For 65 years, the Eurovision Song Contest has invited all the countries in Europe to vote for their favorite song.  Tonight, NBC will try the same thing with American Song Contest, where artists from all 50 states, five U.S. territories and Washington D.C. competing to win the country’s vote for the best song.  And host Kelly Clarkson says it’s just the thing to heal our divided nation.

“I think a show like [this] is necessary now because what…Eurovision did in Europe was so beneficial for camaraderie, for everybody to come back together,” Kelly explains. “And I think the same thing is needed now in the States. And what better way to do that, than via music?”

Kelly, who’s co-hosting the show with Snoop Dogg, says the show will be similar to watching your favorite team, except instead of cheering for the Yankees, you’ll be rooting for Montana, or Arkansas, or wherever you live.  As Kelly notes, “It’s really cool that every single territory and state will have a representative…it’s almost like a sports event, you know, with music… everybody has a team to kind of root for.”

Many artists competing are unknown, and some are famous, like Jewel and Michael Bolton, but Kelly says all styles of music will be represented.

“You have rappers, you have R&B, you have pop, you have country…it’s just across the board,” says Kelly, adding, “I was so impressed with the diversity, which is very important to me.”

As for what a song needs to win, Kelly notes, “Authenticity is so important, and I feel like that is what’s going to win…[if] it’s a message that means something, whether it’s fun or just passionate or just sad, like, whatever it is, I think that literally authenticity wins every time.”

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.