Belgium Eurosong 2016 Week One

After much hype, Belgium’s revamped Eurosong 2016 kicked off on Sunday evening. The opening show introduced us to the five national finalists — Adil Aarab, Astrid Destuyver, Tom Frantzis, Laura Tesoro and Amaryillis Uitterlinden — and gave us a taster of what’s to come.

We didn’t hear any of the competing songs, instead each of the five reinterpreted a Eurovision classic before an expert panel made up of Belgian indie rock choir leader Stijn Kolacny and Eurovision 2009 winner Alexander Rybak. The “Fairytale” singer proved to be a revelation as a judge, telling Laura that he loved her “arrogant childish stupid look” and joking that he was “allergic to good music” following a sneeze — no comment!

The performances themselves were rather lacklustre. The default approach seemed to be to slow down all the bangers, turning them into either ballads or mid-tempo numbers. Perhaps they’re saving themselves for next week, when their actual songs will be revealed. Once we’d heard all the singers, viewers at home were asked to text in for their favourite, with Amaryillis’ version of “Euphoria” coming out on top. Her victory was purely symbolic though, as there were no eliminations and all the contestants will enter the 17 January final with a clean slate.

You can watch all five covers below, along with the group performance of “Heroes”.

Group performance “HEROES”

Originally sung by Måns Zelmerlöw (Sweden 2015)

Astrid Destuyver “Everyway That I Can”

Originally sung by Sertab Erener (Turkey 2003)

Laura Tesoro “Dum Tek Tek”

Originally sung by Hadise (Turkey 2009)

Adil Aarab “Hold Me Now”

Originally sung by Johnny Logan (Ireland 1987)

Tom Frantzis “Rhythm Inside”

Originally sung by Loïc Nottet (Belgium 2015)

Amaryillis Uitterlinden “Euphoria”

Originally sung by Loreen (Sweden 2012)

The action continues next Sunday, when the five contestants will sing their entries for the first time. Beverly Jo Scott (Loïc’s mentor during The Voice and the co-writer of his tune “Rhythm Inside”) and singer Tom Helsen will sit on the expert panel.

What did you make of tonight’s show? Do you spy any potential winners? Let us know below.

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Matt
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Matt

I mean, it’ll all depend on the songs they will take to Stockholm. Doesn’t really matter if it was a good performance. Song choice is much more important. I do hope we’re not sending a ballad, I want something young and vibrant to represent my country. Ballads are most of the time pretty boring.

Fran
Guest
Fran

Klaasje, totally agree with you. I’ve never liked ‘Everyway that I can’, but Astrid’s version was classy and flawless. As for the others, they turned good songs in boring ballads, but some of them have prooved they have interesting voices (specially Laura).

Steven
Guest
Steven

I actually love Tom’s rendition of Rhythm Inside, perhaps even prefer it! Between him and Astrid.

Amaryllis I didn’t really like. Euphoria sounds cheesy and cheapened slowed down.

Steven
Guest
Steven

Astrid has a stunning tone to her voice

Paige H
Guest

The covers were so pointless to be honest, but Ok. My favourite has to be Laura, as she bought so much energy to the stage, which was needed! Yes, the vocals weren’t perfect, but we’ve not heard their own Eurovision songs yet, and there’s time. I feel like Adil and Astrid had no umph, or presence on stage. Tom messed about a bit too much with “Rhythm Inside” and it just didn’t sound right to me. Amaryillis has an amazing voice, but the “puppets” were just too much. I’m hoping their own songs are even better!

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

Performing covers is definitely pointless – whether in Belgium, Switzerland or wherever. What I also don’t get is why there even needs to be a 3rd show, if they could already announce the winner next week…?
They all did a good job, but not more. Overall the whole thing (the show, the songs, the artists) just seemed way too bland and kinda boring to me.
Judging from yesterday only, I wouldn’t send anyone to Stockholm lol, but hey – maybe they all got killer songs. 😉

Nitzan
Guest
Nitzan

Such a beautiful format, it gives respect to the ESC and very nice production. For me the top 3 here are:

1. Tom
2. Astrid
3. Amaryillis

Laburnum
Guest
Laburnum

My opinions: -Actually was really good. It became quite eerie and I have to agree with Klaasje, she turned it into a really good classy jazz song. My favourite of the night. -Laura: Ok performance, but I think that was used to cover up the bad vocals. -Adil: Boring, just way too boring. -Tom: I hated his version of Rhythm Inside, it lost its power which sort of made him driftwood of the night. -Amaryillis: I can see why she was the favourite, best vocals, turned Euphoria even eerier, but the performance became too messy at the end with the… Read more »

