‘American Song Contest’ Recap: Kelly Clarkson, Snoop Dogg Host Electrifying Premiere
The highly anticipated Eurovision-like series, American Song Contest has finally arrived! The first 11 acts took the stage during the premiere and immediately impressed the audience and hosts Kelly Clarkson and Snoop Dogg.
Before the contest began, Clarkson and Snoop Dogg made their own remarks about the show itself. Clarkson began by reminding audience that this is the only original song talent show on air, while Snoop Dogg promised Grammy level performances.
It was immediately clear that these performances were going to live up to Snoop Dogg’s expectations since the stage featured multiple screens with animations. The animations and backup dancers made each performance truly unique. This detail definitely brought this show up a level.
Voting opened as soon as the show began for Americans. After the first performance, Clarkson shared that three out four artists going into next round will be picked by the open vote. The other artist continuing will be determined using the celebrity jury. Jury voters are not allowed to vote for their own states or territories.
56 executives, producers, and Grammy Award winners from each state make up the celebrity jury. They all will rank the songs from the episode and determine one artist who will move on to the semi finals at the end of the episode. It seems like this format will be kept throughout the entirety of the competition.
11 Unique Voices Take The National Stage During American Song Contest Premiere
The first group to take the stage was Yam Haus, representing Minnesota. They created this band while in college and now almost have 10 million streams on Spotify. Their song is called “Ready to Go” and it talks about how they’re ready for the next steps in their career. They were energetic on the stage and really got the audience going.
Up next came AleXa who is not the artist people expect from Oklahoma, but she totally owns it. She’s a K-pop artist that currently works in South Korea as a singer. On the stage, she sang “Wonderland.” I think she put on one of the best performances of the night in relation to visuals, choreography, and background dancers.
Differing from AleXa’s energetic performance was Kelsey Lamb’s country performance. The Arkansas representative was the first of her genre to take to the American Song Contest Stage. She described her musical sound as a mix of Blake Shelton and Avril Lavigne before performing her love song “Never Like This.” This singer’s performance featured a beautiful background that didn’t distract from her.
UG Skywalkin’s father wanted him to live the American dream before he passed away, which is why this singer is representing Indiana. He’s been doing music for 10 years in all genres, but he’ll be performing rap in the TV series. His song, “Love In My City” is inspired by his home state of Indiana. The audience seemed to really love this artist.
Christian Pagán also performed “LOKO” during this episode on behalf of Puerto Rico. This Puerto Rican icon teared up the stage with several backup dancers and flares on stage. He showed off his dance moves as well which definitely brought the performance to life.
Bold Fashion Choices Premiere on American Song Contest
Michael Bolton is representing Connecticut in the national competition. Before taking to the stage, Bolton recapped his career including having his first hit song at 34 years old and where he’s at in 2022. He took to the stage singing a brand new song called “Beautiful World.” The 69 year old singer showed that he still has a strong voice.
After Bolton came the singer representing Iowa that loves the color pink, Alisabeth Von Presley. This singer stunned in a full pink body suit on the stage that matched the pink tones on the screen behind her. Alisabeth was the embodiment of her inspirations, Lady Gaga and Pat Benatar when she performed her power anthem “Wonder.”
Jake’O represents Wisconsin on American Song Contest. I was taken aback by Jake’O’s resemblance to Elvis Presley. His song “Feel Your Love” is described as nuvo retro. The singer gave a great new-style retro performance. Even though he was dressed as a retro icon, people will definitely remember his name after that.
Following Jake’O’s great fashion came Keyone Starr who wore my favorite look of the night. This singer joined the music scene in 2014 and grabs inspiration from her home state of Mississippi. She shared that the state is filled with churches and blues music, so her gospel/blues sound is perfect to represent the state in her song “Fire.”
Ryan Charles showed up to the competition dressed as a cowboy, but surprisingly wasn’t a country singer. The Wyoming based singer takes pride in the fact that his look is far different from his cowboy western rap sound. His song “New Boot Goofin'” embodies the feeling of picking out a new pair of cowboy boots.
One Artist Was Already Picked by the Jury to Continue into The Semifinals
Last, but not least Hueston took the stage on behalf of Rhode Island. He was the final act of the American Song Contest premiere and explained his music as both emotional and simple, comparing his style to Chris Stapleton and Adele. He took to the stage performing “Held on Too Long” and impressed with his smooth, deep vocals.
At the end of the episode, the hosts announced who the jury chose to continue into the semi finals. Hueston representing Rhode Island is the first performer to move on into the American Song Contest semi finals.
Fans can listen to the original songs from tonight’s show on whatever streaming service they use. Voting is now open on both NBC’s website and app, as well as TikTok. The voting period will end on Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. ET. Tune into next week’s episode of American Song Contest to find out which three artists will be alongside Hueston in the semi finals.