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!