Konnichiwa, Japan! Ni hao, China! And xinh chao, Vietnam! The Eurovision Asia Song Contest — the long-anticipated spinoff of Eurovision — is finally happening.
On Friday organisers behind the event unveiled their official web site — EurovisionAsia.tv — along with a slick promo video that melds footage from Eurovision (fans will recognise Jamala, Måns Zelmerlöw and Sanja Vucic, among others) with imagery from Asia. This is some fusion cuisine that we are ready to devour!
“We are taking the biggest live televised music show – Eurovision – to the biggest music audience in the world,” organisers write on their web site. “Countries from the Asia-Pacific region will be able to compete in their own version of the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time.”
“Each country will showcase their songwriting and performing talent to Asia and the world and compete to be crowned the winner of the first ever Eurovision Asia Song Contest.”
A blue and purple caption explains that the “Eurovision Asia Song Contest will closely resemble the Eurovision Song Contest”.
Up to 20 countries will compete in an annual grand final.
Among them, we expect to see the likes of Japan, the second biggest music market in the world after the United States, and South Korea, which has exported its unique brand of pop music, affectionately dubbed K-pop, all over the world. Australia, Vietnam, Thailand — we are ready to feel your sound!
Why isn’t “Eurovision Asia” just “Asiavision”?
In the aftermath of the reveal, Eurovision fans have been asking an understandable question: Why not just call it “Asiavision”?
The problem is that The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union — the region’s equivalent to the European Broadcasting Union — runs a news service called Asiavision.
It’s a well-established entity — launched in 1984 — that operates in more than 30 countries, supplying news to networks including CCTV in China, ABS-CBN in the Philippines and VTV in Vietnam.
Who is organising Eurovision Asia?
Australia’s Blink TV — a comedy, entertainment and music production company — is one of the key stakeholders behind the competition.
It has produced a variety of acclaimed programming, from quiz shows to long-form comedy series, and has worked with media brands including the UK’s Channel 4, Sweden’s SVT and Denmark’s DR. Kylie Minogue, Robbie Williams, Tina Arena — they’ve all worked creatively with Blink.
But you guys will know the outfit best for their work at Eurovision, which has resulted in three Top 10 finishes in as many tries, including a jury win for Dami Im back in 2016. They recently produced the Eurovision Top 40 Songs special for SBS Australia.
“Our big vision is to bring the Eurovision brand to Asia, with the support of SBS and the EBU,” Blink TV’s Paul Clarke said over the summer, after securing major investment from Roadshow Films. “Roadshow has a strong track record of successfully releasing entertainment projects through Northern Asia.”
You may recognise Paul from the Eurovision green room, where he sat alongside the likes of Dami Im.
Eurovision Asia Song Contest
In March 2016 SBS and the EBU announced a joint-deal to establish an Asiavision Song Contest in 2017 with the first contest being held in Australia. Asiavision is still just a tentative name.
SBS has also been in talks with broadcasters in China, South Korea and Japan. The talks revealed a series of obstacles, including political tensions between the region’s three big music markets. Chinese law actually prohibits the broadcast or streaming of South Korean pop music and entertainment. That bold move came in response to South Korea’s deployment of THAAD — the United States’ Terminal High Altitude Area Defence missile system.
The host city and country for the event have not yet been decided, despite earlier plans for Australia to host the inaugural edition. China was subsequently revealed as the host of the first edition, though it seems plans have changed. Clarke revealed in an interview that he was in talks with Hong Kong, Sydney and Singapore to host the show.
Are you excited about the Eurovision Asia Song Contest? Any acts or countries you’re dying to see compete? Let us know in the comments box below!