entertainment

The Eurovision Song Contest is officially heading to America in 2021

The first ever American Song Contest will take place next winter.

2020-08-07

Well, it's happening: the Eurovision Song Contest is officially heading to America.

The iconic music competition, which has been held for the last 64 years in Europe (with the exception of this year, but that's still too painful to talk about), will be getting a US version in 2021, Variety reports.

The first ever American Song Contest will take place in winter next year, following the same format as the original as 50 acts from each US state compete for the coveted title.

With state-wide selection competitions, semi-finals and a grand final all in the offing, organisers will be hoping the spin-off can be every bit as big as its European counterpart, which regularly attracts global audiences of up to 200 million people.

Eurovision producer Christer Björkman, who represented Sweden in the 1992 competition (he finished second last, Sweden's worst result at the contest since 1977, but we won't talk about that), said of the upcoming US version: "Eurovision has been a dream project ever since I was a child.

"To have a chance to use everything you know about the format and redo it from the beginning and to bring it to an audience that has no history with it is such a privilege."

The first Eurovision Song Contest was held in Switzerland in 1956, as European nations attempted to forge closer international ties in the wake of the Second World War.

With key-changes, glitter and often questionable novelty acts, the contest has long served as a high-camp unifying force across Europe, and its message of inclusivity has seen it attract legions of dedicated LGBTQ fans.

American Song Contest Ben Silverman said he hopes the the Stateside version will hold a similar power in the increasingly divided US.

"When America is more fractionalized than ever and we are dealing with so many issues that divide us, the one [thing] that truly unites us is our culture," he said.

"It can unite it by celebrating its diversity, its distinctions and in pulling everyone around its love of music and its love of song."

So, Eurovision fans, what do we think? Is an American Song Contest sacrilege, or just another chance to enjoy the love and craziness each year? Only time will tell...

Watch a trailer for the American Song Contest below: