The Belgian preselection of 1981 contains four television shows (three
selections and one final) and an extra non-stop reminder program.
There was an open competition in which all artists could take part with
one song. A professional jury from BRT & SABAM made the first
selection and sent 36 of the 134 songs to the three preselections.
After the three selections there was a special program on television with
one minute of each song. Then the TV-audience was invited to fill
out special lottery-formularies, in order to indicate the ten
finalists. That's why all songs got a number from 1 to 36. In
the final a professional jury indicated only the winner.
A 184.052 lottery-formularies are said to have arrived. 36 people
were winning a prize (video, TV & video, trip around the world, a
middle class car and a luxe car), if they filled out the ten correct numbers. So
in fact the audience was asked : which artists do you think most people
are going to choose, and not : what is your personal choice.
Although the day of the final was also international women's day, the
professional jury consisted of seven men (chairman Ernst Vanderijcke, Bob
Boon, Johnny Stecheda, Claude Blondeel, Jef Vandenberg, Piet Verlinden and
Gaston Nuyts). They chose "Samson
and Delilah" by Emly Starr.
After the final there were several complains about artists using vocal
backing tracks, which is forbidden by the ESC-rules. A little
detail; guest in the final was Nazaré Pereira.
- FANCY FREE - "De
wereld is een showtoneel"
(text: Hugo Van Diepenbeeck - music: Roger Op 't Eynde & Hugo van
|Six boys who are all coming from
Antwerp. From time to time they are singing on dance nights.
- DE OPERA - "De opera"
(text & music: Greta Mestdagh)
|De Opera contains two boys and one girl
all coming from Bruges. They are 20-years old but know each
other already during the early school years. Hans (the man
without a beard) is a soccer player at the B-team of Club Bruges.
- GENE SUMMER - "Zing
(text & music: Heinz Müller)
as Eugeen Nauwelaers in Duffel on July 17th 1951.
When he was 12 he went to the conservatory of Mechelen. At the same time he sang with ‘Con Amore’, a choir from
Mechelen. He became a
drummer at a local pop orchestra at the age of 14.
Conductor André Coucke has discovered Gene during his
performance at ‘Ontdek de ster’ in 1975.
Some times later he record his first single.
In 1976 Gene was a member of the Belgian team that took part at
the festival of Villach in Austria and tried his change at the Golden
In the next years he toured in several countries as member of
the professional bigband ‘The skyliners’.
- STELLA -
"Veel te veel"
(text: Jo De Clercq - music: Luc Smets)
Maesen was born in Zandvoort, Holland in a music loving family and is
the fifth of 11 children. Her parents come from Indonesia and
their roots stem from a strong musical culture. Before her
marriage her mother was a classic BALI ballet-dancer and her father
had his own orchestra. In 1969, when she was only fifteen,
Stella and two of her sisters created a group called, "Hearst of
soul" which was immediately a huge success in Holland. This
group was chosen to be Holland's representative at the Eurovision
Songcontest. They also toured all over Europe and the United
States. Soon afterwards Stella decided to live in Belgium, where
she was working and recording a great deal. In 1976, she formed
a new group called "Dream Express" which was also selected
as Belgium's representative at the Eurovision Songcontest 1977.
In 1978, "Dream Express" was the winning entry in the 'Sopot
Music Festival' in Poland. Besides this prize, the
"Press" and "Public" also awarded Stella and her
group "The most popular and exciting " attraction at Sopot.
She immediately afterwards toured the East-European countries for
performances and television shows. In 1981, Stella made her big
move into a solo career. In 1982 she emerged once more out of 400
candidates and was selected again to represent Belgium at the
Eurovision Songcontest. This would be her fourth appearance at
the Eurovision Songcontest. The first time was it as a
backing-vocalist in 1969. Later in '70 she sang for the Netherlands
together with her sisters (Heart of Soul).
- ANN MICHEL -
"Ik ben gelukkig"
(text & music: W. Van Couwenberghe)
as Angèle Schrevens on the 5th of November 1946 in
Kessel-Lo. Due to a
national songcontest she received a lot of attention at a very young
age. She finished her
musical studies at the Music academy in Leuven. In
1965 she became the laureate at ‘Ontdek de ster’, when she sang as
Ankie Ritzy. Seven years
later she changes her artist name to Ann Michel.
Ann turns out to be a real festival lady.
