest Link to the U.S.A.
Silverman’s aim is to heal our broken nation with the “American Song Contest,” which definitely feels like something a televised reality singing competition is capable of doing. “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,” says Silverman. “It can unite it by celebrating its diversity, its distinctions and in pulling everyone around its love of music and its love of song.” Well intentioned as it may be, why do we have a sinking suspicion that America will ruin the gloriously absurd, wonderfully weird, and distinctly European gem that is Eurovision? Plus, don’t we have enough singing competitions. The Voice, American Idol, The Masked Singer, Songland, America’s Got Talent (mostly), and new addition The Bachelor Presents: Listen To Your Heart would like to have a word. Also, you already know no one’s gonna write a song as catchy as “Husavik.”