Picture credit: VRT/EBU

Flemish broadcaster VRT will select its Eurovision 2023 act via Eurosong. That’s what VRT’s commentator Peter Van de Veire announced on live television on Saturday evening. Its main channel Eén confirmed the news on Sunday morning.

During the final of Zomerhit, Flanders’ competition to select the best summer hit of 2022, presenter and Eurovision commentator Peter Van de Veire unexpectedly stepped in to say the following: 

“VRT has the fantastic task in 2023 to send someone or ‘someone’s’ to Eurovision. I love the Eurovision Song Contest, but critics say that it is ‘old-fashioned’. But it’s for young people, for the future. That’s why we have decided to do something else with it than in other years. VRT is going to search for a new candidate through a  competition. Everyone can apply to Eurosong.”

Details on how and where to apply were scant. On Sunday morning, Flanders’ main television channel tweeted: 

“Peter Van de Veire brought news to Zomerhit! that in 2023, we can watch who will be sent to the world’s biggest music competition. That’s because through Eurosong, Peter will search for the artist and the song that will be allowed to represent our country at the Eurovision Song Contest.”

VRT’s recent results with a national selection

VRT chose its last two acts, Hooverphonic and Sennek, through internal selections in 2018 and 2020. Before that, Laura Tesoro, one of the country’s most successful young female artists, had been selected through Eurosong, their national final.

Throughout the 2010s, the Flemish broadcaster had uneven success with its Eurovision selection. Its 2014 winner Axel Hirsoux crashed out of the Eurovision semi-finals, placing 14th. But two years later Laura Tesoro famously came 10th in the grand final in Stockholm. At the same time, critics slammed Eurosong for its overall weak song level. Other acts selected through Eurosong crashed out in the semis and songs failed to become domestic hits. However, in 2014, eliminated song “She’s After My Piano” became one of the biggest radio hits on Flemish radio in the first half of the year. 

Who would you like to see represent Belgium at Eurovision 2023? Who would be your picks for Eurosong? Tell us below!

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motopapi
motopapi
3 months ago

I haven’t followed the contest for so long, should I be excited about this or not? :O

Esc addict
Esc addict
3 months ago

One more NF, that’s cool it means more stuff to discuss for the eurofans but in which month did they used to do their NF? Did we know the singers and the songs before?

Esc addict
Esc addict
3 months ago
Reply to  Esc addict

It seems that their NF will last 5 or 7 weeks! It’s huge! I can see this starting in the beginning of February and ending in March just before the deadline, like Melfest or Festival da Cançao always do. Not used to see Belgium selecting their act like that, it will be interesting to follow I hope.

Stephanie
Stephanie
3 months ago
Reply to  Esc addict

Seriously? Didn’t know that one. Thanks!

Esc addict
Esc addict
3 months ago
Reply to  Stephanie

You’re welcome, but nobody answer my questions 🙁

Esc addict
Esc addict
3 months ago
Reply to  Esc addict

“AnswerS”

Saoirse eurovision fan
3 months ago

It has to be Laura Tesoro!!

Polegend Godnova
3 months ago

i’m kinda bracing myself for a nf like their 2016 one where it was a bunch of unknown people. while belgium does have an interesting music industry, i don’t expect any names in the charts to apply.

Sofie
Sofie
3 months ago

I agree, but sadly the well known artists don’t want to represent us. I am 200% sure they will send Camille Dhont with an English song. She’s loved by the public, loved by VRT.

TD303
TD303
3 months ago

According to an article from a Belgian Eurovision site, our broadcaster actually is motivated to get well-known local artists on board like Camille. She has actually shown interest in the past and I would be here for it! Queen slaaaays and she has scored three top 10 hits in the past two years! So I’m cautiously optimistic

https://songfestival.be/eurosong-2023/vrt-wil-topartiesten-strikken-voor-eurosong-2023/

Stephanie
Stephanie
3 months ago
Reply to  TD303

And she can sing live…

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago

Since 2004 selection i know we will always send the wrong one so no hope here i also guess we are going to send a song in dutch because a lot of fresher artists sings in dutch now
Also 2fabiola already said they are going to try to compete you know the one who came second in 2014 and second to last in the ogae second chance contest

BelgianWaffle
BelgianWaffle
3 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Results in ogae contests definately not always reflect actual quality though. Paranoiacs were good. Would jave done Nice for Belgium

Midnight Gold
Midnight Gold
3 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

The OGAE worship the likes of Saara Aalto, maybe not the best barometer…

Iván el Conquistador
Iván el Conquistador
3 months ago

Belgium is a country with a strong musical industry and it surprises me how it struggles in Eurovision. I hope they can become a powerhouse someday. Seeing this NF getting some big names like, for example, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike (very unlikely these two but a man can dream) would be a start.

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago

Vrt at Eurovision is the same as Belgium in soccer a lot of potential but it never wins the prize

Sofie
Sofie
3 months ago

Honestly VRT never took it seriously and the difference between VRT and RTB was huge. But now VRT has a new management who loves Eurovision and wants to win it. So they will start taking it far more serious. The problem is finding candidates. I am already 200% sure it will be Camille.

