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American Song Contest: Which States Advanced, How to Vote, How to Get the Music, and More

Will your state win the grand prize?

Tim Surette

We're through four weeks of American Song Contest, and the Eurovision for America has taken our natural state rivalries and turned them up a few notches. I hear South Dakota has blocked North Dakota on social media! Episode 4 of NBC's reality singing competition series saw a Latin Lizzo from New Hampshire, The Crystal Method (Nevada) looking and sounding nearly unrecognizable from their EDM roots with some rock, and Hawaii offering up some Jawaiian tunes. But the winner of the night was Washington's Allen Stone, a ringer for the competition whose popular sound gives him a pretty solid advantage. 

Despite some new efforts to spruce up the competition side of things with in-episode polls and updated standings from the jury (both good moves), American Song Contest fell further in the ratings, largely because of the CMT Awards on CBS and American Idol on ABC — three times as many viewers are watching American Idol. You have to question NBC's decision to put American Song Contest against American Idol, because it's looking rather foolish right now. 

Will NBC's big gamble translate to us Yankees? Will state rivalries (suck it, Washington!) be big enough to draw in viewers? Here's everything we know about American Song Contest

Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson, American Song Contest

Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson, American Song Contest


American Song Contest Release Date and Finale Date

In its inaugural season, American Song Contest premiered on Monday, March 21 at 8/7c on NBC. Episode 5 of American Song Contest will air Monday, April 18 at 8/7c on NBC. New episodes are two hours long and air Mondays, with the finale scheduled to air Monday, May 9.

Where to Watch and Stream American Song Contest

American Song Contest airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. on NBC. If you miss the episode that night, you can watch it the next day on NBC.com, Peacock, and Hulu, but watch out for spoilers!

Who Is Hosting American Song Contest?

No big-budget reality competition show gets a green light without big names as hosts, and NBC booked Kelly Clarkson and Snoop Dogg (!!) to serve as emcees for American Song Contest. Clarkson is a multi-hyphenate who rose to fame after winning the first season of American Idol, has recorded multiple No. 1 albums, currently serves as a coach on The Voice, and has won multiple Emmys as host of the daytime talk show The Kelly Clarkson Show. Snoop Dogg is a renowned rapper from Long Beach, Calif., is the owner of Death Row Records, and co-hosts Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party on VH1.

How Does American Song Contest Work?

American Song Contest follows the model of Eurovision, one of the most popular reality competitions in Europe that pits acts from different countries against each other. American Song Contest takes representatives from each of the 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., and five U.S. territories. Each act will consist of a solo performer or a group of up to six members, and perform an original song in qualifying rounds before winners move onto the semi-final rounds and then the finals. 

Winners will be determined by a mix of a fan/audience vote and a jury of music professionals. Voting is weighted to give each state equal voting power. It's not about winning the popular vote, it's about winning as many states as one can, and the system prevents more populous states, like California and Texas, from dominating the voting. 

There will be five weeks of qualifying rounds, with 11 or 12 artists performing in each of the first five episodes. At the end of each of the qualifying rounds episodes, one act moves on thanks to a vote by the jury, but the others can also move on as fan and jury votes are tabulated throughout the contest. Three more acts from each episode will advance based on fan and jury voting.

Semi-final rounds will see 20 acts (four from each of the five episodes) perform over two episodes. As a bonus, a special "redemption artist" — an act that is given a second chance — will be added to each episode for a total of 11 performers for each semi-final round, and five artists will advance from each episode. The grand finale will see 10 artists compete for the title of Best Original Song.

Eurovision is famous for its spectacle, featuring elaborate sets and costumes, and American Song Contest is bringing that vibe. Performers are encouraged to not just write a hit song, but put on a big, memorable, visual performance. 

How Do I Vote for Songs in American Song Contest?

Voting takes place during and after each episode on the NBC app, NBC.com, and TikTok. Voting for artists ends at 7 a.m. ET the Wednesday after their episode airs. 

American Song Contest Competitors for Each State and Territory: Who Performed, Who Moved on, and Who Got Eliminated

On March 3, NBC released the competitors from each U.S. state, each U.S. territory, and Washington D.C., for a total of 56 acts competing for the prize of Best Original Song. As promised, it's a combination of well-known acts, like Jewel (Alaska), Michael Bolton (Connecticut), and Macy Gray (Ohio), and others you've probably never heard of. 

