Eurovision Asia Song Contest

The other ones

A brief break from Eurovision Song Contest – to look at other contests around the world

Pan-Asian Song Contest aka Asiavision

I'm sure most of you, like me, were very excited back in 2016 when we all heard that the Australian broadcaster, SBS, had penned a deal with the EBU to organize a pan-Asian version of our beloved Eurovision song contest. Unfortunately very little to nothing has been done to advance this project. The only clear move ever made was the building of a website which as of this moment has not been updated since 20 October 2017. There has not been any news on the subject outside of rumor and innuendo.

Supposedly the cities of Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore all expressed interest in hosting the event and 10 countries confirmed interest in participating but beyond this it seems no move has been made to actually stage this contest. The hurdles involved in putting such an event together would be insurmountable. Eventhough China has expressed interest in participating there would certainly be issues with this politically if nations such as Hong Kong and Taiwan were to participate.

It would also open the door for the middle eastern nations to participate but then where would this place Israel. Geographically they are part of Asia but if they switched to the Asian contest there are many nations that would refuse to participate. It would also open the question of where Asia ends and Europe begins; which contest would Russia or Turkey be able to participate in since geographically they are both in each continent.

In summation the idea of a pan-Asian contest is brilliant but doubtful it will ever come to it's full fruition.

AfriMusic Song Contest

Over the years there have been various attempts to launch a Eurovision like contest for the African continent. In 2018 they finally pulled it off for the first time in the form of an online competition known as the AfriMusic Song Contest which was open to all 54 nations, however, noticeably absent were the northern Arab nations. Despite this the success of the contest was enough to convince the organizers to make the attempt at a live show for the final. This would take place in South Africa since they won the contest in 2019.

The inaugural contest in 2018 was won by the small nation of eSwatini. One feature of the African contest that is absent from the European contest is the presence of extra awards. At the first contest they had awards for the Best English and the Best French songs and in the second contest they added Best African Language and Best International song.

The fact that the African nations have come together is a testament to how music can cross international boundaries and bridge political rivalries.

Caribbean Song Contest and OTI festival

The Caribbean Song Contest started in 1984 and has been held every year since. The contest is staged by the Caribbean Broadcast Union and the format is nearly identical to the ESC. Each island nation of the Caribbean selects a representative usually through a public national contest. The contest has been insanely popular and still continues to this day.

The OTI festival was a sanctioned ESC spin-off competition which ran from 1972 to 2000 and could be considered the first AmeriVision contest. 13 nations participated the first year including Spain and Portugal which seems out of place in a contest which mainly consisted of South and Central American nations. The contest was so popular that at one point even the nations of Canada and the US participated. The reason for the cancellation of the competition are unclear but considering the instability of the region as a whole I can only imagine it was becoming increasingly difficult to hold things together. There have been several attempts to revive the contest but none have been successful. One can only hope that the contest can find it's feet again.

American Eurovision Song Contest or AmeriVision

This is a subject that I have been avoiding for months now. As an American most would think I would welcome our own version of the contest but nothing could be farther from the truth. The reason where the few American's who watch Eurovision do so is because it is European. That being said there is a small fan base here for the contest.

In the two years that LOGO held the rights to air the contest the ratings were pathetic. In 2017 while the contest itself had a worldwide viewership of 160 million, the LOGO viewership was a meager 64,000. For those of you bad at math that comes to a whopping 0.03% of the total. How this number translates into a launch of our own contest I am not sure. Brain Academy is the production company trying to do this although they do not yet have the support or backing of any major American media network.

There is also the issue of state pride versus national pride. State pride is not something that will be able to carry a contest of this magnitude. Not only do most states just not care that much but there are many states that are regionally divided which would cause even more problems for any organizer. Despite the fact that there is a tentative 2021 launch for this contest I imagine this will go much the way of the pan-asia contest.

About the author: Christopher Carlson (United States)

Christopher Carlson is our American correspondent. His interest in Eurovision began in high school when his Spanish teacher would often play "Eres Tu" by Mocedades for the class. Later encounters with Eurovision occurred upon discovering Secret Garden's "Nocturne". As a fan of history as well as music Christopher enjoys writing articles that discuss the roots and foundations of the Eurovision Song Contest. Topping the list of his favorite songs are "Heel de wereld" by Corry Brokken, "Eres Tu" by Mocedades, "Inje" by Vanya Radovanovic and "You are the only one" by Sergey Lazarev.

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