Interview with Jamie Berard

TV Interview!

 

Jamie Berard of "LEGO Masters" on FOX

Interview with Jamie Berard of “LEGO Masters” on FOX by Suzanne 9/27/23

This was a fun interview. I didn’t know what to expect when I agreed to this because I don’t normally watch any reality or game shows, and I’ve never played with LEGOs before. I watched the season 4 premiere and found that it really drew me in. It was entertaining. I hope you enjoy the new season and this chat with judge Jamie.

 

MORE INFO: Interview

LEGO Masters key art

Hosted by actor and producer Will Arnett, LEGO® MASTERS brings imagination, design and creativity to life when teams of LEGO enthusiasts go head-to-head, with infinite possibilities and an unlimited supply of LEGO bricks. Once again, teams of two will compete against each other in even more ambitious brick-building challenges – including an earthquake tower challenge, a demolition derby, a LEGO fashion show and more – to be crowned the country’s most talented amateur LEGO builders. In each episode, Arnett, alongside expert Brickmasters and LEGO employees Amy Corbett and Jamie Berard, will encourage the builders, introduce incredible challenges and put their creativity and skills to the test. The competing pairs who impress the judges the most will progress to the next round, until the finale, during which the top teams will face off for a $100,000 cash prize, the ultimate LEGO trophy and the grand title of LEGO MASTERS.

Endemol Shine North America, Tuesday’s Child and Plan B Entertainment produce LEGO Masters, under license from The LEGO Group. Showrunner Anthony Dominici executive-produces with Arnett; Sharon Levy, DJ Nurre and Michael Heyerman from Endemol Shine North America; Karen Smith and Steph Harris from Tuesday’s Child; Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Christina Oh from Plan B; and Jill Wilfert and Robert May from The LEGO Group.

Meet the contestants!  LEGO Masters Renewed!

Jamie Berard is Senior Design Manager and Creative Lead at The LEGO Company, where he is responsible for working on the LEGO Architecture and LEGO Ideas lines, as well as a variety of products for adults, teens and super fans. He is a life-long LEGO fan and has been an employee of The LEGO Company for more than 14 years.

Before joining LEGO, Berard was part of the local group New England LEGO Users Group (NELUG), where he worked on several larger-than-life projects, including a 100,000-piece LEGO mosaic of the Boston skyline. He served as a foreman on the Millyard Project, which, at its completion, was the largest permanent minifigure scale display in the world.

In 2004, Berard was a finalist to become the next Master Model Builder for LEGOLAND California and served as a Technical Judge for the FIRST LEGO League World Finals in Atlanta, GA. He was hired to work for the company in 2005, after displaying functional amusement park rides at a LEGO fan event in Washington, D.C.

Since joining LEGO, he has been responsible for designing dozens of complex LEGO models, including the 4,000+ piece Big Ben and the 4,000+ piece Assembly Square Modular Building sets, which are available for purchase to fans worldwide.

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LEGO MASTERS: L-R: Judges Amy Corbett and Jamie Berard with Host Will Arnett on Season Three of LEGO MASTERS, premiering Wednesday, Sept. 21 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2021 Fox Media LLC Cr: Tom Griscom/FOX

 

Interview with Jerry O’Connell and Rebecca Romijn

TV Interview!

Jerry O'Connell and Rebecca Romijn, hosts of "The Real Love Boat" on CBS

Interview with Jerry O’Connell and Rebecca Romijn, hosts of “The Real Love Boat” on CBS

by Suzanne 9/15/22

CBS 2022 FALL TCA PRESS TOUR
THE REAL LOVE BOAT
Rebecca Romijn, Host
Jerry O’Connell, Host
Captain Paolo Arrigo
Matt Mitcham, Cruise Director
Ezra Freeman, Bartender
Jay Bienstock, Executive Producer
Virtual via Zoom September 16, 2022
© 2022 CBS. All rights reserved.

They played a great preview of the show for us. The hosts, Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell, performed the theme song. They are certainly multi-talented. They also reminded us that “The Real Love Boat” premieres Wednesday, October 5th, on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.

Executive Producer Jay Bienstock addressed us with these opening remarks:

So when you hear “The Love Boat” theme song like we just did, you cannot underestimate the power of nostalgia. You can hum that theme all day long, and it will make you smile. So our new series “The Real Love Boat” caps into that nostalgia. So when you hear the theme song and when you see Ted Lange show up dressed up in that famous red bartender’s outfit that he wore when he played Isaac, when we see Jill Whelan, who played Captain Stubing’s daughter, Vicki, arrive on the ship, I mean, you feel like you are in the middle of a mist of friends. It feels like you are coming home. “The Real Love Boat” has this great sense of adventure. Now, the ship, the Regal Princess — which, by the way had 3,200 paying customers on board when we were shooting, no less. The ship visits these beautiful ports around the Mediterranean Marseille and Santorini and Crete it’s really magical, and it’s the perfect environment to fall in love. It’s fun to imagine that, at any port, at any given time, our singles may find the love of their life. And our singles, these are regular people who have great stories, have been in love and fallen out of love. We have a firefighter and a nurse, a youth basketball coach, real people looking for real love. So not only do we have the real ship and real singles and we have a real married couple as our hosts, Rebecca and Jerry, all we needed was the secret sauce. So, like the original series, we needed real crewmembers to be our matchmakers. So we have our captain. We have our bartender. We have our cruise director. And they are the real deal. I mean, those roles are their day jobs. They are not TV people. They are ship people, and over the years, they have made matches for many people on their cruises, and they did so on ours. It was sort of this interesting combining of roles of television and real life. So you take these real singles, take the real Princess Cruise Line, take real crewmembers, and you add them all together, and you throw in one of the most iconic theme songs ever, and — you heard Rebecca and Jerry — it’s amazing. I can listen to that all day long. It’s so fun the way they sing it together. You put that all together, and we have a really, really fun show, and that is “The Real Love Boat.”

I don’t normally watch any kind of unscripted or non-fiction TV shows. I would rather watch great acting and writing. However, I was very happy to speak with Jerry O’Connell and Rebecca Romijn, my favorite celebrity husband-and-wife team. At first it was just these two, and they brought out the crew later.

I’m not embarrassed to say I had a huge crush on Jerry from when he starred in “Sliders” on FOX back in 1995-2000. He was a child actor who got his start in the movie “Stand by Me” when he was only 12. Both he and Rebecca are now in different “Star Trek” series, which I love because I’m a long-time Trekkie. She stars as Number One in “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” and he does the voice of Commander Ransom in “Star Trek: Lower Decks.” I told them that I think they’re “amazing actors” and asked them what made them want to do this project. Rebecca answers that they “love watching reality television” and “watching love stories,” so they’re very excited to do it in person rather than from their sofa. They also enjoyed the “beautiful locations.” Jerry agreed, saying, “We as a couple consume an unhealthy amount of unscripted television.” They joked for a few minutes about how they shouldn’t be admitting that. They should, instead, say that they only watch “premium streaming shows” with “people with accents who live in manors.” They love the CBS competition shows and jumped at the opportunity to host this show. Rebecca had previously hosted “Skin Wars,” but he hadn’t hostead before. Since they’re actors, “This is a muscle we had not flexed before,” Rebecca said.

Jerry talked about how the show drew him in emotionally. Someone got eliminated in their first episode. He started to say something, but Rebecca interjected that he “cried.” He denied that, saying he was just “emotional,” but she repeated that he “cried.” It was a very funny moment. They have a great rapport that’s fun to watch. Jerry said that his “superiors” let him know that he can’t be so invested in what’s going on with the “singles” on the show. Rebecca agreed that being neutral is hard for Jerry. He gets “very caught up in the emotion” because he’s an actor. He added that when he watches at home, he definitely takes sides and shares his strong opinions on social media. Jay jumped in to say that this all proves how real the show is, that the singles wnat to find love and how real it is for them. He thinks that watching them do this is great TV. Jerry shared that he was shocked at how “emotionally attached I became to our couples and how much I was rooting for them.” When they’re acting, they know it’s pretend, but with this, it’s real.

Other members of the press asked their questions as well. They asked if the singles on the show remember the original “Love Boat,” since they’re so young? Rebecca assumed that they probably didn’t know about it. She thinks that the one of the show’s strengths is the nostalgia for people who grew up in the 80’s. Jerry wonders if some do have awareness of the show because of the Princess cruises, where there is a “Love Boat channel” and you can watch all of the episodes there.

This reminded him that he had asked Jay and their other boss, Eden, what he should do to prepare for the show. They just told him to watch the original “Love Boat” because it was all about people trying to find love. Rebecca agreed that both the old and new shows are about “people whose hearts have been broken, who are looking for a second chance at love.” Jerry hopes that people will watch the new show and get that same “warm, fuzzy feeling.”

Jay reminded Jerry that he’s not his boss. He talked about scouting to find the people for the show, and he met the ship’s captain, Captain Paolo. He explained how it worked to film on the ship. He impressed them all with how charming, good-looking, and well-mannered he was, so they decided they wanted him to be their captain on the show. They had to find someone else to actually drive the ship instead of him. He related that the Captain and others are the “matchmakers” on the ship. They “bring people together,” along with Jerry and Rebecca. At that point, they brought out their crewmembers and introduced them.

Captain Paolo Arrigo; Matt Mitcham, Cruise Director; and Ezra Freeman, BartenderCaptain Paolo was asked if he’d had any acting experience, but he hadn’t. He said he was just playing himself in the show, so he doesn’t consider this acting experience, but he said it was “incredible.” He was asked whether the singls on the show really talk to the captain about how much they want love and whether he believes their stories, and how did he help them. He confirmed that the cruise director, Matt, and the bartender, Ezra, gathered info about the singles and what happened with them, and they all worked to help them out, “to either fortify or strengthen their bond or maybe try to open themselves up to other opportunities out there with other singles until they find the real love.”

Jerry and Rebecca were asked if they’re good matchmakers in real life. Jerry claimed that he was responsible for two couples getting married. Jerry went on to talk about how the setting for “The Real Love Boat” is made for couples to get together and find romance because it’s in the Mediterranean and other beautiful locations. Jerry mentioned that he and Rebecca have been together 15 years. He also admitted that he’d never been on a cruise before. He thinks it’s a very romantic place. Rebecca added that “Water is sexy” while Jerry went on to say that “time stands still.” He understands it now. He compared it to other traveling, like by airplane, which is stressful and not romantic. Rebecca also admitted that she’d never been on a cruise before, either. She said she loved sleeping on the boat, “I have never slept better in my life, like, rocked like a little, gentle baby, oh, so beautiful.”

Bartender Ezra was asked how long it took her “perfect the iconic Isaac finger point to your liking” and what it was like to meet Ted Lange (who played Isaac, the bartender, on the original “Love Boat’). Ezra replied that the finger point is a lot harder than it looks and Ted helped her with it. You have to tuck the thumbs in but point the fingers out. She said that it was “amazing” working with Ted. She was already a huge fan of the original show because of working on the Princess cruise line. She had always joked “that it should be required viewing for crewmembers to watch Season 1.” So she was very excited about the show and to meet Ted. In fact, she said, “Jay told me to stay away from him until we got the cameras rolling because I was so excited to see him and work with him.” She gushed about great he’s been to her. Jay also shared with us that Ted is working behind the bar in some scenes.

