Today sees the 6th day of our #10Daysof Confirmations project and the next European country to announce its participation in the 63rd Eurovision Song Contest is Belgium!
This has been confirmed to ESCToday by the Flemish-speaking broadcaster VRT, which is responsible for the Belgian participation every two years, alternating with the French-speaking broadcaster RTBF. The broadcaster hasn’t confirmed their selection method yet, but it will be announced in due course.
Talking about a founding member of Eurovision
Belgium was one of the 7 countries which took part in the first ever Eurovision Song Contest, hosted in 1956 in Lugano, Switzerland. Since then, the country of Western Europe has appeared 59 times in the competition, having missed only 3 contests; in 1994, 1997 and in 2001. Those withdrawals were due to low placings that relegated them from next year’s contests, in accordance with the then applicable EBU regulations.
Despite participating for more than 60 years now, the country has won the Eurovision trophy only once.
The victory came true in 1986, with Sandra Kim singing J’aime la vie. Sandra Kim holds until today the title of the youngest Eurovision winner, as then she was just 13 years old. However, that hadn’t been made public before her victory as the singer was considered to be 15!
Belgium has also achieved 9 more Top 5 placings, 2 of them during the last 3 contests; in 2015 and in 2017 (4th in both occasions).
During the previous decade and mostly after the introduction of the semi-finals in 2004, Belgium was considered as one of the least successful Eurovision countries. They had been present to the Grand Final only twice until 2013; in 2004 (as part of the 2003 Top 10) and in 2010. However, that seems to have changed over the last few years, as in the last three contests, the nation ends up inside the Top 10.
In 2017, Belgium made a more successful Eurovision performance, as the singer Blanche with the entry City lights finished 4th by 363 points.
What about VRT’s selection process for 2018?
Although the broadcaster hasn’t revealed any of their plans on selecting the 60th Belgian Eurovision participation, VRT usually hosts the national final called Eurosong every two years. The show is hosted either with the artist having been chosen internally and the audience picking up the song, or as a national final with various entrants, all looking to clain the ticket to Eurovision. This is in contrast to the French-speaking station RTBF, which goes mostly internally for both entrant and song.
Now we’re looking forward to seeing if the tradition of hosting Eurosong will be kept in 2018 or not! And of course after that, the question is: Will the selected hopeful and his/her song manage to give them a 4th in a row high placing? And who can be the one who will make it?