Hadise and Christer Björkman on expert panel for Belgian Eurosong 2016

After the Belgian-Flemish broadcaster VRT revealed the 5 hopefuls that will try to win the ticket for Stockholm, today it was made known that two of the members of the expert panel in Eurosong 2016 will be the Turkish singer Hadise and the Swedish Head of Delegation Christer Björkman.

Belgian websites report today that Hadise and Christer Björkman will be two of the members of the expert panel for the country’s selection process for Eurovision 2016, Eurosong. The two names were revealed during a website interview with the host of Eurosong 2016, Peter van de Veire.

The expert panel will not have any voting powers across to Mr van de Veire, they will only be giving their thoughts on the performances.

Belgium born Hadise represented Turkey at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Dum Tek Tek, while Christer Björkman is the Head of Delegation for Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest. Christer Björkman was also a jury member in last year’s Cypriot national selection, Eurovision Song Project.

VRT, which is responsible for next year’s Belgian selection, have already announced that Eurosong 2016 will be the formula followed to choose their representative for Sweden. These are the 5 candidates that have been internally selected to compete in Eurosong 2016:

  • Adil Aarab
  • Amaryllis Uitterlinden
  • Astrid Destuyver
  • Laura Tesoro
  • Tom Frantzis

Eurosong 2016 will take place on 17th January. It was also revealed that a boot camp already took place where the 5 participants presented their voice skills and stage presentation. There will be two televised shows before the final. On 3rd January, candidates will demonstrate their vocal capacities, their stage presentation and their personality. In the second show on the 10th January, they will present their song for Stockholm. And in the final on January 17th, they will present their songs with a full stage presentation. 10 international juries as well as the Flemish audience will decide on the final choice. The show will be hosted by Peter Van de Veire, just like he did in 2014.

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

Source: EuroVisionary, Wikipedia, songfestival.be.
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