Jay was asked whether their partnership with the Princess line was to help promote it and get the cruise industry to be popular again, since it took quite a hit during COVID and via several revealing documentaries. Jay denied that and said that it was just about being “The Love Boat” and nothing else. Jay was also asked whether anyone else besides Ted and Jill (Whelen, who played Vicki on the original series) were going to be on the show. He let Captain Paolo talk about Jill. He had meet Jill on a previous cruise. He used to watch the show with his grandfather who was on the original as an executive chef. They were discussing this before they show the new show, and “all of these nostalgic things.” It was a great conversation for both of them.

Rebecca said a few closing words about how much they love the show and enjoyed traveling to the various beautiful locations. “We are very proud to be a part of it, and we hope everybody enjoys it as well.”

MORE INFO:

The Love Boat key art

REBECCA ROMIJN AND JERRY O’CONNELL COME ABOARD AS CO-HOSTS OF “THE REAL LOVE BOAT”

The Dating Adventure Series Premieres Wednesday, Oct. 5, as Part of

CBS’ All-Reality Wednesday

CBS announced today Rebecca Romijn (Paramount+’ STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS) and Jerry O’Connell (CBS’ THE TALK) as co-hosts of THE REAL LOVE BOAT. The husband-and-wife team will take the helm guiding viewers through the dating adventure series inspired by “The Love Boat,” the hit scripted series in the ‘70s that used Princess Cruises ships as its setting. The series sets sail Wednesday, Oct. 5 (9:00-10:00 PM, PT/ET), following SURVIVOR (8:00 PM PT/ET) and leading into THE AMAZING RACE (10:00 PM, PT), to create the Network’s all-reality night.

“After years of consuming, arguing about and dissecting unscripted television, hosting a reality series where a group of singles look for love while aboard a Princess Cruise ship, seemed like a dream come true,” said Romijn and O’Connell. “When we heard it was aboard THE REAL LOVE BOAT, that dream got an iconic theme song – ‘we promise something for everyone.’”

Rebecca Romijn continues to maintain her leading lady status in Hollywood since famously starring as Mystique in the FOX X-Men franchise. Currently, Romijn stars in the Paramount+ series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS, reprising her role as the iconic character Number One, whom she also portrayed in STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. As co-host of THE REAL LOVE BOAT, the former Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover model returns to familiar territory – she served as the host of MTV’s iconic “House of Style” and as host and executive producer of the GSN bodypainting competition series “Skin Wars.”

Actor, director and television personality Jerry O’Connell serves as host of THE TALK, CBS’ Daytime Emmy Award-winning talk show that examines topical events and contemporary issues. O’Connell began his acting career at age 11 when he co-starred as Vern Tessio in “Stand by Me,” spawning a career of roles in critically acclaimed films and televisions series. O’Connell currently voices Commander Jack Ransom in STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS for Paramount+ and he can now be seen in the thriller “Endangered Species” opposite his wife, Romijn, and Philip Winchester.

THE REAL LOVE BOAT brings singles together to sail the Mediterranean on a luxury cruise ship while looking for love. Destination dates, challenges and surprise singles will test the couples’ compatibility and chemistry. Like the beloved original scripted series, the indispensable crew members, including captain and cruise director, will play pivotal roles in the matchmaking and navigation of the romantic (and sometimes turbulent) waters ahead.

After nearly one month at sea, one winning couple will dock in the final port and take home a cash prize plus a once-in-a-lifetime trip courtesy of Princess Cruises, the series’ exclusive cruise line partner.

THE REAL LOVE BOAT is produced by Eureka Productions in association with Buster Productions. Chris Culvenor, Paul Franklin, Wes Dening and Jay Bienstock serve as executive producers for Eureka.

Jerry O'Connell and Rebecca Romijn, hosts of "The Real Love Boat" on CBS

Biography

Jerry O’Connell is an actor, director and television personality. He serves as host of The Talk, CBS’ Daytime Emmy Award-winning talk show.

O’Connell began his acting career at age 11 when he co-starred as Vern Tessio in Stand By Me. Born and raised in New York City, O’Connell graduated from New York University with a BFA before returning to feature films. He received critical acclaim for his role as quarterback Frank Cushman in Jerry Maguire.

Most recently he appeared in the film Endangered Species, with additional credits including Scream 2, Can’t Hardly Wait, Mission to Mars, Tomcats, the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced comedy Kangaroo Jack, Yours, Mine and Ours, Man About Town, Obsessed, Piranha 3-D, The Lookalike, Deep Murder, and The Secret: Dare to Dream. O’Connell was also seen in the big screen follow-up to the cult hit television series Veronica Mars. In addition to his film work, he has been seen in multiple hit television series, including Scream Queens (FOX), Mistresses (ABC), The Big Bang Theory (CBS), Billions (SHOWTIME), The Mysteries of Laura (NBC), Carter (OWN) and currently voices Commander Jack Ransom in Star Trek: Lower Decks (PARAMOUNT+.)

Additionally, O’Connell hosted his own daytime talk show Jerry O in 2019 and starred in the Broadway play A Soldier’s Play in early 2020.

O’Connell resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Rebecca Romijn, and twin daughters. His birthday is Feb. 17. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @mrjerryoc.

Rebecca Alie Romijn was born on November 6, 1972 in Berkeley, California. Her father was Dutch-born and worked as a custom-furniture maker. Her mother was American-born, with Dutch and English ancestry, and was a teacher of English. Rebecca attended Berkeley High School where her nickname was the “Jolly Blond Giant”, then she attended the University of California at Santa Cruz where she majored in Music, but left in 1995.

She was a natural for modeling, and has posed for Sports Illustrated, Christian Dior and Victoria’s Secret, to name but a few. Rebecca first met John Stamos in 1994, at a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and had her first date with him at Disneyland. They married in September 1998, but have since gotten divorced.

Rebecca’s favorite foods are fillet mignon, tuna sashimi and Häagen-Dazs Cappuccino Commotion ice cream. But to keep her weight at a svelte 130 pounds, she stays fit with a rigorous stretching and strengthening routine (her firm body tone is evident when compared to photos of her earlier modeling, where she was very slim but not toned). Rebecca’s most famous movie role, so far, was as the shapeshifting Mystique in X-Men (2000), based on the long-running comic book series about teenage mutant superheroes (that Jack Kirby and Stan Lee created in 1962). To play Mystique every day, Rebecca had to start out nude, and then two female makeup artists would apply blue body paint and other stick-on parts for 8 hours a day. Rebecca told Jay Leno on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992) that things like tissue paper would stick to her hips; and, one day, the long hours of wearing sticky paint makeup made her so upset that director Bryan Singer told her to have a glass of white wine and relax. Notwithstanding those technical difficulties, X-Men (2000) was a box-office bonanza, and Rebecca’s future in films was assured.

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Jerry O'Connell and Rebecca Romijn, hosts of "The Real Love Boat" on CBS

Interviews with Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and AGT contestants

TV Interview!

Howie Mandel and Heidi Klum, judges on "America's Got Talent" on NBC

Interview with Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and contestants of “America’s Got Talent” on NBC by Suzanne 8/9/22

This was a fun night (but very long). Members of the press were invited to watch the live show (Quarterfinals) and then interview some of the judges and most of the contestants! It was very entertaining – even if it did go on for 4 hours! I don’t normally watch shows like this, but I loved it. I can’t wait for the one coming up August 16! These comments below are just my impressions from watching them. All of these artists worked very hard on their acts. I feel bad for the ones that didn’t make it to the next round.

Heidi Klum

Heidi Klum, judge on "America's Got Talent" on NBC

There were two judges there, but Heidi Klum was the one I was able to speak to (see Howie Mandel below). She was very funny and went on for quite a while.

 

Howie Mandel

It was great to see Howie because I used to watch him on “St. Elsewhere” years ago when I was in college. Great show, but he’s really come a long way. He was hilarious in this chat.

 

Amazing Veranica & Her Incredible Friends

Here are my favorites of the acts. I was really hoping this girl would go on to the next round because her act was so adorable. She’s only 12 years old!  Learn More about her Instagram

 

Players Choir

I thought these guys would go on to the next round because they’re very talented. They sing, dance and put on a great show! The crowd clearly loved them. What a great idea to have a choir made out of NFL players! We only got to see a few of them on Zoom, though, because it’s a big group. Learn More   Instagram

 

Avery Dixon

This guy is not only very talented and has a great story, but he puts on a great show and has a lot of charisma. I wasn’t too surprised when he went on to the next round because you could tell the judges really liked him. Official Site  Instagram

 

Don McMillan

There were two comedians among the contestants. They were both OK, but I didn’t think either of them was outstanding.  Don was slightly funnier, I thought, than the other one. Both of them are professionals who perform standup regularly, so what do I know? Official Site  Instagram

 

Lace Larrabee

Lace was funniest, I thought, when she was fighting with Simon during the show, and in our interview, where she was clearly still very angry with him.  Like Don above, she is a professional comic. I don’t think you can fight with the judges, though, and expect to go on to the next round…? Maybe that’s just me. She’s a very busy woman, based in Atlanta. I will say that she has a sharp wit. I would watch her in a good sitcom.  Official Site  Instagram

 

Drake Milligan

I wasn’t as excited about this act as everyone else. To me, he’s just another pretty-boy country singer… but then, I’m not really into country music. The judges and crowd seemed to love him, and he was the other one selected to go on to the next round. He has an album coming out in September, and he’s already going places. Official Site  Instagram

 

Ben Lapidus

This guy does comedy-singing. He thinks he’s a lot funnier than he is. The audience seemed to like him, but I’m not sure why. My question got cut off of the video for some reason. I asked him if he was influenced by “Weird Al” Yankovic. His bit is singing about Parmesan. Sorry, I’m allergic to dairy!  Official Site  Instagram

Oleksandr Yenivatov and Aurélie Yenivatov

Oleksandr is a contortionist, which is a very unusual act. He’s also got a weird-looking face and looks kind of creepy (which he plays to).  Aurélie is his wife and partner in the show, and they’re circus performers by trade.  It’s a very strange act, but I didn’t think he would win because it’s a little unpleasant to watch.  He’s from Ukraine, so he mentions that a lot. In this interview, which was the last one of the night, they paired them with dancers (below).  Learn More  Instagram

Stefanny and Yeeremy

These dancers from Colombia did a great job, but they were nothing special, so I didn’t think they would go on to the next round, either. Unfortunately, the interview was difficult because most of them had very limited English. Learn More  Instagram

 

Amoukanama

This is a group of acrobats from a circus in Guinea. They were very good, but they didn’t really wow the crowd or judges. Official Site  Instagram

