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Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Member stationVRT, RTBF
National selection events
Participation summary
Appearances60 (51 finals)
First appearance1956
Best result1st: 1986
Worst resultLast: 1961, 1962, 1965,
1973, 1979, 1985, 1993, 2000
Nul points: 1962, 1965
External links
Belgium's page at
Song contest current event.png
For the most recent participation see
Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019

Belgium has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 60 times since making its debut as one of the seven countries at the first contest in 1956. The only countries with more appearances are Germany (62), France (61) and the United Kingdom (61). Belgium have been absent only three times in total, in 1994, 1997 and 2001, due to low scores in the previous contests that relegated them from the contest. Belgium has won the contest once, in 1986.

In the first 20 years of the contest, Belgium's best result was Tonia's fourth place in 1966. In 1978, Jean Vallée achieved Belgium's first top three placement, when he was second. Sandra Kim became the first and to date only winner for Belgium in 1986, when she won as a 13-year-old in Bergen, performing the song "J'aime la Vie". Belgium's only other top three result came in 2003, when the group Urban Trad finished second in Riga, losing out by only two points. Belgium have finished last in the contest eight times, most recently in 2000, and have twice received "nul points"; in 1962 and 1965.

After the introduction of the semi-final round in 2004, Belgium failed to reach the final for five consecutive years (2005–09). Since 2010, Belgium have become more successful, qualifying for the final in five out of nine contests and placing in the top 10 four times, with Tom Dice sixth (2010), Loïc Nottet fourth (2015), Laura Tesoro tenth (2016), and Blanche fourth (2017).


Belgium has two national broadcasters of the contest, Flemish broadcaster Vlaamse Radio- en Televisieomroep (VRT) and French-speaking broadcaster Radio télévision belge de la communauté française (RTBF). The two broadcasters rotate selection for the Eurovision Song Contest each year (currently starting with 2002, VRT in the even-numbered years and RTBF in the odd-numbered years; until 1993 BRT/BRTN in the odd-numbered years and RTB/RTBF in the even-numbered years).

While VRT normally hosts a national final, Eurosong, when selecting their entries for Eurovision, it has been normal for RTBF to hold an internal selection process (although it has been known for RTBF to hold a national final at times, for example in 1998, 2005[1][2] and 2011, while VRT internally chose Tom Dice for the 2010 edition and Sennek for the 2018 edition).

20th century

Tonia's fourth-place at the 1966 contest remained Belgium's best result until Jean Vallée finished second in 1978. By 1980, Belgium had finished last in the contest five times, in 1961, 1962, 1965, 1973 and 1979.

Following good results for Stella (fourth in 1982) and Jacques Zegers (fifth in 1984), Belgium finished last for the sixth time in 1985. This was followed by Belgium's first (and only) Eurovision victory in 1986, when Sandra Kim won with her song "J'aime la vie" in Bergen, Norway. Although she claimed she was 15 years old, she was actually only 13, but was allowed to keep her victory. Currently the minimum age for participation is 16 and thus Sandra Kim will remain the youngest winner unless the age limit is lowered. By winning in 1986, Belgium became the last of the French-speaking countries to win the contest, as France, Luxembourg, Monaco and Switzerland all had won at least once before. Belgium scored an absolute record at the time, with Sandra Kim earning a never seen before amount of 176 points (that record remained until 1993, with Ireland scoring 187 points), an average of 9.26 points per voting nation. Kim received 77.2% of the maximum possible score, which, as of 2017, still ranks eighth among all Eurovision winners.

Belgium finished last for the seventh time at the 1993 contest, before achieving its only top ten result of the decade at the 1998 contest in Birmingham, where Mélanie Cohl finished sixth.


Belgium finished last in the contest for the eighth and (as of 2018) final time at the 2000 contest in Stockholm, before achieving its best result of the 21st century in 2003, where Urban Trad sang in an invented language and earned second place with 165 points, losing out to Turkey's Sertab Erener by just two points. Ishtar did the same in 2008, but finished 17th in the first semi-final, failing to qualify for the final. In the Eurovision Song Contest 2009, Belgium participated in the first semi-final on 12 May 2009, however they received just one point which came from Armenia and left them in second-last position.


