Interviews with “American Song Contest” contestants 3/21/22

TV Interview!

Interview with contestants the first qualifier round of “American Song Contest” on NBC by Suzanne 3/21/22

Michael Bolton on Zoom on the red carpet

Monday night was the premiere of “American Song Contest” on NBC. This is the new American version of Eurovision that we talked about last week.  A small group of us journalists watched the live show and then interviewed all 11 contestants for this first round of live qualifiers.  Honestly, I don’t watch most competition or music shows on TV. I just don’t have the time, and I’d rather watch scripted shows. I thought they did a pretty good job with it, though, and I enjoyed watching the contestants and learning about their backstories. I thought that the best song was “Loko” by Christian Pagán of Puerto Rico. The song was very catchy and his performance was great. Clearly, Heuston from Rhode Island also did very well. His song started out slowly and gravel-y-voiced… but got better, and he was aces at singing a ballad that melted everyone’s hearts. He was voted by the judges to go to the next round.

Although my main career is TV journalist and expert, I’m also a singer. I started singing in grade school and was taking voice lessons in high school and all through college.  I’ve still been singing and taking lessons for years, and I was in a band for awhile. So, I’m coming at this music contest from that perspective as well as from the TV show. I found it interesting as TV more than as music. This show is not “The Voice.” The singers here are being judged more for their songwriting and their performing than their singing…not that any of them are terrible singers. These are professional working musicians that do well in their local venues (and some nationally).

Michael Bolton singing in "American Song Contest" March 21, 2022

Mostly, I came here to see and talk to Michael Bolton. His song was not that great, to be honest. I did get to ask him a question, but unfortunately, the sound quality during that part of the interviews on the virtual red carpet was not good, and my recording below is almost unintelligible. I asked him if he wrote the song for this competition, what inspired it, and why he chose it.  He gave a nice, long answer, that I can’t make heads or tails of, which is a darn shame. I hope he makes it to the next round, and then I’ll be able to chat with him again.  His songs were big hits back in the 80’s when I was in college. I loved his biggest hit, “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You?,” which was also recorded by Laura Branigan. In fact, I have also sung that song many times in karaoke, and I always get a good reaction. His other huge hit was his version of “When a Man Loves a Woman.”

Most of the other recordings came out OK. I hope you enjoy them!

Kelly Clarkson and Snoop Dogg in "American Song Contest" 3/21/22

The show itself was fun. Snoop Dogg had a nice kind of laidback attitude to counter Kelly Clarkson’s infectious energy. Stay tuned for more contestants on the next show, Monday 3/28/22 on NBC! If you missed last week’s episode, find it on NBC.

Here are the videos, except for one that I’m missing from Christian Pagán and hope to have tomorrow.

Jake’O from Wisconsin was our first interviewee… I was having great difficulty hearing him… as you can tell by the faces I’m making. He sang a song called “Feel Your Love.” I took myself off video when I wasn’t asking a question because I didn’t want to have to worry about how I looked the whole time! This video clip is from Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com

Here’s Christian Pagán of Puerto Rico! He sang a really fun song, “Loko.” He would be my top pick. My recording didn’t come out, so this is from Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com

Here’s Michael Bolton!  He seemed pretty tired, and his speaking voice was not loud enough, on top of the other technical difficulties and background noise. He sang “Beautiful World.” My recording didn’t come out, so this is from Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com

Here’s the best transcription I could get for this, from TranscriptionPuppy.

Moderator: Hi, guys. We have Michael Bolton.

Michael: Hello.

Moderator: Chris, you’re up first; Beth, you’re on deck, and then Jamie.

Chris: Hi, Michael. How are you? Great performance tonight.

Michaeln: Thank you very much. For a timely song [inaudible] it’s getting harder. Things got harder in the real world.

Chris: It really is. I was just curious, what made you decide to be a part of this experience?

Michael: Oh. Well, songwriting is on the very top of my list of the things I love about music through the years and something that is enduring during [inaudible] function as an artist and a songwriter where I plan on continuing to be surrounded by people who love music and love to write. Things that are very wide, very [inaudible] so much really good, and then, of course, there’s Kelly, who’s spectacular, [inaudible] you got to talk to her on the line and it seems that [inaudible] so I ask my agent to find it well to physically [inaudible] whole made sense to happened then, I wrote [inaduble] of just [inaudible] someone who will work tied up [inaudible] and we wrote a song about knowing how intense [inaudible] great [inaudible] it means the world [inaudible] just make perfect sense to me, I love music [inaudible]

Chris: Thank you so much!