Here's the full list:

  • Alabama: Ni/Co - Performed in Episode 3; advanced to semis on fan vote in Episode 4
  • Alaska: Jewel - Performed in Episode 3 
  • American Samoa: Tenelle
  • Arizona: Las Marias - Performed in Episode 4
  • Arkansas: Kelsey Lamb - Performed in Episode 1
  • California: Sweet Taboo
  • Colorado: Riker Lynch - Performed in Episode 3; advanced to semis on fan vote in Episode 4
  • Connecticut: Michael Bolton - Performed in Episode 1; advanced to semis on fan vote in Episode 2
  • Delaware: Nitro Nitra - Performed in Episode 3
  • Florida: Ale Zabala - Performed in Episode 3
  • Georgia: Stela Cole - Performed in Episode 4
  • Guam: Jason J.
  • Hawaii: Bronson Varde - Performed in Episode 4
  • Idaho: Andrew Sheppard
  • Illinois: Justin Jesso
  • Indiana: UG skywalkin - Performed in Episode 1
  • Iowa: Alisabeth Von Presley - Performed in Episode 1
  • Kansas: Broderick Jones - Performed in Episode 2; advanced to semis on fan vote in Episode 3
  • Kentucky: Jordan Smith - Performed in Episode 2; advanced to semis on jury vote in Episode 2
  • Louisiana: Brittany Pfantz - Performed in Episode 3
  • Maine: King Kyote - Performed in Episode 2
  • Maryland: Sisqó
  • Massachusetts: Jared Lee - Performed in Episode 4
  • Michigan: Ada LeAnn
  • Minnesota: Yam Haus - Performed in Episode 1
  • Mississippi: Keyone Starr - Performed in Episode 1
  • Missouri: Brett Seper
  • Montana: Jonah Prill - Performed in Episode 2; advanced to semis on fan vote in Episode 3
  • Nebraska: Jocelyn - Performed in Episode 2
  • Nevada: The Crystal Method - Performed in Episode 4
  • New Hampshire: MARi - Performed in Episode 4
  • New Jersey: Brooke Alexx - Performed in Episode 3
  • New Mexico: Khalisol
  • New York: ENISA - Performed in Episode 2
  • North Carolina: John Morgan
  • North Dakota: Chloe Fredericks - Performed in Episode 2; advanced to semis on fan vote in Episode 3
  • Northern Mariana Islands: Sabyu - Performed in Episode 3
  • Ohio: Macy Gray - Performed in Episode 2
  • Oklahoma: AleXa - Performed in Episode 1; advanced to semis on fan vote in Episode 2
  • Oregon: courtship. - Performed in Episode 2
  • Pennsylvania: Bri Steves - Performed in Episode 4
  • Puerto Rico: Christian Pagán - Performed in Episode 1; advanced to semis on fan vote in Episode 2
  • Rhode Island: Hueston -  Performed in Episode 1; advanced to semis on jury vote in Episode 1
  • South Carolina: Jesse LeProtti - Performed in Episode 3
  • South Dakota: Judd Hoos - Performed in Episode 3
  • Tennessee: Tyler Braden - Performed in Episode 3; advanced to semis on jury vote in Episode 3
  • Texas: Grant Knoche - Performed in Episode 3; advanced to semis on fan vote in Episode 4
  • U.S. Virgin Islands: Cruz Rock - Performed in Episode 2
  • Utah: Savannah Keyes - Performed in Episode 4
  • Vermont: Josh Panda
  • Virginia: Almira Zaky - Performed in Episode 2
  • Washington: Allen Stone - Performed in Episode 4; advanced to semis on jury vote in Episode 4
  • Washington, D.C.: NËITHER - Performed in Episode 4
  • West Virginia: Alexis Cunningham - Performed in Episode 4
  • Wisconsin: Jake'O - Performed in Episode 1
  • Wyoming: Ryan Charles - Performed in Episode 1

Can I Get the Music From American Song Contest?

Absolutely. Atlantic Records has partnered with NBC to release the songs featured in the competition, beginning at midnight Eastern time the night episodes air. Songs are available wherever you can stream music, says NBC, including Spotify and Apple Music.