The first episode of “American Song Contest” is in the books, and fans are still talking about Michael Bolton‘s debut performance of “Beautiful World.” The new single is in the running to be named Best Original Song in the finale of NBC’s reality TV show. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, this two-time Grammy winner for “When A Man Loves A Woman” and “How Am I Supposed To Live Without You” first has to earn the votes of the audience and jury members. Above, watch Bolton’s performance of “Beautiful World,” complete with a gospel choir.
Bolton, who represents Connecticut, is by far one of the most famous participants to take part in Season 1 of this “Eurovision Song Contest” spin-off for NBC. Other big-name celebs include Jewel (Alaska), Jordan Smith (Kentucky), Sisqo (Maryland), The Crystal Method (Nevada) and Macy Gray (Ohio). These famous folks will compete against new artists in upcoming episodes of the show. Get to know all 56 participants.
In his “American Song Contest” live blog, our recapper John Benutty had this to say about Bolton’s performance: “The first already-famous singer to be seen in the Contest was Michael Bolton, representing Connecticut with his new song ‘Beautiful World.’ He said the song is about kindness, something ‘the world really needs.’ He kept the staging simple with a black and white projection of images behind him while he belted the uplifting and inspirational lyrics about changing the world in positive ways. Despite a shaky first verse, his voice soared in the chorus and a triumphant bridge that culminated with a choir joining in with him on stage at the end.”
SEE ‘American Song Contest’ 2022: Meet the 56 participants for Season 1
Throughout the Monday, March 21 season premiere, the following 11 acts took the stage for the first time in the hopes of impressing the voters: Minnesota’s Yam Haus (“Ready to Go”), Oklahoma’s AleXa (“Wonderland”), Arkansas’ Kelsey Lamb (“Never Like This”), Indiana’s UG Skywalkin (“Love in the City”), Puerto Rico’s Christian Pagán (“Loko”), Connecticut’s Michael Bolton (“Beautiful World”), Iowa’s Alisabeth Von Presley (“Wonder”), Wisconsin’s Jake’O (“Feel Your Love”), Mississippi’s Keyone Starr (“Fire”), Wyoming’s Ryan Charles (“New Boot Goofin'”) and Rhode Island’s Hueston (“Held On Too Long”).
From this first group, the jury members will advance one artist immediately into the Semi-Finals. The remaining three spots will then be determined through a combination of votes from the jury and you at home. Find out next week which four contestants will be advancing to the Semi-Finals.