American Song Contest: Format and Voting Explainer

AMERICAN SONG CONTEST— Season: 1 — Pictured: Kelly Clarkson, Snoop Dogg — (Photo by: Chris Haston/Dave Bjerke/NBC)

American Song Contest premieres tonight (March 21) on NBC. The new series is based on Eurovision Song Contest, which has been popular across the pond for decades.

56 states and territories will present original songs by artists that range from newbies to iconic music stars such as Jewel (Alaska), Michael Bolton (Connecticut) and Macy Gray (Ohio). The Voice season 9 winner Jordan Smith will represent Kentucky. See the full list of contestants HERE.

As far as format is concerned, American Song Contest is similar to Eurovision.  Winners will be determined by a combination of viewer and jury votes. Each state/territory is represented by a jurist who gets one point each, no matter the population or size of their entity. But they cannot vote for their own state. 

Voting Rules

TikTok will be the official voting platform partner for American Song Contest. T-Mobile is the official voting partner of “American Song Contest” and 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.

Fans at home can vote for their favorite performances on, the NBC App and on TikTok.  Voting for the Qualifiers will open Mondays and will close Wednesday morning. 


The Qualifying Rounds will have 11 acts in each episode (with one week featuring 12). Twenty-two artists will perform in the two-part Semi-Finals with the Top 10 performing in the Grand Final, where a winner will be crowned.

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. 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. To make the stakes even higher, in 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.

Meet the Jury:

The 56-person jury, one representing each state/territory, is comprised of music industry executives, songwriters, radio programmers from various genres as well as A-list managers and members of the Recording Academy. The jury will evaluate each artist’s performance based on artistic expression, hit potential, originality, and visual impression.

  • 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 Manager / 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

About mj santilli 34830 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!