Belgium: Review of the first show of Eurosong

Flemish broadcaster VRT has started their search for the entry from Belgium for the Eurovision Song Contest 2016. Five artists were presented tonight and performed a cover of a Eurovision song for a expert-jury. The five selected artists are Adil Aarab, Astrid Destuyver, Tom Frantzis, Laura Tesoro and Amaryillis Uitterlinden. In three weeks time we get to know them, their songs and the song that will actually go to Stockholm after the national final on the 17th of January.

Every week, the candidates will get tips and advice from a jury of topexperts. In the first show tonight, conductor Stijn Kolacny and Eurovision-winner Alexander Rybak will be in this jury. In the end there was a televoting sequence which didn’t matter that much, since it has no influence on the result in two weeks from now. But for tonight: Amaryillis Uitterlinden was the most popular act.

Read back about the first impressions of the performances of tonight:

* Astrid Destuyver is going solo, which is quite special for her. She is one of the singer in the group Addicted Kru Sound. In the first show of Eurosong, Astrid went ethnic with the winner of 2003: Everyway that I can’ by Sertab Erener. Except, she changed it into an acoustic piano version.

The jury complimented Astrid on her hoarse, jazzy voice. Alexander Rybak said she has the voice of an angel, even though he doesn’t like it when an uptempo song is being downsized to a small song. Next week Astrid will do something completely different. Let’s wait and see…

* Laura Tesoro is the runner-up of The Voice of Belgium 2014 and was already on stage in the musical Annie at the age of 11. The last couple of times the Walloon side of Belgium got to pick their Eurovision participant, they went for artists with a link to The Voice.

Laura performed Hadise‘s Düm Tek Tek’ because she likes to dance and give away a performance for the audience. They changed the song to a synthesizer orchestration, taking away the sex appeal of the song a lot. Rybak liked her ‘arrogant, charming, childish look to win Eurovision. Playful, but charming.’

* Adil Araab got some fame in Belgium after he took part in Idols in 2007. Later, he formed the group Adil & A.K.A. But for Eurosong he is returning as a solo artist. Tonight he performed ‘Hold me now’, the second winning song by Irish Johnny Logan, with some slight R&B adaptions.

Adil also got positive comments on his performance, but also the addition by Kolacny that sometimes he was holding back on the vocals a bit in this redemption of ‘Hold me now’. Alexander Rybak thinks that actually more difficult to sing subdued in the way Adil did.

* Tom Frantzis is a singer-songwriter and knows how to work the piano. Quite surprising is the fact that he choose Loïc Nottet‘s song ‘Rhythm Inside’ of last year, since the original is not really a piano singer-songwriter kind of act. But he really made an awesome own version of the song, complete with a bunch of drummers on side.

“Tom has an own authentic voice and style and made this song bigger than the original”, says Stijn Kolacny. Rybak adds: “Many artists use music to show themselves. Tom is the rare kind of artist that shows himself through music.”

* Amaryllis Uitterlinden is the most experienced artist of the lucky five. She played in several musicals and tv-shows in Belgium. Euphoria’ by Loreen has been covered a lot in Eurovision shows all over Europe, and Amaryllis also gave it a try, in what she describes as a Kate Bush meets Tim Burton performance.

Alexander Rybak named this the most perfect performance of the evening. But, as that may be a compliment, he thinks that she might take the job to easy. When you reach 100%, you need to make yourself go for the 110%. Kolacny says : “Amaryllis is approaching the essence of music.”