Posted on Variety Mar 21, 2022 8:00am PT By Jennifer Maas
“American Song Contest” has revealed its detailed online and TikTok voting procedures and the 56 members of its expert jury panel, including Isaac Slade, Matt Pinfield and Jose Tillan, ahead of the U.S. adaptation of “Eurovision’s” big two-hour debut Monday on NBC, Variety has learned exclusively.
Hosted by Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson, the all-live “American Song Contest” will feature 56 artists representing the 50 states, five U.S. territories and our nation’s capital, all competing for best hit song. A combination of public and jury votes will decide who will advance in the competition, with the jury being comprised of 56 people, one representing each state/territory, who are a mix of music industry executives, songwriters, and radio programmers from various genres as well as managers and members of the Recording Academy. The jury, whose names you can see listed in full below, will evaluate each artist’s performance based on artistic expression, hit potential, originality and visual impression.
The NBC competition, which premieres tonight at 8 p.m., will follow a point system in which every state and territory votes with equal power, regardless of population, with viewers able to vote for their favorite performances on nbc.com/ascvote, the NBC App and on TikTok, the official voting platform partner for “American Song Contest.” Per NBC, “This is the first time TikTok has partnered with a live competition series for the duration of its run, allowing viewers to vote for their favorite artists in real time via an in-app voting hub, create original TikTok content using music from the series, and directly engage with contestants.”
“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.
Additionally, NBC says T-Mobile, as the official voting partner of “American Song Contest,” will be providing one of the Top 10 finalists the opportunity to have their song featured in an upcoming T-Mobile commercial following the Grand Final.
“We all know the modern hits but so few of us ever get to witness them actually becoming legendary songs,” Slade, former member of The Frey who is representing Colorado on the jury, told Variety. “’American Song Contest’ will give people a front row seat to that moment when those timeless songs first catch fire, right in front of their eyes.“
“I am thrilled to be part of this diverse and talented jury and getting to represent my home state of New Jersey on the very first ‘American Song Contest,’” added KLOS radio host Matt Pinfield (New Jersey). “I look forward to seeing what talent each state and territory has to bring.”
Florida juror Jose Tillan, director/producer of the POPGarage, said: “It is such a pleasure to be part of ‘American Song Contest” alongside such a talented group of jurors. I am looking forward to this journey of discovering great talent and celebrating the power songs.”
“American Song Contest” is executive produced by Audrey Morrissey with Propagate’s Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens, American Song Contest, Inc.’s Anders Lenhoff, Christer Björkman, Peter Settman and Ola Melzig; alongside Gregory Lipstone, Amanda Zucker and Kyra Thompson. Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson also serve as executive producers.
The series is produced by Propagate in association with Universal Television Alternative Studio, a division of Universal Studio Group and American Song Contest, Inc.
See the full list of “American Song Contest” jury panel members below.
Alabama – Amber Parker, Program Director, WTXT Tuscaloosa, iHeartMedia
Alaska – Quinn Christopherson, Artist
American Samoa – Joseph Fa’avae, Founder, Island Block Network
Arizona – Double-L, Music Director / On-Air Personality, KNIX Phoenix, iHeartMedia
Arkansas – Kevin Mercer, Program Director, KHKN Little Rock, iHeartMedia
California – Dan McCarroll, Former President of Capital Records and WB Records
Colorado – Isaac Slade, Former Member of The Fray
Connecticut – Jaime Levine, CEO, Seven Mantels, Artist Manager
Delaware – Christa Cooper, On-Air Personality / Assistant Program Director, WDSD Wilmington, iHeartMedia
Florida – Jose Tillan, Director/Producer – The POPGarage
Georgia – Jennifer Goicoechea, SVP A&R Sony Music, EPIC
Guam – Heidi Chargualaf Quenga, Executive Director, CHamorro Cultural Advisor
Hawaii – Eric Daniels, Keyboardist/Arranger, “The Voice”
Idaho – Shari Short, Singer/Songwriter/Producer
Illinois – Mike Knobloch, President, Music and Publishing, NBCUniversal
Indiana – Nancy Yearing, Talent Development
Iowa – Taylor J., Program Director / On-Air Personality KKDM Des Moines, iHeartMedia
Kansas – Michelle Buckles, Program Director, KZCH Wichita, iHeartMedia
Kentucky – Ashley Wilson, Director of Country Programming, Kentucky/Indiana, iHeartMedia
Louisiana – Uptown Angela, Executive Vice President of Programming, Format Lead Custom R&B/Gospel, iHeartMedia
Maine – Lauren Wayne, General Manger / Talent Buyer, State Theater
Maryland – Caron Veazey, Founder & CEO, Something In Common
Massachusetts – Jamie Cerreta, EVP Hipgnosis Songs Group
Michigan – Shahida Mausi, CEO The Right Productions, Inc./Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre
Minnesota – Barry Lather, Creative Director / Choreographer / Producer
Mississippi – Joe King the Big Daddy, Program Director, WZLD Hattiesburg, iHeartMedia
Missouri – Tommy Austin, SVP Programming, iHeartMedia
Montana – Stephanie Davis, Singer-Songwriter
Nebraska – Hoss Michaels, Program Director, KXKT Omaha, iHeartMedia
Nevada – Jim Vellutato, CEO, Arrival Music
New Hampshire – Charlie Singer, Music Television Producer / Executive Producer
New Jersey – Matt Pinfield, Nationally Syndicated Radio Host / A&R Consultant
New Mexico – Tony Manero, SVP Programming Southwest, iHeartMedia
New York – Tom Poleman, Chief Programming Officer & President, iHeartMedia
North Carolina – Paul Schadt, On-Air Personality, WKKT Charlotte, iHeartMedia
North Dakota – Allison Bostow, Program Director / On-Air Personality, KIZZ Minot, iHeartMedia
Northern Mariana Islands – Galvin Deleon Guerrero, President Northern Marianas College / Radio DJ
Ohio – Khirye Tyler, Songwriter / Producer / Musical Director
Oklahoma – Ester Dean, “The Song Machine”
Oregon – Mark Hamilton, Program Director / On-Air Personality, Portland Audacy
Pennsylvania – Ty Stiklorius, Founder & CEO of Friends at Work
Puerto Rico – Carlos Perez, Creative Director
Rhode Island – Kristin Lessard, On-Air Personality, WSNE Providence, iHeartMedia
South Carolina – Miss Monique, On-Air Personality / Program Director, WXBT Columbia, iHeartMedia
South Dakota – Jered Johnson, President / CEO, Pepper Entertainment
Tennessee – Brian Phillips, Executive VP, Content and Audience, Cumulus Media
Texas – Natural, Music Producer
U.S. Virgin Islands – Ajanie Williams, Music Producer & Author
Utah – Jeff McCartney, SVP Programming, Salt Lake City, iHeartMedia
Vermont – Lee Chesnut, A&R Consultant
Virginia – Justin Derrico, Musician
Washington – Zann Fredlund, On-Air Personality / Music Director & Assistant Program Director, KBKS Seattle, iHeartMedia
Washington, D.C. – Dustin Matthews, Director of Rock Programing, Washington, DC, iHeartMedia
West Virginia – Judy Eaton, Program Director, WTCR Huntington, iHeartMedia
Wisconsin – Shanna “Quinn” Cudeck, Program Director / On-Air Personality, WMIL Milwaukee, iHeartMedia
Wyoming – Ian Munsick, Warner Music Recording Artist