This year, Flemish broadcaster VRT tried a new formula for its immensely popular national selection Eurosong. Had the participants formerly been chosen from a mix of different juries and televote, it is only the Belgian TV audience this year who has the sole right to choose its entry for Belgrade. However, a jury featuring the song contest winner of 1997, Katrina Leskanich, was still in place but without the right to change the results of the televoting. The jury's main task was to add wildcards to the televote winners and to give their opinion about the twenty songs.
New formula - more success?
The Flemish entries in the 2004 and 2006 Eurovision Song Contests, Xandee and Kate Ryan, didn't score as well as VRT had hoped, but being sing-along dance songs, they became huge commercial hits in Belgium and even in other European countries. This year, the Flemish TV viewers went for a different strategy as the five songs selected for the final are less mainstream and with more edge - it remains to be seen if this is the key for a good placing in the 2008 contest!
Brahim, a former Pop Idol participant, was eliminated in the Semi Finals but received the jury's wildcard for the final of Eurosong 2008. Brahim sings What I Like About You, a song he wrote together with Alan Glass. Brahim reached the Belgian Final for the second time. In 2006 he finished fourth with the song P.O.W.E.R.
A legendary Belgian rock band used the stage of Eurosong 2008 to make a comeback. The Paranoiacs have been making music for almost 25 years! The band reached the Final of Eurosong 2008 with Shout It Out, a song written by Hans and Raf Stevens, the brothers who founded the Paranoiacs.
The piano ballad When I Can't Find Love, written and performed by Nelson, won the first semi-final of Eurosong 2008. Nelson Moraïs performed in the Belgian Final before. In 2004 he accompanied his sister Elsie Moraïs on the stage of Eurosong as backing singer for the song Amore Loco.
Sandrine, Belgium's less controversial version of Amy Winehouse, got discovered in Idols four years ago. Sandrine reached the final of Eurosong 2008 with I Feel The Same Way, a song written by the same international team that wrote Goosebumps, Sadrine's biggest hit so far.
Last but not least, the band Isthar takes the stage of Eurosong 2008 with O Julissi Na Jalini. Just like Urban Trad's Sanomi, Belgium's most successful Eurovision entry of the last 25 years, O Julissi Na Jalini is sung in an imaginary language. Ishtar won the second semifinal of Eurosong 2008 and is the top favourite for the victory according to the polls.
The Belgian final will be presented by Bart Peeters and will start at 20:50 CET. You will be able to watch the webstream of the show here on Eurovision.tv's esctv, featuring LiveLog comments, so stay with us for an exciting evening!
Artist information contributed by Belgovision.com.