Falling just outside my top 30, we have Belgium who were first out of the blocks in announcing who their artist for Eurovision 2022 was going to be. Jérémie Makiese was revealed as the Belgian entry all the way back in September 2021, though his song, “Miss You” wasn’t released until the very end of the national final season. Belgium have had something of a renaissance in the past decade with grand final success, though with the odd non-qualifier thrown in – which will Jérémie be?
As with many of Eurovision’s artists in recent years, Jérémie is a product of a reality TV singing contest, having won The Voice Belgique last year. He cites artists such as Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding and James Brown as musical influences as well as Belgian artists such as Stromae and Damso. Those influences are much in evidence in “Miss You”, particularly the link to Michael Jackson.
Jérémie certainly has confidence – that’s been in evidence in his live performances at the the pre-parties and also in his tour dates literature, he has included the grand final of Eurovision as one of his dates! That’s definitely a man who thinks he is going to qualify. From the voice alone and live performance, he could well be justified.
That all said, he is in my bottom 10 and it’s really the song that is why it is here at #31. R&B style ballads have never been my favourite genre and this is not, I would argue, an especially fresh version either. The Bondesque start is good but otherwise it feels quite a mediocre song and not one that makes the most of him as a performer and vocalist. That said, this could be something that the juries go for, and this genre may well have its own fan base as well so it certainly shouldn’t be ruled out as a potential qualifier.
Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest
First entered: 1956
Appearances (excluding this year): 62
Best result: Winner 1986
2021’s result: 19th