In a series looking a the spin-off shows basedÂ on the Eurovision Song Contest, we take you around the world looking at the events that never made it to television screens. The thirdÂ edition of theÂ series looks at a planned Eurovision contest for the Asia-Pacific region.
With news in the past few months that Asia will finally be getting their own version of the Eurovision Song Contest, we take a look back at the last time that a Eurovision for Asia was planned. In September 2008 it was announced by the EBU that the rights to the format had been sold a private company. The contest was to be called the “Asiavision Song Contest”, with 15 countries competing.
The contest was forced to change name from the Asiavision Song Contest to “Our Sound – The Asia Pacific Song Contest” following opposition from the ABU who use the name “Asiavision” for their news service. On March 4 of 2009 the contest was formally launched with the event to be held in the second half of 2009, the name change was explained by the organisers as follows:
The most important decisions are made by our broadcasting partners in the markets and by the Asian people. They decide who participates. They decide who wins. Thus the people of Asia may rightfully claim: This is our song contest. The winning song is our sound. Consequently we decided to call the programme Our Sound instead of Asiavision Song Contest
How would the contest have worked?
The contest would be open to 15 countries with selections beginning in the July of 2009. The contest according to organisers was not just going to be another reality television star search:
Our Sound is not another talent hunt. The participants are professional, established artist and celebrities. Together with guest performances from international superstars this will add to an extravaganza Asia has not seen before.
The grand final was scheduled for November of 2009 and unlike the Eurovision Song Contest was to be spread over a weekend. The countries would all perform on the Friday night allowing audiences to see all the acts, the results would then be announced on the Saturday night in the “Winners Show”.
The winner of the contest would be decided by the public, with the audience voting between the Friday night and the Saturday night via SMS and online. The results would then be announced by national spokespersons during the Saturday night, revealing the winner of “Our Sound – The Asia Pacific Song Contest”.
The first contest would be open to just 15 countries with plans to eventually expand the contest up to 33 competing countries across the region.
What happened to it?
The initial contest was delayed from November 2009 to March of 2010, it was announced that the contest would be held in Macau. The number of competing countries was also subsequently cut from 15 to 13 countries with Japan and South Korea pulling out of the contest. Going forward to compete in Macau were:
- Hong Kong
Both Cambodia and the Philippines had launched selection processes for the contest. Cambodia‘s selection process began in December 2009, the show “Kom Poul Dara” pitted young talent against experienced singers to find their entrant. While in the Philippines GMA Network was promoting singers to apply for the contest in November 2009. The format also changed with the songs now being performed on the Friday night and voting being announced on the Sunday, voting also now allowed the viewer to vote for their own country.
In March 2010 the contest was further delayed with the contest now scheduled for November 26-28 in Mumbai at the Andheri Sports Center. By this stage Cambodia was the only country to have selected their participant for the contest, selecting Phorn Nida. It was also announced that 14 countries would now be competing in the contest with New Zealand added to the list, organisers never announced a formally list of competitors.Â Alongside the 14 competing countries a total of 44 countries would be broadcasting the show worldwide.
In July of 2010 Australia launched their selection on the Our Sound website,Â the rules of the selection can be found here. New Zealand and Singapore were also to launch their selection processes, however these never got underway.
By the September of 2010 the official Facebook page stated that:
Just delayed (again). Not cancelled.
And in 2011 the contest was postponed due to issues between the organisers of Our Sound and the European Broadcasting Union.
Will Eurovision ever get to Asia?
An Asian version of the Eurovision Song Contest is scheduled to take place in 2017. The next article in this series will focus on what we know so far about the contest.
Source: Our Sound