Sunday, January 17, 2016
Eurosong 2016: Belgium decides
And it was always extra hard for Belgium, where Flanders and Wallonia took turns to represent the country. A practise that made any kind of continuity in the selection process more or less impossible.
If RTBF for instance felt they had found a winning formula, they never had a second year to continue working on it as it was the turn of Flanders instead.
When listening through the songs that will fight it out in the Flemish final tonight on Één, I get a feeling the Flemish are trying to reproduce the same thing that RTBF got right with Roberto Bellarosa and - above all - Loïc Nottet: unleash new talent that will feel inspired and fresh in an international competition.
Unfortunately none of the five contenders remind me of Loïc at all. Instead they make me think of poor Iris who was sent off to Baku to crash and burn in the semi final there. I doubt any of tonight's hopefuls will do a whole lot better. But at least I had a listen and this is my ranking.
5. Astrid / Everybody Aches
A heartbreakingly bland song given a far too complicated arrangement. Possibly on purpose, to confuse the viewers into thinking this is modern and/or artistic. Highly forgettable.
4. Laura / What's The Pressure
An attempt at funk that is totally void of any personality what-so-ever. Would have needed a real powerhouse performance to save it but poor Laura doesn't have a lot to offer.
3. Tom / I'm Not Lost
For three minutes, Tom keeps insisting he's not lost but I'm not sure the vocal coaches of Europe would agree. The song is OK but I can't focus on it as I keep feeling too scared for Tom Boy to totally lose his key.
2. Amaryllis / Kick The Habit
Somewhere in Belgium, Lena Philipsson made an impression on a local choreographer. Twelve years later he would tell poor Amaryllis to dance with her microphone stand without really being able to repeat the same effect. The song has its moments, but never really takes off. Every time it almost goes somewhere it soon falls apart again.
1. Adil / In Our Nature
Adil has been studying Loïc's performance closely. A bit too closely, perhaps. Lying on the floor at the start and the end feels a bit contrived and silly, but in between that he turns out to be the best performer of this lot. The song is no masterpiece but saved by a warmth that is lacking in the other entries.
A really poor lineup. These performers are not ready for an occasion as big as Eurovision and have all been given pretty sub-standard songs to work with. No idea what the Één tried to achieve but I think we can safely say they didn't quite pull it off. Belgium is most likely to stay in its semi this year.
Why can't Belgium just get their act together and organise a pan-Belgian national selection instead? Find six good songs from the north, six good songs from the south, and have one big final for the whole country? How hard could it be?
Eurosong starts on Één at 20:25 CET.