American Song Contest's AleXa Talks The 'Weight' Of Bringing K-Pop Out Of Oklahoma

American Song Contest AleXa semi finals
(Image credit: NBC)

Spoilers ahead for the first night of American Song Contest semi-finals.

American Song Contest hit all the right notes with its first night of live semi-finals, which brought back some artists who haven't appeared since Week 1 as well as some who performed on NBC as recently as last week. The episode saw the return of none other than K-pop artist AleXa, who wowed audiences with her "Wonderland" in the series premiere and got co-host Snoop Dogg to admit that the genre is his "guilty pleasure." After the Oklahoma native's second performance, she shared what it means to bring K-pop to the ASC stage. 

When most people think of Oklahoma, they probably don't think of K-pop, but that could change if AleXa keeps advancing in the American Song Contest competition. The singer spoke with CinemaBlend and other outlets following the first night of semi-finals, after weeks of her original "Wonderland" performance appearing in ASC commercials on NBC. She shared what it means to her to bring K-pop to an audience that may not entirely be familiar with it:

Nowadays, K-pop is becoming such a worldwide known genre. However, of course, like with anything in the world, there are some people that might not be aware of it. Being able to come out of Oklahoma, represent my state, and also the K-pop community, it just makes me so happy to show like the different facets and like cultural diversity that America has on the whole. So I guess it's just kind of a bit of a weight on the shoulders, but it's definitely something that makes me very happy.

As AleXa – a.k.a. Alex Christine – noted, K-pop is a massive hit worldwide, but isn't quite so mainstream in the United States that there's more than one artist representing the genre out of the 56 states and territories in American Song Contest. "Wonderland" shows how the visuals can be as important as the vocals in a full performance, and it's no wonder that she feels some "weight" on her shoulders. After all, "K-pop" and "Oklahoma" aren't exactly synonymous, and there are far more country, pop, and rock singers in the NBC show. 

That certainly isn't working against her, if the initial reaction to her in the series premiere is any indication!  She also went even bigger with her second presentation of "Wonderland," and she performed last on the very first night of semi-finals. ASC usually saves its big names and heavy hitters for going last, such as Michael Bolton and Sisqó (who spoke on the advantages and disadvantages of going last in the qualifiers). In case you missed her latest performance on the big American Song Contest stage, take a look:

I think it's safe to say that AleXa was a great choice for the final performance of the night, but that doesn't guarantee that she will advance to the finals. Only five of the eleven semi-finalists from the first night will continue on to the finals, and Allen Stone of Washington received the jury vote to advance regardless of voters from home. There are four slots left for the ten performers who turned in some grand numbers, including Wyoming's Ryan Charles, who got to bring his "New Boot Goofin'" back after winning a redemption spot. 

This time around, the voting window is a lot narrower. The qualifiers allowed live viewers (or those who watched afterward with a Peacock subscription) more than a day before voting closed on Wednesday mornings. Voting for the first night of semi-finals remains open until only Tuesday, April 26 at 8 a.m. ET, via, the NBC App, and TikTok.

The other eleven semifinalists will get their shot at the finals on Monday, May 2 starting at 8 p.m. ET on NBC, so be sure to tune in. Nobody is safe on American Song Contest, if the eliminations of Sisqó and Macy Gray are any indication, so don't forget to vote for your favorites before the season comes to an end on May 9

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.