American Song Contest: Grand Final show preview and our rankings
After eight weeks we have finally reached the Grand Final of the inaugural American Song Contest!
Based on the Eurovision Song Contest, the American Song Contest has seen 56 artists from 50 states and 6 territories battle it out with only 10 songs now remaining.
Ahead of the Grand Final, the Aussievision team have been busy listening to and ranking the Grand Finalists. Seven of our team voted and awarded points to each song following the usual Eurovision pattern - 12 points for their favourite right down to 1 point for their least favourite.
Here are the results from 10th down to 1st along with a preview of each act:
10. Michael Bolton - 'Beautiful World' (Connecticut) - 25 points
High: 10 points from Estelle
Low: 1 point from Emma, Kyriakos, Dale and Teddy
The only established artist to make it to the semi-final round in the competition, Michael Bolton has sold over 75 million albums worldwide and had four Top 10 singles in Australia between 1987 and 1993. 'Beautiful World' only placed 5th with the jury in Semi-Final 2 but was Top 4 in the televote which was enough to send him through to the Grand Final.
9. Tyler Braden - 'Seventeen' (Tennessee) - 27 points
High: 7 points from Kyriakos
Low: 1 point from Cooper
Tyler is originally from Alabama but now lives in country music's capital Nashville. He is an up and coming star with 70 million streams to his name, major tours and has made his debut at the Grand Ole Opry. He also works as firefighter. 'Seventeen' won the jury vote in Heat 3 and was also the jury winner of Semi-Final 2.
8. Riker Lynch - 'Feel The Love' (Colorado) - 28 points
High: 7 points from Estelle
Low: 1 point from Fleur
30-year-old singer and actor who has appeared on 'Glee' and 'Dancing with the Stars' and was a member of the pop rock band R5. Has a massive fanbase as he was Top 4 in the televote from Semi-Final 1, despite finishing last with the jury.
7. Allen Stone - 'A Bit of Both' (Washington) - 41 points
High: 12 points from Fleur, 8 points from Kyriakos
Low: 2 points from Cooper and Emma
R&B/soul singer, 35, who has released four albums, written with Andy Grammer and featured with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis on an album track. 'A Bit of Both' won the jury vote in Heat 4 and was also the jury winner of Semi-Final 1.
"This is the whole package. Allen simply has the voice, the song and the stage presence. For me this is the obvious winner." ~ Fleur
6. Tenelle - 'Full Circle' (American Samoa) - 43 points
High: 10 points from Dale, 8 points from Cooper and Teddy
Low: 3 points from Emma and Fleur
Tenelle Luafalemana, 33, performs as Tenelle and has Samoan American heritage although she grew up in California. She's released seven singles since 2013 and one album which reached the top of the Billboard Reggae chart in 2017. Only finished tenth with the jury in Semi-Final 2 but was Top 4 in the televote which saw her through to the Grand Final.
"It is so wonderful to see an artist like Tenelle represent her territory, people and culture so well. Not only does she represent Pasifika and our region, she bring a kick ass song and performance." ~ Dale
5. Ni/Co - 'The Difference' (Alabama) - 43 points
High: 12 points from Emma, 10 points from Teddy, 8 points from Dale
Low: 2 points from Kyriakos and Estelle
The pop duo Ni/Co, from Montgomery, Alabama, are made up of Colton Jones and his partner Dani Brillhart. They have almost 270,000 YouTube subscribers where they perform covers of popular songs and their videos consistently get over 1 million views. Finished in the Top 4 of the televote from Semi-Final 1.
"This is a beautifully produced current sounding ballad that showcases Dani & Colton's voices both individually and together. The harmonies are sublime...you can feel and see the connection between them...they are singing from the heart and the emotion is real. There is something very heartfelt and powerful about this couple and their story and I would love to see this song take out the contest." ~ Emma
4. Chloe Fredericks - 'Can't Make You Love Me' (North Dakota) - 45 points
High: 12 points from Dale
Low: 1 point from Estelle
Chloe grew up on a ranch in North Dakota and is inspired by Sheryl Crow, Bob Dylan, Kasey Musgraves and Amy Winehouse. She released her first EP in 2019 and released a further two singles in 2021. Finished top 4 in the televote from Semi-Final 2.
"This is what I love about so much American music. A genuine artist with an authentic sound that can still package something up for a mainstream audience with a killer hook of a chorus. I love her approach and she reminds me of those kick ass rock women with a slight country folk twang of the 90's that I loved so much." ~ Dale
3. Jordan Smith - 'Sparrow' (Kentucky) - 47 points
High: 12 points from Kyriakos, 10 points from Emma and Fleur
Low: 2 points from Teddy
Jordan, 28, won Season 9 of 'The Voice', becoming the highest selling 'The Voice' artist ever to compete on the American version of the show. Second with the juries in semi-final 1 and also finished in the Top 4 of the televote.
"I was hooked on this song from the first time I ever heard it. I love the simplicity and the uplifting feel of the overall song. Also that key change...pwoah!!! Jordan better win this!!" ~ Kyriakos
"The formula isn't particularly original but Jordan's vocals are sublime and the arrangement is just modern enough to avoid this falling in to the boring ballad category. A really enjoyable listen." ~ Emma
2. AleXA - 'Wonderland' (Oklahoma) - 51 points
High: 12 points from Cooper and Estelle, 8 points from Emma and Fleur
Low: 2 points from Dale
Born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma to a South Korean mother and Russian-American father. Moved to South Korea at age 21 and has developed a successful K-Pop career, releasing nine singles and two EP's. One of the co-writers of 'Wonderland' is none other than Cazzi Opeia (Moa Carlebecker) who finished ninth at Sweden's Melodifestivalen earlier this year. Finished in the Top 4 of the televote from Semi-Final 1.
1. Grant Knoche - 'Mr. Independent' (Texas) - 56 points
High: 12 points from Teddy, 10 points from Cooper and Kyriakos, 8 points from Estelle
Low: 4 points from Fleur
Originally from Fresco, Texas and now based in LA, Grant taught himself to create synth pop music in his bedroom. The singer, TV personality, and YouTuber is well known for playing Liam on Nickelodeon's series ‘Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn’. Formerly part of musical group Kidz Bop Kids. Only finished 8th with the jury but was in the Top 4 of the televote from semi-final 2.
"This chorus is infectiously catchy, and Grant has so much energy on-stage! As someone who hasn't followed all the rounds of the American Song Contest, this instantly slapped me in the face as a massive contender. What is lost from the interesting production choices in the studio version is more than made up for by the cool visuals and dance moves that we get live. America, this is the one!" ~ Teddy
So there you have it, Grant Knoche from Texas is the team's winner on 56 points, followed by AleXa from Oklahoma on 51 points and Jordan Smith from Kentucky on 47 points. However it's certainly a close race - Chloe Fredericks, Ni/Co, Tenelle and Allen Stone are all within striking distance.
The jury and public results have differed quite considerably throughout the qualifying and semi-final rounds so as always anything can happen on the night. Much will come down to the quality of staging and performances and who can best connect with the viewing audience. But given the quality of the 10 remaining songs, we are sure to be in for a very entertaining Grand Final!
The American Song Contest Grand Final starts at 8:00 pm Eastern Time in the United States on Monday May 9, which is 10:00am AEST here in Australia on Tuesday 10 May.