Stockholm 2016

Xtra Review: Belgium’s Eurosong

It’s the second show of Eurosong we saw tonight. For yet another week, Belgium eliminated no one and used this show to introduce us to the songs fighting to represent Belgium in Stockholm.

Amaryllis, Adil, Laura, Astrid and Tom performed their entries for the first time on television. The general feeling on social media seemed to be that Belgium wasn’t offering us a trip to Brussels in 2017… But what did we see from these five?

Amaryllis brought a retro midtempo pop song. Kick The Habit tends to get a little repetitive, but it just about saves itself by being terribly catchy. There’s just not enough happening on stage or with Amaryllis, so there’s work to do and she only has a week to do that.
The same however goes for Adil. His song In Our Nature comes across as a decent entry with enough potential, but after the promises that we’d see some of his vocal qualities, you’d be left disappointed with this entry and with Adil himself.
Next up was the jury highlight of the show, Laura Tesoro and her What’s The Pressure. I wasn’t a fan and it’s rather similar to Fleur East and her Sax, just without a performer rocking the stage. The jury – who had no influence whatsoever – were however ecstatic for this.
After a break, we continued with Astrid and Everybody Aches. It’s a combination of electronic music and a classic jazzy ballad, which is rather odd if you hear the voice changing software kicking in. Astrid doesn’t need it (similar effect to what Olsen Brothers had in 2000) and it just harms her chances.
The show was closed by the personal favourite of mine and many others: Tom Frantzis, who delivered I’m Not Lost as if he had tons of experience, despite this being his second only television appearance. The song itself is, like last week’s performance, reminiscent of Hozier and that can only be a good thing.

A special note of attention goes to tonight’s ‘jury’, Tom Helsen and Beverly Jo Scott. They managed to get all the attention tonight and that attention was far from positive. Three of the acts were completely trashed by the jury, Amaryllis, Adil and Astrid. These three received comments such as ‘not ready for Eurovision’, ‘as if the song is far from finished’ and Tom Helsen’s favourite tonight: ‘Nothing happened in my pants.’ It must’ve been a while for old Tom as he repeated that same sentence a couple of times.
These two came across as rather bitter and the only two receiving some sort of praise were Tom Frantzis and Laura Tesoro. Tom, however, still managed to get told off by Scott, as she thought he had a great song and a great voice, but a rather rubbish performance. I respectfully disagree with her.
The clear jury favourite however was Laura Tesoro, who received praise galore for her entry and performance. The praise reminded me of Ruslana’s hymn to Axel Hirsoux two years ago – remember that? Let’s hope next week’s jury has more of a clue on what they’d have to say.

There was another fake televote tonight where nothing was actually decided. That too was won by Laura Tesoro. The final will take place next week, where one of these five will be selected as the Belgian entry for Stockholm.

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Nick van Lith

I'm one of the founding members of ESCXTRA.com. Eleven years after the start, I'm proud to say that I am now the Editor-in-Chief of this wonderful website. When I'm not doing Eurovision stuff, you should be able to find me teaching German to kids... And cheering on everything and everyone Greek, pretty much. Pame Ellada!

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