This is it! The last one!! Belgium’s decision on 16 March was the last contestant selection for Eurovision that the public had anything to do with, and marked the end of the pre-selection season. Thank God for that, I’m sure you’re all sick of it by now, aren’t you? Is there anyone left?
Belgium were here from the start, a founding father of Eurovision and only absent from three contests – forcibly removed after being relegated for bad results. They’ve only got one win to their names, all the way back in 1986, and had victory cruelly snatched away in Riga, coming a very close 2nd in 2003. But since the semi-finals have come in, things have been tough.
Of its 9 entries put through the semi-final process, only two made it to the final, though last year’s 12th place finish for the delightful Roberto Bellarosa made it clear that they can still get noticed with the right song. 2010’s Tom Dice even won his semi in Oslo, though had to settle for 6th on the night.
Eurosong decided the Belgian representative, with an extensive audition process governed by three jurors, and later on also the spirited Ukranian winner Ruslana. 30 competitors were thinned down to 12 semi-finalists (4 via a second-change ‘callback’ round), who finally performed their songs in 3 semi-finals. Six acts survived to the final, where a Belgian jury, several international juries and a televote decided the winner. I like when the televote scores are proportional to the votes, I’m just like that. Let’s hope this was worth the wait though, this contest is still wide open.
Isn’t there already a wartime song in the mix already, Malta? Well perhaps not as obvious a war song as this one. Looks like a good old-fashioned peace ballad then – well I SAY good, this is a bit too dated and naff, I feel like it should be on the Christian Network or something. He’s a decent singer but it’s a bit naff. Maybe I’m being a bit cynical here, it just feels a bit contrived for votes. Not sure how Eastern Europe would feel about a WWII song about heroism if many of them were on the other side!
Sil – What’s The Time In Tokyo?
Is that Marcella Detroit I see in the writing credits? Lovely stuff. Poor Sil is dealing with a long distance relationship, doesn’t sound like she’s got a lot of hope though. The strings liven up what could be a pretty bland ballad. There’s not much of a buildup, I guess this would have been a bit lost in Eurovision, as nice as it is.
Yass – Need You Tonight
Oh dear, don’t do an acapella intro unless you can really hit those notes… the amateur dramatics hit a new low as some homeless mimes act out their bleak existence, and eventually do some dancing. This is pretty weak… I think I prefer the French bits, the chorus falls a bit flat for me. Not the best singer, and the song isn’t much to write home about either (especially if you’re homeless). Oh lord, and that’s before he tries to bust some ridiculous moves before resuming his acoustic guitar pose like I’d just hallucinated it all! Bizarre!
Eva Jacobs – Nothing Is Impossible
Oh, and here’s about the millionth pair of interpretive dancers I’ve seen too… It’s a shame, she’s a good singer but the song is just totally bland. Even poor Ruslana is struggling to get up too much enthusiasm, which is saying a LOT.
Bandits – One
A fresh-faced boyband with guitars (so you know, it’s not ‘fake’ etc.), forget all that, bring out some bloody synths! Still, the chorus at least has some singalong value, even if they left the “We are one” hook a year late. It’s not quite Roberto Bellarosa but it’s the best of the bunch so far – and no, that’s not saying much. Would have got stuck in the semis for sure though, so I guess it’s for the best. It’s pretty repetitive, the only trick they have up their sleeve is for the lead to run onto the catwalk and run back. Woo!
Axel Hirsoux – Mother
So here we are, the Belgian entry for Copenhagen. I didn’t expect such a high voice from that guy… he must be from Belgium’s Got Talent, right? Super-manly too, a tearful love song to his mother? It’s a bit of a WTF moment, but hey, I guess there are plenty of Europeans who love their mothers, right? At least Sweden’s Bröder didn’t get through too.
It’s probably the most competent entry that made it to the Belgian final – see, even Ruslana agrees, waving her lit-up phone like a loon. LOL who is that other guy singing to his mother?! She’s pretending not to notice. Then! Then his ‘stage mother’ creepily reaches out to him from behind like a horror movie. This is amazing and terrible all at once. Shitmazing.
It’ll at least get people’s attention, even though it turns into a bit of a screamathon at the end. Goodness, what a spectacle. It might just work, you know. I have NO idea though.