 

Ava Swiss

Ava is a pop singer. She’s fine, but she wasn’t outstanding. Her back-story is interesting because she was a survivor of a high school shooting in Oxford, Michigan, last November.  Tragically, there are so many mass shootings now in the U.S. that it hardly stands out (not enough to give her any help in the competition). She was judged on her talent more than her sad backstory. Learn More  Instagram

 

MORE INFO:

The 17th season of “America’s Got Talent” returns with a new set of aspiring performers looking to compete for the ultimate $1 million prize. Executive producer Simon Cowell returns to the star-studded judging panel with global fashion icon Heidi Klum, fan-favorite comedian Howie Mandel and acclaimed actress and international superstar Sofia Vergara. The dynamic Terry Crews returns as host. This season promises to deliver some of the wildest acts to ever grace the “AGT” stage. Official Website

Judges of "America's Got Talent" on NBCAugust 2, 2022

New Supersized Format Means More Acts Than Ever Before Are Set to Compete for $1 Million Prize

“America’s Wildcard” Is Back as Fans Choose an Additional Act to Advance to the Live Shows 

  • “America’s Got Talent,” summer’s most-watched show for the 17th straight year, returns to the Pasadena Civic Center for six weeks of live shows beginning Tuesday, Aug. 9 (8-10 p.m. ET/PT) on NBC. Results shows will air Wednesday nights (8-9 p.m. ET/PT).
  • In a series first, there will be 55 acts, divided into five qualifying rounds, that will perform live for “America’s Got Talent” judges Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara and host Terry Crews. Voting is more important than ever before, as each week, only two acts of the 11 that perform will move directly into the finale – both acts will be decided by viewers from the overnight vote.
  • These top 10 finalists will be joined by an 11th act – a “Final Wildcard” – chosen by the viewers in an Instant Save on Wednesday, September 7th. This vote will consist of four eliminated Live Show acts, each selected by one of the judges.
  • The top 11 finalists will compete one last time for America’s vote and the chance to win a $1 million prize during the two-night finale on Sept. 13 & 14. The winner will also perform in “America’s Got Talent Las Vegas LIVE” at Luxor Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
  • Below are the 54 acts the judges selected for the live shows, including a wide variety of singers, dancers, comedians, contortionists, magicians and more.
  • “America’s Wildcard” spot is back with four acts in contention for the final spot in the live shows. Viewers can go to NBC.com or the “AGT” app to rewatch the four performances and vote for their favorite contestants. Voting is open from Tuesday, Aug. 2 at 7 p.m. ET until Friday, Aug. 5 at 7 a.m. ET. The winning act will perform on the live show on Tuesday, Sept. 6 (8-10 p.m. ET/PT).
  • Throughout the live shows, viewers of “America’s Got Talent” will have a chance to vote for their favorite act at NBC.com/AGTVote and via the “AGT” App (available through Google Play and on the App Store).

AGT promotional poster - Host and Judges of "America's Got Talent" on NBC

The 54 Acts Advancing to the Live Shows Include:

Acapop! @acapopkids https://youtu.be/ncorT1WTZ1I
Aiko Tanaka @aikocomedy https://youtu.be/7aqMHOWXObw
Amanda Mammana @amanda_mammana https://youtu.be/PQGYv6Khk8E
Amazing Veranica
& Her Incredible Friends
@amazingveranica https://youtu.be/OzcnneNlOtI
Amoukanama @amoukanama224 https://youtu.be/a7jZszvFpTY
Aubrey Burchell @aubreyburchellofficial https://youtu.be/kJpF20EtYG4
Ava Swiss @avaswissmusic https://youtu.be/6ahFTM-1y9kk
Avery Dixon * @averydixononsax https://youtu.be/7TOysi_1INs
Bayley Graham @bayley_taps https://youtu.be/R3gZCNMjig4
Ben Lapidus @benlapidusmusic https://youtu.be/2lbv4goST4w
Blade 2 Blade @tyronblade https://youtu.be/Ge4e4H0LWXU
Celia Muñoz @celiamunoz_artist_ https://youtu.be/amMxvPO0JBII
Chapel Heart * @chapelhartband https://youtu.be/WLKmDbDv6j0
Cline Twins @clinetwins https://youtu.be/85-EAq3c26AA
Don McMillan @donmcmillancomedy https://youtu.be/O6yL-piP_ho
Drake Milligan @drakemilligan https://youtu.be/p01x-Mk19n0
Duo Rings @duorings https://youtu.be/O-BZGbxbg5A
Freckled Zelda @thefreckledzelda https://youtu.be/2ILQhbSZ5Kc
Funkanometry @funkanometry_ https://youtu.be/X9b2MV-13xQQ
Fusion Japan @fusionjapan https://youtu.be/xhVV2T66f2I
Harper @thatyellaharper https://youtu.be/C-TkyCwy4CU
Hayden Kristal @haydenkristal https://youtu.be/8INeuzPxLIE
Jack Williams @puppetjack_ https://youtu.be/40jCjWXCgt00
Jannick Holste @jannick_magic https://youtu.be/tSgX0LURIOA
JoJo and Bri @joseph.b.clarke https://youtu.be/bHNQMbShnG8
Kristen Cruz @kristenncruz https://youtu.be/vusp-xMzOfk
Kristy Sellars @kristysellars https://youtu.be/VEqTD157_zw
Lace Larrabee @lacelarrabee https://youtu.be/JbDyhdDGhsEE
Lee Collinson @lee_collinson https://youtu.be/Ytx9u5bjPAg
Lily Meola * @lilymeola https://youtu.be/pamgs-9cxQ0
MPLUSPLUS @mplusplus_official https://youtu.be/ReAusknSMmss
Madison Taylor Baez (Maddie) * @madisonbaezmusic https://youtu.be/Xo_frfPIgC4
Max Ostler @maxostler_ https://youtu.be/OtCZyOQSVPE
Mayyas * @mayyasofficial https://youtu.be/ZD0doCSkBY8
Merissa Beddows @merissaria https://youtu.be/xtrB4tVjxZ88
Mervant Vera @mervant https://youtu.be/KGvbaLl33CY
Metaphysic @metaphysic.ai https://youtu.be/mPU0WNUzsBo
Mia Morris @miamorrismusic https://youtu.be/pFePLRs-u6gg
Mike E Winfield @mikeewinfield https://youtu.be/MGMPcGmjueY
Mr. Pants @thatsmrpants https://youtu.be/7O4KWPsXf8w
Nicolas RIBS @nicolasribsmagicien https://youtu.be/pa2NFcHS91M
Oleksandr Yenivatov @yenivatov https://youtu.be/nuKf2q7okZg
Players Choir @playerschoir https://youtu.be/Gk57yGYAESk
Sara James * @sara_james_music https://youtu.be/HZb-nym3HhA
Shu Takada @shutakada_yoyo https://youtu.be/kz214PN7bsE
Stefanny and Yeeremy @stefannym https://youtu.be/LEbpamA4HNc
The Brown Brothers @gabeandnatebrown https://youtu.be/3dOM9f7nqQ0
The Lazy Generation @thelazygenerationuk https://youtu.be/Im9qJbB7KKg
The Pack Drumline @thepackdrumline https://youtu.be/1K2n1G-joIw
Travis Japan @travis_japan_official https://youtu.be/xnAICeBS63I
urbancrew (Flyers of the South) @urbancrew_official_ig_ph https://youtu.be/Yg4t3iVMtxg
Wyn Starks @wynstarks https://youtu.be/KP5n42pIPVc
XOMG POP! @xomgpop https://youtu.be/WX3QYkTzfygg
Yu Hojin @hojin_yu https://youtu.be/WS7Vvd-Hp1k

*Golden Buzzers

Acts in Contention for “America’s Wildcard”:

Auzzy Blood @auzzyblood https://youtu.be/t9MpF28LMzs
Ben Waites @bjwaites https://youtu.be/oY4FctsUCfw
Debbii Dawson @debbiidawson https://youtu.be/t1P3uoG4KLM
Jordan Conley @loljordancon1ey https://youtu.be/k4d-zrWwglg

Heidi Klum

Judge, “America’s Got Talent”

AMERICA’S GOT TALENT -- Season: 17 -- Pictured: Heidi Klum -- (Photo by: Sami Drasin/NBC)
Heidi Klum serves as a judge on NBC’s hit summertime series “America’s Got Talent.”

Born in Germany, Klum began modeling at the age of 19 and shortly thereafter she appeared on the cover of the 1998 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue which then propelled her career. Klum’s many titles now include supermodel, producer, entrepreneur, television personality, actress, author and fashion designer and she has continued to make an impact across various industries. In 2013, she won an Emmy Award as Outstanding Television Host for her longtime hit, “Project Runway.”

Klum launched her most recent endeavor alongside her frieend Tim Gunn as co-creator, host and executive producer of Amazon Prime Video’s new fashion competition series, “Making the Cut.” Twelve talented designers competed to take their fledging brands to the next level with all the winning looks were shoppable on Amazon.

Klum is also the executive producer and host of “Queen of Drags,” which premiered in Germany in 2019, alongside drag queen Conchita Wurst and German singer Bill Kaulitz of the band Tokio Hotel.

Klum was the host and co-creator of “Project Runway” and also served as an executive producer for 16 seasons. Under Klum’s tenure, the show received 14 consecutive Emmy nominations for Outstanding Reality Competition program, which is the second-most nominations in the category’s history. Klum is also the host and executive producer of “Germany’s Next Top Model,” a runaway hit for 15 seasons.

Author of lifestyle book “Body of Knowledge: 8 Rules of Model Behavior” as well as “Rankin’s Heidilicious” and “Heidi Klum by Rankin,” featuring some of her favorite photos taken by world-renowned photographer Rankin.

Klum’s acting appearances include “The Devil Wears Prada,” “Blow Dry,” “Ella Enchanted,” “Spin City,” “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Sex and the City,” “Sesame Street” and a voiceover for “Hoodwinked Too.” She also swam with sharks for an episode for Discovery Channel’s popular “Shark Week” and hosted Lifetime’s “Seriously Funny Kids.” She hosted the 60th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards and has hosted various specials for MTV, TNT and CBS.

Klum has been the face of numerous brand campaigns over the years, worked with many of the world’s top photographers and has graced the cover of every major magazine across the globe.

Known for her epic Halloween bash and earning the nickname Queen of Halloween for her unpredictable, over the top costumes, this October marked the 20th anniversary of Heidi Halloween.

Klum’s charity involvements include work on behalf of such organizations as UNICEF, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the American Red Cross (as part of its Celebrity Cabinet), God’s Love We Deliver, amfAR and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.  Klum also appears in PSAs for Stand Up to Cancer.

Howie Mandel

Judge, “America’s Got Talent”; Host/Executive Producer, “Deal or No Deal”

AMERICA’S GOT TALENT -- Season: 17 -- Pictured: Howie Mandell -- (Photo by: Sami Drasin/NBC)

Howie Mandel begins his 12th season as a judge on NBC’s summer hit “America’s Got Talent.”

