US Edition Of ‘Eurovision Song Contest’ Announced For 2021

Producers have announced plans to bring the long-running (and often over-the-top) “Eurovision Song Contest,” Europe’s popular music competition, to America.

Since 1956, some of the best-selling music artists in the world have competed in past editions, including ABBA, Celine Dion, Julio Iglesias and Olivia Newton-John.

From Variety:

Hoping to siphon off some of the magic of the beloved six-decade-old show, which draws over 200 million viewers to its grand finale, the premise for “The American Song Contest” will remain similar to the European version. Professional musical artists — solo singers, duos or groups up to six members — from each of the 50 states and across every musical genre will perform all original songs on the live televised event.

The format, as it is currently conceived, will position the artists head-to-head against other states’ representatives in a series of televised qualifier competitions, leading to semi-finals and the ultimate primetime Grand Finale March Madness-style.

Propagate Content will create The American Song Contest Academy, a group consisting of music professionals based in the U.S. that represent all genres and backgrounds, from which juries of artists and music industry notables who, along with the regional audiences, will select top talent from all 50 states to compete.

“The American Song Contest” is set to debut during the 2021 holiday season.

But will they bring the awesome camp factor? We’ll have to see 🙂

Check out a short trailer for the upcoming competition as well as some of the most famous past performances at ESC.

Eurovision Song Contest 2020 Cancelled

The organizers of the Eurovision Song Contest have announced this year’s edition has been canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 threat.

In a post to Instagram, the statement read, in part:

It is with deep regret that we have to announce the cancellation of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in Rotterdam.

Over the past few weeks we have explored many alternative options to allow the Eurovision Song Contest to go ahead.

However, the uncertainty created by the spread of COVID-19 throughout Europe – and the restrictions put in place by the governments of the participating broadcasters and the Dutch authorities – means the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has taken the difficult decision that it is impossible to continue with the live event as planned.

We are very proud that the Eurovision Song Contest has united audiences every year, without interruption, for the past 64 years and we, like the millions of fans around the world, are extremely saddened that it cannot take place in May.

This is the first time since the song contest began in 1956 the event been canceled.

From ABBA’s win in 1974 to transgender singer Dana International of Israel in 1998 to Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst’s victory in 2014, the over-the-top performances and often queer-centric sensibility of the competition has made the annual event a highly-anticipated international television spectacle.

 

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It is with deep regret that we have to announce the cancellation of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in Rotterdam. . Over the past few weeks we have explored many alternative options to allow the Eurovision Song Contest to go ahead. . However the uncertainty created by the spread of COVID-19 throughout Europe – and the restrictions put in place by the governments of the participating broadcasters and the Dutch authorities – means the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has taken the difficult decision that it is impossible to continue with the live event as planned. . We are very proud that the Eurovision Song Contest has united audiences every year, without interruption, for the past 64 years and we, like the millions of fans around the world, are extremely saddened that it cannot take place in May. . The EBU, NPO, NOS, AVROTROS and the City of Rotterdam will continue a conversation regarding the hosting of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021. . We would ask people to bear with us while we work through the ramifications of this unprecedented decision and patiently await any further news in the coming days and weeks. . We would like to pay tribute to all the host broadcaster team in the Netherlands and our 41 Members who have worked so hard on planning this year’s event. . We are all as heartbroken as they are that the Eurovision Song Contest will not be able to be staged in May and know that the whole Eurovision family, across the world, will continue to provide love and support for each other at this difficult time.

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Eurovision Song Contest Audience Cheers Gay ‘Kiss Cam’ Lip Lock

Eurovision Song Contest audience roared for same-sex smooch (screen capture)

No matter where it happens, I get all excited when a ‘kiss cam’ zeroes in on a more-than-willing gay couple.

And such was the case during the first night of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest currently taking place in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Trans singer and 1998 Eurovision Song Contest champ, Dana International, was performing an upbeat, bouncy version of Bruno Mars’ “Just The Way You Are.”

Throughout the song, the audience was treated to shots of couples going in for the smooch.

