Belgium’s turn in the spotlight though, with a tender ballad by a young slip of a girl. As one of the six active countries who were in the very first Eurovision in 1956, they don’t have the best record to show for 52 entries, will Iris improve matters?
I have an on-off relationship with Belgium, they can come out with some really lovely songs, but some real turds too. 2010’s entry “Me and my guitar” by Tom Dice was really lovely, and gave Belgium its best result for 8 years. But only the year before ultra-camp Toppers were sent to Moscow and bellyflopped in its semi-final, something Belgium has a habit of doing more often than not.
Perhaps this is unfair, certainly eurodance superstar Kate Ryan’s failure to qualify in 2006 gave the Belgians a good reason to feel aggrieved, but normally their failure is at their own hand. So it’s a relief to see them playing it a little safer this year.
It’s an unextraordinary song, and the live performance baffingly chosen as its official preview video has some worryingly shaky vocals. It sounds like a slightly inferior version of a Glee ballad, with a puzzlingly-choreographed Iris moving around like her feet are glued down.
I’m just concerned at the choice of singer, she’s nice enough but it feels like a mid-season American Idol performance (by a contestant). Enough for you to go “she’s a good singer” but not enough to pick up your phone, and I feel this is quite a major issue.
She’ll no doubt become a more confident performer in time, but I don’t think this is the time to put her on TV in front of 100million viewers. The song is really quite nice and memorable though, so that’s positive. If they are looking to re-create the success of Tom Dice, I think they’ll be left wanting this year, sadly.