International Talent Contest Eurovision May Be Coming To America — Here’s What That Means
The long-running, hugely popular international singing competition Eurovision may be coming to America in the next few years. If you’re not familiar with this phenomenon, read on to find out what it might mean for the United States.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the European Broadcasting Union has given license to Swedish production company Brain Academy to develop the contest in the United States. It would be called the American Song Contest, with a goal to debut in 2021.
What Is Eurovision?
Eurovision is an annual song contest among countries from the European Union, plus guest countries such as Australia and Israel. It has been broadcast every year since 1956, and reportedly draws as many as 600 million worldwide viewers.
Each participating country enters a song and performer, and one country is crowned the winner after several days of competition. Viewers can vote by phone, text message, and app, but they can’t vote for their own country. The winning country receives a trophy and usually hosts the next year’s competition.
The 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is currently underway, with the Grand Final scheduled for this Saturday, May 18. Last year, the winning country was Israel, so the current competition is being held in Tel Aviv.
“Outside of sports, the Eurovision Song Contest is the biggest TV show on Earth, it unites a continent and everybody gets to vote,” Peter Settman, CEO and creative director of Brain Academy, told THR.
What Are The Performances Like?
If you follow any Europeans on social media, you might have some idea of the sort of spectacle you can expect from Eurovision. Performances are often colorful and flamboyant, and feature flashy costumes, elaborate dance routines, and even acrobatics.
As AV Club points out, some pretty big names have come out of Eurovision over the years. Perhaps most notably, Sweden won the contest in 1974 with ABBA’s performance of “Waterloo.” In 1988, Céline Dion performed the winning song for Switzerland.
What Can We Expect From The American Version?
Although not confirmed, one would assume (and THR speculates) that an American version of Eurovision would feature performances from each of the 50 states. If it follows the European format, viewers would only be able to vote for states they don’t live in.
It would definitely be interesting to see what kinds of songs and performances America can come up with. Will they reflect the culture and musical history of each state? Will it just be yet another version of American Idol and The Voice? Will we see anything as over-the-top as Eurovision? We’ll just have to wait and see.