Brussels, 2 January 2023

The new year has begun and Belgium’s resolution appears to be: “leave nothing to chance”. VRT have announced their plans of including a professional jury during their national final, Eurosong.

The Flemish national broadcaster have been keeping their cards close to their chest, only offering new information piecemeal. The inclusion of a professional jury (previously rumoured to have been absent entirely) is a major new piece of the puzzle.

Who is on the Belgian jury? 

The professional jury will have fifteen members total. They consist of a healthy blend of radio people, musicians, fans, journalists and past Eurovision alumni.

LtR, clockwise: Thibault Christiaensen (StuBru/ Equal Idiots), Jasper Van Besien (Songfestival.be), André Vermeulen (VRT) en Leslie Cable (RTBF) are all on the professional jury that will help decide the Belgian entry for Liverpool.

Music Industry Professionals: 

  • Thibault Christriaensen (DJ on StuBru, lead singer of the gzrage rock band Equal Idiots.)
  • Korneel De Clercq (DJ on Radio 1, VRT’s main radio channel)
  • Els Germonpré (Music Coördinator for Één, VRT’s main TV channel)
  • Laura Govaerts (DJ on MNM, VRT’s popular music channel)
  • Manu Lemmens (Manager of Music for MNM radio)
  • Ann Reymen (DJ on Radio 2, VRT’s channel for Pop classics)
  • Fransisco Schuster (Singer, known for #LikeMe and for voicing Lyle the Crocodile in the Flemish dub of Lyle, Lyle Crocodile)

Eurovision-related professionals and semi-professionals

  • Leslie Cable (Head of Delegation for RTBF, the francophone broadcaster)
  • Stéphan Monsieur (Chairperson of OGAE Belgium)
  • Jasper Van Biesen (Eurovision Author, member of Belgian fan website Songfestival.be)
  • André Vermeulen (Retired journalist and ESC Correspondent, former commentator of the contest)

Past Eurovison Alumni:

  • Laura Tesoro (former 2016 participant, winner of the last Eurosong)
  • Jérémie Makiese (2022 participant, nominee for Flemish Summer Hit 2022)
  • Alexander Rybak (2009 and 2018 participant for Norway, former winner of the contest)
  • Nikkie de Jager (media personality and co-hostess of the 2021 contest, also known as NikkieTutorials)

These last four (Laura, Jérémie, Rybak and Nikkie) will also make up the live judging panel during the finale, providing feedback to the participating acts. I think I speak for all of us when I say we are very excited to witness what wisdoms Nikkie has on offer as a member of the jury.

Laura Tesoro, Jérémie Makiese, Alexander Rybak and NikkieTutorials make up the live judging panel.

Eurosong 2023 – What we know

VRT and songfestival.be confirmed that the professional jury will help determine the winner, alongside the public televote. The actual rates between televote and jury vote has not been specified yet, but the safe assumption is a 50/50 split.

Earlier this month, VRT confirmed that the participants have performed both of their songs in private during a bootcamp in the city of Tournai, and chose their entry afterwards. This preliminary stage (bootcamp + the results thereof) shall be broadcast on Friday the 13th of January, one day before the live finale.

A full release of the songs before the 13th of January appears unlikely at the moment.

The final of Eurosong will take place on Saturday the 14th of January at the Palace 12 Arena in Brussels. 2019 winner Duncan Laurence is set to make a guest appearance (as a performer) with his winning song, “Arcade”.

Eurosong 2023 is Belgium’s first national final since 2016, when the country elected Laura Tesoro as their representative. She placed 10th at the ESC, held in Stockholm, one of VRT’s best results at the contest.

You can relisten to the snippets of the 14 potential entries HERE

Are #YOU excited for Belgium’s national final? Let us know in the comments below!

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