The much-anticipated American Song Contest began its eight-week journey today, with the first of five qualifying shows launching the NBC spectacular onto screens across the United States.
The show opened with a dazzling display of lights and sounds as hosts Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson took to the stage to introduce this first edition of what will be America’s biggest live music event.
American Song Contest will include three rounds, taking place over eight weeks. The “Qualifying Rounds” will have 11 acts in each episode (with one week featuring 12). 22 artists will perform in the two-part “Semi-Finals” with the Top 10 performing in the “Grand Final,” where a winner will be crowned.
Voting for the Qualifiers will open Mondays and will close Wednesday morning.
“In the five-week Qualifiers (March 21, 28, April 4, 11, 18) at the end of each night, the jury will advance one artist immediately to the Semi-Finals,” according to NBC. “The remaining three spots will be determined through a combination of jury and fan votes. The artists advancing to the Semi-Finals will be announced the following week. In the Semi-Finals (April 25 & May 2), 10 artists will perform each week, with a slightly elevated performance of their original song.”
Upping the ante is the fact that during each Semi-Final, a “redemption” song will be revealed, “adding an 11th artist back into the competition to perform that week for the chance to advance to the Grand Final. At the end of each Semi-Final, the jury awards their highest-rated artist with an immediate spot in the Grand Final. America’s votes will then help to decide along with the jury which four additional artists will advance. In the Grand Final (May 9), the top 10 artists take the stage one last time to win America’s and the jury’s vote for best hit song.”
The jury consists of 56 music industry professionals. In Week 1, 11 acts competed for the fan and jury vote.
1. Minnesota: Yam Haus – “Ready to Go”
2. Oklahoma: AleXa – “Wonderland”
3. Arkansas: Kelsey Lamb “Never Like This”
4. Indiana: UG skywalkin ft. Maxie – “Love In My City”
5. Puerto Rico – Christian Pagán – “LOKO”
6. Connecticut: Michael Bolton – “Beautiful World”
7. Iowa: Alisabeth von Presley – “Wonder”
8. Wisconsin – Jake’O – “Feel Your Love”
9. Mississippi: Keyone Starr – “Fire”
10. Wyoming: Ryan Charles – “New Boot Goofin”
11. Rhode Island: Hueston – “Held On Too Long”
Rhode Island’s Hueston won this week’s jury vote, sending him straight to the Semi-Finals.
The remaining three artists who will join Hueston will be revealed after the voting ends and before the next group of acts take the stage in Hollywood for Week 2. We will be watching!