“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.
“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 (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 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 (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.”
“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 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 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!