Belgium Jérémie Makiese Miss You Eurovision 2022 rehearsal
Photo: EBU / NATHAN REINDS

“The song contest is alive and kicking harder and younger than ever.” That’s the message from Belgian TV presenter and Eurosong 2023 host Peter Van de Veire, as Belgium announces the seven participants in its Eurovision national selection for Liverpool. He said:

“The Olympic Games of Music. That is what the Eurovision Song Contest is. And the fact that so many young people wish to participate in the national selection says it all. It is impressive to see the wide range of artists who have created songs for Eurosong 2023. With Olympian enthusiasm, loads of talent and the realization that this is still a matter of state interest. ‘We Want to Win!’ that’s what they all sing. Here and in Liverpool.”

Now let’s get to know the seven contestants. What follows are the official bios provided by broadcaster VRT.

Ameerah

“Under her real name Astrid Roelants (39), she was discovered in the Belgian show Idol 2003. She took part in the Eurosong 2004 with the song “Don’t stop the music”. Ever since she saw Sandra Kim win when she was only three years old, she dreamed of performing on the big stage at the Eurovision Song Contest. However, she had to put her dream on hold for a while. For her debut album she worked with international producers and signed with an American label. She was a songwriter for artists like Jennifer Lopez, Jay Sean and DJ Tiësto. She had a duet with the Norwegian duo Madcon seen at Eurovision 2010 as an interval act. Her first single “The Sound of Missing You” made it into top three of the Billboard dance charts in USA.”

Chérine

“Chérine (27) participated in The voice van Vlaanderen2017. She was part of Hooverphonic’s Alex Callier team and made it to the live shows. Afterwards, Chérineparticipated two times in The Voice France and La plus belle voix (2019 and 2022). Earlier this year, this young artist also took her chance as one of the finalists on MNM Rising Star, a talent show of VRT. Chérine writes her own songs and she has a great sense of melody, being a perfectionist.”

 

Gala Dragot

“Gala Aliaj (17) comes from an artistic family. Her father Robert Aliaj Dragot is one of the most prominent figures in the Albanian showbiz world and a contemporary artist. Her family encouraged her to follow the musical path. She is attending her secondary School of Arts where she plays the piano, paints and develop her passion for films. She took part in The Voice Kids in 2020.”

 

Gustaph

“Gustaph (42) wrote his first song when he was seven years old. At the age of nineteen, under the stage name Steffen,he scored a hit with his first single ‘Gonna Lose You’ a song that he produced and wrote himself. The song brought him a victory at the Summer Hit for best debut in 2000. For six years he sang with the band Hercules & Love Affair, which had a worldwide hit in 2006 with ‘Blind’. He participated in Eurovision as backing vocal twice: in 2018 in Lisbon with Sennek and in 2021 in Rotterdam with Hooverphonic, where he was also Geike Arnaert’s voice coach.”

Hunter Falls

“Tchiah Ommar Abdulrahman (27) comes from Leuven. He has been singing since he was six years old. Tchiah has Kurdish roots. His parents fled the war in Iraq and arrived in Belgium in 1991. In 2013, Hunter Falls took part in Thevoice van Vlaanderen competition and in 2017 he came third in the first edition of MNM Rising Star. Recently he has multiple collaborations with DJ Peter Luts. His stage name refers to his belief that you should chase your dreams and not wait for things to fall into your lap, as well as to his favorite season of the year, autumn.”

 

Loredana

“Loredana De Amicis (36) is no stranger to the Eurosongworld. In 2014 she took part in the preselections with Pat Krimson as 2 Fabiola with “She’s After My Piano”. Even if they didn’t win the national selection, their song won the Radio 2 Summer hit that year. When she was 16 she participated for the first time in the RTBF talent show Pourla Gloire. That was also her very first TV appearance. In 2008 she started as a singer with 2 Fabiola. With this dance formation, Pat and Loredana have already scored several hits. This year she came second as a Ridder in The Masked Singer and was one of the acts in Liefde voor Muziektogether with Pat.”

 

The Starlings

“The Starlings consist of Tom Dice and Kato Callebaut (32 and 31 years old). These two singer-songwriters had breakthroughs on the stages of the biggest talent competitions: Tom in X-factor and Kato in Idool 2011. They both finished in second place and Kato won the Radio 2 Summer hit 2011 with her single ‘The Joker’. Tom has a former participation in Eurovision back in 2010 with the song ‘Me & My Guitar. He finished on the 6th position in the grand final. The Starlings formed in 2018.  Their popularity grew thanks to Liefde voor Muziek and their first hit, ‘Little Submarine’. In the meantime, the duo is married and they have made two albums.”

