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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 February 2006, 12:18 GMT
US to emulate Eurovision contest
Eurovision 2005 winner Helena Paparizou
Greece's Helena Paparizou won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2005
A US music competition based on the Eurovision Song Contest is being developed by American network NBC.

The programme is intended to challenge American Idol, a ratings winner which is screened on rival network Fox.

A grand final with a singing representative from each US state and public voting is planned.

"Eurovision is the granddaddy of all talent shows and the Super Bowl of singing," said Ben Silverman, chairman of series producers Reveille.

Renowned

An online competition will be held to find singers from each US state to go forward to the grand final, with the winner landing a recording contract.

Further details of the new contest are still in development, while it is expected to become a series rather than a one-off event.

Fox's American Idol has continually scored well in the ratings, recently trouncing the Grammy Awards.

Eurovision is the granddaddy of all talent shows and the Super Bowl of singing
Ben Silverman, Reveille production company

American Idol attracted 28m viewers, compared to 15m for the prestigious Grammys event which saw U2 walk away with five trophies and featured live performances from Madonna and Coldplay.

Award winner Kelly Clarkson, whose career was launched by American Idol, failed to mention the programme in her Grammy acceptance speech.

The Eurovision Contest has been running for 50 years and helped to launch the careers of Swedish pop group Abba and Canadian singer Celine Dion, both of whom were winners.

At last year's contest in Kiev, a record 39 countries from across Europe participated, with Helena Paparizou capturing a first win for Greece.

The annual event, which is watched by millions around the world, is renowned for its wide-ranging performances and voting procedure.

Each country taking part gives votes for its favourite entries, most of which are determined by television viewers, while voting for your own country is forbidden.


SEE ALSO:
Viewers miss Grammys for Idol
10 Feb 06 |  Entertainment
Abba win 'Eurovision 50th' vote
23 Oct 05 |  Entertainment
Eurovision win for Greek singer
21 May 05 |  Entertainment
Idol star Clarkson ends song row
19 Jan 06 |  Entertainment
In pictures: American Idol final
26 May 05 |  In Pictures


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