The 2010 entry for Belgium was Tom Dice, runner-up of the Belgian Flemish version of The X Factor in 2008. Dice was internally selected and announced by VRT on 25 November 2009.[3][4] Tom Dice finished 1st in the first semi-final, allowing Belgium to participate to the final for the first time since the introduction of the semi-finals. He eventually finished 6th, Belgium's best result since 2003, and along with 1959, the best result ever for a Flemish entrant, since Belgum's all top 5 placings have been achieved by the representantives of the French-language broadcaster RTBF.[5]

In 2011, the entry for Belgium was Witloof Bay. They didn't qualify for the finals, finishing 11th only one point behind Moldova, and thus 1 point behind the qualification.[6]

Due to the good results and the Flemish population's choice, the VRT cancelled 'Eurosong' selection procedure and chose internally for 2012. For the Eurovision Song Contest 2012, they choose 17-year-old singer Iris but decided to let the public choose what song she would sing to represent Belgium. However, she didn't qualify after finishing 17th of 18 entrants in the first semi-final, scoring just 16 points which was the second lowest total of all the 36 semi-final entrants.[7][8][9]

In 2013, Roberto Bellarosa, winner of The Voice Belgique, was chosen to represent Belgium for the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 in Malmö, Sweden. Bellarosa made it into the final and finished in 12th place.[10]

In 2014, VRT organized a national final again[11] and 30 participants were selected to enter the castings. Axel Hirsoux won the national final, with more than 50 percent of the televotes and four times (out of 7 international juries) the maximum of 12 points from the international juries. The song which represented Belgium was called 'Mother' and is a slow ballad.[12] The song failed to qualify for the final, finishing 14th out of 16.


In 2015, RTBF chose another "The Voice Belgique" participant Loïc Nottet, who came second in 2014. He represented Belgium with his song Rhythm Inside in the first semi-final of the competition. He managed to qualify and came second with 149 points. In the final Loïc finished fourth with 217 points. It was the best result for Belgium since 2003 and it was the highest amount of points ever awarded to Belgium. It was also the first time ever that an entry who finished fourth scored over 200 points.

On 26 May 2015 VRT confirmed that it would use Eurosong again as the national final for the 2016 competition. This time the show only had 5 participants. Eurosong 2016 would span over 3 shows, but only in the last show could people vote for the entry who would represent Belgium at the Eurovision Song Contest 2016. On 17 January 2016 Laura Tesoro won Eurosong 2016 with her song What's the Pressure, co-written by Belgian singer Selah Sue. Other contenders were Tom Frantzis, Adil Aarab, Amaryllis Uitterlinden and Astrid Destuyver.

Laura Tesoro performed last at the second semi-final on 12 May 2016, and qualified for the final by finishing in third place on 274 points. In the final on 14 May 2016, she performed first and placed tenth on 181 points.

The Wallonian broadcaster RTBF announced on 22 November 2016 that Ellie Delvaux would represent Belgium in the 2017 contest under her stage name Blanche. Blanche had also appeared on "The Voice Belgique", like her predecessors Roberto Bellarosa (2013), Axel Hirsoux (2014) and Loïc Nottet (2015). It will be the fifth consecutive year that the Belgian representative was a former "The Voice" contestant, Laura Tesoro (2016) appeared on the Flemish version "The Voice van Vlaanderen".

On 8 March 2017, the song "City Lights" was officially announced as the Belgian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. It was leaked the night before, on 7 March 2017, through Spotify. Competing in the first half of the first semi-final on 9 May 2017, Blanche qualified for the final on 13 May and performed in the second half of the show, finishing in fourth place. Blanche's fourth-place finish gave Belgium its third top six result of the decade. The only other decade where Belgium achieved this, was the 1980s.

During the Eurovision weekend of 2017, Peter Van de Veire announced that VRT would internally select the participant for 2018. On 28 September 2017, VRT announced Laura Groeseneken as the Belgian entrant during the talk show Van Gils & gasten, aired on Één.[13][14] Although initially a favorite with bookmakers, "A Matter of Time" was the first Belgian entry since 2014 to not qualify for the final. She finished 12th with 91 points in the first semi-final.


