Belgium: Blanche’s “City Lights” is the first Walloon song to crack the Flemish charts before Eurovision
Belgium is known for waffles, chocolate and fries. But this year it’s introduced a new addictive and tantalising treat: Blanche‘s Eurovision 2017 song “City Lights”.
The mysterious, contemporary track has received an overwhelmingly positive reaction from Eurovision fans and bookmakers, as the song climbed 33 positions in the bookies’ rankings the night it was released to become second favourite for a time.
And it’s now clear that foreigners weren’t the only ones excited. By March 18 the song had cracked both the Walloon and the Flemish charts — making it the very first Walloon Eurovision song to enter the Flemish charts before Eurovision.
In Wallonia, the song did not enter the coveted Ultratop sales charts. However, it did top the Ultratip Bubbling Under chart, making it the 51st most sold single this week. On the airplay charts “City Lights” ranked 34th among all the songs on Walloon radio stations.
The song did remarkably well in the Flemish charts. It entered the Ultratop sales charts in 16th position this weekend, which makes “City Lights” the very first Walloon Eurovision song to reach the Flemish charts before Eurovision. It also ranked 27th in airplay this week, down from 5th in airplay last week.
In odd years — 2013, 2015, 2017, etc. — the French-language Walloon broadcaster RTBF selects Belgium’s Eurovision song. In even years, the Dutch-language Flemish broadcaster does. The country has utilised this back-and-forth every year since the very first Eurovision in 1956.
It is very unusual for broadcasters to select representative from outside their region. That radically changed in 2014 when Flemish broadcaster VRT sent Walloon singer Axel Hirsoux to Eurovision after he defeated all his Flemish competitors in the national final. Although his Eurovision attempt wasn’t successful — he placed 14th in the semi-final — he became a symbol of Belgian unity. And now, with her cross-over success, maybe Blanche will be the next symbol of an undivided Belgium.
Belgium has already shown their love for Blanche, but do you think Europe will repeat the love? Let us know in the comments box below!