Belgium: Eurokids 2005 with mixed semifinals

by roel 106 views earlier informed you that for the first time in history of the (Junior) Eurovision Song Contest, a Belgian national final will be organised. Flemish broadcaster VRT and RTBF, broadcaster of the French community in Belgium, will cooperate in order to select the one who'll represent Belgium at home at the 2005 Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Hasselt. Today we can give you more details about Eurokids 2005.

Two mixed semifinals
VRT and RTBF will organise two semifinals and a final in September. Each semifinal will feature three French speaking and three Dutch speaking participants. This however doesn't mean that each semifinal will contain three songs in French and three songs in Dutch!

All Belgian kids aged 8 to 15 can subscribe to participate, either at VRT or at RTBF. Those who want to be guided and coached in Dutch subscribe at VRT, those preferring French subscribe at RTBF. The preference of broadcaster however has no consequences on the language in which the kids should sing. As Ludo Porrez, producer of Eurokids 2005 at VRT, informed “it is perfectly possible that their song is in another national language or in a mix of these languages. Our biggest aim is to prevent Eurokids 2005 from becoming a contest between Flemings and Walloons.

Dutch, French or German
Although the official website does not mention it, the songs submitted to Eurokids 2005 can be written in Belgium's three official languages: Dutch, French ánd German. “All Belgians can subscribe, also with a song in German,” explains Ludo Porrez. If German speaking kids subscribe, they will however be guided in Dutch or in French since the knowledge of the German language at the Eurokids board is not sufficient. The deadline for submitting songs is 1st February 2005.

'Fair voting system'
The most difficult part of an all Belgian contest is the televoting system. In a country where 60% of the inhabitants are Flemish/Dutch speaking, the Flemish votes would be too decisive. Therefore, VRT and RTBF will create a voting system in which the value of the votes cast by RTBF viewers is as high as the value of the Flemish votes cast by VRT viewers. “The numerical majority of the Flemings will not be able to make the difference in the final results,” adds Porrez.

As Leslie Cable, producer of Eurokids 2005 at RTBF earlier informed us, a voting system with percentages will most probably be used. Both VRT and RTBF would then convert the televotes for all songs into percentages. The sum of the lists with percentages from both language communities would then result in the global Belgian vote.

Eurokids 2005, two semifinals and a final, will be held in September 2005. On 26th November 2005, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest takes place in Hasselt, Belgium.

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