The American Song Contest has entered the semi-final round of the contest, which sees 11 of the qualifiers go head-to-head once again and compete for a spot in the Grand Final. Four of tonight’s songs are jury qualifiers from the first five weeks, while the other seven songs were determined by a 50/50 combination of votes.

Tonight’s episode also came after today’s announcement that the Eurovision franchise will be expanding north into Canada for 2023. The Eurovision Canada contest will pit artists from the 10 providences and the 3 territories against each other in a series of qualifying shows, semi-finals, and a grand final similar to the American Song Contest. To learn more about the announcement, click here.

For a full recap of the first semi-final episode keep reading below. If you’ve missed any of the prior episodes and live outside of the United States, check the links below to watch the show in full. Need to catch up in the US? Check out Hulu and Peacock to catch up as well!

  • Week One’s episode here
  • Week Two’s episode here
  • Week Three’s episode here
  • Week Four’s episode here
  • Week Five’s episode here

The Qualifiers from Week Five’s episode

The final three qualifiers for the semi-final round were announced on tonight’s episode.

The beginning of the episode started off our hosts announcing the final three qualifiers for the semi-finals. Last week we saw Michigan’s Ada LeAnn win the jury and earn her spot in the next round at the end of episode five. Joining the line-up for the second semi-final will be American Samoa’s TenelleNorth Carolina’s John Morgan, and California’s Sweet Taboo. This is the first time that the aggregated vote has mirrored the jury vote from the qualifying rounds.

Last week it was also announced that fan favorite Ryan Charles of Wyoming was given another chance in the competition as a redemption act. Following a long wait, we learned at the end of the broadcast that New York’s ENISA has also been given a second chance and will perform in next week’s semi-final!

Tonight’s Episode: The First Semi-Final

Tonight’s show featured higher produced stagings than what we saw in the qualifier round, with Jordan Smith from Kentucky getting a full gospel staging, a much more colorful staging for Riker Lynch’s tropical pop song, a lift for MARi’s song “Fly”, and much much more.

The running order for tonight’s show.

The running order was decided prior to the episode, and looked as follows:

  1. Kentucky: Jordan Smith – “Sparrow”
  2. Colorado: Riker Lynch – “Feel the Love”
  3. New Hampshire: MARi – “Fly”
  4. Washington: Allen Stone – “Little Bit of Both”
  5. Alabama: Ni/Co – “The Difference”
  6. Wyoming: Ryan Charles – “New Boot Goofin'”
  7. Rhode Island: Hueston – “Held on too Long”
  8. Montana: Jonah Prill – “Fire it Up”
  9. Michigan: Ada LeAnn – “Natalie”
  10. Massachusetts: Jared Lee – “Shameless”
  11. Oklahoma: AleXa – “Wonderland”

If you haven’t seen our interviews with all of the artists, make sure to check out our interviews tab here to learn more about some of tonight’s artists.

Voting and Jury Qualifier

Once again only one act moved on to the Grand Final through a jury vote – a vote that would prove to be wild given the crowding of jury favorites in the first semi-final. What’s different is that the final 4 qualifiers will be determined by a 100% public vote. This means that the American public will determine who joins the jury winner, a move that could shake up who moves on to the final.

We saw a few check-ins with the jury throughout the night. After Colorado’s performance, Jordan Smith was on top of the vote, but once the next batch of artists were added he quickly fell to Wahington’s Allen Stone. In the third check-in with the jury Washington held tight to its top spot, with Kentucky, Rhode Island, and Alamaba rounding out the top 4.

Rhode Island’s Hueston slides into third place with the jury midway through the show.

Washington held on to the top jury spot up until the final jury reveal – where it was up to Jared Lee or AleXa to knock im out of first place. After closing out the show with great performances, both Oklahoma and Massachusets STILL could not topple Allen Stone from his perch, meaning that he will be moving on to the grand final on May 9th.

That means the following acts are relying on your votes to get them to the Grand Final rounds:

  1. Kentucky – Jordan Smith
  2. Colorado – Riker Lynch
  3. Alabama – Ni/Co
  4. New Hampshire – MARi
  5. Rhode Island – Hueston
  6. Wyoming – Ryan Charles
  7. Montana – Jonah Prill
  8. Oklahoma – AleXa
  9. Massachusetts – Jared Lee

The voting window for the public will remain open for only 12 hours, and will close at 8 AM Eastern or 7 AM Central time. Viewers in America can still vote using the three official methods on the official NBC website, NBC mobile app, and TikTok. So make sure you get out there and vote NOW!

What to expect for next week

Next week’s episode will be the final semi-final for the American Song Contest, and will round out the line-up for the American Song Contest Grand Final. Another jury qualifier will be given an auto-qualification to the final, with four more televote qualifiers decided by the American public. From there, America will officially decide the song of the year live during the Grand Final on May 9th.

What did #YOU think of the first semi-final of the American Song Contest? Let us know on social media @ESCUnited, on our discord, or on our forum page!

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