RTBF, broadcaster of the French speaking community in Belgium, will promote the Belgian French speaking culture in Kiev. Esctoday.com talked to Ms Leslie Cable, who is in charge of RTBF's selections, to find out the Belgian plans for the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest.
Contest for professional and semi-professional artists
RTBF has consciously chosen not to promote the Eurovision Song Contest selections with campaigns on radio and television in order not to attract people trying to become a singer. RTBF is appealing to the established professionals and semi-professional artists in the French speaking community of Belgium by informing their record companies and announcing the selections in the magazine for members of SABAM, the Belgian Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers, that will be published on 17th December. Established French speaking singers will not be favoured by a personal invitation. RTBF hopes that the record companies will see for this task by asking their stars whether they are interested in a Eurovision Song Contest participation.
Belgian French speaking culture to be promoted
Since the first Eurovision Song Contest in 1956, RTBF and Flemish broadcaster VRT have always been taking turns to select the Belgian song for the Eurovision Song Contest. RTBF insists on sending a French speaking artist to Kiev with a song mainly or completely in French since representing the French speaking people in Belgium and culture is one of RTBF's tasks.
Flemish artists will not be encouraged to take part in this year's selections. They had their chance in 2004 when VRT was responsible for the Belgian Eurovision Song Contest entry and they will have a new chance in 2006. The news about the Estonian group Vanilla Ninja representing Switzerland also reached Leslie Cable and is not her aim. An international artist to represent Belgium is not the question for this year anyway.
A song in French
The songs to be submitted to the national selections should be mainly or completely in French. French lyrics combined with some phrases in English, an extremely popular and successful combination these days in both Wallonia and Flanders, would be perfectly possible. Other options, such as an imaginary language which brought success to Urban Trad in 2003, can be taken into consideration when they reflect the French speaking culture. Nevertheless, showing up with an imaginary language once again at the same contest where you can only represent your culture once in two years wouldn't be the most creative solution.
Songs can be submitted until Monday 3rd January 2005. In the second half of January RTBF will decide how the selections for the Belgian Eurovision Song Contest entry will continue.