Table key
  Second place
  Third place
  Last place
Year Artist Language Song Final Points Semi Points
1956 Fud Leclerc French "Messieurs les noyés de la Seine" 2[a] N/A[a] No semi-finals
1956 Mony Marc French "Le plus beau jour de ma vie" 2[a] N/A[a]
1957 Bobbejaan Schoepen Dutch "Straatdeuntje" 8 5
1958 Fud Leclerc French "Ma petite chatte" 5 8
1959 Bob Benny Dutch "Hou toch van mij" 6 9
1960 Fud Leclerc French "Mon amour pour toi" 6 9
1961 Bob Benny Dutch "September, gouden roos" 15 1
1962 Fud Leclerc French "Ton nom" 13 0
1963 Jacques Raymond Dutch "Waarom?" 10 4
1964 Robert Cogoi French "Près de ma rivière" 10 2
1965 Lize Marke Dutch "Als het weer lente is" 15 0
1966 Tonia French "Un peu de poivre, un peu de sel" 4 14
1967 Louis Neefs Dutch "Ik heb zorgen" 7 8
1968 Claude Lombard French "Quand tu reviendras" 7 8
1969 Louis Neefs Dutch "Jennifer Jennings" 7 10
1970 Jean Vallée French "Viens l'oublier" 8 5
1971 Lily Castel & Jacques Raymond Dutch "Goeiemorgen, morgen" 14 68
1972 Serge & Christine Ghisoland French "À la folie ou pas du tout" 17 55
1973 Nicole & Hugo Dutch "Baby, Baby" 17 58
1974 Jacques Hustin French "Fleur de liberté" 9 10
1975 Ann Christy Dutch, English "Gelukkig zijn" 15 17
1976 Pierre Rapsat French "Judy et Cie" 8 68
1977 Dream Express English "A Million in One, Two, Three" 7 69
1978 Jean Vallée French "L'amour ça fait chanter la vie" 2 125
1979 Micha Marah Dutch "Hey Nana" 18 5
1980 Telex French "Euro-Vision" 17 14
1981 Emly Starr Dutch "Samson" 13 40
1982 Stella French "Si tu aimes ma musique" 4 96
1983 Pas de Deux Dutch "Rendez-vous" 18 13
1984 Jacques Zegers French "Avanti la vie" 5 70
1985 Linda Lepomme Dutch "Laat me nu gaan" 19 7
1986 Sandra Kim French "J'aime la vie" 1 176
1987 Liliane Saint-Pierre Dutch, English "Soldiers of Love" 11 56
1988 Reynaert French "Laissez briller le soleil" 18 5
1989 Ingeborg Dutch "Door de wind" 19 13
1990 Philippe Lafontaine French "Macédomienne" 12 46
1991 Clouseau Dutch "Geef het op" 16 23
1992 Morgane French "Nous, on veut des violons" 20 11
1993 Barbara Dex Dutch "Iemand als jij" 25 3
1994 Did not participate
1995 Frédéric Etherlinck French "La voix est libre" 20 8
1996 Lisa del Bo Dutch "Liefde is een kaartspel" 16 22 12 45
1997 Did not participate No semi-finals
1998 Mélanie Cohl French "Dis oui" 6 122[c]
1999 Vanessa Chinitor English "Like the Wind" 12 38
2000 Nathalie Sorce French "Envie de vivre" 24 2
2001 Did not participate
2002 Sergio & The Ladies English "Sister" 13 33
2003 Urban Trad Imaginary "Sanomi" 2 165
2004 Xandee English "1 Life" 22 7 Top 11 Previous Year[a]
2005 Nuno Resende French "Le grand soir" Failed to qualify 22 29
2006 Kate Ryan English, French "Je t'adore" 12 69
2007 The KMG's English "Love Power" 26 14
2008 Ishtar Imaginary "O Julissi" 17 16
2009 Copycat English "Copycat" 17 1
2010 Tom Dice English "Me and My Guitar" 6 143 1 167
2011 Witloof Bay English "With Love Baby" Failed to qualify 11 53
2012 Iris English "Would You?" 17 16
2013 Roberto Bellarosa English "Love Kills" 12 71 5 75
2014 Axel Hirsoux English "Mother" Failed to qualify 14 28
2015 Loïc Nottet English "Rhythm Inside" 4 217 2 149
2016 Laura Tesoro English "What's the Pressure" 10 181 3 274
2017 Blanche English "City Lights" 4 363 4 165
2018 Sennek English "A Matter of Time" Failed to qualify 12 91
2019 Eliot English "Wake Up"
  1. ^ The full results for the first contest in 1956 are unknown, only the winner was announced. The official Eurovision site lists all the other songs as being placed second.[15]
  2. ^ If a country had won the previous year, they did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year. In addition from 2004-2007, the top ten countries who were not members of the big four did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year. If, for example, Germany and France placed inside the top ten, the countries who placed 11th and 12th were advanced to the following year's grand final along with the rest of the top ten countries.
  3. ^ Spain originally gave its 12 points to Israel and 10 to Norway. After the broadcast it was announced that Spanish broadcaster wrongly tallied the votes and Germany should have got the top mark - 12 points - instead of being snubbed, as it happened. The mistake was corrected and so Germany was placed 7th over Norway. Israel and Norway both received 2 points less than originally and Croatia, Malta, Portugal, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Belgium, Estonia and Turkey all received one point less than indicated during the broadcast.