 

 

About Eurosong 2023

Belgium returns to its national selection, Eurosong, after a seven-year gap. The last Eurosong edition was held in 2016 and ended with Laura Tesoro’s victory. Ever since then, Belgium picked their Eurovision songs through an internal selection. The return to a selection show has nothing to do with Belgium’s recent results, according to host Peter Van de Veire. He’s said it would have returned even if they had qualified for the final every single year.

​The announcement of the revived Eurosong was made back in August. In September VRT announced that there won’t be an open call for the artists, as the broadcaster would instead consult with several record companies to find the candidates. The grand final of Eurosong is scheduled for the 14th of January in Brussels, at Palais 12 and it’s gonna be a live show.

From the 9th of January Eurosong will be broadcast daily, according to Palais 12, through a series of pre-recorded performances in order to help the public get familiar with them. The seven candidates will participate with two self-composed songs each and the final result will be determined by a professional jury and by the public who will vote from home.

Who would you like to see representing Belgium in Eurovision 2023? Let us know in the comments below!

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58 Points (JE)
14 days ago

Tom Dice is still a pure and natural talent. Great to see him in the frame.

Sebastián
Sebastián
17 days ago

Belgium 2024: Stromae.

PERIOD!

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
17 days ago
Reply to  Sebastián

I don’t think he’s interested in Eurovision.

tom
tom
16 days ago
Reply to  Sebastián

He said many times – NO to Eurovision! He was asked a few times by Belgium actually – same with Angèle …

tom
tom
17 days ago

People always say:
“Tom, this has gone too far”
But I’m not afraid to chase my dreams
Just me and my guitar …

I am so happy for him

Stephanie
Stephanie
18 days ago

I’m sorry but I read a lot of BS here….It seems like bashing Belgium becomes a yearly sport… Oh,i don’t like their voices, not enough famous names, the all organisationen s*cks….For crying out loud, can you all , at least, give it a chance…And besides, what is more important the artist the organisation, the voice or the song? It all will come down to the song that Belgium will choose…or am In wrong?

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
17 days ago
Reply to  Stephanie

What Belgium bashing? Could you refresh my memory here of what you found to be people bashing Belgium? I do recall Hooverphonic being criticized and A lot of people were unhappy that Belgium qualified at this year because they didn’t like the soccer performance, but I feel like that isn’t really digging on the country itself. That’s all I can think of, but I could be wrong.

Benito Camelo
Benito Camelo
18 days ago

I’ll be holding my horses for now but the lineup – despite being made up of former The Voice contestants and has beens, it doesn’t look eventful as some people below said, it does look good imo.

Jamie
Jamie
18 days ago

Listening to their songs… don’t really like any of them tbh. Voices seem very generic. But maybe the songs will be bomb, I hope.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
18 days ago
Reply to  Jamie

I don’t really care about names because most of them mean nothing to me as an American. What I care about is the songs and that is where I will make my judgment. If they’re good I’ll be happy, if they’re not I’ll be disappointed.

Dawid
Dawid
18 days ago

Gala Dragot like Gal Gadot? Xd

Teddy
18 days ago

For now this reminds me a little too much of the UK’S Eurovision efforts pre-2020 – This lineup seems to mainly be either acts who had major peaks a decade or two ago and have since become rather unknown or singers who have spent most of their careers on shows like The Voice.

Apart from The Starlings, none of these artists seem to have much recent recording success or strong songwriting skills, which may end up in a contest with 13 generic filler songs only carried by the vocals of the artist

EProduc
EProduc
18 days ago

All of these are respectable, talented and creative artists who can sing. It just comes down to the acts and the songs really. Belgium needs to think out of the box now and need to be daring. The dark avant-garde acts worked with Blanche and Loic Nottet but has become a little dated and repetitive now, especially after two years of Hooverphonic. My bet’s on Gala or Loredana. Loredana has the fan base and the voice but Gala really is an original artist who will stand out at Eurovision.

dinosaur
dinosaur
18 days ago

I love Loredana, she is extremely sweet and her voice is magnificent. I’m curious about the others, but Loredana should be the one.

Jonas
Jonas
18 days ago

Can the same person come both first and second? I hope it’s like Sanremo 2013, where everybody loses on of their songs after the first round of voting.

Thomas Sturley
18 days ago

I do wanna remind everyone we all underestimated Laura in 2016 so it will come down to the live performance. (Tho we don’t even know the song yet! So I hope for the best.)

Sir Stevia
Sir Stevia
18 days ago

Gala Dragot. The singeing Pokémon and the evolved form of Gal Gadot. I’m sorry I know I’m the only one who finds this funny….

