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!

Read more American Song Contest news here

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ESCFan2009
ESCFan2009
1 month ago

My comment got stuck in the filter 🙁 Maybe because of the abbreviations.

I wanted to say that I’m always looking forward to new songs, shows and music competitions. And it would be cool if the contest airs in August, so we can finally have a full years’ schedule with 3 contests 🙂

AdD
AdD
1 month ago

Am I the only person who thinks that there’s a higher likelihood of the EBU making Eurovision 2020 happen in what is left of the year than anything happening in America?

Fast Food Music Lover
Fast Food Music Lover
1 month ago

Both of these gonna be a mess. A mess I can’t wait to watch, that is.

Domino
Domino
1 month ago

This is less of a rivalry and more of a jealousy

Crystal
1 month ago

So I guess that rules out CBS as potential ASC broadcaster? That may be a blessing in disguise for the ASC, as CBS doesn’t have a great track record with talent competitions. The Star Search reboot lasted about 3 years in the early 2000s, and Rock Star managed two seasons (this was a few years before the executive producer, Survivor’s Mark Burnett, acquired the U.S. rights to The Voice, which he ended up taking to rival network NBC). Then CBS stayed away from televised talent competitions altogether for over a decade before trying The World’s Best (which featured AGT finalist… Read more »

gilpgilp
gilpgilp
1 month ago

This is all dumb. Nobody will care about Nebraska VS Delaware. Just let USA and Canada qualify for Eurovision semis like Australia and have them organize their own national competitions, but not based on states.

T.J.
T.J.
1 month ago
Reply to  gilpgilp

1) I’m happy to have at least ONE thing in western pop culture where the US plays no role at all. This us-americanization just makes me sick! And I hope that stays this way forever

2) IF – and again I hope this will NEVER happen – IF we have a northern American participant, you might look up your map and find that Mexico is also a country of the north American continent.

Teeks
Teeks
1 month ago
Reply to  T.J.

Nebraskans and Delawareans (?) will care!

gilpgilp
gilpgilp
1 month ago
Reply to  T.J.

Sure let Mexico in too. The more the merrier.

gilpgilp
gilpgilp
1 month ago
Reply to  T.J.

Regarding your concern about USA participation – what’s the problem about letting them into the semi? They will have the same vote as small countries like Estonia. If the song/performance sucks they won’t make the final. Let’s be inclusive.

American ESC Fan
American ESC Fan
1 month ago
Reply to  gilpgilp

As someone who lives in the US most of the time we prioritize our state over the country as a whole, especially people in my state of Maryland.

gilpgilp
gilpgilp
1 month ago

Oh yes I’m sure the Maryland vs Iowa ratings will be through the roof lol. People are not going to care about this contest unless there’s a larger goal – i.e. if the winner competes against Europe.

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
1 month ago

Ok: so a combination of eurovision and americas got talent where in every artist will have the most pathetic sob story where you can play the worlds smallest violin to + performances of precisely 1:30 minutes with 8 minutes of judge talking and crying about the sob story followed by an ad break.

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
1 month ago
Reply to  Frisian esc

Can y’all come up with a better name? I was thinking about something like ’50 states of sadness’. Nicely multi interpretable and all.

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago
Reply to  Frisian esc

Hilarious!

Crystal
1 month ago
Reply to  Frisian esc

I hope the ASC stays true to the Eurovision format and doesn’t use judges or critiques at all…we (the viewers) get to be the judges! It’d certainly be refreshing to just hear the songs being performed without being told how to react to them. That works for other formats, but not for Eurovision (I know some of the national finals use judges, though).

ESCFan2009
ESCFan2009
1 month ago

I’m sceptical about that “half-documentary-part”. In contrast, the American Song Contest could be really cool, seeing a music show with 51 acts and performances 😀 I will definitely be watching ASC, if ever happening 🙂
Plus: Imagine watching JESC with preselections from September to November, ESC with preselections from December to May and ASC with preselections from June to August. Would be a perfect year <3

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago

The most crucial difference seems to be that one is a song contest and the other isn’t.

Una
Una
1 month ago

So both shows are supposed to be money spinners plus some sob stories included as per usual in American television. Far, far away from the spirit of Eurovision which is not commercial in nature nevermind the multi country – language – culture – collaboration among broadcasters aspects. Those *little* things that make Eurovision? I am of course being sarcastic. Can’t compare the two with Eurovision. What the heq – are there no boundaries at all? Just compare anything to our Eurovision of 40 plus countries? REALLY?

