Since the re-introduction of the juries within the Eurovision Song Contest, music professionals have become an integral part of the final result and this has been noted in the commercial success of the winning entries in recent years. escflashmalta.com has engaged a panel of professionals to analyse this years' entries. All of the information is obtained from the official website of the international spectacle and indeed, pertaining to the running order as decided by the producers, Belgium will be performing in slot number fifteen (15) from the sixteen (16) entries which will be competing during the first semi-final. RTBF, the broadcaster resposible for the participation of Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest will be represented by the song Love Kills co-written between Iain James and Jukka Immonen with vocals provided by Roberto Bellarosa.
Roberto Bellarosa is originally from Wanze, Walloon part of Belgium and his childhood was ruled by the number of football goals scored by the men in his family. At age 9, realising that Roberto would never become a sporting hero, his parents enrolled him at the Music Academy of Huy to study the rudiments of music theory. During singing lessons, his teacher was impressed with his voice and encouraged him to pursue his training at a higher level. Roberto followed this advice and took on singing lessons. After acquiring more technique, he enrolled himself in a few singing talent contests, and decided to participate at The Voice Belgique. Backstage, he used to claim that his singing is mainly aimed to convey emotions to the audience. His young age, his soft and fragile tone of voice, seduced an increasing audience who largely voted for him during the rounds. As the first winner of the Belgian edition of The Voice, Roberto benefited from a large exposure in the media. He then pursued his musical adventure and artistic career by touring with the Tour des Restos du Coeur Belge (including Patrick Fiori, Amel Bent, etc.) and by participating to The Voice tour.
This was followed by the release of his first single Je Crois and his first album in September 2012, Ma Voie was written by Quentin Mosimann, an international artist and his former coach in The Voice. Initially announced as an album of classic French popular music, Ma Voie evolves along its tracks. It unfolds a subtle balance between pop and modern, reflecting this young 18 year old thoughts and questions about the mystery of mankind, love, and the world surrounding him. And dreams can really come true as it happened for Roberto when he was selected to represent Belgium at the Eurovision Song Contest. After submitting three songs during a radio contest, Love Kills was selected as the Belgian entry for that annual international prestigious event. Roberto's musical inspiration came from new influences he met during his recent encounters and experiences, like for example his participation in the TV programme We Love Celine dedicated to Celine Dion, one of the most beautiful voices in Eurovision's history and for whom he performed the song Ce n’était qu’un Rêve.
We are now in presence of a young man who has gained in confidence and who knows what he wants and firmly believes in his dream of becoming a recognised artist through his work and for his talent. The Eurovision Song Contest is offering him the opportunity to explore new horizons and opening him to a wide range of new experiences. It is in that context that he boarded on a plane for the very first time to travel to Helsinki for the final recording of Love Kills, and will be again traveling to Sweden to go to Malmo in May. Roberto also felt the greatest pleasure and pride when performing I Dreamed a Dream during the opening night of the movie Les Misérables in Brussels. He was able to convey to the press and the public present at this special occasion, his emotions and excitement of being able to realise his own dream and wishing everybody to pursue their own. This internal selection was quite important for Belgium who have been known to succeed in this manner. They will be hoping to reverse last years' disappointing result and return back to the final. The draw seems to be of great help but the live performance will definitely be make or break.
1986 is the year which Belgium will always remember having managed to finish at the top of the leaderboard with the song J'Aime La Vie performed by Sandra Kim. It is important to denote that the young performer had actually been thirteen (13) at the time and supposedly ineligible to perform but this came out several years later. Despite attempts by the first runner-up to change the result, it proved futile because at the end of the day, it was quite a clear choice. The fifty-fifth (55th) entry from Belgium will of course be Love Kills by Roberto Bellarosa and he will be trying to emulate the result achieved in 2010 when Tom Dice took to the stage with the track Me and My Guitar, winning the semi-final and finishing in sixth place. Since the introduction of the semi-final, that is the only time that the country got through to the final, being extremely close the following year in 2011 with the song With Love Baby performed by Witloof Bay finishing in eleventh place. The real surprise for Belgium was definitely when Kate Ryan failed to qualify with the song Je T'Adore despite being tipped for huge success across the continent.
Professional Critics Voice their Opinion
Magnus Kaxe: Modern Coldplay-ish song with electro-vibes. Simple with beautiful melody and lyrics. My only concern is Roberto's voice that sounds autotuned. I hope he can perform the song well on stage.
Lina Eriksson: I like this. Feels more modern than some of the other songs. To me, this is a good radio-song. The question is if it's enough hearing it one time for the voters to take it to their hearts? Either way I think we'll hear it on the radio this summer.