But it was a gay couple’s lip-lock that got the biggest and best reaction from the crowd.

Click the Twitter video below and enjoy.

If you’re quick, you can see another gay couple in smooch-mode at the very beginning of the segment.

The Eurovision Song Contest has long celebrated a message of acceptance.

Dana, who won the international competition 21 years ago for Israel, told the crowd, “Love has no religion, love has no race, love has no limits, love is love. We all deserve to be loved.”

The show’s host, Assi Azar, shared before Dana’s performance that her groundbreaking win back in 1998 and her ‘unbelievable life story’ helped him to come out. He credited the singer with helping “millions of people around the world” to feel comfortable with who they are.

However, a TV host from Belarus, Yavhen Perlin, wasn’t so enchanted by the kissy-goodness.

On the air, broadcasting back to his country, Perlin initially got excited about the kiss-cam. But when he saw the first couple was gay, he told his viewers, “Oh, my goodness – maybe we’d better not watch.”

Perlin felt more at ease with the next couple, who were heterosexual (“Ok, so far so good!”), but expressed more dismay when the camera found the following male couple (“Oh, come on!”).

According to the BBC, several journalists took to social media to denounce Perlin’s comments.

“I feel so embarrassed,” wrote Radio Liberty’s Ales Piletski on Facebook. “The good thing is these boorish jokes are not heard in other countries.”

And speaking of other countries, many on social media were thrilled that the same-sex kiss was broadcast live, which meant many countries that aren’t so LGBT-friendly – like Russia – got a healthy view of man-on-man make-out session.

Madonna Will Perform Two Songs At Eurovision Grand Finale

International pop star Madonna has been confirmed for the Eurovision Grand Finale in Tel Aviv on May 18.
Madonna (image via Instagram)

International pop star Madonna has been confirmed for the Eurovision Grand Finale in Tel Aviv on May 18.

The Jerusalem Post reports that Madge asked for $1 million to perform two songs – one catalogue hit and one new track from her upcoming album – at the international music event.

Sylvan Adams, an Israeli-Canadian billionaire, offered to cover the cost telling the Post, “I saw the importance of bringing the iconic singer to Tel Aviv and creating a memorable historic performance.

Adams told reporters at the INTV conference that he sees the opportunity as a way to boost tourism to Israel.

“I think the more people we bring here, the more people see our true nature, and the true beauty of our country and our people, and the freedom and openness and tolerance and safety of our country,” said Adams.

Traveling with an entourage of 60 people, the 60-year-old pop icon will arrive four days before the live performance.

Madonna’s last performance in Israel was in 2012 when she launched her world tour in Tel Aviv.

Her appearance comes at a complicated time for the LGBTQ community in Israel.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a group of LGBTQ activists that he would not promise to promote LGBTQ equality.

In February, the Association for LGBTQ Equality sent a report to Israel’s President Rivlin which documented a 54% jump from 2017 to 2018 in homophobic incidents.

(h/t Jerusalem Post)

Music Video: Courtney Act “Fight For Love”

Courtney Act in “Fight For Love”



RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Courtney Act drops her brand new music video, “Fight For Love,” today as she preps to become Australia’s entry at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest.

Act will participate in ‘Eurovision – Australia Decides’ on SBS on Saturday, February 9, where the winner will be determined via the combination of a public vote (50%) and the votes of a professional jury panel (50%).

She calls the dance-pop single “a dancefloor banger about coming together and fighting for the things we believe in.”

Echoing a message of social justice, she adds, “I think it’s so important to think about the basic human rights of others and to use our collective voices, minds and bodies to lift those people up and bring about change.”

Courtney Act (image via Facebook)

The 36-year-old first made her way into the public spotlight during the debut season of Australian Idol in 2003. Making it to the Wild Card round, she was the first competitor to bring the art of drag to a reality show.

Since that time, she’s placed 3rd on Season 6 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, won the 2018 season of Celebrity Big Brother UK, celebrated her own 2018 holiday TV special, Courtney Act’s Christmas Extravaganza, and is now the host of the UK bisexual dating show, The Bi Life, on E!