Jamie: Hi, Jamie Ruby here, from SciFiVision. Thank you so much for talking to us tonight. I really enjoyed your song So, obviously, you’ve been doing this for a really long time. Are there still new things to learn after doing something like this about yourself?

Michael: That kind of person who [inaudible] in every area of your life. [inaudible] like more [inaudible] for computers.

Jamie: Thank you.

Moderator: Beth, go ahead.

Beth: Thank you. It was so great seeing you, Michael. This is Beth with Hollywood Junket. I really enjoyed your performance tonight. I was wondering, are there any other contestants seeking your advice on their performances or rehearsals this week?

Michael: Everybody seems to be very [inaudible] and [inaudible] of their career. But I didn’t have [inaudible] always frequently, [inaudible] specifically when they’re inspiring [inaudible] somewhere where I can help them, kind of, avoid the dead ends and waste their time in [inaudible] themselves to [inaudible] something that [inaudible] look forward about this really great, really help [inaudible]

Beth: Thank you so much.

Moderator: Suzanne you’re up next, Justin you’re on deck.

Michael: Hi, Suzanne.

Suzanne: Hi Michael. What made you…what inspired you to write the song that you sang tonight, and what made you choose it for this contest?

Michael Bolton: Ironically, we are actually looking at completely different suggestions and this writing a song [inaudible] online [inaudible] start writing a song and [inaudible] create music [inaudible] I don’t think [inaudible] I don’t wanna [inaudible] imagine kind of threat [inaudible] somehow [inaudible] my mind [inaudible].

Suzanne: Alright, thank you.

Ryan Charles of Wyoming was next. He sang a really fun song, “”New Boot Goofin'” He was dressed like a cowboy, but he raps!

Kelsey Lamb of Arkansas was after him. I was pulling for her because I live in that state, but I don’t think her song, “Never Like This” was exciting enough to win the competition.

Next up was Keyone Starr of Mississippi, who sang “Fire.” Great song!

The next artists was UG Skywalkin of Indiana. His first name is pronounced like the letters U.G. (yoo jee) not like UGH!  He has an interesting backstory, which I asked him about.  His song was “Love in My City.”

AleXa of Oklahoma… she’s part Korean, so she does K-Pop. She put on quite a production, but her song, “Wonderland,” was not very notable.

This girl, Alisabeth Von Presley, of Iowa, sang really well, but I don’t think the song, “Wonder” was very catchy.

Heuston of Rhode Island really wowed everyone with his song, “Held on Too Long.” It was great to chat with him. My husband’s family is from Rhode Island!

Yam Haus is a really enthusiastic group of friends from Minnesota who sang “Ready to Go.” They had a lot of energy. This was our last group to interview.

I hope you enjoyed these interviews!

MORE INFO:

**MEDIA ALERT** ‘American Song Contest’ Series Premiere Virtual Zoom Room Monday, March 21, 2022

What:                  American Song Contest’ Live Series Premiere and Virtual Zoom Room

Watch the live show and have the opportunity to speak with the first 11 artists to perform.  Virtual Zoom Room to follow directly after the premiere.

NBC’s upcoming music competition series “American Song Contest” features live new music performances representing the 50 states, five U.S. territories and our nation’s capital, who will compete to win the country’s vote for the best hit song.  The artists span a wide range of performers, from undiscovered talent, up-and-coming new artists, and rising stars to established and legendary icons.

Who:                   The initial 11 artists performing on the premiere.

To learn more about these artists, visit here.

  • Kelsey Lamb (Arkansas)
  • Michael Bolton (Connecticut)
  • Alisabeth Von Presley (Iowa)
  • UG skywalkin (Indiana)
  • Yam Haus (Minneota)
  • Keyone Starr (Mississippi)
  • AleXa (Oklahoma)
  • Christian Pagán (Puerto Rico)
  • Hueston (Rhode Island)
  • Jake’O (Wisconsin)
  • Ryan Charles (Wyoming)

*All talent subject to availability*

When:                 Monday, March 21, 2022

5:00pm PT           Live Show Taping Begins

7:00pm PT           Live Show Ends/Virtual Zoom Room begins

9:00pm PT           Virtual Zoom Room Closes

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 of Connecticut

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)