The rumor mill isn’t stirring, nor have insiders at Belgium’s state broadcaster tipped us off. But friends on-the-ground in La Belgique have suggested that Robert Bellarosa will sing for Brussels in Malmö.
The theory stems partly from a shortage of talent. RTBF—that’s Radio Télévision Belge Francophone—doesn’t have any corpses in its freezer. Belgium dragged out Iris in Baku, but it clearly didn’t do a good job de-frosting her. She left audiences chilly with her incredibly bland number “Would You?” and finished a disappointing 17th in the first semi-final. Given the lack of Belgian talent—or the lack of artists willing to risk a similarly embarassing placement—RTBF finds itself in a tough position.
Enter Roberto Bellarosa, the teenager who won the inaugural season of The Voice Belgium. Following the tragedy of Iris, RTBF isn’t willing to risk its reputation by choosing a dud. But at the same time they don’t want to stage an expensive national selection contest to let the public decide. It’s simply impossible for them to fund the hundreds of castings that would require. Choosing Roberto, who already won a show in which the public voted, seems like a good solution given the economic climate.
It would also help RTBF wiggle out of the controversy of airing The Voice in the first place. RTL, a private channel and a rival of RTBF, was angry that a public station would spend all its money buying a commercial program. Recycling Roberto for Eurovision would help clear the air, and prove the channel spent taxpayers’ money wisely. The public got to watch the show—and they also got the bonus of a Eurovision contestant!
As for Roberto, he recently released his first single “Je Crois” (“I Believe”), which you can listen to below. His debut album drops in September 2012.