Neil
Neil
1 month ago

So basically a less funny Fire Saga movie type thing?
I’m okay with it but us americans have to stop stealing from European lol
Plus Urop is far more diverse and original than the US so I’m not sure how it will work
out, but okay

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Neil

The ones doing the “stealing” are from Europe.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  James

Television or music? Dancing with the Stars, The Voice, America’s Got Talent, American Idol, Big Brother…all originally European.

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

Some or most are Dutch. And Dancing with the Starts originated from the UK (different name). Survivor is from Sweden also with a different original name.

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago
Reply to  Neil

Urop – that’s so funny LOL.

EllieLazarev
EllieLazarev
1 month ago

I hate Simon Cowell with a passion and I hope this flops ?

Linus
Linus
1 month ago
Reply to  EllieLazarev

You dont talk like that little boy. Not nice

HarpyDarper
HarpyDarper
1 month ago
Reply to  EllieLazarev

I detest him too. He’s responsible for so much crap, and he has to be front and centre of everything. X Factor is a tacky and overblown monstrosity which has been rammed down our troughts for the last 15 years, and has to dominate everything. And don’t forget he made his fortune in novelty records (Power Rangers, Teletubbies).
He is slimey and he’s in the gang with Louis Walsh, Piers Morgan etc. All repulsive people

EllieLazarev
EllieLazarev
1 month ago
Reply to  HarpyDarper

The X Factor isn’t a talent show its a rigged drama. There is a video essay on youtube about it how bad it is Danyal Johnson had his confidence recked by the judges on that show and there the thing with Zoe Alexander and them sabotaging auditions to make dramatic moments

Lulu
1 month ago

This coronvirus has and will kill off many things including ESC things will never be the same. Life will never be the same we just can’t see it sad and horrible period in our lifetime

sav001
sav001
1 month ago
Reply to  Lulu

There were much worse flus/viruses in the past and still life went on. This too shall pass.

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
1 month ago
Reply to  sav001

It’s gonna take like 1,5 years according to dutch scientists tho. Not really a light to the end of the tunnel in sight.

Linus
Linus
1 month ago
Reply to  Lulu

wrong. will be better

Una
Una
1 month ago
Reply to  Lulu

ESC will come back stronger. I am sure of that.

Darren
Darren
1 month ago

Can’t see American Song Contest working if I’m honest. It’s too indigenous. Part of the fun of Eurovision is because it’s different countries taking part, a chance to see different cultures, different music scenes etc from what you are normally used too. American Song Contest will be too samey. Maybe I’m too much of a Puritan but I kind of prefer Eurovision being our thing, our crazy annual thing that we understand but people outside of Europe and the EBU area just don’t get. I think the Eurovision Asia Song Contest has more of a chance of being a success… Read more »

sam
sam
1 month ago
Reply to  Darren

coming from an american, we need something like eurovision right now 🙁

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago
Reply to  Darren

I agree with you. Tho it would be nice that the ESC had more authentic entries, there are so many that lack their unique flavour so to speak.

Ashton
Ashton
1 month ago
Reply to  Darren

Ok but there is so much range in American music. There is country, pure pop, latin-flavoured music in Florida, jazz and swing in Louisiana, indie-pop, Hawaiian music, Alaskan Inuit music, Mexican-flavoured music in Texas and New Mexico, and the music of the thousands of Native American tribes.

Darren
Darren
1 month ago
Reply to  Ashton

@Ashton
Do you really think we’ll get these different styles? No way will it be Alaskan Inuit.
It will be the usual pop, rap, country that takes up American Idol/XFactor etc.

Ashton
Ashton
1 month ago
Reply to  Darren

Point taken, but I’m saying that there is the option and they have the ability to choose them.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Ashton

Gabrielle Union’s experience on America’s Got Talent doesn’t give me much hope…

Azaad
Azaad
1 month ago

This’ll probably do better than ASC overall.

Lemanic
Lemanic
1 month ago

Pure jealousy by the Boris Johnson of Pop. Wasn’t he cancelled because of some racist/sexist statements he made?

Last edited 1 month ago by Lemanic