Voting history

As of 2018, Belgium's voting history is as follows:


Year Location Venue Presenter
1987 Brussels Centenary Palace Viktor Lazlo

Act selection process

Year Selection process Broadcaster
1956 Internal selection INR
1957 Artist: Internal selection
Song: National final with 3 songs
1958 National final INR
1959 National final with 2 participants NIR
1960 National final with 5 participants INR
1961 National final with 6 participants BRT
1962 National final with 5 participants RTB
1963 National final with 6 participants BRT
1964 Internal selection RTB
1965 Artist: Internal selection
Song: National final with 6 songs
1966 Artist: Internal selection
Song: National final with 4 songs
1967 National final with 7 participants BRT
1968 National final with 10 participants RTB
1969 Artist: Internal selection
Song: National final with 6 songs
1970 National final with 4 participants RTB
1971 National final with 12 participants BRT
1972 Artist: Internal selection
Song: National final with 10 songs
1973 National final with 10 participants BRT
1974 Artist: Internal selection
Song: National final with 6 songs
1975 National final with 10 participants BRT
1976 National final with 5 participants RTB
1977 National final with 3 participants BRT
1978 National final with 8 participants RTBF
1979 Artist: Internal selection
Song: National final with 3 songs
1980 National final with 7 participants RTBF
1981 National final with 10 participants BRT
1982 National final with 4 participants RTBF
1983 National final with 9 participants BRT
1984 National final with 10 participants RTBF
1985 Internal selection BRT
1986 National final with 9 participants RTBF
1987 National final with 11 participants BRT
1988 National final with 12 participants RTBF
1989 BRT
1990 Internal selection RTBF
1991 Artist: Internal selection
Song: National final with 3 songs
1992 National final with 10 participants RTBF
1993 National final with 12 participants BRTN
1994 Did not participate
1995 National final with 10 participants RTBF
1996 National final with 12 participants BRTN
1997 Did not participate
1998 National final with 10 participants RTBF
1999 National final with 8 participants VRT
2000 National final with 10 participants RTBF
2001 Did not participate
2002 National final with 7 participants VRT
2003 Internal selection RTBF
2004 National final with 7 participants VRT
2005 National final with 2 participants RTBF
2006 National final with 7 participants VRT
2007 Internal selection RTBF
2008 National final with 5 participants VRT
2009 Internal selection RTBF
2010 VRT
2011 National final with 14 participants RTBF
2012 Artist: Internal selection
Song: National final with 2 songs
2013 Artist: Internal selection
Song: National final with 3 songs
2014 National final with 6 participants VRT
2015 Internal selection RTBF
2016 National final with 5 participants VRT
2017 Internal selection RTBF
2018 VRT
2019 RTBF

Commentators and spokespersons

Belgium has two public broadcast stations VRT (Dutch speaking region) & RTBF (French speaking region). Both broadcast the event and over the years VRT and RTBF commentary has been provided by several experienced radio and television presenters, including Nand Baert, Jacques Mercier, Luc Appermont and Paule Herreman. However, from the 1991 Contest, André Vermeulen has provided the Dutch language commentary every year, with the exception of the 1996 Contest. Whilst Jean-Pierre Hautier has provided the French language commentary every year since the 1994 Contest until the 2013 contest. In 1962 VRT used the commentary from NOS (The Netherlands broadcast), the reason for that was unknown.

