With today’s announcement that vtm will be airing the first season of Belgium’s Got Talent (let’s just ignore 2007’s Supertalent on VT4 for now) it seems as though the dust has settled on season one of The Voice Van Vlaanderen.
Late last year tv channel vtm set out to look for the best voice in Flanders, the Dutch speaking part of Belgium. (French speaking public broadcast RTBF did the same for Wallonia with The Voice Belgique, but that’s for another post) Manning the spinning chairs were four of Flander’s biggest names in music: Clouseau frontman Koen Wauters, Arid lead singer Jasper Steverlinck, Idool’s biggest success story Natalia and Hooverphonic mastermind Alex Callier.
With this post I’ll try and do a bit of a round-up on what the musical future holds for some of this season’s best loved contestants. With few official announcement available, all information was acquired from various websites, newspapers, magazines, Facebook accounts etc. If I’ve missed out on anything/anyone, if you’ve got an update on the information posted or even if you’re with a label and want to tell us about your post-The Voice plans, don’t hesitate to comment below!
So, let’s get to it, shall we?
THE FINAL FOUR
Glenn Claes, winner: Last month I already introduced you to The Voice Van Vlaanderen winner Glenn and his debut single. Since then “Knight In Shining Armour” got into the top 3 before gently starting to slide down the charts. However, Glenn is currently doing a signing tour at Free Record Shop stores all over Flanders which will surely have a positive impact on physical sales, so don’t write the gentle guitar ballad off just yet! A rush-released album was originally planned for April, but was pushed back to September to allow for a quality collection of what will no doubt be radio friendly, Kooks-ish guitar pop. A second single for the summertime seems like a given.
Silke Mastbooms, runner-up: With her single ‘Awake‘ peaking at number 2 and, to this day, still clinging on inside the top 10, Silke is doing impressively well in the charts despite not winning. It’s no surprise she was offered a record deal as well. Silke impressed on a weekly base with her clear vocals, but the challenge for her will be to find her own musical niche. Will she be a Belgian Leona? Will she do quirky girl-pop like Carly Rae Jepsen? Will it be something completely different? I for one can’t wait to hear what Sony Music comes up with for this girl! (And, you know, if she wants to cover Jesper Nohrstedt’s “Take Our Hearts” then I’m not complaining at all…)
Iris Van Straten: Before she entered The Voice Iris was best known for playing Sabrina on the 90’s sitcom “De Familie Backeljau”. However, come 2012 the ditzy blonde had become a crazy-in-a-good-way smoky-voiced chanteuse. With Iris it wasn’t so much about every note being perfect, it was the unique sound of and character in her voice. Combined with coach Alex Callier’s impeccable song choices (Springsteen’s “The River”! Cash’s “Hurt”! Boy George’s “Somebody To Love Me”!) it was a story of success. Despite her single “Teasing” going top 10, she was deemed too much of an acquired taste at first, so an album seemed uncertain. Luckily, Alex stepped in and promised to write and produce it for her.
Bert Voordeckers: His “Come” was the least successful of the finalists’ singles, but that isn’t stopping Bert from making musical plans. He is said to release a studio version of his audition song, “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon”, and has announced a theater tour with sports commentator Michel Wuyts. First though, he is recovering from getting a gastric band put in, in a bid to lose 70 kilograms.
THE 24 FINALISTS
Axelle Aerts: Going into it, Axelle Aerts seemed to have it all going for her. I even said as much in a post on this blog. She had talent show experience from when she did Junior Eurovision, she was the opening act on coach Natalia’s SingStar Glamorous Tour, she’d shown some major pop promise with her first proper single as Axeela and her The Voice audition was impressive to say the least… And yet, she had to leave the show in the first week. After forgetting to put in her in-ear monitors during her rendition of Jessie J’s “Domino”, the public chose not to send her straight through to next week. And when it came to it, Natalia decided to save Yass Smaali over Axelle, because she felt the latter still had a life of other opportunities ahead of her. And it does seem that Axelle’s talent didn’t go unnoticed… Not only will she part of the upcoming The Voice tour, she has been tweeting about being in the studio! It is however unclear if a future single will be released through Sony Music or her old label SonicAngel.