And along the way, she’s help to educate her fans on LGBTQ issues like HIV stigma and gender fluidity.

“A sweet 16 years after Australian Idol, I have the chance to show the world how I have grown as an artist and performer and I am so excited,” says the drag superstar.

“Fight For Love” harkens back to the heyday of music videos with several glam looks for Act, dancing drones, and an undeniable dance beat perfect for the Pride dance floor.

This is certainly material Eurovision embraces.

Check out “Fight For Love” below.

Eurovision 2018 Doesn’t Disappoint In The Drama Department

UK contestant SuRie interrupted mid-performance by protester

The Grand Finals of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest were held last night in Lisbon, Portugal, and there were definitely memorable over-the-top moments of different kinds.

The annual music competition is viewed by over 200 million people in the world and often features high-camp concepts.

Winning doesn’t guarantee world fame although there have been a couple of champions who went on to amazing success.

You know, folks like Celine Dion (represented Switzerland in 1988) and Abba (represented Sweden in 1974).

During last night’s performance by the UK’s entry, SuRie singing “Storm,” a man ran onstage, grabbed her microphone and started yelling something along the line of: “Nazis of the UK media, we demand freedom?”

What?

SuRie’s composure was incredible. Her head definitely present, she stepped back allowing security to do it’s job.

Within seconds security had the man in custody and handed the microphone back to SuRie just in time for the lyrics, “Don’t give up!”

And the crowd goes wild!

Watch the performance, stage invasion (1:40 mark) and amazing recovery below.

SuRie was been given the chance to sing again as the show’s final performance but declined. In a statement, Team SuRie said they were “extremely proud of her performance and have decided that there is absolutely no reason to perform the song again.”

Surprisingly, Team UK placed near the bottom of the results. Which just goes to show – who knows?

I thought she was pretty terrific.

Also part of the drama this year was a Chinese broadcaster censoring the performance by Ireland’s Ryan O’Shaughnessy which featured two men dancing together.

The European Broadcasting Union banned the channel, Mango TV, from broadcasting saying in a statement that the censorship was “not in line” with its “values of universality and inclusivity.”

In the end, the winner of the mega-competition was Netta Barzilai of Israel whose performance of pop anthem “Toy” included beatboxing, chicken noises and arm flaps.

That decision caused it’s own drama as supporters and opponents decried political frictions between Israel and other countries in the Middle East.

Here’s the winning performance (complete with chicken dance):

Sweden’s Måns Zelmerlöw Wins Eurovision 2015

Måns Zelmerlöw of Sweden has won Eurovision 2015 with his performance of “Heroes.”

But the winner of the grand, over-the-top annual song competition ran into a bit of trouble with the LGBT community last year when he said LGBT couples should not be parents while appearing on a TV cooking show.

The 28-year-old claimed it “isn’t equally natural for men to want to sleep with one another” and branded homosexuality an “avvikelse” (abnormality), according to WiWiBloggs, before quickly adding that “there isn’t anything wrong with it at all”.

Zelmerlow later clarified his remarks in a statement, apologising to “all who take offence”. “I believe and hope that the vast majority know that I respect differences and all forms of love,” he said.

Supporters blamed the food and drink on the TV show that caused him to “misspeak.”

Zelmerlöw seemed to show support for the LGBT community as he accepted his award last night:

‘I have so much to say… I’m so extremely happy,’ he said as he accepted the award, according to the BBC.

‘We are all heroes, no matter who we love, who we are or what we believe in.’

Eurovision Song Contest: Sweden’s Robin Stjernberg – “You”

Sweden’s entry this year in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Great hook to the chorus, and great vocals by Robin Stjernberg. Could be a contender here…

Last year’s Melodifestivalen winner, Loreen, ended up winning Eurovision with her smash hit Euphoria. Due to that win, the finals for the Eurovision Song competition will be held in Sweden this year.

Malmö, Sweden’s third largest city, will play host to the show in May.