Year(s) Flemish Commentator French-Speaking Commentator Spokesperson Dual Flemish Commentator Dual French-Speaking Commentator
1956 Nand Baert Janine Lambotte N/A No Dual Commentator No Dual Commentator
1957 Nic Bal Bert Leysen
1958 Arlette Vincent Paule Herreman
1959 Paule Herreman Bert Leysen
1960 Georges Désir Arlette Vincent
1961 Robert Beauvais Ward Bogaert
1962 Willem Duys Nicole Védrès Arlette Vincent
1963 Herman Verelst Pierre Delhasse Ward Bogaert Denise Maes
1964 Paule Herreman André Hagon No Dual Commentator
1965 Ward Bogaert
1966 André Hagon
1967 Janine Lambotte Ward Bogaert
1968 André Hagon
1969 Paule Herreman Ward Bogaert
1970 Jan Theys André Hagon
1971 Herman Verelst Janine Lambotte No spokesperson
1972 Arlette Vincent
1973 Paule Herreman
1974 Georges Désir André Hagon
1975 Willem Duys Paule Herreman Ward Bogaert
1976 Luc Appermont Georges Désir André Hagon
1977 Patrick Duhamel An Ploegaerts
1978 Claude Delacroix André Hagon
1979 Paule Herreman An Ploegaerts
1980 Jacques Mercier Jacques Olivier
1981 Walter De Meyere
1982 Jacques Olivier
1983 An Ploegaerts
1984 Jacques Olivier
1985 An Ploegaerts
1986 Patrick Duhamel Jacques Olivier
1987 Claude Delacroix An Ploegaerts
1988 Pierre Collard-Bovy Jacques Olivier
1989 Jacques Mercier An Ploegaerts
1990 Claude Delacroix Jacques Olivier
1991 André Vermeulen An Ploegaerts
1992 Jacques Olivier
1993 An Ploegaerts
1994 Jean-Pierre Hautier Did not participate
1995 Marie-Françoise Renson "Soda"
1996 Michel Follet An Ploegaerts Johan Verstreken Sandra Kim
1997 André Vermeulen Did not participate No Dual Commentator No Dual Commentator
1998 Marie-Hélène Vanderborght Andrea Croonenberghs
1999 Sabine De Vos Bart Peeters
2000 Thomas Van Hamme Anja Daems
2001 Did not participate
2002 Geena Lisa Bart Peeters
2003 Corinne Boulangier Anja Daems
2004 Martine Prenen Bart Peeters
2005 Armelle Gysen Anja Daems
2006 Yasmine Bart Peeters
2007 Maureen Louys Anja Daems Jean-Louis Lahaye
2008 Sandrine Van Handenhoven Bart Peeters
2009 Maureen Louys Anja Daems
2010 Katja Retsin Bart Peeters
2011 Maureen Louys Sven Pichal
2012 Peter Van de Veire
2013 Maureen Louys Barbara Louys Tom De Cock
2014 Peter Van de Veire Angelique Vlieghe Eva Daeleman
2015 Walid
2016 Umesh Vangaver No Dual Commentator
2017 Fanny Gillard
2018 Danira Boukhriss Terkessidis
2019 TBA

Additionly since 1998 VRT has supplied a dual commentator to join André Vermeulen, between 1999 and 2010 Dual commentary was provided by Bart Peeters and Anja Daems. Peeters provided the commentary during the years when VRT selected the entries whilst Daems commentated the years RTBF selected the entries. Since 2011 Sven Pichal has replaced Daems as commentator, whilts Peter Van de Veire has replaced Peeters. Since 2007 Jean-Louis Lahaye has joint Jean-Pierre Hautier as dual commentator for RTBF. After Hautier's death in 2012 Lahaye was joined by Maureen Louys in 2013.


All conductors are Belgian except those marked with a flag.

Prior to 1999, the Belgian entry was performed without orchestral accompaniment in 1980 and 1998.[16]


See also


  1. ^ According to the then-Eurovision rules, the top ten non-Big Four countries from the previous year along with the Big Four automatically qualified for the Grand Final without having to compete in semi-finals. For example, if Germany and France placed inside the top ten, the 11th and 12th spots were advanced to next year's Grand Final along with all countries ranked in the top ten.


  1. ^ "Belgian National Final 1998". Archived from the original on 22 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  2. ^ "Belgian National Final 2005". Archived from the original on 22 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  3. ^ Hondal, Victor (25 November 2009). "Tom Dice to represent Belgium in Oslo". ESCToday. Archived from the original on 28 November 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2009.
  4. ^ "Tom Dice gaat naar het Eurovisiesongfestival" (in Dutch). VRT. 25 November 2009. Archived from the original on 29 November 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2009.
  5. ^ "Eurovision 2010: complete televoting and jury results". 30 June 2010. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  6. ^ "Semi-final results at Eurovision 2011". 15 May 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  7. ^ Sietse (9 September 2009). "Eén begraaft Eurosong als selectie voor het Songfestival" (in Dutch). VRT. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011.
  8. ^ Sietse (14 February 2011). "No Euroson in 2012 but internal" (in Dutch).
  9. ^
  10. ^ Griper, Ann (19 May 2013). "Who are Eurovision Song Contest 2013 winners? Full results table". Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  11. ^ "Belgium: VRT confirms participants for Eurosong 2014". 24 January 2014. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  12. ^ "Belgium: Axel Hirsoux wins Eurosong with 'Mother'". 16 March 2014. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  13. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (28 September 2017). "Belgium: VRT will reveal the Belgian act for Eurovision 2018 tonight". Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  14. ^ "Laura Groeseneken naar het Eurovisiesongfestival!" (in Dutch). VRT. 28 September 2017. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  15. ^ Barclay, Simon (17 June 2010). The Complete and Independent Guide to the Eurovision Song Contest 2010. Silverthorn Press. p. 24. ISBN 978-1-4457-8415-1.
  16. ^

External links

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