Eurovision in Asia?

A new Asia-Pacific Song Contest is planning to launch this year, with Australia in its sights.

Australia could enter a new Eurovision-style song contest held in the Asia-Pacific region, if organisers have their way.

Our Sound – The Asia Pacific Song Contest is set to be staged in Mumbai, India, in November, as a commercial venture run by a company called Asiavision Pte Ltd, which has purchased the rights to the Eurovision format.

Like the long-running European contest, it will search for the best song amongst competing countries, each of which will conduct its own national search.

The contest would include a spectacular TV show with international guest acts and hosts speaking in English, Mandarin and Hindi.

Organisers claim there will be 14 countries participating in 2010, and broadcast live to 44 countries with up to three billion people across the world have the opportunity to watch. Ambitious claims for a first event.

So far no countries are officially announced but the line up is expected to include Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Over the next 10 years the number of participating nations could increase to 30. In some countries, selection for representative songs has already started.

Like the Eurovision format, competing acts will be able to sing in any language, and choose their own genre. While there are no rules limiting the musical genre, most are expected to submit a pop song.

Similarly, a tele-voting, SMS and/or online system will see the audience choose the overall winner, but in a significant difference from Eurovision, it will allow viewers to vote for their own country, as one of two valid votes.

This isn't the first time a Eurovision-style spin-off has been floated.

American networks were considering a similar state-based competition to take on American Idol, but the idea seems to have evaporated. Sacha Baron Cohen was also working on a feature film project based around Eurovision, but it too has been abandoned.

The 55th Eurovision Song Contest was held this week in Oslo, Norway, with 19-year-old Lena Meyer-Landrut winning with "Satellite".

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