There's a US version of Eurovision and Michael Bolton is competing in it

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·TV Reporter, Yahoo Entertainment UK
·2-min read
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Michael Bolton arrives at the series premiere of
Michael Bolton is taking part in American Song Contest. (Invision/AP)

The US might not be eligible to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest, but that doesn't mean they're about to miss out on the fun, as a Stateside version of the singing extravaganza has just launched called American Song Contest.

NBC's new show debuted on Monday night, pitting acts from 56 US states and territories against each other - including veteran crooner Michael Bolton, who is representing Connecticut.

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American Song Contest is not short of star power - it's signed up Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson as hosts - but not every musician taking part is a global superstar.

Snoop Dogg arrives at the series premiere of
Snoop Dogg hosts the contest. (Invision/AP)

Big names competing include Jewel for Alaska who recently won The Masked Singer US, SisQó for Maryland, and Macy Gray as Ohio's representative.

However, in an ode to the spirit of Eurovision, they will go up against relative unknowns from other states and territories, with no guarantee that the established stars will be the victors.

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Monday's show debuted with the first 11 acts hoping to make it to the semi-finals and a jury of 56 people chose the act to progress, while a further three will be picked by the jury's choices combined with a public vote and announced in next Monday's episode.

Kelly Clarkson arrives at the series premiere of
Kelly Clarkson also stars as host. (Invision/AP)

Shockingly, Bolton did not sail through as the jury's favourite act, an honour that instead went to a singer called Hueston who was representing Rhode Island and almost moved Snoop Dogg to tears with his emotional song dedicated to those who hadn't made it through the tough area where he was brought up.

The episode also included a K-Pop star called AleXa, and a hip hop artist, UG Sky Walkin, who has toured with Wiz Khalifa.

Sam Ryder was recently named as the UK entrant for this year's Eurovision Song Contest, who found fame after posting on TikTok during lockdown.

He will travel to Turin, Italy for the final of the contest in May, which this year has banned Russia from competing as a sanction against the Ukraine attacks.

Watch: Viewers confused by familiar face on American Song Contest premiere

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