Mandel hosts the podcast “Howie Mandel Does Stuff” alongside his daughter. He recently finished production on his new documentary, “Howie Mandel: But Enough About Me.” Other recent projects include judging NBC’s “America’s Got Talent: The Champions,” CNBC’s “Deal or No Deal,” where he served as executive producer and host, and Nat Geo’s “Wild’s Animals Doing Things,” where he co-hosted with his son Alex. He also executive produced the Quibi series “Kirby Jenner.”

In 2019 he released his first solo special in 20 years, “Howie Mandel Presents: Howie Mandel at the Howie Mandel Comedy Club.” In 2020 he teamed up with ePlay Digital and launched the charity “Breakout the Masks,” and mobile game campaign to give back to those involved in the fight against COVID-19. Via Howie’s Games, the first challenge is Outbreak, where players’ points translate to donations of N95 face masks, portable ventilators, gloves and other personal protective equipment to doctors, nurses and more frontline workers. The second game, SwishAR, has users looking for Mandel to join in a backyard basketball game to shoot hoops. Both games are available on the Apple App store and Google Play.

His additional projects as a host, actor, and/or executive producer include “Take It All” and “Howie Do It” for NBC, “Deal With It” for TBS and “Mobbed” for Fox. Previously, Mandel received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program for “Deal or No Deal” and a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Game Show Host for the syndicated version of the show. Mandel’s versatile career has encompassed virtually all aspects of the entertainment spectrum, including television, film and stage. From his work on the Emmy Award-winning “St. Elsewhere,” to the international animated children’s series “Bobby’s World,” Mandel has become a mainstay of the American comedy scene.

In 2009, Mandel added author to his resume when he released his frank, funny and no-holds-barred memoir, “Here’s the Deal: Don’t Touch Me.” The memoir revealed his ongoing struggle with OCD and ADHD, and how it has shaped his life and career. It made the New York Times bestseller list on its first week and remained on the list for several consecutive weeks. Mandel has done countless comedy specials both on cable and network television. He has also hosted his own syndicated talk show, “The Howie Mandel Show” and continues to be a mainstay on the talk show circuit. He also continues to perform as many as 200 stand-up comedy shows each year throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Season 17 premiere:
Tuesday, May 31, 2022 at 10 p.m. ET/PT

Host:
Terry Crews

Judges:
Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Sofia Vergara 

Created by:
Simon Cowell

Executive producers:
Simon Cowell, Sam Donnelly and Jason Raff

Executive in charge:
Mike Hofferth

Co-executive producers:
Ke’alohi Lee Lucero, Adam Shapiro

Senior supervising producers:
Nigel Caaro, Emma Greenhalgh, Meg MacGregor and Lev Mergian

Supervising producers:
Susan A. Moyer, Michelle Taylor

Senior producers:
Chris Crawford (post), Kayla DePew (acts)

Producers:
Maureen Biegas (post), Dan Bowen (post), Kristin Campbell-Taylor (reality), Jamie Citron, Kelsey Cornell (reality), Miles Crowe (post), Courtney Harrell, Jasmine C. Leyva (reality), Jon Menell (post), Liza Pablico, John Piermarini, Bryan Riches (field), Alevil Rincones (post), Cory Smith (reality) and Joe Warwick (reality)

Associate producers:
Keith Glidewell (reality), Angela Green (reality), Christa Irvin, Anjali John, Brianna Solo (reality), Zach Stern (reality), Nicolas Villamar (reality) and James Zukor (reality)

Line producer:
Chase Marbumrung

Director:
Russell Norman

Associate directors:
Carrie Havel , Debbie Palacio and Marty Pasetta Jr.

Associate director/production supervisor:
Casey B. Davis

Production designer:
Joe O’Neil, Florian Wieder

Music supervisor:
Meryl Ginsberg

Music coordinator:
Christa Irvin

Digital producers:
Nick Berry, Anthony Scott, Ausrine Plioplys and Ever Pabon Torres

Art director:
Gregg Rainwater

Lighting designer:
Noah Mitz

Lighting directors:
Michael Berger, Bryan Klunder

Origination:
Los Angeles

Series produced by:
Fremantle and Syco Entertainmen

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Heidi Klum, judge on "America's Got Talent" on NBC

Interview with AleXa

TV Interview!

"American Song Contest" winner AleXa on finals night 5/9/22

Interview with AleXa of “American Song Contest” on NBC by Suzanne 5/9/22

After a few months of this music competition show, a winner was finally chosen! K-Pop singer AleXa of Oklahoma took the award for best American Song.  We interviewed her after the show. She was very happy… as you will see in the video. I’ll admit she wasn’t my top favorite, but I’m glad she won because she has a lot of talent and a good song.

MORE INFO:

AleXa with Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson on "American Song Contest" on NBCAmerica’s biggest live entertainment event has arrived! Based on the worldwide phenomenon “Eurovision Song Contest,” organized for 65 years by the European Broadcasting Union and watched by 200 million viewers annually, this amazing musical spectacular combines the competitive spirit of rooting for your favorite sports team with the joy of watching a beloved singing performance.

In the U.S. version of the international megahit, “American Song Contest” will feature live original musical performances, representing all 50 states, five U.S. territories and our nation’s capital, competing to win the country’s vote for the best hit song. The 56 artists span a wide range of performers – from undiscovered talent, up-and-coming new artists, and rising stars to established and legendary icons. An incredible solo artist, duo, group or band will represent each location and perform a new original song, celebrating the depth and variety of different styles and genres across America.

Hosted by Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson, the eight-week live competition consists of three rounds as the artists compete in a series of Qualifying Rounds, followed by the Semi-Finals and the ultimate Grand Final where one state or territory will emerge victorious.

“American Song Contest” is executive produced by Propagate’s Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens, alongside Audrey Morrissey, Amanda Zucker, Kyra Thompson and Gregory Lipstone as well as American Song Contest, Inc.’s Anders Lenhoff, Christer Björkman, Peter Settman and Ola Melzig. 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.

Hashtag: #AmericanSongContest

AMERICAN SONG CONTEST -- “The Live Grand Final” Episode 108 -- Pictured: AleXa (OK) -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)Oklahoma: AleXa

State: Oklahoma
Singer’s name: AleXa
Hometown: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Resident: Seoul, South Korea

Proud to represent the state where she was born and raised until the age of 21, Alex Christine, known professionally as AleXa (알렉사), is a K-pop singer, dancer and songwriter who grew up in Tulsa. A lifelong dancer, AleXa was first drawn to K-pop because of its strong performance identity. After nearly a million fan votes determined her the winner of online talent competition Rising Legends, she was one of the 96 chosen to participate in “Produce 48,” the most competitive audition show in Korea. In 2019, AleXa made her multilingual K-pop debut with “Bomb,” which has received nearly 22 million views to date and hit #7 on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales chart. A year later AleXa released extended plays “Do Or Die” and “Decoherence,” garnering wins for two of Korea’s most prestigious awards. In 2021, AleXa released Y2K-inspired “ReviveR” with dance track “Xtra,” performed the national anthem for the Los Angeles Dodgers and became the first K-pop artist to host a fan meeting in the metaverse within the action shooter game Scavengers.

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AMERICAN SONG CONTEST -- “The Live Grand Final” Episode 108 -- Pictured: AleXa (OK) -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

Interviews with “American Song Contest” contestants 3/28/22

TV Interview!

American Song Contest - Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson, Round 2

Interview with contestants from “American Song Contest” Round 2 on NBC by Krista 3/28/22

This was a lot of fun. I enjoy music competition series, such as my favorite, “American Idol,” so it was great to interview the contestants on the virtual red carpet right after the second qualifying round! Unfortunately, Cruz Rock of the U.S. Virgin Islands was not available.

If you missed their performances, watch them here.  Don’t forget to watch the next round, Monday, April 4th. Contestants include Jewel of Alaska – possibly the most famous of all of the legendary singers participating this season.

Michael Bolton moved on to the next round during this broadcast. You can see our interview with him here!

JONAH PRILL OF MONTANA

 

Jonah Prill was a very personable, friendly guy. I enjoyed listening to him answer the questions and talk about his song. His song Fire It Up was a great song and the feel of the song accomplished everything he wanted it to accomplish. His country music influences are Marty Robbins meets George Strait. He grew up on the old country and he is proud to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather Dean Evans.

MACY GRAY AND MAINO

 

Macy Gray is no stranger to the music scene. She has been an iconic singer/songwriter since 1999 with the release of her triple platinum album “On How Life Is.” She has been able to stay fresh and current with her abilities to write songs that relate to people today. She seems like she really enjoys the music scene and getting out there everyday and learning something from what she does and putting it to use in the next performance.

ENISA OF NEW YORK

 

Enisa from New York is full of energy and just a ball of fire. She wrote the song Greenlight and when it was presented to her to be on this show, she said she had the perfect song for this contest. She had the full performance with the dancing,music, and even the outline of her body with her mic up representing the statue of Liberty. She is a very friendly, outgoing person to talk to.

KING KYOTE OF MAINE

 

King Kyote is a recording artist from Maine who has toured extensively around the Northeast as well as around the country. He is inspired by all types of music especially the Rolling Stones and Muddy Water. He enjoys getting to share his talent with the fans around the world.

JOCELYN OF NEBRASKA

 

Jocelyn from Nebraska is a breath of fresh air. She enjoys writing songs that have positive messages and motivate and inspire. She is inspired by many artists such as Martina McBride, Ed Sheeran, and Shawn Mendez. She partners with Boys Town and Hope Squad which are suicide prevention organizations. She believes in these organizations and wants to spread the message of positivity in her music.

COURTSHIP. OF OREGON

 

Courtship. is from Oregon. Courtship is made up of a friendship between Micah Gordon and Eli Hersch who met at a gig. Their song “Million Dollar Smoothie” is fun and has lots of energy. They were happy to go first because then they could have their performance over and then relax and listen to the other competitors. Their album is due out in 2022.

BRODERICK JONES OF KANSAS

 

Broderick James is a singer/songwriter from Kansas. He wants to become the biggest artist ever to come from Kansas. He was very nice and well mannered showing an interest in the person asking the question. He put together a whole performance, with music, dancers, and the whole works. He seems very humble and a nice guy all the way around.

JORDAN SMITH OF KENTUCKY

 

Jordan Smith is a singer/songwriter from Kentucky and he is also no stranger to the music scene. He won the 9th season of The Voice. Since his win on The Voice he has released 4 albums and toured around the world. He is a very talented guy and seems to be a very friendly, humble guy as well. His song Sparrow is inspired by what we have went through these last two years. He wrote it to inspire others and it was also inspired by scripture where it talks about God feeding the sparrows and taking care of them and how much more he will take care of us. His faith inspires his songwriting and he hopes it can help inspire others.

