The final epsiode of qualifiers has officially concluded, which means that all 56 songs and artists have taken to the stage. Prior to tonight, 13 of those artists have qualified for the semi-final rounds that start next week – and tonight, the final jury qualifier and three additional qualifiers from episode four joined their ranks.

For a full recap of the fifth 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:

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

The Qualifiers from Week Four

As is tradition, the beginning of tonight’s show began with a reminder of the jury ranks from Episode four, which put Washington’s Allen Stone in first place and guaranteed him a spot in the semi-finals. Right behind him was Jared Lee of Massachusetts, The Crystal Method of Nevada, and Bri Steves of Pennsylvania. The remaining states were ranked by the jury in the following order: West Virginia (5th), Georgia (6th), Utah (7th), New Hampshire (8th), Hawaii (9th), Arizona (10th), Washington D.C. (11th).

Once the jury votes were combined with the public televote, quite a few shake-ups occurred in the results. In a result that suprised no-one, Massachusett’s Jared Lee was announced as a qualifier. However we saw two massive shake-ups in tonight’s results, as Georgia’s Stela Cole rose out of 6th place to qualify, and New Hampshire’s MARi escaped her 8th place in the jury to steal the final semi-final spot. Unlike last week, we do not know the final aggregated results for tonight’s show.

It was also mentioned that this morning it was decided that Wyoming’s Ryan Charles had been granted the first redemption spot, and will also move on to the semi-final round.

Hope still remains for the eliminated acts though, as one final redemption spot remains in play. But keep in mind, all 31 non-qualifying acts will be eligible so make sure you’re streaming your favorite ASC songs!

Tonight’s Episode: Week Five

Tonight’s show saw a mixture of Eurovision staples like pyro, impressive LEDs and massive set pieces like California’s lawn party, Idaho’s wooden pallet wall, and more. Viewers were also pleased to learn that the ad breaks from prior shows were greatly reduced, with most breaks concluding after 1-2 minutes of advertisements.

The running order was decided prior to the episode:

  1. Illinois – Justin Jesso “Lifeline”
  2. California – Sweet Taboo “Keys to the Kingdom”
  3. Idaho – Andrew Sheppard “Steady Machine”
  4. New Mexico – Khalisol “Drop”
  5. Missouri – HALIE “Better Things”
  6. American Samoa – Tenelle “Full Circle”
  7. North Carolina – John Morgan “Right in the Middle”
  8. Vermont – Josh Panda “Rollercoaster”
  9. Guam – Jason J “Midnight”
  10. Michigan – Ada LeAnn “Natalie”
  11. Maryland – Sisqó “It’s Up”

If you haven’t seen our interviews with all of the artists, make sure to check out our interview tab here and if you need an in-depth dive into each state, you can read William’s ASC 101 article here.

Voting and Jury Qualifier

As we’ve expressed in our master article for the American Song Contest, four qualifiers will be selected from each episode. One qualifier will be decided by a 56-part jury of music professionals (one person from every state and territory), and the remaining three qualifiers will be decided by combining the jury and public votes. The televote will be open until early Wednesday morning at 7 AM Eastern Daylight Time, and will be conducted across the NBC website, NBC official app, and the TikTok app. If you’re eligible to vote, get your votes in quick!

Throughout the show we were once again shown how the acts stacked up in the jury following every other performance. California’s Sweet Taboo took a very early lead, and maintained until the halfway point of the show order. Illinois’ Justin Jesso held on to second place until the next check in, where North Carolina’s John Morgan slipped into second place, and American Samoa’s Tenelle slid into third, putting Justin Jesso into fourth overall. Vermont’s Josh Panda and Guam’s Jason J were not able to top California in the jury either after their performances.

After all the artists had performed and we met one of the jury members on stage, we checked in with the jury for the final time. Due to a shortage of time it was quickly revealed that Michigan’s Ada LeAnn finally broke California’s episode-long streak and slid into first place. Maryland’s Sisqó would end up ninth in the jury’s rank, putting him just ahead of Missouri’s HALIE. This means that the final jury qualifier for the semi-finals is Michigan’s Ada LeAnn with her song “Natalie.”

That means the following acts are relying on your votes to get them to the semi-final rounds:

  1. American Samoa – Tenelle
  2. California – Sweet Taboo
  3. Guam – Jason J
  4. Idaho – Andrew Sheppard
  5. Illinois – Justin Jesso
  6. Maryland – Sisqó
  7. Missouri – HALIE
  8. New Mexico – Khalisol
  9. North Carolina – John Morgan
  10. Vermont – Josh Panda

It is still unknown if the final three qualifiers and redemption song will be revealed prior to the semi-final show, or if they will be announced at the top of the show and relegated to the second semi-final automatically.

What to expect for next week

Next week’s episode will be the first semi-final of the American Song Contest and will feature 10 qualifying acts and a redemption song going head-to-head once again. At this time, it’s currently unknown which songs and artists will be competing on the next episode, but we should know the official line-up by Saturday. The songs will once again be voted on by the 56-member jury and the American public, and only five songs from each semi-final (April 25th and May 2nd) will advance to the Grand Final on May 9th.

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

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