In 1972 she’s been was selected for the cup of Europe for
song-recital in Knokke. Later
in 1973 and 1974 she won the ‘Gouden Sirene’ in Middelkerke.
With her song “Waarom huilen” (“Why crying”) Ann won
‘Hit ‘73’ in Blankenberge.
In 1974 she participated at the international festival ‘Doupe
d’Europe Musicale’. A year later in 1975 she was a candidate for ‘Eurosong’.
The BRT asked her in 1979 to become the presenter for the
‘Fil Rouge’ during ‘Spel zonder Grenzen’ (‘Games without
border’) in Antwerpen. Her
participation’s at the ‘Intervision Festival of Sopot’ in 1978
and at the ‘Golden Orpheus’ in 1979 in Bulgaria can’t be
disappeared from sight.
- JOHAN STOLLZ -
(text: Jorisa, Henk & André Jean - music: Jorisa & André Jean)
as Johan Stolle on January 2nd 1936 in Eeklo.
While Johan studied at the conservatory, he gained some
experience as a singer of a band.
He became a professional artist in 1961.
He became famous in Flanders due to his participation at
had a big hit in 1968 with “Concerto voor Natasha” (“Concerto
for Natasha”). As
singer-piano player-composer he has been traversed Africa, America,
and Europe. Everywhere
this entertainer appears, the public was very enthusiast about his
songs. In order to not
losing every contact with the Flemish public he performed in Belgium
during the weekends.
- EMLY STARR -
"Samson en Delilah"
(text: Penny Els & Kick Dandy - music: Kick Dandy)
as Marie-Christine Mareels on September 5th 1957 in Laarne.
After her participation at several songcontests she started to
perform with a orchestra. On
a very young age she was called Heidi, once she was older her name
became Emly Star. While
she was working at her music career, she was also a very much-asked
model. Her second
single “Back to the Beatles” brought her in the spotlight.
In de next years Emly got some hits in several countries near
Belgium as the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany and Japan.
She shared her success with her band ‘Music Explosion’.
At the end of 1980 Emly Starr took part at the festival of
Tokyo and the third place.
- LESTER & DENWOOD -
(text & music: Charles Dumoulin & Roland Vanblaere)
Dumoulin formed the group in 1974 and had already two big hits in that
same year. After the split in 1977 Charles founded a new partner named
Roland Van Blaere. This
corporation was very short. After
a year Roland (Denwood) joined the group ‘Stacato’ and Charles
(Lester) apply himself to solo projects.
In 1979 Charles wrote the Belgian entry “Hey Nana” by Micha
Mara. He has been accused
for plagiarism but it has never been proved. In 1981 Charles and Roland did get back together.
- VENUS -
(text: Rick Vervecken & Fred Beeckmans - music: Heidi Czajkowski)
|Venus contains four girls. Three
comes from Antwerp one from Deinze.
- LILIANE SAINT-PIERRE -
(text: Theo Verhaeren - music: Sergio Popovski)
in Diest as Liliane Keuninckx on December 18th 1948.
Liliane was 13 years old when she started participating at
festivals. In 1964 she
won de big variety price of Radio Luxembourg.
As reward she may record a single.
Milo De Coster, who was de manager of Johnn Larry, took care of
her. One year later
Liliane has been noticed during the Knokke-cup festival.
That gave her a record contract in Germany.
On top of that lot’s she got a lot of television performance
with The Bee Gees, Roy Orbison, Jimmy Hendrickx, Cigliola Cinquetti,
Roy Black, Rita Pavone and other very famous European artists.
Liliane even brought a solo performance at the well-known
‘Star Club’ in Hamburg, where The Beatles started their career. In 1968 she took part at ‘Canzonissima’ where she gained
the first price. The
popular and already deceased Claude François helps her with her
career in France. This
corporation ended after two year but gave her the opportunity to
perform at the ‘Olympia’. Controversy between her personal manager and Claude François
made her to come back to Belgium.
With lots of enthusiasm she started in 1970 with the project
‘Gloria Halleluja 2000’, a big spectacle that has been visiting,
till the end of 1973, churches in Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany,
Luxembourg and the North of France.
In the meantime she married the son of her manager en made in
1974 a comeback. Not a
very long time later she breaks with her manager Milo De Coster.
After a very silence period Liliane took her change at
‘Eurosong’ in 1981.