On a serious note, I’ll tune in to this NF as I’m very curious.

Sir Stevia
Sir Stevia
18 days ago
Reply to  Sir Stevia

Why did it autocorrect to singeing?? Is that even a word lol

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
18 days ago
Reply to  Sir Stevia

Yep! To singe is to burn just a little bit. Odd choice for autocorrect, but there you go.
But yeah, I agree with your top there.

Sir Stevia
Sir Stevia
18 days ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

TY : )

Sir Stevia
Sir Stevia
18 days ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

Oh Singe! That’s right I remember that word. Thanks lol

ESC LAURA
ESC LAURA
18 days ago

As a Belgian i am a little upset but i saw this coming. I do think our bigger artists (not that smaller artists are not great but they’re used to performing) prefer an interval selection rather than doing a national one cause it scares them away. i dont think that eurosong bringing back is bad but more risky if we are going to walk that same path again as those previous seasons. We can not judge this before the shows or song snippets but i can not say with a lot of confidence that it’s going to be great. we… Read more »

Thallo
Thallo
18 days ago

I’m not too sure about this lineup! Things could change when we hear the songs though, that’s all that matters.

I’m just a little sceptical since the majority of artists are ex-The Voice contestants or ”has beens” who had their last hit over 2 decades (or even more) ago.

Ari
Ari
18 days ago

It’s not a good idea to have artists compete with more than one song. One strong song is needed, not two mediocre ones. When has it ever happened that a singer competed with two strong songs? Regardless, I’m looking forward to what Tom Dice and his wife have to offer.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
18 days ago
Reply to  Ari

well, it’s better than the three song per artist that was supposedly rumored before this official announcement. Still, why not 14 artists or just seven songs? It will all depend on when the songs are released if they’re all actually good. I’d like to see Belgium win eurovision again because it’s been so long since their first victory, But if the songs don’t cut it, then we’re in for a world of disappointment.

Ari
Ari
18 days ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

I want sth like City Lights again

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
18 days ago
Reply to  Ari

I love that song too

Jonas
Jonas
18 days ago
Reply to  Ari

I liked Lena’s “Bee” in 2010.

Colin
Colin
18 days ago
Reply to  Ari

Sadly, unless the artist is REALLY keen on both songs equally, this leaves a possibility of the artist pushing for one song more (see Monika Marija), or the artist being disappointed about which song won (see Levina). Alternatively, the artist gets the song they wanted (see Roxen), but it’s certainly a gamble. Now, I assume that these people, who are mostly (more or less) established names in Belgium, will carefully pick the two songs, but even so, they might feel stronger about one as the entry on stage.

Jofty
Jofty
18 days ago
Reply to  Ari

Yes it could cause confusion and split the vote, moreover if people, as they do, vote for the singer not the song. In Malta 2016 Ira Losco had 2 songs, one of which went on to win, the other, which was well thought of, did not even qualify! As we know a different song altogether controversially went on to represent them.

belgium guy
belgium guy
18 days ago

Final on 14th on January is not even needed. The Starlings will win. It’s a safe and cozy choice. Maybe what Belgium needs for now. VRT viewers are 90% old people and they will vote for The Starlings. Eurosong doesn’t have a popular history like Melfest to attract new young viewers = voters. Hope the jury will vote totally different and go for a more edgy name and style but my feeling is they will rank The Starlings in their top 3. If VRT was serious about Eurosong they would come with bigger names so they can create a new… Read more »

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
18 days ago
Reply to  belgium guy

I mean vrt approached celebrities and the big guys said ‘no’. If VRT had their way 100% chance they’d pick someone like Camille for eurovision.

dinosaur
dinosaur
18 days ago
Reply to  belgium guy

You forgot about the part that old people don’t care about Eurovision

Maxim
Maxim
18 days ago

As a Belgian, I was a little bit sceptical at first and I’m still sceptical, but this line up is (at least according to me!) very nice. I’m especially looking forward to Ameerah and Gala. I think we can expect some interesting songs. Plus: the VRT has said that they want to win, so they really want to put a lot of effort in it.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
18 days ago
Reply to  Maxim

I’d like to see Belgium win again because it’s been so long, but if these songs don’t cut it, it’s gonna be massively Disappointing and embarrassing.

Polegend Godnova
18 days ago

uneventful lineup… it’s 2016 all over again. we can only hope for a strong song.

James
James
18 days ago

What’s the pressure, right? 🙂

Thallo
Thallo
18 days ago

Belgium always delivers when we least expect them to.