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

Omg astrid is just fantastic, the cover is pure gold

Racal
Guest
Racal

On top of that, all these covers were just toned down versions (almost acoustic) of the originals. Come on guys… That was trendy 10 years ago, when YouTubers all over the world started uploading covers of famous songs. We don’t need television to see that, the internet is full of amateurs doing this from their bedrooms (and sometimes of better quality than what I’ve seen in yesterday’s show). The only performances that didn’t bore me to death were Rythm inside and Dum tek tek. Now again, that doesn’t say anything: they can all sing, they just need the good ESC… Read more »

Racal
Guest
Racal

TBH I really don’t see the point if all this. We all know that the only thing that will matter in the end is their actual song. They can be awesome on Chandelier, Euphoria or whatever, but if they have a boring song to defend at the ESC it’s all useless. So why waste time? Give us the Eurovision songs and at least we’ll have something to say about it. I couldn’t care less about some Belgian girl covering Dum Tek Tek on TV. And what’s the voting all about anyway? These guys have no ESC songs yet and there… Read more »

dutchie
Guest
dutchie

Is it talent shows 2.0 to have really bad performances and then the experts saying they’re the find of the century or the new Michael Jackson or whatever? Anyway, Alexander Rybak was a nice exception, and the only enjoyable part of the show.

Let’s hope their own songs are better than these terrible interpretations.

PP
Guest
PP

For me Adil is best , and he have voice for every type of song.

Auggie
Guest
Auggie

My thoughts on the performances: – Astrid: “Everyway That I Can” is quite a challenge when it comes as a song, but she did an overall good job. She gave the song her touch, that’s what matters. – Laura: YAAASSSSS!!!! She looks completely cool with this verstion, a bit toned downed, and waaaaayyyyy more clothed than back in 2009, but she really did work it! – Adil: He was okay. Modernizing a song from the 80s was quite a challenge, but overall he did okay. That’s all I can say. – Tom: I mean, he’s a good singer, and really… Read more »

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

mocosuburbian: Scroll up and you’ll see the YouTube clip of Amaryllis’ performance.

mocosuburbian
Guest
mocosuburbian

I’m probably biased but: 1| Astrid: Her ability to warp the song she was covering into an entirely different genre without it sounding off was wonderful, and her voice was the clearest of the four (I didn’t hear Amaryllis, soooo.) True, it got boring eventually–but I don’t think her version of the song was meant to suddenly get all intense at the end 2| Tom: The stripped-down version of an already minimalistic song was questionable, but he performed well so I guess I can’t complain much about him. 3| Adil: Nice voice and whatnot, but it seemed a little too… Read more »

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

I’m not a big fan of having NF contestants doing covers, but if it has to be done, it’s better to do it like this. Have it in a seperate episode and do the covers before the originals.

Otherwise you get a situation like last in year in Switzerland, when Mélanie René essentially won for her vocally impressive cover of “Chandelier” which followed her so-so original song.

bogtrotter
Guest
bogtrotter

While I really like Laura’s charming attitude, I thought her performance was fairly weak. Like, first rehearsal kind-of weak. Astrid failed to hold my attention for the full three minutes, but she definitely has a great voice. Adil also has a good voice, but the way he did the cover was disappointing – you can’t cut out the belty parts of “Hold Me Now”, that’s what the entire song is supposed to be building up to! I had expected the least of him in advance, but was most pleasantly surprised by Tom. That simple droning drum beat was killer and… Read more »

Alexander
Guest
Alexander

Amaryillis definitely has the best voice of the five, but whether she is the best act for Eurovision will depend on the song that we hear next week.

I also thought Tom’s version of ‘Rhythm Inside’ was quite good – interesting to hear how a single song can be presented in such vastly different forms

Sparrow
Guest
Sparrow

Based on these we can send them all home. But let’s hope they down played it all on purpose, saving it for next week..well fingers crossed anyway.

Ben Rafter
Guest
Ben Rafter

Really boring, except for Laura with dum tek tek. She is most appropriate for Eurovision but it all depends on her song.

#HoldMeNow
Guest
#HoldMeNow

Adil was the best. he’s got a sweet voice and he is charismatic.

MrJoggy (BEL)
Guest
MrJoggy (BEL)

Adil was my favourite (nice performance!) and then Laura … The others were just boring …

D
Guest
D

I don’t understand the point of these non-elimination shows where they don’t even perform their ESC songs. Anyways, none of performers stuck out to me, and Flanders, as usual, is probably not gonna deliver a very worthwhile song based on these performances.

Klaasje
Guest
Klaasje

Astrid managed to turn a cheap song like “Everyway That I Can” into a classy jazzy song. She was my favourite of the show. Laura was the worst.