Belgium: Laura Tesoro voted as favourite so far

After presenting themselves to the audience with a couple of covers from songs of the past, you can watch back the five  own songs intended for the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 of the artists in Belgium. Without having any meaning at all, Laura Tesoro won a televote and was voted the best of the night.

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.

Tonight we were able to see and hear their songs for the first time. The experts this week are Beverly Jo Scott, author of Loïc Nottet’s ‘Rhytmn Inside’ last year and singer Tom Helsen. They gave their feedback, but had no influence on the result towards next week. All artists performed a very small act without dancers and backings, as they want the focus to be on their songs in this show. Next week we will see the full deal.

This was the line-up in Belgium, you can read back our live report we wrote during the evening below, and watch their performances by clicking on the song titles:

Amaryllis Uitterlinden: Kick The Habit (Amaryllis Uiterlinden)
Tom Frantzis: I’m not Lost (Tom Frantzis / Yves Gaillard)
Astrid Destuyver: Everybody Aches (Niko Westelinck)
Laura Tesoro: What’s The Pressure (Sanne Putseys en Louis Favre)
Adil Aarab: In our Nature (Adil Araab / Bas Kennis / Will Knox / Joes Brands)


21:36 – So there was a short televoting round, just like last week. This will however have zero influence on the results of next week, when Belgium will finally decide who will represent their nation in Stockholm. For what it is worth, the televote was won by Laura Tesoro.

21:33 – One last interval act before we see the results of a televote, which has no influence on who is going to Stockholm. It is 2 Fabiola and Loredana on stage. They took part in the preselection two years ago and scored a big hit in Belgium with their song ‘She is after my piano‘.

21:21 – Beverly Jo Scott is clear: “This is a damn good song. But Tom has the opportunity to do a lot more with this song. He needs to work the camera better, don’t perform for the venue, but give something to the people at home. Work hard this week, because damn it, you have a good song.” Tom Helsen is also requiring more focus for the most original song of the bunch.

21:16 – Tom Frantzis wrote and composed ‘I’m not lost‘ himself, together with Yves Gaillard, and this time, he is not sitting behind the piano. He is standing on stage alone, and I would love it if he got all these drummers and musicians back on stage, as was the case last week. He is smiling a lot to the camera and is giving a nice vocal performance. Holding back, almost hoarse in the verses, and giving power in the chorus.

21:12 – The last interval clip is about how the artists recorded their songs in the studio and prepared for tonight. Tom Frantzis will be the last one to perform his Eurosong in a couple of minutes

21:09 – Tom Helsen is giving his comments: “The start of the song is very strong, but the chorus is not striking a chord. It’s like a Justin Bieber song at the LIDL, he says”. Which is a cheap super market in Belgium. BJ Scott is saying his comment is mean and gives a compliment on the song. She believes however, that Astrid is not ready for Eurovision yet.

21:05 – ‘Everybody aches’ by Astrid Destuyver is song number four, a dark song about how the normal things in life can hit you hard. The camera is slowly focussing on Astrid when the song starts. A lot of close-up shots for this intimate song, as Astrid is making eye contact a lot. The chorus is unique and mysterious, it is not a typical thirteen to the dozen Eurosong, we have heard in Belgium a lot over the years. The vocal delivery and total attitude by Astrid is not totally convincing, but can perhaps be improved in the upcoming week.

21:01 – We see some behind the scenes footage of last week, when the artists all performed a cover of a song from the past of the Eurovision Song Contest.

20:57 – The jury is saying that this was the first act that gets them enthousiastic. “Belgium would be crazy if they did not send Laura to Stockholm”,  says Tom Helsen. Beverly Jo Scott also thinks this is a very good song for the Eurovision Song Contest. “It is a song I want to hear again”,  she says.

20:52 – Belgium’s favourite girl next door, and runner-up in The Voice of Belgium Laura Tesoro is next with her song ‘What’s the pressure’. This song kicks in with a beat played by an electric guitar, sounding like ‘Another one bites the dust’. Laura is sitting on a chair but gets up to dance in the chorus and the remainder of the song. A nice funky song with trumpets and blowing horns. The performance needs to be even more extrovert next week in order to go to Stockholm, I guess.

20:45 – After a small history lesson for people that don’t know the contest that well. Before we can greet the next artist in Belgium, 1991 contestants Clouseau will sing the 1986 winner ‘J’aime la vie’

20:42 – Scott says she is very positive about the message of the song, but she wants Adil to show more than he just did. She wants him to add something to the end of the song in the next week to come. Adil gets compliments on his looks and charms on camera by Tom Helsen. He also adds that the song is growing on him, but he also wants a different ending, in stead of this flat one.

20:39 – Adil Aarab delivers his song of hope: ‘In our nature’, which he wrote himself. He is lying down on the floor in a plain white t-shirt when the song begins, a strong opening shot. He is coming up for the chorus of his song, which starts slow but later gets a real beat to it. He is interacting with the audience in the venue a lot, but sometimes forgets the interactions with the camera in between. Something he slightly improves later on.

20:37 – The mothers of all five candidates are being interviewed on stage, as we wait for the performance of Adil Aarab, who is up next.

20:32 – Singer Tom Helsen in the jury is giving the same feedback. The song is having a big build-up, but doesn’t deliver the climax (or orgasm, as he literally said). Composer Beverly Jo Scott also adds that the song is lacking a bit of punch for a competition, but she compliments the artist performing the song.

20:28 – ‘Kick the habit’ is the first song of the night. Amaryllis Uitterlinden is dressed in a casual dress and a black skirt. The song starts in the dark, with a person playing the violin as a backdrop. She is working the camera okay, making a lot of contact with viewers at home. Vocals are more than okay, but the song is lacking a real kind of climax, and the current visual presentation is not giving enough compensation,

20:25 – The show has started and the jury, which will give feedback but has no influence on the actual result next week, is being introduced. All five artists take place on the couch, next to presenter Peter. He explains that the artists will have a small act, as they want the focus to be on their songs in this show. Next week we will see the full deal. Amaryllis is first up in a couple of minutes.