ESC 2008 still “of state importance”

by Richard West-Soley 60 views

Björn Verdoodt, press representative of Flemish broadcaster VRT, has reacted to the criticism and cynical reactions the broadcaster received after stating that Eurosong 2008 will be “a contest of state importance“, just like in 2006. According to Verdoodt, Belgium most definitely means business, and the term “state importance” still applies.

Since last week, Eén has been airing a trailer encouraging Flemish artists and songwriters to submit their songs for the Belgian selections for the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest. In the trailer, Eurosong host Bart Peeters used the term "a contest of state importance" to refer to the event. After the Kate Ryan disaster in 2006 when Je t'adore, a hot favourite, just failed to make the top ten of the semifinal, the statement raised the same cynicism that it did when it was used back then. "The term state importance still applies," explains Björn Verdoodt in the Flemish newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws. "No matter how the selections will be organized, it is still the selection of the Belgian representative for the biggest song contest in the world, and one of the biggest media events in Europe."

VRT mean business
Eén earlier stated that it was particularly looking out for original songs which can make the difference for Belgium at the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade. "In our trailer, we clearly state that we mean it" VRT press representative Verdoodt continues. "Originality is the main criterium this year." Songs for Eurosong 2008 should be submitted before 9th November 2007, while the selected artists will be presented in December. Meanwhile, VRT started preparing for what should hopefully once again become one of the most watched television programmes of the year in Belgium.

Richard West-Soley

Senior Editor

Richard's ESC history began way back in 1992, when he discovered the contest could fuel his passion for music and languages. Since then, it's been there at every corner for him in some way or another. He joined the team back in 2006, and quickly developed a love for writing about the contest. In his other life, he heads the development team at the learning resources company Linguascope, and writes about all aspects of language learning on the site