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago
Reply to  Sofie

Lol you 200% can downsize because i saw articles before this was announced after she participated and won the masked singer that she thinks it’s still too early for her to go to such a big event

Tim
Tim
3 months ago

As a Belgian ESC fan one can only hope but also fear! Vrt’s history with national finals has never produced anything of value for the actual contest mainly because the general public usually (many times pushed by a rather unprofessional panel of judges) made choices based on the popularity of the artist in Flanders itself and not the potential for the actual contest….Furthermore VRT has never showed any other interest than producing a sunday evening contest-show for their own Flemish viewers rather than actually showing an interest in trying to win the contest! Now VRT has apparently changed it’s view… Read more »

ESCFanGA
ESCFanGA
3 months ago

Belgium’s track record with national finals is pretty bad so I’m not feeling optimistic about this. I don’t understand why ditching the internal selection was necessary in the eyes of the broadcaster.

BelgianWaffle
BelgianWaffle
3 months ago
Reply to  ESCFanGA

Because an nf is always better in all ways

Sir Stevia
Sir Stevia
3 months ago

I mean last time they did a NF What’s the pressure was the result of that so maybe Belgium doing an NF again is not a bad idea haha.
I prefer less NF’s but Belgium wanna mix it up, so go ahead.

Maxim
Maxim
3 months ago

As a Belgian, I’m not too optimistic about this.

Our national selections didn’t produce songs that got a lot of points (2004, 2006, 2008 & 2014), with the exception of 2016 of course!

But on the other hand, as stated in a different comment, the perception of Eurovision has indeed changed in Belgium, so let’s hope for the best! I really do hope we will have a high-quality song …

apollinischesprinzip
apollinischesprinzip
3 months ago

now either this puts belgium back to their dark-ages…

but i don’t think that’s going to happen.

perception of eurovision changed in belgium significantly since 2014 (especially in flanders due to the success of dutch artists)…

i would keep the national final small (similar to umk) around 5/6/7 artists that have great songs.

Colin
Colin
3 months ago

Interesting. Usually countries revert to the other way of selection after multiple years of failure with one method. That’s how Switzerland and Netherlands found its footing in internal selections, while France and Spain realized that national finals work better for them. Belgium usually got solid to great results with their internal selections, so I’m interested in why the decision happened. I wonder whether this will look like German NF of 2022 or like newer Czech selections. Good luck, Belgium!

Leendert Jan
Leendert Jan
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin

Well, in all fairness it were mostly the Walloon internal selections that got Belgium great results; the Flemish ones did not fare that well. Although I think Tom Dice was selected internally as well? Also, VRT has a much longer tradition of national finals than RTBF.

Héctor
Héctor
3 months ago

I think Belgium is stronger and more competitive when selecting internally but we will see if this actually turns out to be good.

NickC
NickC
3 months ago

Whats the pressure was criminally underrated by the fandom. I am still mad that it came behind after the likes of Denny Montell.

Jofty
Jofty
3 months ago
Reply to  NickC

Oh c’mon it was a total ripoff of one perhaps two well-known songs. Don’t know how they got away with it let alone qualify. And who is “Denny” Montell?!

NickC
NickC
3 months ago
Reply to  Jofty

Thats how much I remember him.

jofty
jofty
3 months ago
Reply to  NickC

No worries, I thought Donny was anything but forgettable. Oh well, Another Onw Bites The Dust (to add to the two already referred above).

Vivian
Vivian
3 months ago

In all honesty, I was still hoping for VRT to internally select Luka Cruysberghs, given how she was kinda left in a ditch after 2020 (and I am one of few who really liked Release Me, their 2020 entry) so yeah, I still hope she can get her own chance, maybe do better than in 2021

Whisker
Whisker
3 months ago
Reply to  Vivian

They OWE IT to Luka!

Thanos
Thanos
3 months ago

I’ve mostly liked Belgium’s internal selections as they all had a similar style that’s right up my alley: mysterious, dark, alternative and artsy songs. Hooverphonic, Blanche, Eliot and Loic all had amazing entries. This year however, I didn’t like the Belgian entry so perhaps it is time to mix it up a bit and see what a national final may bring.

Stephanie
Stephanie
3 months ago

As a (half) Belgian, I don’t know if om happy with this..knowing which songs were chosen to represent Belgium…Mother, O julissi..’.Do I need to say more…But let’s hope for the best…

Stephanie
Stephanie
3 months ago
Reply to  Stephanie

Should be if i’m happy…

Sofie
Sofie
3 months ago
Reply to  Stephanie

VRT has a new management and really wants to win Eurovision. So there is hope that it will be a great NF. They also said they will invest more into it. And there are already some big names who will surely be part of it.

dinosaur
dinosaur
3 months ago

I am so happy VRT is doing this again! Can’t wait for more information.
The past few years, alot of new, promising, talented, young artists have emerged in Flanders and I can’t wait to see if any will take their shot. Songs in Dutch are kind of trending, so I suspect we could see something like that.
I really can’t express how excited I am. VRT, please don’t F this up.

Whisker
Whisker
3 months ago

That’s the broadcaster that selected a Eurovision hater in the recent past? Right.

dinosaur
dinosaur
3 months ago
Reply to  Whisker

You mean an established band?

Koen
Koen
3 months ago
Reply to  Whisker

Who?

Whisker
Whisker
3 months ago
Reply to  Koen

You *must* know who that is!

Stephanie
Stephanie
3 months ago
Reply to  Whisker

If you mean Alex Callier…Well he actually doesn’t hate Eurovision, he loves it…he simply doesn’t like Love shines a light of Katrina and the Waves…huge différence if you ask me!

James
James
3 months ago

The more national selections, the merrier!

🙂