CHLOE FREDERICKS OF NORTH DAKOTA

 

Chloe Fredericks is from North Dakota and is a singer/songwriter who was inspired by country artists such as Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline. She was raised singing with her dad and enjoyed singing songs such as gospel hymns and a lot of Johnny Cash. She has been working on this song since 2020 and she seems like a sweet young lady.

ALMIRA ZAKY OF VIRGINIA

 

Almira Zaky is from Virginia. Her career as a vocalist began when she was a young age and performed at numerous venues and festivals. She is inspired by artists such as Jojo, and Ariana Grande. She is also very proud of her Indonesian heritage. She hopes to empower young women all around the world with her music and her message.

We were able to interview Cruz Rock, but the recording didn’t come out.  He is from the Virgin Islands and is a Latin Caribbean singer, songwriter and producer. He infuses his ethnic heritage into his musical style and his music infuses several different styles including Caribbean, American and Latin.

MORE INFO:

American Song Contest

Mondays on NBC (8-10 p.m. ET); Series Premiere: March 21

WEBSITE

America’s biggest live entertainment event has arrived! Based on the worldwide phenomenon “Eurovision Song Contest,” organized for 65 years by the European Broadcasting Union and watched by 200 million viewers annually, this amazing musical spectacular combines the competitive spirit of rooting for your favorite sports team with the joy of watching a beloved singing performance.

In the U.S. version of the international megahit, “American Song Contest” will feature live original musical performances, representing all 50 states, five U.S. territories and our nation’s capital, competing to win the country’s vote for the best hit song. The 56 artists span a wide range of performers – from undiscovered talent, up-and-coming new artists, and rising stars to established and legendary icons. An incredible solo artist, duo, group or band will represent each location and perform a new original song, celebrating the depth and variety of different styles and genres across America.

Hosted by Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson, the eight-week live competition consists of three rounds as the artists compete in a series of Qualifying Rounds, followed by the Semi-Finals and the ultimate Grand Final where one state or territory will emerge victorious.

“American Song Contest” is executive produced by Propagate’s Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens, alongside Audrey Morrissey, Amanda Zucker, Kyra Thompson and Gregory Lipstone as well as American Song Contest, Inc.’s Anders Lenhoff, Christer Björkman, Peter Settman and Ola Melzig. 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.

Hashtag: #AmericanSongContest

Jonah PrillMontana: Jonah Prill

State: Montana
Singer’s name: Jonah Prill
Hometown: Billings, MT
Resident: Billings, MT

Over a million people across the country and around the world were initially roped in by Jonah Prill’s cowboy charm and simple way of life with his horses, cowboy charm and Montana lifestyle on TikTok. With his account, Jonah gained a loyal following of over a million people by 2020 to see his journey to country music stardom. From rocking school assemblies in 3rd grade, singing in choirs through europe by highschool, and joining every band in college. It wasn’t long before Prill knew he wanted to release his own music and become a household name in country music. This Casanova’s ability to infuse his country music heritage and down-home upbringing into the lyrics and melodies of his music is what might make him one of the genre’s most intriguing new artists. The grandson of country artist Dean Evans, Prill seems poised to lead a new generation into a new chapter, a chapter filled with pages of an authentic life lived by a simple man from Billings, Montana.

Macy Gray and MainoOhio: Macy Gray

State: Ohio
Singer’s name: Macy Gray
Hometown: Canton, Ohio
Resident: Los Angeles, CA

Macy Gray, the renowned artist, actor and activist from Canton, Ohio, is no stranger to saying what needs to be said and acting on her words. The musical bodies of work she has produced throughout her career are a testament to her exquisite vision and unyielding devotion to her craft. Her sleek, sultry and mature take on R&B draws from decades worth of history. Yet, her ability to still sound forward-thinking and fresh is what reaffirms and reasserts her as a signature rarity in music. Since Macy broke into the music scene in 1999 with the release of her debut triple-platinum album, “On How Life Is,” she has become a powerhouse of R&B and soul, amassed a devoted global fan base and sold more than 25 million total albums globally. A five-time Grammy Award nominee, Gray won for Best Pop Vocal Performance in 2000 for her iconic song “I Try” and has received two BRIT Awards. Macy’s latest album, “The Reset,” will be released later year. The album is primed to create further discussion about what is happening in today’s world and will help redefine what pop music should be while still providing music lovers with good times and a great message. The daughter of a math teacher and a steel factory worker, Gray grew up in a house next to the local farm – a place still near and dear to her heart where she received the encouragement to become the star she is today.

ENISANew York: ENISA

State: New York
Singer’s name: ENISA
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Resident: Brooklyn, NY

New York local ENISA has spent her whole life preparing for this journey as a first-generation American born to Albanian parents. Following her graduation from Brooklyn’s esteemed Edward R. Murrow High School, she attended Brooklyn College and continued to develop her unique musical vision. A series of distinctive cover versions exploded across social media, earning her millions of views and critical acclaim from the likes of Complex, XXL, ThisSongIsSick and more. ENISA continued to hone her diverse musical approach, infusing contemporary soul pop with Middle Eastern flourishes inspired by her own Muslim heritage. Track releases like Scridge and Genda’s viral smash “Karma (Remix)” and such solo singles as “Burn This Bridge” and “Wait for Love” showcased a spectacular knack for raw soul and endless attitude, earning her close to 16 million views and more than 3 million global streams.

King KyoteMaine: King Kyote

State: Maine
Singer’s name: King Kyote
Hometown: York, ME
Resident:  Portland, ME

King Kyote is a recording artist who has toured extensively in the Northeast as well as around the country. Harken to a night of whiskey drinking in a cabin among the Maine pines, King echoes the yells of rock ‘n’ roll’s forefathers while having a deeply rooted harmony with roots rock, singer-songwriter and folk genres. He has played at iconic venues throughout Maine and local festivals, as well as shows with many local popular acts such as Ghosts of Paul Revere, Rustic Overtones and The Mallet Brothers Band.

JocelynNebraska: Jocelyn

State: Nebraska
Singer’s name: Jocelyn
Hometown: Omaha, NE
Resident: Omaha, NE

Nebraska native Jocelyn combines her observant outlook on life, love and music to write positive songs that both motivate and inspire. She has toured with Darius Rucker, Hootie and the Blowfish and Barenaked Ladies. Jocelyn also had the great privilege to partner with Boys Town National Hotline, a Nebraska nonprofit that is dedicated to providing a safe home for children of all races and religions, and Hope Squad on the Kindness Tour, bringing her positive music and message along with suicide prevention resources to schools across the country. She was featured on “Celebrity Undercover Boss” with Rucker and “Showtime at the Apollo” with Steve Harvey. Jocelyn wants to represent Nebraska to spread the message of Boys Town as well as her love for the state.

courtship.Oregon: courtship.

State: Oregon
Band Name: courtship.
Hometown: Portland, OR
Resident: Los Angeles, CA

The best things in life usually happen by accident and the genesis of courtship. is no exception. Micah Gordon and Eli Hirsch were both session musicians in Los Angeles who met at a gig. During their downtime on the first day, they instantly realized they had something special. Micah is a classically trained jazz pianist and was influenced by Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Miles Davis. Eli grew up with the likes of Blink-182, Passion Pit and Weezer and together they’re the Larry David of indie pop. The boys spent the last few years on the road touring with artists such as Dayglow, Passion Pit, the Hunna, Weezer, the Wombats, Magic City Hippies and Night Riots all while garnering millions of streams. The duo’s sophomore album is set to release in 2022 and is a testament to everything that courtship. is – authentic, witty and feel-good. To courtship., Oregon is a magical place where they first started playing in bands and exploring music.

Broderick JonesKansas: Broderick Jones

State: Kansas
Singer’s name: Broderick Jones
Hometown: Little Rock, AR
Resident: Olathe, KS

Broderick Jones is a singer/songwriter known for his smooth vocals and gravitating stage performances. Broderick raked up over 35 million streams alone with no backing, helping him put a spotlight on the city and move closer towards his dream of becoming the biggest artist ever from Kansas. Broderick is thrilled to represent his state and show America that if he can make it from here, than anyone can.

Jordan SmithKentucky: Jordan Smith

State: Kentucky
Singer’s name: Jordan Smith
Hometown: Harlan, KY
Resident: Corbin, KY

Jordan Smith is a singer/songwriter best known for winning season nine of NBC’s hit reality television series “The Voice.” The Kentucky native holds the record as the highest-selling artist in “The Voice” history, dethroning Adele’s “Hello” at #1 on the iTunes charts three times during his run on the show and becoming the first artist ever to replace himself at #1 on the Christian Billboard chart. Jordan has since released four albums and toured extensively around the world, sharing the stage with artists such as Patti LaBelle, Jordin Sparks and Lionel Richie. He also wrote the song “Ashes,” performed by Celine Dion for the movie “Deadpool 2.” Being a Kentuckian is something Jordan has always been proud of and representing the state is an honor.

Chloe FredericksNorth Dakota: Chloe Fredericks

State: North Dakota
Singer’s name: Chloe Fredericks
Hometown: Halliday, ND
Resident: Halliday, ND

Chloe Fredericks grew up listening to some of country music’s great artists, including Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and Emmylou Harris, and often receives comparisons to powerhouse singer-songwriters Adele and Amy Winehouse. Her mom would always call Chloe her “little singing birdy” and some of Chloe’s fondest memories are singing alongside her dad. She was raised on a ranch in North Dakota and learned the cowboy way of living – if you get bucked off of a horse, you get right back on. It’s helped carry Chloe through the more trying times in the ever-changing music business.

Almira ZakyVirginia: Almira Zaky

State: Virginia
Singer’s name: Almira Zaky
Hometown: Herndon, VA
Resident: Herndon, VA

Almira Zaky’s journey as a vocalist began at a young age when she would perform for thousands all around the Washington, D.C., area at several venues including World Bank, the Embassy of Indonesia, University of District of Columbia, University of Maryland, and events such as the annual Cherry Blossom Festival and the Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival. Almira is inspired by artists such as Kehlani, Jhene Aiko, Jojo and Ariana Grande and attributes her rhythmic R&B/pop influence to ’90s-’00s music. Her vibrant presence, outspoken lyrical skill, soulful tone and ability to relate to audiences all over the world has inspired others to become the boss of their own life. Almira, who is Muslim and proud of her Indonesian heritage, is very honored to represent her home state of Virginia, as it is the home to so many hip-hop/R&B musical legends, including Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, Chad Hugo and Missy Elliot.

Interview with last week’s contestants and with Kelly Clarkson

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Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson of "American Song Contest" on NBC

Interview with Michael Bolton

TV Interview!

Michael Bolton at "American Song Contest" on NBC

Interview with Michael Bolton at “American Song Contest” on NBC by Suzanne 3/28/22

It was great to speak with this legend a second time. Last week, Michael Bolton competed in the first episode of “American Song Contest” on NBC. This is a show similar to “Eurovision.”  NBC had this great after-show virtual red carpet for those of us in the press. Unfortunately, between technical problems, background noise, and Michael Bolton being a very quiet speaker, we weren’t able to hear or understand him, nor could we get a good video! Fortunately, it was announced during this week’s show that Michael had been voted to continue in the next round, so NBC was able to get us this short Zoom interview with him to make up for last week. I’m so grateful and happy!

