‘American Song Contest’: New Show’s Format, Mystery Jurors Explained

Corey Cesare
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Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson american song contestTrae Patton/NBC

American Song Contest aired the first episode of their exciting competition on March 21. Now that the series is in full swing, here’s what to expect from the show’s unique format. American Song Contest airs live on NBC Monday nights from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET.


Last night kicked off the premiere of America’s Eurovision-like spectacular. The series features 56 artists from individual U.S. states and territories competing for the title of Best Original Song. The premiere began with 11 artists representing their hometowns taking to the stage.

What to Expect in The Next Weeks of American Song Contest

The 11 artist format or qualifier round format, will be on air for the first five weeks of the competition, with one episode featuring 12 artists. These 11 or 12 artists are battling it out for the vote to remain in the competition. Four artists from each episode will advance into the semifinals. The public vote advances three artists, while the jury vote advances one more.

Voting for the artists open at the beginning of the series time slot and ends on Wednesday morning at 7:00 a.m. EST. Each fan is able to cast 10 votes for each of their favorite artists. Voters are able to cast their ballot through NBC’s website and app, as well as through TikTok. The jury vote is announced at the end of each qualifier round episode. Hosts Kelly Clarkson and Snoop Dogg announce the winner of the public vote at the beginning of the following week’s episode.


The jury consists of 56 music industry professionals representing each state and territory. These professionals are industry executives, songwriters, radio programmers, managers, and more. Some of the most notable jury members are Clash of The Cover Bands judge Ester Dean, former The Fray member Isaac Slade, former President of Capitol Records and WB Records Dan McCarroll, keyboard/arranger on “The Voice” Eric Daniels, music television producer/executive producer Charlie Singer, and more. They will evaluate each artist’s performance based on artistic expression, hit potential, originality, and visual impression.

This voting group is prohibited from casting their ballot for the state they represent. Together, their vote determines the first singer of the night to advance into the next round of the competition.

What Will the Semifinals and Finale Look Like?

The next round of the competition is the semi finals. The semi finals will feature 20 artists that won America’s vote or the jury vote. These artists will perform an elevated performance of their original song. To raise the stakes even more, this round of the competition will feature a “redemption” song that adds an artist back into the competition. 22 artists will be competing in the two semi final episodes. Voting for the semi finals match the qualifier rounds, except the voting period is shorter. Jury votes will be announced at the end of the episode, but the public vote time frame is shorter. Instead of the public vote closing on Wednesday at 7 a.m. ET, it will then close on Tuesday at 8 a.m. ET.


Following the semi finals, 10 artists will advance into the grande finale airing on May 9. The Top 10 artists will take to the stage once again in the finale with their original songs. This episode differs from the rest because both the public vote and jury vote will be announced at the end. The voting period for the finale opens on May 9, 8 p.m. ET and close at 9:35 p.m. ET. The first ever winner of Best Original Song will be crowned at the end of this episode.

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