In August, details were revealed of the American Song Contest — a United States version of Eurovision that is currently being developed. But now it appears there might be a rival production from X Factor mastermind Simon Cowell. The British television personality is said to be in talks with CBS for his music competition series 50 States to Stardom.
While the full format for the American Song Contest hasn’t been confirmed, the format of 50 States to Stardom does share a few broad similarities with what is known. The production news has been outlined on the Deadline website and in Variety magazine.
The series will focus on all 50 states as one “talented musician” is selected from each. The contest continues with a showcase where the 50 acts will perform and compete to be “the most talented musician in the country.”
But there are differences to the familiar Eurovision format. The series will also be a documentary, following the journey that each of the acts face, both as part of the competition and in their regular life. The series is described as being “both cinematic and realistic.”
Joining Simon Cowell and his production company SyCo Entertainment is the Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard and his regular collaborator, producer Brian Grazer and their production company Imagine Entertainment. The trio are said to be in “advanced discussions” with US network CBS.
Simon Cowell has previously created two successful international entertainment competition formats — The X Factor and Got Talent. He is also known in the United States for his judging role on American Idol.
Interest in the Eurovision Song Contest is at a high in the United States, following Will Ferrell’s successful Netflix film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. This would suggest the time is right to make a move with an American version of the song contest… or something similar.
The American Song Contest
While the American Song Contest has been under development for a while, details of the show format were announced in August.
The American Song Contest’s format will be similar to that of Eurovision, with semi-finals and a grand final. However, one notable change is that there will also be qualification rounds preceding the semi-finals. With 50 acts competing and no automatic qualifiers, there are a lot of acts to get through!
And unlike Eurovision, where the competing acts are selected by each country’s national broadcaster, the American version is doing things differently. California-based production company Propagate Content will create the “American Song Contest Academy”, made up of professional musicians from across the United States. The academy — along with public votes from regional audiences — will select all 50 participants of the contest.
Producers say the American Song Contest is aiming to debut in the 2021 holiday season. However, the show still does not have a broadcaster attached.
What do you think? Which show format sounds best? Is there room in the United States for more than one national talent show? Tell us your thoughts below!