Enjoy this nice CLEAR video! We’ll have the transcript up later.

MORE INFO:

Michael Bolton at "American Song Contest" on NBCConnecticut: Michael Bolton

State: Connecticut
Singer’s name: Michael Bolton
Hometown: New Haven, CT
Resident: Westport, CT

Michael Bolton is a multiple Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter who has sold more than 65 million records globally and continues to tour the world. Bolton is strongly committed to humanitarian causes, especially through the Michael Bolton Charities. In recognition of his artistic achievements, Michael won two Grammys for Best Pop Male Vocal Performance (nominated four times), six American Music Awards, three Emmy Award nominations and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. As a songwriter, he has earned more than 24 BMI & ASCAP Awards, including Songwriter of the Year and the Hitmakers Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame. His coming-of-age story starts in Connecticut, where he was born and raised and most importantly where he discovered his love of singing and songwriting. He’s proud to represent the state as an artist and as someone who still loves going home to Connecticut.

About ‘American Song Contest’:

From the producers of “Eurovision Song Contest” and “The Voice,” the all-live music competition series, hosted by Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson, premieres Monday, March 21 (8:00 – 10:00 pm ET/PT) and will run for eight weeks with the Grand Final on May 9.

“American Song Contest” will feature live new music performances – representing all 50 states, five U.S. territories and our nation’s capital – competing to win the country’s vote for the best hit song. An incredible solo artist, duo or a band will represent each location and perform a new original song, celebrating the depth and variety of different styles and genres across America. The live competition consists of three rounds as the artists compete in a series of Qualifying Rounds, followed by the Semi-Finals and the ultimate Grand Final where one state or territory will emerge victorious.

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Michael Bolton at "American Song Contest" on NBC

Interview with Kelly Clarkson

TV Interview!

 

Kelly Clarkson of "American Song Contest" on NBC. Photo from video on etonline.com

Interview with EP and host Kelly Clarkson, EP/showrunner Audrey Morrissey, EP Ben Silverman, EP Anders Lenhoff and EP Christer Björkman of “American Song Contest” on NBC by Suzanne 3/14/22

This was a press conference for the upcoming show, “American Song Contest”. I was just one of many journalists in attendance This sounds like a fun show. It begins Monday, 3/21 on NBC! There are 54 contestants total – one from each state or territory. They compete each week until they narrow it down. You can vote online between the airing of the episode on Monday, and Wednesday. Each of the contestants are professional working musicians, not newbies or amateurs. Based on “Eurovision,” each group performs their original song. So, unlike, say, “The Voice,” they’re being judged more for their performing and songwriting talent than they are for their singing and playing.

Kelly Clarkson was very enthusiastic on Zoom. I’m told that she’s often this way. I don’t watch her show, and I haven’t seen her on anything else, so I’ll have to take their word for it. She certainly loves to talk! I can see why she has a talk show.

Along with Kelly, who’s both co-host and executive producer, were the executive producers and showrunner Audrey Morrissey.  Two of the EPs, Lenhoff and Björkman, were involved with Eurovision, the European music contest that “American Song Contest” is based on.

It was very interesting to learn about this new show, which is different from all of the other singing contests on TV, such as “American Idol,” “The Voice,” “America’s Got Talent,” etc.

The show is the brainchild of EP Ben Silverman, who’s been working for “over 25 years” to try to get the Eurovision rights to make an American version. Eurovision was “not only the first, it’s the most ambitious and unique.” He’s understandably “thrilled” to be finally putting it all together for NBC. He hopes the audience will tune it because it’s live, they have great hosts in Snoop and Kelly and “It’s filled with regional passion and state by state brilliance. And I think you are going to be amazed to see some professionals, some amateurs, all different kinds of genres of music.”

Kelly is looking forward to the world seeing the diversity they have on the show because she knows there are different types of music all over the U.S., including in her home state of Texas. She really hopes that the show helps heal the country because it’s so “divided” right now “because people have their preconceived notions of who is from where. And that’s just not true anymore, especially in such a digital age and the Internet age. We are all very similar more than not. But, also, we do represent different cultures, which is going to be cool.”

You may wonder if larger states like Texas will get more votes than the smaller ones, but Silverman explained that, just like in Eurovision, every state has equal voting power. Kelly believes that people will vote for the artists that like the best – not just the ones in their home state. Kelly had worked with Snoop Dog before on “The Voice” and proclaimed that they worked really well together. “the thing I loved most about him is that he really took his time listening and kind of taking it in, like, each performance.” So she’s very excited to be hosting with him. She pointed out that they both represent vastly different types of music as well as areas of the country.

Producer Morrissey explained that they put out the word to all of professional people they knew, in “a really vast network of A&R scouts, managers, booking agents” from other music shows like “The Voice” and “Songland.” She had to make it show that this show is not like “American Idol” or the other shows. It’s for professional musicians. “This is for the artists, the person who is committed to ‘This is what I’m doing in my life, and I’ve been grinding it and working it on the road for years. I’m kind of a known entity. A&R scouts know about me. Maybe I am about to be signed, or I already have been signed, or I’ve turned down deals because I want to go it alone.'” In the future, they hope to have a mechanism similar to Eurovision, where each state has its own contest and the winner of each contest goes to their show.

Kelly and the other producers are really excited to show us that their show will have the “really over the top costumes and production stage values that” Eurovision has. Silverman noted, “It’s unbelievable, our sets, the spectacle, the costume design, the lighting design, all of the production value.” He cited the finale as being very similar to the type they do on the original Eurovision.

They don’t think that the more famous artists like Jewel will necessarily have an edge over the lesser-known artists in the competition. Each one has to prove themselves in the competition, famous or not. It’s also a great venue for any of the artists to showcase a new song.

Monday, 3/20 I’ll be watching the show and interviewing some of the contestants afterwards, live, so stay tuned!

MORE INFO:

American Song Contest

Mondays on NBC (8-10 p.m. ET); Series Premiere: March 21

America’s biggest live entertainment event has arrived! Based on the worldwide phenomenon “Eurovision Song Contest,” organized for 65 years by the European Broadcasting Union and watched by 200 million viewers annually, this amazing musical spectacular combines the competitive spirit of rooting for your favorite sports team with the joy of watching a beloved singing performance.

In the U.S. version of the international megahit, “American Song Contest” will feature live original musical performances, representing all 50 states, five U.S. territories and our nation’s capital, competing to win the country’s vote for the best hit song. The 56 artists span a wide range of performers – from undiscovered talent, up-and-coming new artists, and rising stars to established and legendary icons. An incredible solo artist, duo, group or band will represent each location and perform a new original song, celebrating the depth and variety of different styles and genres across America.

Hosted by Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson, the eight-week live competition consists of three rounds as the artists compete in a series of Qualifying Rounds, followed by the Semi-Finals and the ultimate Grand Final where one state or territory will emerge victorious.

“American Song Contest” is executive produced by Propagate’s Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens, alongside Audrey Morrissey, Amanda Zucker, Kyra Thompson and Gregory Lipstone as well as American Song Contest, Inc.’s Anders Lenhoff, Christer Björkman, Peter Settman and Ola Melzig. 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.

Hashtag: #AmericanSongContest

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

Coach, “The Voice”; Executive Producer/Host, “American Song Contest”; Executive Producer/Host, “The Kelly Clarkson Show”

Kelly Clarkson serves as a coach on NBC’s four-time Emmy Award-winning musical competition series “The Voice.” She won the competition in seasons 14, 15 and 17.

Clarkson will serve as host (with Snoop Dogg) on the new NBC musical competition series “American Song Contest” and she’s currently filming season three of “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” which has already been picked up for a fourth season.

An Emmy-winning talk show host, Grammy Award-winning artist and America’s original idol, Clarkson is one of the most popular artists of this era with total worldwide sales of more than 25 million albums and 40 million singles.

Clarkson recently released her critically acclaimed Grammy-nominated eighth studio album, “Meaning of Life,” and in 2020 released her powerful single “I Dare You,” which she recorded with five other artists in six languages

The Texas-born singer-songwriter first came to fame in 2002 as the winner of the inaugural season of “American Idol.” Clarkson’s debut single, “A Moment Like This,” followed and quickly went to #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100, ultimately ranking as the year’s best-selling single in the U.S. Further, Clarkson is one of pop’s top singles artists, with 17 singles boasting multi-platinum, platinum and gold certifications around the world, including such global favorites as “Miss Independent” and “Because of You.”

Clarkson has released eight studio albums (“Thankful,” “Breakaway,” “My December,” “All I Ever Wanted,” “Stronger,” “Wrapped in Red,” “Piece By Piece,” “Meaning of Life”), one greatest hits album and two children’s books (New York Times Top 10 bestseller “River Rose and the Magical Lullaby” and the follow-up, “River Rose and the Magical Christmas”).

She is the recipient of an array of awards, including two Daytime Emmy Award in 2020 and 2021 for Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host, three Grammys, four American Music Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, two Academy of Country Music Awards, two American Country Awards and one Country Music Assn. Award. She is also the first artist to top each of Billboard’s pop, adult contemporary, country and dance charts.

Additionally, Clarkson has hosted the “Billboard Music Awards” for the past three years and she also voices the character of Moxy in “Ugly Dolls” and the character of Delta Dawn in “Trolls World Tour.”

Snoop Dogg

Executive Producer/Host, “American Song Contest”

A multi-platinum artist, actor, philanthropist and entertainment icon, Snoop Dogg has reigned for nearly three decades as an unparalleled force, raising the bar as an award-winning entertainer and globally recognized entrepreneur. Snoop defines entertainment history. He has released 21 studio albums, sold over 40 million albums worldwide, reached No. 1 countless times on Billboard charts internationally and received 20 Grammy nominations.

A California native, Snoop has also appeared in numerous films, such as “Dolemite Is My Name,” “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run,” “The Addams Family,” “Beach Bum,” “Starsky & Hutch,” “Soul Plane” and the Oscar-winning drama “Training Day,” among others. He has also produced several TV shows and films, including Vice’s “Reincarnated,” “Mac & Dean Go to High School” and “Hood of Horror” through his production company, Snoopadelic Films. He made his mark in television when he garnered an Emmy Award nomination as executive producer for the hit VH1 show “Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner.” Snoop was also the executive producer of the Netflix show “Coach Snoop,” “GGN: Double G News,” MTV’s “Mary + Jane” and the TNT game show “Joker’s Wild,” which he also hosted.

Most recently, Snoop has hosted and produced several projects through his Snoopadelic films, including two Peacock originals – “2021 and Done” alongside Kevin Hart, a hilarious retrospective on the year that began with so much promise; and “Olympic Highlights with Kevin Hart and Snoop Dogg,” recapping the Olympics’ most impressive delays of athleticism and the moments that didn’t go as planned.

