To allow candidates to have some constructive feedback, Peter Van de Veire invites on each episode two experts, one local and one from abroad: Stijn Kolacny, Alexander Rybak, Tom Helsen, Beverly Jo Scott, Hadise and Christer Björkman (see slide at the bottom). These experts will merely give advice to the performers and won't have voting power, as it is entirely left to the TV viewers and the ten international juries to vote in the final on Sunday the 17th of January, and to decide which of the five artists will represent the Belgian colours in Stockholm.
For the next three Sundays VRT will air Eurosong 2016 at 20:30 CET:
In 2009 he pulverized the record of the highest score ever in the Eurovision Song Contest: 387 points. The whole of Europe fell for the irresistible attraction of a boy with a violin, from Norway, and his exciting song Fairytale. Since then he has also remained popular in Belgium and last summer he performed on the Antwerp pride. Alexander Rybak is the perfect expert for the five candidates to lead their way to the final of the biggest music contest in the world!
For twenty years he's captivated listeners around the world with the golden voices of Scala. A unique project: an indie-rock choir that transforms classic rock songs into true hymns. Even Hollywood was hooked: a movie like The Social Network would not be the same without Scala's catchy cover of Radiohead's Creep.
A man who has discovered dozens of powerful young voices and made dozens of catchy covers of world hits. Who is better suited than Stijn Kolacny to provide feedback on the vocal performances and the Eurovision song covers of our candidates?
The second episode of Eurosong will be all about the song with which the candidates want to go Stockholm, and Tom Helsen is one of the most respected singer-songwriters of Belgium. Thanks to the soundtrack of a Portuguese television series, his song Goodbye became an international hit. It earned him a record deal with guaranteed releases in Asia, Europe and South America.
After what it looked like his break-up with the music business due to the constant attention and comments, he came back majestically in 2015 with the album Unbreakable.
BJ, as she likes to be called, grew up in Alabama but lived for more than 25 years in Brussels. As a singer-songwriter, she released six albums, and in addition, she co-wrote songs with Triggerfinger, Black Box Revelation and Stan Van Samang.
But above all she was the woman behind the success of Loïc Nottet, who finished fourth in last year's Eurovision Song Contest. BJ Scott discovered Loïc during The Voice Belgique and became his coach. She co-wrote Rhythm Inside and accompanied Loïc in Vienna.
The final of Idol 2003 is what launched the career of Hadise from Mol and her debut album Sweat produced five hit singles. In 2009 she finished fourth at the Eurovision Song Contest: the best result that the Flemish broadcaster of Belgium would have ever achieved, if Hadise had represented them and not Turkey.
It proved a wise choice, because in her new homeland Hadise Açıkgöz has become the highest paid pop star. With 2.45 million followers she is also the most popular Belgian on Twitter after Eden Hazard. She has also become a real contest expert, having presented X Factor in Belgium and being a judge on The Voice Turkey for the past five years.
One of the men who can make a definite claim to the title Mister Eurovision is than the man behind the recent Swedish successes. For the past 15 years Christer Björkman has been the organizer of the Swedish preselection Melodifestivalen and one of the main responsibles for discovering the notable victors Loreen (2012) and Måns Zelmerlöw (2015).
It began anything but promising for him in 1992, however, when he finished second-last in the Eurovision Song Contest, precisely in his native Sweden. But he rallied behind the scenes and as show producer he made the preselections for Eurovision into the leading television event of the year in Sweden. He was also responsible for the shows at the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 and will do so in Stockholm this year.