The Belgian-Flemish broadcaster VRT revealed today the names of all of the members of the expert panel for their national selection Eurosong 2016. Among the judges, there are some familiar names for Eurovision fans.
A few days ago, it was made known that two of the members of the expert panel in Eurosong 2016 would be the Turkish singer Hadise and the Swedish Head of Delegation Christer Björkman. Today VRT revealed the full jury member list. This is as follows:
- Stijn Kolacny (head of the famous group Scala and Kolacny Brothers),
- Alexander Rybak (winner of Eurovision 2009),
- Tom Helsen (singer and songwritter),
- Beverly Jo Scott (American born singer and songwritter living in Brussels)
- Hadise (Turkish representative at Eurovision 2009)
- Christer Björkman (Swedish head of delegation and producer of Eurovision 2013/2016)
Eurosong 2016 will kick-off on January 3rd and it will consist of three live shows hosted by Peter Van de Veire just like two years ago. In the first show, the candidates will perform covers and get advice from Alexander Rybak and Stijn Kolacny. The competing entries will be presented during the second live show, to take place on January 10th, where Tom Helsen and Beverly Jo Scott will judge the songs and performances. The last and final show will be held on January 17th, with Hadise and Christer Björkman on the panel. However, the winner will be decided by 10 international juries as well as the Flemish audience via televoting. The Jury panel will only give their opinion without voting for the competing songs.
- Adil Aarab
- Amaryllis Uitterlinden
- Astrid Destuyver
- Laura Tesoro
- Tom Frantzis
Below you can watch the official trailer of Eurosong 2016:
Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest
Belgium has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 57 times since making its debut as one of the seven countries at the first contest in 1956. The only countries with more appearances are Germany (59), France (58) and the United Kingdom (58). Belgium has been absent only three times in total, due to low scores in the previous contests that relegated them from the contest. The country has won the contest once, in 1986, when Sandra Kim won with her song J’ aime La Vie in Bergen, Norway. Sandra is the youngest winner in the contest’s history as, despite the fact she claimed she was 15 years old when she won, she was actually only 13, something that was against the rules; EBU nevertheless allowed Kim to keep the victory when her secret was revealed. Currently, the minimum age for participation is 16 years of age and thus Sandra Kim will remain the youngest winner unless the age limit is lowered. By winning in 1986, Belgium became the last of the French-speaking countries to win the contest.
Belgium has two national broadcasters of the contest, Flemish broadcaster (VRT) and Wallonian broadcaster (RTBF). The two broadcasters alternate organizing the entry selection for the Eurovision Song Contest each year. VRT normally hosts a national final, Eurosong, when selecting their entries for Eurovision, while RTBF holds an internal selection process for its entries.
Last year, RTBF chose a The Voice Belgique participant, Loïc Nottet, who had come second in the 2014 edition of the talent show. He represented Belgium with his song Rhythm Inside in the first semi-final of the competition. He managed to qualify and came second with 149 points. In the final, Loïc finished fourth with 217 points. It was the best result for Belgium since 2003 and it was the highest amount of points ever awarded to Belgium. It was also the first time ever that an entry that finished fourth scored over 200 points.
Below you can watch Loïc Nottet performing this year’s Belgian’s entry, Rhythm Inside: