• Emma Garrie

American Song Contest: Semi-final 2 preview



After five qualifying heats, the inaugural American Song Contest is in the semi-final stages with semi-final 2 to be held on Monday 2 May (Tuesday 3 May in Australia).


After beginning with 56 songs, 22 made it to the semi-final rounds. The jury winner of each of the five heats automatically progressed along with the next three songs with the highest score based on a 50/50 jury and public split. Two additional songs were also chosen as "redemption picks" based on the amount of streams they have had since their heat performance.


11 songs competed in last week's first semi-final with four songs making it through to the Grand Final. The remaining 11 songs will compete this week and here is our preview of the competing songs:



Tenelle - 'Full Circle' (American Samoa)



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. Tenelle qualified based on a 50/50 jury and public split which saw her finish in the top 4 in Heat 5.



Sweet Taboo - 'Keys to the Kingdom' (California)



Latina group made up of Jen, Sami and ICP Bre that sing and rap from Los Angeles. Some of their cover videos have had millions of views on TikTok and they are currently working on an EP. Sweet Taboo qualified based on a 50/50 jury and public split which saw them finish in the top 4 in Heat 5.



Michael Bolton - 'Beautiful World' (Connecticut)



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. He qualified based on a 50/50 jury and public split which saw him finish in the top 4 in Heat 1.



Stela Cole - DIY' (Georgia)



She is described as being a popstar with "an edge". She has 1 million monthly listeners, 500k followers and is inspired by the Atlanta music scene. Her song 'Love Like Mine' has almost half a million views on YouTube and over 10 million listens on Spotify. Stela qualified based on a 50/50 jury and public split which saw her finish in the top 4 in Heat 4.



Broderick Jones - 'Kansas' (Tell Me)



Singer and songwriter best known for his most popular single track 'Pokemon U' which has around 35 million views on YouTube. Broderick qualified based on a 50/50 jury and public split which saw him finish in the top 4 in Heat 2.



Enisa - 'Green Light' (New York)



ENISA is of Albanian heritage and already has an established career with 15 singles and 1 EP released. She is a Graduate of Brooklyn's Edward R. Morrow High School which is renowned for its theatre program and is signed to Atlantic Records. Enisa qualified after being revealed as the second "redemption" act or "wildcard". Two places have been reserved in the semi-finals for acts that had previously failed to make it out of their qualifying show but have been added based on the amount of streams and engagement since.



John Morgan- 'Right in the Middle' (North Carolina)



Originally from Sylva, North Carolina, John sold everything he owned to move to Nashville. He was signed by country superstar Jason Aldean whom he has written multiple songs for, including his smash hit with Carrie Underwood 'If I Didn't Love You'. John qualified based on a 50/50 jury and public split which saw him finish in the top 4 in Heat 5.



Chloe Fredericks - 'Can't Make You Love Me' (North Dakota)



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. Chloe qualified based on a 50/50 jury and public split which saw her finish in the top 4 in Heat 2.



Christian Pagán - 'Loko' (Puerto Rico)



Former winner of 'Idol Puerto Rico' who also plays multiple instruments and acts. Debut album peaked at No. 6 on Billboard's Latin Pop Albums chart. Christian qualified based on a 50/50 jury and public split which saw him finish in the top 4 in Heat 1.



Tyler Braden - 'Seventeen' (Tennessee)



It is no surprise to see Tennessee represented by a country singer. 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. Tyler qualified after receiving the highest number of votes from the jury in Heat 3.



Grant Knoche - 'Mr. Independent' (Texas)



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. Grant qualified based on a 50/50 jury and public split which saw him finish in the top 4 in Heat 3.



Grand Final announcement


Allen Stone of Washington was declared the jury winner of the first semi-final at the end of last week's show. At the beginning of this week's semi-final we should find out the remaining four songs from Semi-Final 1 that were voted through to the Grand Final by the American public.


Based on the 'Eurovision Song Contest', the American Song Contest began with 56 songs representing all 50 states, along with five U.S. territories and Washington, D.C. The Grand Final will take place just one day before the 'Eurovision Song Contest' begins in Turin, Italy on 10 May.


American Song Contest semi-final 2 starts at 8:00 pm Eastern Time in the United States, which is 10:00am AEST here in Australia.