Some days after the total flop of Belgium in Istanbul, Steve De Coninck-De Boeck was interviewed in TerZake on VRT's second channel CANVAS. The Belgian delegation leader gave his opinion about neighbour voting, the disappointing result of Xandee and stated he wants 50% of the results to be decided by a professional jury.
Eurovision Song Contest and politics…
“Many people talk about politics in the Eurovision Song Contest, but that has to be kept in perspective for the simple reason it has always been like that. It's statistically proven that neighbour countries give eachother more points. That fact that you often already know the song of your neighbour country is one of the reasons for that. What's new since the 90's is the very explicit way of neighbour voting by the former communist countries of eastern Europe. There is really no cheating with votes by those countries, they just are extremely devoted to each other”, De Coninck-De Boeck said.
The Belgian flop
De Coninck-De Boeck also spoke about how to win the contest: “There are two essential criteria for winning the Eurovision Song Contest: you need an extremely good song and performance ánd you need a unique selling proposition, meaning you need to be unique in your style. Xandee's 1 Life obeyed the first criteria. As for the second criteria, there was another strong uptempo song and that song won! Ruslana had a strong visual act as well”.
50% professional jury
The contest needs to be saved… at least, if we may believe De Coninck-De Boeck: “A professional jury will think further than the televoting spectators and wonders which songs make a chance to break through and sell on cd. This might sound as an unimportant question on a Saturday night but on the long term it's important for the image of the Eurovision Song Contest. We all still talk about ABBA who won 30 years ago. They had huge success. If we go on like this, the chances on success for the winners will be less high because the televoters vote in a very impulsive way. So if I could decide: 50% televote, 50% professional jury! You will still have a lot of neighbour voting then, but I would like it to be this way to give the Eurovision Song Contest a chance to survive commercially”.
Xandee breaks Sergio's record
That the Eurovision Song Contest is huge in the Flemish part of Belgium is no secret anymore. 1,838,000 Flemings watched the final of the Eurovision Song Contest last Saturday, resulting in a 72% market share for TV1! At the moment Xandee performed 1 Life, the magical border of 2,000,000 viewers was broken. Xandee saw for the highest Flemish Eurovision Song Contest viewing rates in many years:
1999: Vanessa Chinitor ~ 1,446,000 viewers
2002: Sergio ~1,812,000 viewers
2004: Xandee ~1,838,000 viewers
Last year, 1,446,000 Flemings saw Walloon Urban Trad reaching the second place in Riga.