Audrey Morissey, Executive Producer and Showrunner of "American Song Contest" on NBCAudrey Morrissey

Executive Producer, “The Voice”; Executive Producer, “American Song Contest”

Audrey Morrissey is an executive producer and the creative force behind NBC’s all-live music competition series “American Song Contest” as well as four-time Emmy Award-winning music competition series “The Voice.”

A veteran of MTV, she spent nine years at the network in their music and specials division working on high-profile music series and annual event specials, such as “Unplugged,” VMAs and MTV Movie Awards.

After several years in New York, she was sent to Los Angeles to build the West Coast production department for both MTV and VH1.

Morrissey then joined Jimmy Iovine and Doug Morris as the Head of Television for their online music venture, Farmclub.com, and met her future partner, Ivan Dudynsky, with whom she started Live Animals Productions.

Since the formation of Live Animals, Morrissey has executive produced award shows, music specials, reality series, music videos and promos. She has executive produced the Emmy Awards, People’s Choice Awards, MTV Movie Awards, CMT Music Awards and, most recently, Teen Choice Awards. She also created and executive produced the NBC series “Songland.”

In addition to her four Emmy wins as executive producer of “The Voice,” Morrissey has five PGA Awards for Outstanding Producer of Competition Television for her work on the show.

Ben Silverman, Executive Producer of "American Song Contest" on NBCBen Silverman

Executive Producer, “American Song Contest”

Ben Silverman, the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning media entrepreneur, visionary producer and New York Times best-selling author behind “The Office,” is the Chairman and Co-CEO of Propagate Content, creating and producing all forms of content for distribution across a variety of platforms around the world.

Silverman founded two of the media industry’s most renowned super indies, Electus and Reveille. Silverman founded Reveille in 2002 to exploit international formats by selling them in the United States. Prior to launching Electus, Silverman served as Co-Chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios from 2007-09 where he transformed the business model by connecting advertisers and consumers through content in a more profound way. Through his Electus banner, Silverman took a leadership role in digital content, building the #1 comedy site on the Internet, CollegeHumor.com, and extending projects to multiple platforms, including numerous digital projects and partnerships with Yahoo!, Facebook and YouTube.

Pioneering content at the forefront of the entertainment industry, Silverman has created and executive produced major network, cable and digital platform hits, including Golden Globe and Peabody award-winning shows “The Office,” “Ugly Betty,” “The Biggest Loser” and “The Tudors,” as well as hits such as “Jane the Virgin,” “Marco Polo” and “Flaked” with Will Arnett and Mitch Hurwitz for Netflix, NBC’s transformative TV commerce show “Fashion Star” and “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” on Nat Geo. Silverman has also produced feature films, including “My Boyfriend’s Meds,” “Mansome” and “Hands of Stone,” the biopic of Roberto Duran starring Robert De Niro, Usher and Edgar Ramirez that premiered at Cannes Film Festival.

Silverman’s Propagate has offices in Los Angeles, New York, and Paris. Its recent credits include the critically acclaimed sports doc series “Untold” on Netflix, the US Women’s soccer doc “LFG” that premiered at Tribeca and now streams on HBO Max, the Emmy-nominated “Hillary” that premiered at Sundance and now streams on Hulu, “Notre Dame: Our Lady of Paris” on ABC, the “Go-Big Show” on TBS and the upcoming “American Song Contest” for NBC, as well as the unscripted “Nov. 13: Attack on Paris,” “Haunted” and “Prank Encounters” for Netflix, and “In Search Of” and “Kings of Pain” for History.

On the scripted side, Propagate’s scripted credits include “Shaka Zulu” for Showtime, “Remote” for Comedy Central and “Pinches Momias” for Univision, as well as “Rebelde” streaming on Netflix, “Let’s Be Real” on Fox, “Blood and Treasure” and “Broke” for CBS, and “Charmed” for the CW. Propagate also created and produced the podcast “An Oral History of the Office” for Spotify and the New York Times bestselling book “Welcome to Dunder Mifflin,” based on the podcast. Propagate’s expanding portfolio of companies includes Electus (“You vs. Wild,” “Running Wild With Bear Grylls,” “Jane the Virgin,” “Fashion Star”), Big Breakfast (“Adam Ruins Everything”, “Hot Date”), Notional (“Chopped” franchise), and talent management firms Artists First, Authentic Talent & Literary Management and Select Management.

Anders Lenhoff

Executive Producer, “American Song Contest”

Anders Lenhoff is one of the elite TV creatives in Europe with a career-spanning almost three decades having created, produced and/or directed 15 different TV shows that rated above 10% of the population.

In addition to serving as show producer for the Eurovision Song Contest, as well as Melodifestivalen, his other credits include the first ever season of “Expedition: Robinson, Survivor” and international versions of the hit UK panel comedies “QI” and “Have I Got News for You.”

Lenhoff also created and ran “The Commission,” a 12-episode political drama that was nominated for Prix d’Europe. In addition, he produced a highly comedy talk show in Sweden, three annual award shows, directed a long-running Swedish drama series and sketch-comedy series “Reuter & Skoog” and “Hipp Hipp,” the latter of which won a Silver Rose as the best light entertainment in Europe.

Christer Björkman

Anders Lenhoff and Christer BjörkmanExecutive Producer, “American Song Contest”

Christer Björkman is a living legend among Eurovision fans.

An avid fan of the competition since early childhood, he dreamed of competing as an artist in the Swedish selection show. In 1992, his dream came through. He entered and won and got to represent Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest.

However, his true legacy began in 2002 when he was appointed Contest Producer and Creative Director for “Melodifestivalen,” the Swedish selection show for the ESC. At the time, “Melodifestivalen” was a crumbling format in steep decline, but with Björkman at the helm, it quickly turned into one of the biggest TV success stories in the world of television. “Melodifestivalen” has been the biggest entertainment show in Scandinavia for almost two decades.

During Björkman’s reign, Sweden has won the ESC twice, making it the second most successful competing country in history. Björkman is also the most experienced ESC producer ever and consults for broadcasters all over Europe.

Björkman was awarded a Rose d’Or for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2016.

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AMERICAN SONG CONTEST— Season: 1 -- Pictured: Kelly Clarkson -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)

Interview with the “Alter Ego” Judges and Host

TV Interview!

 

Judges and host of "Alter Ego" on FOX

Interview with judges Nick Lachey, Grimes, and will.i.am, host Rocsi Diaz, executive producer Matilda Zoltowski, and FOX’s President of Alternative Entertainment & Specials, Rob Wade of “Alter Ego” on FOX Suzanne 9/8/21

Alter Ego is the new FOX music competition show. It’s very unusual in that the singers create an avatar of themselves to perform through. The judges and audience see them not as themselves, but as their avatar.

2 NIGHT SEASON PREMIERE WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 22 & THURSDAY, SEPT. 23

I attended the FOX TCA panel for the show. Normally, they give us “screeners” – an episode or two of the show to watch ahead of time. Instead, we got one compilation episode. I’m not sure why. It was interesting, though. I don’t really watch non-fiction shows, but I might have to tune in to some of this to see what it’s really like.

On the panel, they told us “lost dreams and second chances are reignited when singers become the stars they’ve always wanted to be. However, these contestants won’t perform as themselves, rather, they’ll help create their dream avatar alter ego, reinventing and transforming themselves like never before. Talent and technology come together, creating a singing competition unlike anything the world has ever seen.” Then we saw a clip.

The panel consisted of judges Nick Lachey, Grimes, and will.i.am, host Rocsi Diaz, executive producer Matilda Zoltowski, and FOX’s President of Alternative Entertainment & Specials, Rob Wade. I’d only heard of Lachey and will.i.am, but that’s fine because I only was able to ask one question.

My question was admittedly a little lame. I should have asked about the technology behind the avatars because no one really asked that, and I’m curious. On the TV screen, we see the judges and audience looking at the avatar, which lookes like a real person on the stage. Is that how it looks in real life, or is it all special effects? I would love to know. Instead, I asked Nick Lachey a question about being a judge. I made an error because I thought he had been a judge on another reality show. My mistake because he was a contestant, not a judge. Whoops! I should have done more research. My bad. But he gave a great answer, anyway.

The first journalist asked the producers about the idea behind the show and what they hoped people would take out of having avatars perform. The answer was basically that they have this amazing technology that they can use now, and that they could get performers with amazing voices that we wouldn’t necessarily see on other competition shows. I guess he means, people who are not very attractive. What else would she mean? I mean, we’ve seen plenty of plus-sized people, and people of all different colors, races, genders, ages and orientations competing. The only thing left is unattractive people. From what the clips are showing, all of the contestants are choosing avatars much thinner than themselves, and some much more light-skinned than themselves. I wonder what criticisms people will have of the show. It’s, of course, also a way for those who are gender-fluid to have avatars to reflect who they feel like inside. I don’t know if that will be enough to counteract the other problems, though. We shall see!

The next press person asked about the design of the avatars and whether body diversity came into play. The producer answered that they have a real mix of different types of people and “huge diversity on every level.” She revealed that they have 20 different alter egos, which is something I didn’t know from watching the clips. It appears that the contestants are able to change what their avatars are wearing and other features. The producer maintained that they wanted to have alter egos that would appearl to a wide audience – people of all different types. She concluded, “I think there’s something there for everybody.”

Another writer asked why the alter egos look “fantastical” rather than just looking like regular humans. Hmm, here’s someone who probably hasn’t played a lot of video games or done online role-playing. That’s kind of the point – to look different than we are, dude. Producer Wade admitted that trying to make the avatars look like regular humans didn’t really look good. The avatars looked “creepy.” They thought that having them more colorful and fun would be better and people could connect to them. He also added, “why do a show called ALTER EGO with avatars if you’re just going to replicate human beings? They should be something a little bit more fantastical, a little bit superhero like, in a way.”

Judge Grimes interjected that she thought that since so many people are into video games, that they’re used to connecting with the “crazier type” of characters. will.i.am also added his input by comparing people dressing up in different colors, expressing themselves, or wearing costumes for Comic-Con, or various artists who look “fantastical” like these alter egos. He said, “This is beyond makeup. This is beyond, you know, a hat and glasses. It’s beyond freaking tailored suits that fit you perfectly. This is your spirit tailored, whooo. This is, like, your passion tailored. This is putting makeup on your spirit.” He got very excited, and everyone laughed. Nick Lachey advised us to tune in to the series because this is just a small taste of what will.i.am commentary is like.

The next interviewer ask about how genders will be changed, which was a variation on the body diversity question already asked. will.i.am put it well when he declared that “the imagination is genderless and it’s beautiful.” He went on to explained that when he writes songs, sometimes it’s from a female point of view (especially if he’s writing it for a female singer, such as Fergie. He’s “dialing into my inner femininity.” He once again indulged in hyperbole about the show and its performers in this regard. Lachey chimed in to talk about it from the POV of an entertaining – how it can be “truly liberating” to step into an alter ego. He says the way it came together in the show blew his mind. Grimes noted that the show makes “gender fluidity more casual”. Diaz pointed out that what will make viewers really invested in the stories of the performers is that they get to live out these experiences in such a liberating way and really be themselves for the first time. It was touching for them, and she believes it will be for the audience at home as well.

