New Jersey Songwriter Brooke Alexx Still Has A Chance on “American Song Contest”; Snoop Dogg, Crystal Method, Jordan Smith Talk Competition (Video)
New Jersey singer/songwriter Brooke Alexx was eliminated on Monday night’s episode of “American Song Contest,” but that doesn’t mean she is down for the count.
Alexx–who performed her pop-song “I Don’t Take Pictures Anymore” on the April 11 broadcast– took to her social media page to tell fans that even though she didn’t make it through to the next round, she can still make the semi-finals if her song gets enough love on streaming platforms.
“I just got eliminated from American Song Contest, but if you guys stream this song enough times, the jury might redeem me and bring me back for semi-finals,” she said.
Streaming her song online will make Alexx –who hails from Old Tappan–one of the jury’s redemption picks. New Jersey native, Matt Pinfield, is the judge for The Garden State, but he is not allowed to vote for his own state, according to contest rules. To stream the song and help a Jersey girl out, click HERE.
45 states have already competed on American Song Contest, and Scott Kirkland from The Crystal Method— representing the state of Nevada-is the latest of the big name competitors throwing their name in ring in Monday’s battle.
Already through in the competition representing Connecticut is Michael Bolton, with former champion of The Voice Jordan Smith competing on behalf of Kentucky, and Glee alum Riker Lynch fronting for Colorado.
Name recognition, however, isn’t always a guarantee of easy passage through the competition, which follows 56 Artists each performing an original song representing either a U.S. state, territory, or Washington D.C. Of those eliminated in the contest–Jewel, who represented Alaska, and Macy Gray, Ohio.
“There is a couple I thought should have stayed around, but I’m not a judge and I don’t have anything to do with that,” said host Snoop Dogg in a virtual roundtable discussion with reporters, including 1071 The Boss Midday host and Variety correspondent Michele Amabile prior to the show. “So all I can do is just wish them luck and say that if I was a judge, you would still be here. But I’m not a judge, so you’re not here.”
And after Monday night’s show, Kirkland is in danger of joining them as The Crystal Method’s song, “Watch Me Now,” failed to get enough judge votes over winner Allen Stone, an artist from Washington State and former VH1 “You Oughta Know” artist who earned favor with his groove infused track “A Bit of Both.”
Nevertheless, Kirkland was happy to participate in the show, having been familiar with Eurovision and flattered to be asked to appear.
“When I heard it was coming to the states, I was excited because there is always an act out there that has a song that needs an opportunity, and I was invited to be a part of it. I have this song that I want people to hear,” he said. “Initially I was a little skeptical, but as soon as everybody came on board and they started to tell me how much they loved this song, and they showed me what they can do visually with the song, and I got this band together, I couldn’t be more enthused.”
The format of the show—Stone said—was a little intimidating at first.
“I have never been in an arts competition before, so I was nervous, but halfway through the first verse, I looked over and Snoop was grooving,” said Stone. “So that was a win in my book.”
Do these weekly eliminations shock host Snoop Dogg, who stands by like an enthusiastic observer alongside co-host Kelly Clarkson, dancing to the music and offering words of encouragement to the contestants?
“I think that I’ve learned about this show is that nobody’s bigger than nobody. It’s all about the song,” he told Amabile. “I don’t believe it’s about the artists. I believe it’s about the song, the state, and then the artists. And then you got these artists that are big name artists that we know that are performing on the show, and they really got to go with their best material, because these people that have not been seen or heard are really shooting their shot.”
That field of Davids battling the Goliaths of the industry include Oklahoman K-Pop Artist AleXa, Rhode Island’s Hueston, Puerto Rico’s Christian Pagan, Tennessee’s Tyler Braden, Kansas entertainer Broderick Jones, Montana’s Jonah Prill, North Dakota’s Chloe Fredericks, Alabama duo Ni/Co and former Kidz Bop vocalist Grant Knoche holding down the fort for host Kelly Clarkson’s home state of Texas.
“The thrill of this is that you have the opportunity to be in the same category as a songwriter, who’s written Grammy Award winning songs,” Snoop said. “And you mess around and knock them off. So if you’re a great songwriter, you’re looking at this experience as the first step into becoming a great songwriter in general.”
The key ingredient to advancement in “American Song Contest,” he said, all comes down to one thing: the song.
“I think it’s the way the song feels. Because a song could sound good, but if we don’t feel good, it’s not matching the intensity of the song,” he said. “A lot of times our favorite songs make us feel a certain way. So we can find people that can write that particular song that has the world feeling like it’s supposed to feel.”
He continued: “And I feel like this show right here is just going to show what American songwriting is all about.”
As for what he is looking for in an artist, Snoop said it’s all about “showmanship.”
“One of the things I look for is work ethic: the way that they work, songs, concepts, lyrics, selection of music, showmanship, the way that they handle being in front of people, the way that they deal with the ins and outs of knowing that this may not work, you know?” he said. “That’s what I’m mainly for -somebody who just loves doing what they do. Because I love my job. I don’t do this for money or fame. I do it ’cause I love doing it.”
What goes through a performer’s mind going up against an iconic entertainer like Bolton in the semi-finals?
“It’s really difficult to think ahead in a competition like this. The last months, weeks, hours of work have all been about this performance and getting to this moment where I get to stand on stage and represent Kentucky and share this song that I’ve been holding in my heart with the entire world,” offers Smith. “So looking forward, you know, it’s, it’s sort of like, how do you go bigger from here?”
Of the competition itself, Smith—whose song “Sparrow” earned encouraging support from the judges-said he “didn’t know what to expect just because the caliber of talent is so widespread on this show.”
“We have artists that are just starting out. We have legacy artists that have been in this industry for many years, and then we have so many different genres and different places represented that I had no idea what to expect,” he said. “And it’s so diverse from the genres to the places people are from to their backgrounds. It’s just incredible to see all of the different places represented. It just blows my mind. This is a celebration of the diversity of our country and how incredible it is.”
Adds Snoop: “I think America’s open right now. America’s open to all ranges and varieties of music. So that’s why it’s no one particular style that’s just dominating right now. I feel like when we get down to the end of it all, then you’re gonna find out what song really had the most impact. And I believe people will cross genres to find that song that makes America feel like this is the greatest song written.”
American Song Contest Airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. on NBC.