Belgium hold the record for most appearances at the contest by a non-big 5 country, with 61 appearances and just 3 (enforced) absences. In that time they have only won once, but in recent years they have shown a consistency in achieving good results including three placings in the top ten from 2015-2017 (including two 4th place finishes). They suffered a blip last year, so can the selection of Eliot set them back om their high achieving run?
Eliot is the youngest male contestant at Eurovision this year at just 18 but his song is very much a grown up one. He’s a co-writer of “Wake Up”, with the other co-writer and also producer, the same person who co-wrote Belgium’s successful 2017 entry, “City Lights” by Blanche. He was internally selected, as has been the case with Belgian entries recently and is a veteran of The Voice Belgique, again, in common with recent Belgian entries.
“Wake Up” follows in the footsteps of “City Lights” in being a dark synthpop song, well produced, modern, and quality. It is a bit slower than City Lights and does lack a crescendo or key change, though not all Eurovision entries have to have such things of course! I particularly like the music used just before the choruses, it has a real feel of dark 80s electropop.
I am fairly confident this will get through its (tough) semi-final. There were some initial concerns/criticisms of his first couple of live performances but I saw him in London and all seemed fine (aside from being a little nervous) and I think he’s continued to grow in confidence the Madrid pre-party. Given how disastrous Blanche’s live performances were right up until the actual shows, he’s on a good path. It also seems like Belgium’s staging is going to be along similar lines to the excellent “City Lights” so I think Eliot is likely to qualify. This could push into the top 10 in the final, though it may not reach quite that high.
Official music video:
Live at London Eurovision Party:
My preview video:
Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest
First entered: 1956
Appearances (excluding this year): 60
Best result: Winner 1986
Last year’s result: 12th in the semi-final (did not qualify)