Matt Mercieca (Muxu): I like this one. The diction needs work, but I love the way the song builds up, and it has that current sound, the kind of stuff you hear on the radios, not very fond of the lyrics.
Belgium are known to be quite an intriguing force in the Eurovision Song Contest because of the alternating broadcasters every year and therefore making their participation a platform for particular segments of the nation. In most recent years, the most successful has surely been VRT noting that their selection of Tom Dice with the track Me and My Guitar saw them reach the final for the very first time since 2004 and ultimately finish in an extremely respectable sixth place. Nevertheless, since the millennium, it is important to note that it was RTBF, which represents the French speaking part of the nation which achieved the best result finishing in second place with Sanomi performed by Urban Trad. They have decided to call forth for another internal artist selection and they chosen Roberto Bellarosa who is known to the audience for having won the reality show known as The Voice Belgique.
This Sunday afternoon, the broadcaster in coordination with Sony Music Belgium will be hosting a song selection following an extremely careful attempt at picking out the best possible entries from those submitted. In fact, two of the songs will be in English whilst the other is in French. Many people have somewhat criticized the broadcaster for showcasing the national selection only through radio rather than television but it seems that there is one aim and that is to incorporate a younger audience hence the use of Radio Vivacite. The tracks which were revealed by the broadcaster earlier this week are entitled; Be Heroes, Reste Toi, and Love Kills.
There is already a growing buzz with regards to the last entry mentioned due to the fact that it is co-written by Andreas Anastasiou who wrote the Cypriot entry in 2011, Jukka Immonen who mentored all of the participants in the Finnish final earlier this year and Iain James who co-wrote the winning entry of the 2011 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest; Running Scared. Details about the other entries are yet to be released but Reste Toi is a track on his debut album and you can listen to that just below. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news and follow the Belgian final live report on Sunday at 10:30 CET.
Source: RTBF, Metro Greece
RTBF is the French regional broadcaster in Belgium and they have been given the task to select the representative and entry for the 2013 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest due to an agreement signed in the past that the two regional broadcasters would alternate. Last year, VRT decided to send a seventeen year old newcomer to the competition known as Iris but despite being signed to the same company which found Tom Dice, the result was definitely no where close because Would You? failed to get out of the semi-final or really make an impact there. Nevertheless, this time round, RTBF seems to be putting in the effort by getting someone who already is building a solid reputation. Roberto Bellarosa was the winner of the first edition of The Voice Belgique and his national selection will comprise of three songs as revealed in a special press conference held yesterday.
escflashmalta.com was one of the first to report that Roberto had been chosen prior to the official confirmation of the broadcaster and the strong indications did prove positive. In an interesting choice of format, it has been decided that the national selection which will comprise of three songs in total will take place through a popular radio show on the leading network VivaCité. The choice of entry will be made by virtue of both a jury and a public vote in order to best represent the interests of the music industry. Roberto Bellarosa is already signed to Sony Music Belgium and will thus have a solid record label backing his participation. Should the effort prove successful, this could be a format that the nation would keep up in the years to come. The final is set to take place on the 16th December and escflashmalta.com plans to cover all of the proceedings on the day so stay tuned for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.
Source: RTBF, Eurosong.be
The Eurovision Song Contest has been known to be a competition which features up and coming talent in most cases with the reality being that most of the artists becoming well known in their respective countries. Having been living in France for a number of years, Natasha St-Pier decided to try out the competition back in 2001 with the track Je n'ai que mon âme finishing in a highly respectable fourth place, achieving the best result since 1995 when Nathalie Santamaria has reached the same placing with the song Il Me Donne Rendez-Vous. Since then, the Canadian born artist has managed to keep quite a high profile in France noting that she has released seven albums, including one earlier this year entitled Bonne Nouvelle which peaked at number #11 in France and Belgium and therefore, it comes to no surprise that she has been chosen as a coach on the upcoming edition of The Voice Belgique on La Une.
In recent months, Natasha St-Pier has gone on record stating that she is indeed quite happy at this moment in life and the album reflects that emotion in the best possible way. Chosen to be one of the coaches on The Voice is quite an intriguing element especially when knowing that there are quite a number of artists from the Eurovision Song Contest all over the continent who have been chosen to appear on the respective show whose creator John De Mol was also spearheading the Dutch selection earlier this year. The broadcaster who takes care of The Voice Belgique is actually La Une, owned by leading French broadcaster, RTBF who will be in charge of selecting the entry and the song to represent Belgium in the 2013 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Malmo, Sweden. It is quite interesting on whether the choice of Natasha St-Pier might reflect on the fact that the show might be used to pick the next representative. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.