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’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 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 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.
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!