(NBC) — The Semifinals are beginning on “American Song Contest,” over the next two Mondays, 22 artists from U.S. states and territories will return to perform original songs that they hope will be America’s next big hit.

After introducing themselves and their songs, 11 “American Song Contest” semifinalists will try to build on that first impression tonight.

“I was grateful just to perform once,” said Riker Lynch, representing Colorado. “I’m so grateful I get to perform a second time.”

Kentucky’s Jordan Smith won Season 9 of “The Voice.”

“This is like your second chance to come back to deliver a performance that’s even more emotional, even bigger, even more impressive vocally,” said Smith.

While Oklahoma’s Alexa is a K-pop star in South Korea hoping for stateside success.

“So many people are coming out of the woodwork, like ‘Hey, I didn’t know you’re from Oklahoma, I’m from Oklahoma,'” said Alexa. “It makes me so happy to see people taking state pride.”

Wyoming’s Ryan Charles is one of two redemption picks still in the chase with his country rap.

“It’s cool to see that people understand the song, and what I made it for, and that’s just to enjoy yourself and goof around a little,” said Charles.

Washington’s Allen Stone jokes about trying some next-level goofing.

“I asked for a belt buckle with like, lightning that came out of it,” said Stone. “They couldn’t provide that.”

But providing an even better showing tonight is the goal for Alabama duo Ni/Co.

“We definitely want to elevate it, but we want to keep the intimacy of the performance,” said the pair’s Dani Brillhart.

A connection that’ll send five of this week’s artists into the Grand Finale.

 “I just feel like the song speaks for itself and the artistry is there,” said Hueston of Rhode Island. “It’s real, it’s raw.”

And it still has a chance to win.

“American song contest” airs Monday at 8 p.m. followed by “The Endgame” at 10 p.m.

Mon, 4/25 8-10 p.m.: The Semifinals Premiere

MONTANA – Jonah Prill
KENTUCKY – Jordan Smith
Comeback Artist: WYOMING – Ryan Charles
COLORADO – Riker Lynch
WASHINGTON – Allen Stone


Fans at home can vote for their favorite performances on nbc.com/ascvote, the NBC App and on TikTok.  Voting for the Qualifiers will open Mondays during the show and will close Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. ET.

  • The competition will be comprised of three rounds, taking place over eight weeks. The Qualifying Rounds will have 11 acts in each episode (with one week featuring 12). Twenty-two artists will perform in the two-part Semi-Finals with the Top 10 performing in the Grand Final, where a winner will be crowned.
  • In the five-week Qualifiers (March 21, 28, April 4, 11, 18) at the end of each night, the jury will advance one artist immediately to the Semi-Finals. The remaining three spots will be determined through a combination of jury and fan votes. The artists advancing to the Semi-Finals will be announced the following week.
  • In the Semi-Finals (April 25 & May 2), 10 artists will perform each week, with a slightly elevated performance of their original song.
  • To make the stakes even higher, in each Semi-Final a “redemption” song will be revealed, adding an 11th artist back into the competition to perform that week for the chance to advance to the Grand Final.
  • At the end of each Semi-Final, the jury awards their highest-rated artist with an immediate spot in the Grand Final. America’s votes will then help to decide along with the jury which four additional artists will advance.
  • In the Grand Final (May 9), the top 10 artists take the stage one last time to win America’s and the jury’s vote for best hit song.