Charlotte Buyl: Charlotte is another contestant who didn’t make it out of the first live show. Since leaving the show she’s hinted at a possible new single for her dance project Pearl. You may remember their excellent singles “Like A Video Game” and “Speechless“. Nothing’s been confirmed yet, but with Charlotte more famous than ever, why wouldn’t N.E.W.S Records revive the Peter Luts produced project?
Stéphanie Onclin: Stéphanie may have stranded in the semi-final, but her rocking performance of Skunk Anansie’s “Weak” seems to have struck a chord with the Flemish public. Stéphanie will be part of “The Voice On Tour” and is said to have a single coming up. Here’s to hoping we finally have a new Laura Ramaekers!
Zusjes Vinken: The Vinken sisters’ rendition of “Hallelujah” managed to enchant the nation and even got The Voice to bend its rules and allow a musical trio. Surprisingly, Elisabeth, Gabriëla and Alexandra only lasted two live shows despite their “Bang Bang” being one of The Voice’s first chart hits. No announcements have been made, but considering the pre-live show hype and support from the likes of radio station MNM, it would surprise me if no one signed them eventually. Oh, and can I put in a request for them to do an Appleton and simply go by Vinken from now?
THOSE THAT STRANDED IN THE BATTLES
Claudia Decaluwé: I was so happy to hear Claudia auditioned for The Voice. When I was a kid her 90’s girl duo Sha-Na was perhaps the first act I was ever a fan of. After leaving the group Claudia went on to Eurovision fame, forming the band Spark with her then husband. They came second with the catchy “Someday” in 2002’s national final. Later she would also join Ameerah (of “The Sound Of Missing You” fame) in the Twinsband. Since not making it out of the Battles in The Voice, Claudia has restarted Spark, posting a cover of “Boys Of Summer” as a first taster.
Eva Jacobs: With an impressive rendition of “If I Ain’t Got You” Eva seemed a certainty for the live shows. Surprisingly, coach Koen opted to send through Pistice Yoka Mpela instead. But not to worry, Eva had her album recorded even before she auditioned. A single will be released just three weeks from now, with a Wouter Van Belle produced album to follow. If you’re curious as to what it’ll sound like, check out her 2011 single “Shine” (written by Das Pop’s Bent Van Looy!) and a sample of “Stay With Me” on her official website.
Lien Vervoort: Lien was no stranger to talent shows when she signed up for The Voice. She’d already taken part in Can You Duet and Let’s Go Lasgo, which had resulted in providing vocals on the Peter Luts hits “The Rain” and “Hands Up“. For her first release after The Voice Lien has teamed up with Peter’s former Lasgo colleague Dave McCullen. Lien is the voice on dance anthem “Calling Your Name” which hit iTunes at the end of last month.
Zippora De Brauwer: Being responsible for the epic “Lotus Eater“, Zippora will always be an early 00’s dance legend no matter what. Since stranding in the Battles of The Voice Van Vlaanderen she’s gone right back to her dance roots and we wouldn’t want to have it any other way! She released “Never Again” with producers Nils van Zandt and Sergio Silvano and considering she’s put out a couple of singles with BIP Records in recent years, I’m confident that there’s more to come.
Update 4.5.2012: Sony Music has announced that Glenn, Silke, Bert, Axelle and Stéphanie will all be releasing a single before the summer.
See also: Charley says TV! Looking For Pearl
See also: Charley says INTERVIEW! Peter Luts
See also: Charley says VIDEO! Pearl – Like A Video Game
See also: Charley says TV! Axelle on The Voice Van Vlaanderen
See also: Charley says ARTIST! David Vervoort (Formerly Of Lasgo)
See also: Charley says VIDEO! Peter Luts ft. Lien Vervoort – The Rain
See also: Charley says SONG! Peter Luts ft. Lynn Larouge – Hands Up
See also: Charley says ARTIST! Glenn Claes (Winner Of The Voice Van Vlaanderen)