Preparations are in full swing for the Belgian Eurosong final this year, gearing up to the grand final from the impressive Sportspaleis in Antwerp. Casting for participants took place last month and two shows following the process will be aired on the 2nd and 9th of February. The names of the first fifteen candidates were revealed today.
Belgian preselections haven’t exactly been major events of late, with last year’s national final being broadcast on a Sunday morning. Nevertheless, entrant Roberto Bellarosa made it to the final and achieved an encouraging twelfth place with Love Kills, their best result since 2010. Flemish broadcaster VRT has the responsibilty for arranging this year’s national preselection and seems to be pulling out all the stops.
Last week, various media reported on a number of names rumoured to be among the succesful candidates, citing Flemish daily Het Laatste Nieuws as a reliable source. Many of the names mentioned last week have turned up among the list of candidates revealed by broadcaster VRT today. Each hopeful has performed their version of a past Eurovision entry in front of a panel of proffessionals. The panel consists of Bart Peeters, known as a singer an TV presenter, musician Piet Goddaer, musician and DJ Jef Martens and last but not least Ukranian 2004 Eurovision winner Ruslana. The complete list of the first candidates is as follows:
Di Stephano – L’amour ça fait chanter la vie (Jean Vallée, Belgium 1978)
The Fuckuleles – Waterloo (ABBA, Sweden 1974)
Jessy – Euphoria (Loreen, Sweden 2012)
White Bird – Fly on the Wings of Love (Olsen Brothers, Denmark 2000)
3M8S – Only Teardrops (Emmelie de Forest, Denmark 2013)
Eva Jacobs – In Your Eyes (Niamh Kavanagh, Ireland 1993)
2 Fabiola feat. Loredana – My Number One (Helena Paparizou, Greece 2005)
Udo – Ne partez pas sans moi (Céline Dion, Switzerland 1988)
Joyce – Mister (and adaptation of the original Sister; Sergio & The Ladies, Belgium 2002)
Violet Sky – Door de wind (Ingeborg, Belgium 1989)
Elvya Dulcimer – Sweet People (Alyosha, Ukraine 2010)
Axel Hirsoux – Tu te reconnaîtras (Anne-Marie David, Luxemburg 1973)
The Exclusive Strings – Hard Rock Hallelujah (Lordi, Finland 2006)
Gracious Wild – In Love for a While (Anna Rossinelli, Switzerland 2011)
Nelson – Glorious (Cascada, Germany 2013)
Each show will feature fifteen auditions, from which eight acts will win a spot in the semi finals scheduled to take place on the 23rd of February, and the 2nd and 9th of March. There will be a second chance round of sorts in the form of a so called "call back show" on the 16th of February; eight of the eliminated artists will be allowed to audition once more time, four of which will be chosen for the semi finals by means of a combined jury and public vote.
Four acts will compete in each of the three semi finals. The two acts who receive the most votes (again a combination of jury and televotes from the public) will advance to the final on the 16th of March.
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