Belgium’s search for their next Eurovision Song Contest participant is well underway, as a selection committee is formed to find their singer for Lisbon.
VRT the Flemish broadcaster has confirmed to Songfestival.be that a committee formed of both VRT and external music specialists are searching for the countries next Eurovision Song Contest participant. Both known and unknown artists are in discussions with the broadcaster about representing Belgium in Lisbon, however, a specific date for when an announcement can be expected has not been confirmed.
Regarding whether VRT will opt to select the singer internally, but select their entry via a televised selection, the broadcaster confirmed it was too early to comment. However a spokesperson for a broadcaster explained that the focus for 2018 remains on finding the right singer, and then to find the right song and staging for the contest.
VRT are returning to an internal selection process for their singer for the first time since 2012. In 2016 and 2014 VRT held “Eurosong”, a televised selection process which was formed of an open call for songs and artists for the contest.
Belgium’s fortunes in the Eurovision Song Contest has improved considerably in recent years, with the country currently on a three year run of finishing within the top ten. Belgium between the mid 00s and mid 10s struggled in the contest, making it only to the final in 2010 and 2013, before qualifying annually for the final since 2015.
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Belgium was one of the original seven nations to participate in the first edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in 1956. To date the country has won the contest only once in 1986. Sandra Kim won the contest with the song “J’aime la vie”, her victory was not without controversy when it emerged that Sandra was just 13 years old, two years younger than the age restriction at the time. In the late 00s Belgium struggled in the contest failing to reach the final annually from 2005 until 2010, when Tom Dice finished 6th in the final with 143 points. Belgium has finished last at the contest six times, including two sets of nul points.