Belgian broadcaster VRT has revealed the names of the five singers who will be competing in the Eurosong national final to select Belgium‘s song for Stockholm. VRT are ditching the complicated Eurosong format of 2014 and instead have five young Belgian performers, ready to follow in Loïc Nottet’s footsteps.

After Wallonian broadcaster RTBF internally selected Loïc Nottet in 2015, Flanders broadcaster VRT is returning to its Eurosong national final. But they won’t be continuing the hefty Eurosong 2014 format, which took 30 contestants and seven shows to select Axel Hirsoux’s maternal ode “Mother” – a song that failed to make the final in Copenhagen.

Instead Eurosong 2016 is lean and fresh. It looks like VRT has been inspired by the modern (and very successful) sound that Loïc Nottet brought to Vienna and has picked five young Belgian talents – including some relative unknowns.

The contestants have been going through a long-term performance bootcamp, which will continue after Eurosong for the winner. Experts are teaching the five about voice, movement, songwriting, and media skills – all vital skills for a successful Eurovision act. As VRT say, “the kitsch party is over”. They’re taking things very seriously.

While having five acts would suggest a one-off final like Dansk MGP, there will in fact be three shows. But there won’t be eliminations along the way. In the first show, the acts will demonstrate their performance ability (presumedly by singing a cover), in the second show they’ll finally present their song for Eurovision, and in the third and final show, the winner will be chosen by a Melfest-style international jury and a traditional public vote. The three shows will be broadcast on 3, 10 and 17 January.

We still don’t know what songs these five acts will be singing, but VRT will reveal this in due course. So until then, let’s get to know the five contestants.

Laura Tesoro

Laura’s singing career started in 2010 on the kids show KetnetPOP. Then in 2014 she was a contestant on The Voice van Vlaanderen (The Voice of Flanders), where she placed second. Laura has released a few singles, with her song “Outta Here” reaching No.23 on the Flanders chart. Laura also acts and is a regular on Belgian TV.

Amaryllis Uitterlinden

Amaryllis is well known in Belgium as a singer and TV presenter. In 2013 she sang on the Ozark Henry song “I’m Your Sacrifice”, a No.3 hit on the Flanders chart. Amaryllis also has experience as an actor, musical performer, and TV presenter. Earlier this year she presented the documentary Het zijn maar woorden? (It’s just words?) looking at sexual harassment on the street.

Adil Aarab

Adil made it to the live shows of Idool (Belgium Idol) in 2007, but he was voted off in ninth place. He has also participated on the talent show Can You Duet. In more recent years, Adil has focused on his work as a musician. He performs as part of the duet Adil & AKA.

Astrid Destuyver

Astrid is known for her covers of popular songs on YouTube and Soundcloud. Earlier this year she leant her vocals to the Belgian electronic duo AKS on their song “Walk Out”.

Tom Frantzis

Tom is an up-and-coming singer, currently studying at university. He’s made a few performances on Belgium radio and last year released his debut single “Grown”.

What do you think of the five candidates? Is VRT doing the right thing with a slimmed-down national final? Share your thoughts below!

Photo source: De Redactie

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23 Comments
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Ignacy
Ignacy
4 years ago

Kate Ryan i s only 35, and is perfect to Eurovision actually, anyway she doesn’t need it, she is all right without it, greetings from Poland.

mocosuburbian
mocosuburbian
4 years ago

side note (and I hate to post a third time) but I’m really really optimistic after reading the VRT descriptors for each of these artists

the way the broadcaster is taking is this is very, very professional–could this be the start of another Benelux ESC renaissance now that the Netherlands’ streak is over?

mocosuburbian
mocosuburbian
4 years ago

Destuyver’s song is f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c by the way
Imagine hearing that kind of sound on the ESC stage
would easily be my favorite song for the whole season

mocosuburbian
mocosuburbian
4 years ago

what’s all this hype for kate ryan about

Maxim
Maxim
4 years ago

Woohoo!! Sela Sue will coach the 5 candidates !
@ Hannes, I think the (international) jury will change the televoting

Johnny
Johnny
4 years ago

Fan of Astrtid

ESC 4ever
ESC 4ever
4 years ago

now*

ESC 4ever
ESC 4ever
4 years ago

I really wanted Billie Bentein or Selah Sue for Belgium this year…!! 🙁 No i’m dissapointed

Herr Freitag
Herr Freitag
4 years ago

Hopefully the songs will be cool modern Pop or maybe something like House – would be cool and fresh 🙂 But I always have a feeling that they will sing just unspectular ballads…why not a modern and fresh song like Loic had? 🙂

Hannes
Hannes
4 years ago

Kate Ryan is such a has been and would flop once again in Eurovision.

Ignacy
Ignacy
4 years ago

as a polish guy, i would like to watch kate ryan in eurovision, she’s really popular here in poland. i’m sure poland would give her 12 if she comes

Cannet
Cannet
4 years ago

I agree, Kate Ryan would be the best, her last single Runaway, or just by following her singles released by Liefde voor Muziek are really good, and she is really good live. Moreover she is popular in a lot of Europen countiries. I’m just curious if they invited Kate Ryan to those 5 and she didn’t agree, or they even didn’t invite.

Hannes
Hannes
4 years ago

@Maxim
Where did you read that there will be a panel? Because there won’t be one this time.

#Robots
#Robots
4 years ago

Robyn: Kate Ryan could be in ESC with a modern pop song, not oldish sclager.pop

Maxim
Maxim
4 years ago

Nooooo, not AGAIN a jury who manipulate the voting!
I hope the artists are brave enough to select the best song (and after that also the best staging). Cause Iris (2012) was also “young and talented” and what was here song again, if you know what I mean

Matt
Matt
4 years ago

As someone from Flanders, I really hope we’ll be able to bring something great to the table this time around. I still don’t understand what my fellow countrymen & women were thinking when they sent Axel Hirsoux.

The Walloon have always had superior taste when it comes to music. Loic Nottet was brilliant last year. I hope these younger, fresher candidates will lead to the top 5

Racal
Racal
4 years ago

Like the article says: it looks young, lean and fresh. Wait and see, maybe we’ll have a nice surprise! 🙂

Like I said under a previous article, the Flemish are really really bad at Eurovision. If Flanders was an independent country, their best result would be 6th place (in 2010) in 60 years of participation. Not one single top 5 placing. But hey, they can prove that wrong! 🙂

Patrick
Patrick
4 years ago

Totally not good, why they didn’t choose Kate Ryan? She would be best. Poor Belgium.

DenizNL
DenizNL
4 years ago

I like the artists a lot. Very young and very talented.

Ruud
Ruud
4 years ago

Voice wise, I only like Laura Tesoro and Astrid Destuyver, but we’ll have to wait for the songs… I like both songs of the above artist you posted though, so that’s a good sign