Then it was my turn to ask a question. Bear in mind that I was already a middle-aged adult by the time “98 Degrees” became a big hit, so that wasn’t my music. I had completely forgotten that Lachey was in that group. I had mostly seen him in “Charmed,” where he played Leslie St. Claire in 2004. He modestly replied, “To call me an actor is a liberal use of the word “acting.” After graciously correcting me that he’d never been a judge, he said that he had been a host before on music competition shows, so he was excited to step into the role of judge. He admitted that he was a bit of a skeptic at first (about the alter egos) because he doesn’t play video Alter Ego fairy avatargames and isn’t really into technology tha tmuch. He thought it was really cool to be asked to be part of it, though. In the end, “what I took away from it was, there’s such a humanity, despite all the mind blowing technology, and it’s incredible, and you’ll see it when it premieres on the 22nd. I mean, it’s incredible technology, but there’s still a humanity that comes through in these performances. These are real emotions. These are real people behind the alter egos, and that life experience, all the things that you channel as an artist, all those things you channel into your performance, those things come through in a very real way through the technology, which is a beautiful, beautiful thing to see. And again, I always use this word, but, you know, confluence of technology and artistry, and the way those things came together on this show is something unlike we’ve seen on TV ever. And so, I’m so excited. I mean, I got to watch it firsthand. I’m so excited for (my dog, Brandy, barked here) come together. And, apparently, that dog agrees with me. They’re excited.” Everyone laughed because it was very funny.

They joked around about how Lachey told a lot of “dad jokes.”

The next journalist asked Nick if there were logistical complications, since he lives in Hawaii and the show is in Los Angeles. Lachey confirmed that he does have a lot of frequent flyer miles. However, he was able to be back in L.A., bringing his son Charlie with him while he filmed the show and spent time there. He admitted, “I’ve done a lot of great things in my career, and I’m truly appreciative of each and every one of them, but this was one of the unique and special things I was able to be a part of. So, I’m glad it was able to be worked out, and I’m glad I was able do it.”

The same person asked him being a contestant on “The Masked Singer” and how that informed him for this show. He compared being in the “Piglet” costume to having an alter ego because it frees you to create a character and be whomever you want to be. He told us that the singers in “Alter Ego” are all incredible, but they all have struggled in some ways, but the show allowed them “truly feel liberated, and let their true talent shine through. And we all were lucky enough to be witnesses to that, and I think that’s a beautiful thing. That’s the real … humanity of this show. These are all humans with real emotions, and real struggles, and real experiences, and they bring all that to their performances, and they bring all that to their alter egos. And to watch all those things come together on this is a beautiful thing.”

Another journalist asked will.i.am about the current technology available (and being used on the show), and how he would have used that back when he was in the Black-Eyed Peas. Will gave a very long answer where he basically said that it would have freed them all to be different characters – and play different instruments- within their band.

That same man asked Graimes, who’s a producer as well as a performer, how she judges the show’s performers. Grimes didn’t really answer his questions. She did admit that she has “huge stage fright” and was already looking into this sort of technology to use in her own performances.

There many more questions, but these were the most interesting. Check out this unusual show!

Here is the audio version of it.

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com

MORE INFO:

ALTER EGO is the world’s first avatar singing competition series and the next iteration of the musical competition show. On ALTER EGO, lost dreams and second chances are reignited when singers from all walks of life become the stars they’ve always wanted to be. However, these contestants won’t perform as themselves. Rather, they’ll be given the chance to show how they’ve always wanted to be seen, creating their dream avatar ALTER EGO to reinvent themselves, while showcasing their unique performance style via motion capture technology. The judges table features some of the biggest names in music, including iconic singer/songwriter and seven-time Grammy Award winner Alanis Morissette; actor, singer and television personality Nick Lachey; acclaimed Canadian producer, songwriter, singer and visual artist Grimes; and multi-Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, producer, entrepreneur and actor will.i.am. Emmy Award-winning personality Rocsi Diaz will host the musical spectacle. In ALTER EGO, talent and technology come together to create a singing competition unlike anything the world has ever seen.

Grimes, a judge on "Alter Ego" on FOXGRIMES

as Judge

Bio

Claire Boucher is the producer of the alter ego Grimes and an award-winning music video director, as well as a music writer, artist, producer, engineer and singer-songwriter. The world got its first glimpse of this vision on her 2010 full-length debut, “Geidi Primes,” which drew its inspiration from the David Lynch adaptation of Frank Herbert’s “Dune.” Her sophomore outing, “Halfaxa,” followed the same year. Over the course of three weeks, 2012’s “Visions” came to life in her apartment and would be recorded solely on Garage Band. 2015 marked a commercial breakthrough on “Art Angels.” It appeared in the Top 5 of year-end lists by Pitchfork, Billboard, Consequence of Sound, The New York Times and Rolling Stone, in addition to being named Album of the Year by Stereogum, NME and Exclaim! In 2018, she made another conscious evolution, turning back to formative influences, such as Tool and Nine Inch Nails for inspiration — a style first hinted at on 2016’s “Suicide Squad” soundtrack contribution, “Medieval Warfare.” In 2020, she released “Miss Anthropocene,” a concept album about an anthropomorphic goddess of climate change, which received rave reviews. The album title stems from the words Misanthrope, “a person who dislikes humankind and avoids human society,” and Anthropocene, “the current geological age, viewed as the period during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment.” In 2021, she set the NFT world on fire with the release of WarNymph Collection Vol 1 By Grimes x Mac. The collection contains 10 artworks, including a unique video work set to original music composed specifically for the project. Through the character of WarNymph, Grimes explores the fluidity of identity in the virtual age: the ability to create, augment and splinter ourselves into unlimited avatars.

NICK LACHEY as JudgeNick Lachey, a judge on "Alter Ego" on FOX

Bio

Singer, actor and television personality Nick Lachey rose to fame as the lead singer of the multi-Platinum boy band 98 Degrees, selling more than 10 million records. He also has released four solo studio albums. Currently, Nick can be seen co-hosting “Love is Blind” with his wife Vanessa Lachey. In 2021, Lachey won the fifth season of THE MASKED SINGER as The Piglet. Lachey has had a long hosting career, serving as host on “The Sing Off” and “Big Morning Buzz Live.”

In addition to his work in music and television, Lachey remains a constant advocate for children’s and humanitarian causes through his work with organizations including Autism Speaks, Feeding America, Make-a-Wish Foundation, The Boys & Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), VH-1 Save The Music, The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and The Cincinnati School for Performing Arts. He is also founder and President of The Nick Lachey Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to helping children, families and communities in need throughout the United States.

Lachey was raised in Cincinnati, OH, and attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA), Miami University and University of Southern California. Lachey currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife Vanessa and three children.

will.i.am, a judge on "Alter Ego" on FOXwill.i.am

as Judge

Bio

Seven-time Grammy Award winner will.i.am has been at the forefront of the contemporary American hip hop movement for more than 20 years. He is best known as a songwriter, producer, actor and entrepreneur, and globally recognized as a founding member of Black Eyed Peas, one of the best-selling groups of all time. He has released four solo albums and eight studio albums with Black Eyed Peas. The act was one of the first to recognize the mainstream potential of electronic dance music and held the No. 1 spot on the Hot 100 for a record 26 consecutive weeks after “I Gotta Feeling” replaced “Boom Boom Pow” atop the chart — more than any other act in the history of the Hot 100. The Emmy and CLIO Award-winning music video, “Yes We Can,” mobilized a generation during the 2008 U.S. Presidential election. He has worked with countless Grammy Award-winning artists as a producer and currently serves as a Coach on “The Voice UK” and “The Voice Kids.”

He has starred in several animated feature films, including “Rio,” “Rio 2” and “Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa,” as well as the live-action “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” Founded in 2009, will.i.am’s i.am Angel Foundation supports in-class and after-school STEAM education programs for disadvantaged youth in grades K – 12. The Foundation also funds the Boyle Heights STEM Magnet High School in Los Angeles, and the i.am Scholarship program that provides gap funding to college-bound program students.

ALANIS MORISSETTEAlanis Morissette, a judge on "Alter Ego" on FOX

as Judge

Bio

Since 1995, Alanis Morissette has been one of the most influential singer-songwriter-musicians in contemporary music. Her deeply expressive music and performances have earned vast critical praise and seven Grammy Awards. Morissette’s 1995 debut, “Jagged Little Pill,” was followed by nine more eclectic and acclaimed albums.

She has contributed musically to theatrical releases and has acted on the big and small screens. Outside of entertainment, she is an avid supporter of female empowerment, as well as spiritual, psychological and physical wellness. In 2016, Morissette launched “Conversation with Alanis Morissette,” a monthly podcast that features conversations with a variety of revered authors, doctors, educators and therapists, covering a wide range of psycho-social topics, extending from spirituality to developmentalism to art. On December 5, 2019, the Broadway musical “Jagged Little Pill” debuted at the Broadhurst Theatre in New York City, and was nominated for 15 Tony Awards. Most recently, Morissette released her ninth studio album, “Such Pretty Forks In The Road,” to rave reviews. For more information see www.alanis.com.

Rocsi Diaz, host of "Alter Ego" on FOXROCSI DIAZ

as Host

Bio

Emmy Award-winning television host Rocsi Diaz is best known as the former co-host of ultra-popular mega music show “106 & Park.” She has interviewed everyone from Lady Gaga to Barack Obama. As a co-host and daily correspondent on “Entertainment Tonight,” Diaz was known for setting the tone for what’s hot in music, movies and entertainment. She reached 85 million homes worldwide during her time with “106 & Park,” and has since gone to host “The Daily Share,” “Dating Naked,” “Behind The Movie,” “Chatter” and “Cannonball.” With a massive social media presence, Diaz reaches millions of followers across all platforms.

Executive Producer Matilda ZoltowskiMATILDA ZOLTOWSKI

Executive Producer/Showrunner

Bio

Matilda Zoltowski is a talented producer who has worked on some of the biggest and most successful properties in unscripted television. She began her career in the U.K., where she worked on “Big Brother” and “Strictly Come Dancing,” the inspiration for “Dancing With The Stars.” Her work on “Strictly Come Dancing” gave her the opportunity to develop and produce “Dancing With The Stars” in the U.S., on which she was a co-executive producer for eight seasons.

Zoltowski has developed and produced many different types of unscripted series that have attracted major talent, including cooking series “The Taste,” starring Anthony Bourdain; “Off Their Rockers,” with Betty White; “Bring The Funny,” with Kenan Thompson and Chrissy Teigen; and “I Can Do That,” with Marlon Wayans. Most recently, she served as executive producer for all four seasons of “World of Dance,” starring Jennifer Lopez.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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