Picture credit: VRT/EBU

After a seven-year gap, Belgium’s national final Eurosong is set to return in 2023. While a few big names have unfortunately said it won’t be their year, others have already started preparing their bids. However, according to Flemish Eurovision blog Songfestival.be, VRT have made a 180-degree turn with regards to their open call for songs.

The reason? They waited too long to decide to stage the pre-selection, so need to streamline the process. 

You’ll recall that back in August, during the final of Zomerhit on VRT, Eurovision commentator Peter Van der Veire stated: 

“VRT has the fantastic task in 2023 to send someone or ‘someones’ 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.”

VRT puts end to open call for songs for Eurosong 2023

Now that the Eurovision 2023 season has started, the Flemish broadcaster has decided to switch tracks. After Songfestival.be contacted VRT, the broadcaster’s music co-ordinator Gerrit Kerremans said: 

“Because of the late decision to organise a preselection on [channel] Eén, an open call has not been made. (…) The A&R team has consulted a large group of record companies and managers with regards to the availability of possible candidates.” 

The Flemish A&R team – which is short for “artist and repertoire” – consists of a group of VRT employees working in the radio and television departments and music industry professionals. They will be the ones selecting the Eurosong 2023 acts. 

Besides this new step to select the artists internally instead of placing an open call, there has been little news from the broadcaster concerning their selection. Eurovision commentator Peter Van der Veire is slated to host the programme, which will be a primetime show on the region’s largest television channel. 

However, the format and dates for Eurosong 2023 are still up in the air, although Flemish media have speculated the show will likely run from five to seven weeks mirroring the most recent editions in 2014 and 2016. 

Several big names in the Flemish music industry have said “nee” to being involved in the show. Two of Flanders’ most successful young artists – Pommelien Thijs and Camille turned down the opportunity. Meanwhile, Natalia and Laura Tesoro‘s management admitted that they had been approached by VRT, but waited to take a decision until receiving more details on the format. 

Who would you like to see sing for Belgium? Who do you think will take part in Eurosong 2023? Let us know in the comments down below!

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Nils
Nils
2 hours ago

Is this the system that gave us Blanche?

Alex
Alex
4 hours ago

Good decision. Bring in some professional artists. At the end of the day, it will be good promo for them. Just don’t mess up the jury.

Polegend Godnova
8 hours ago

this is good. cooperating directly with record labels means no time wasted on amateur productions and no names. this nf is shaping up to be very solid.

Jorevic
Jorevic
22 hours ago

They were sure that Camille would aply for the job, but she turned it down and now the VRT is in panic, the golden girl wont go,what now!!? Choosing internally is theorie solution

dinosaur
dinosaur
1 day ago

They had an extra year to prepare for Eurovision, why is this a last-minute decision?

Whisker
Whisker
1 day ago
Reply to  dinosaur

LOL! Good question!

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
22 hours ago
Reply to  Whisker

Well, this is the first time Belgium has returned to a national final in seven years and They are a little out of practice. They probably wavered a while between doing a national final or an internal selection when they made the decision for national final, they realized they cut themselves too short time to get it together. Countries that Have been doing national finals for years have a lot more experience and practice organizing them in a shorter period of time. There’s also the possibility that they may not get enough songs for an open call since eurovision doesn’t… Read more »

apollinischesprinzip
apollinischesprinzip
1 day ago

in a way, this is a good thing.

at least this means we will get decent songs and no joke entries (mgp every single year).

kinda excited now.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
22 hours ago

It could go either way. We could get a bunch of great songs or we get some lower tier castoffs from the record companies. We’ll see at the beginning of the year which way the wind blows.

Vivian
Vivian
2 days ago

If this means a higher quality of songs in the selection then I suppose it’s fine, but I wouldn’t consider the reveal of the return of the national selection late. We’ve seen countries in the past whip up a national selection show in the span of only a few weeks before. Belgium still has months worth of planning they can use to optimize everything. I hope they use it well.

Esc addict
Esc addict
2 days ago

We are still in September, the deadline will be probably the 12th March 2023, it means 6 months, half of a year, I don’t get how you can’t have enough time moreover when some countries who will make a NF too have just opened their calls now and will close it in January….but anyway good luck for this NF, really interested to see how it will be.

VVH
VVH
2 days ago

I would love to se the starlings ( with Tom dice EFS 2010 and is wife Kato) .

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
2 days ago

You know you’re out of practice with organizing a national final when you don’t have an open call because you Didn’t give yourself enough time. I wish Belgium good luck and hope they bring in some good acts.

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
2 days ago

Does anybody else have the problem that wiwibloggs.com literally becomes unusable without an adblocker? I can see that an average of 80 ads per page are being blocked and when I uninstall my adblocker certain functions like the comment section won’t even load on mobile.

Terry
Terry
2 days ago
Reply to  Frisian esc

I don’t have that many ads, but it’s a bit slow to browse with a phone.

Also on computer sometimes when I open an article there might come a pop up that wants me to download some blank page. I’m using Mozilla Firefox on my computer, but not sure if it’s a problem from my side or not.

apollinischesprinzip
apollinischesprinzip
1 day ago
Reply to  Terry

yeah on the phone it’s kinda terrible.

on computer it’s fine.

khm
khm
2 days ago

Meanwhile, about Croatia opening applications for Dora not even a word .

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
2 days ago
Reply to  khm

It’s been reported at other Eurovision new sites. It’s not the only site that I rely on getting Eurovision news from. Maybe an article on Croatia might come up soon. Be patient.

123
123
2 days ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

Nope. We should expect and want more from the site that is supposedly the most influential esc site that also got the privilege of being in the press center this year and were the fan site with the most accreditations out of everyone.

At the same time, they are the slowest at posting the news, if they post them at all.

James
James
19 hours ago
Reply to  123

Many from Wiwibloggs are volunteers who spent their free time contributing to the website. They have lives and jobs to focus on on top of snooping for all things Eurovision.

They’re doing what they can to cover as much news as possible but they don’t need to post them to your particular convenience.

As someone mentioned in this thread, Wiwi ain’t the only source of ESC news so you can always go those sites are able to report anything breaking ahead of them.

Laura
Laura
16 hours ago
Reply to  123

They had 2 press passes like everyone else