RtD14: Looking Back at Belgium
Howdy friends! We’re back on the Road to Denmark today. This time, we’re heading to one of the founding members of the ESC – Belgium! A country that has generally underperformed at the Contest – whether its due to poor performances, low televoting, a lack of love from the juries, or a mixture of the three – Belgium just can’t quite find its groove. Personally, I like a lot of the Belgian entries and think that, generally, they deserved better than what they placed. Let’s dive in!
2007 – Love Power – A fun, throwback number. Actually, I love this song a lot! It’s one of my first favorite entries from my first ever Contest. Unfortunately, the performance was rather poor. But hey, the music video is pretty awesome!
2008 – O Julissi – After missing its second victory by only one point in 2003 with Urban Trad’s boundary-breaking , invented language hit Sanomi, Belgium tried to send another eclectic act with a made-up language. It’s a fun song that got the Belgrade crowd cheering and clapping; unfortunately, that energy did not transfer through onscreen. I like this song – it’s so fun!
2009 – Copycat – When I heard this song for the first time, I thought “that’s crazy.” Who would have thought any European country would have submitted an Elvis song – but it was ironic and humorous. But I don’t think anyone thought this song had a chance of succeeding.
2010 – Me and My Guitar – Belgium’s most successful entry since 2003; I always found the song a bit dull. Don’t get me wrong, Tom Dice is a looker and his whiny voice fits the song really well; not to mention the fact that the song was beautifully staged. Could Tom Dice work his magic a second time…I don’t know about that; I think that this was a perfect storm in Oslo, which seems to be a lucky city for the Belge.
2011 – With Love – A rare entry from the West that had public support to move through to the Final, but not enough jury love. I love this song! My favorite Belgian entry thus far – they got robbed from the Final! But, that’s the way the cookie crumbles. I would love to see Witloof Bay return to the Contest.
2012 – Would You? – I thought this song was horridly boring. Until I heard it performed live during the semi-final. It was moving! Still a bit trite and ultimately finished where it probably should have, but Iris did an indomitable job and deserves to be commended.
2013 – Love Kills – Who would’ve thought this song would have finished 12th in the Grand Final, beating the more popular (and higher regarded) Romania, Georgia, the UK, and Germany. This song improved a thousand times over since it was first performed and showed that Western Europe can succeed without a big name or gimmicks. Take note United Kingdom.
Let’s Take a Closer Look At: Belgium 2012. I think this song was probably one of the most overlooked and underrated acts in its year. Iris was this small, mousy girl with little experience with a cheesy little song with weak lyrics and insipid music. But, her performance was amazing. She sung her heart out and won fans for herself. While, on its merits, the song clearly deserved its 17th placing, Iris performed like a contender. Well done!
What do you think? Am I making too much of Iris? Can you feel the Love Power? Do you think Ishtar got what they deserved? Leave a comment below!
Other stops along the Road to Denmark. Check back tomorrow for our return to the Balkans with Bosnia & Herzegovina!