Before Eurovision 2017 came to an end, Belgium had already confirmed its participation for Eurovision 2018. After three years of success — and three Top 10 finishes, including a pair of fourth place honours — Belgium now hands the reigns over the Flemish broadcaster VRT to continue the trend.
Speaking to Songfestival.be in May, Flemish Eurovision commentator Peter Van de Veire revealed that VRT will choose its act internally — meaning there will not be a Eurosong national selection.
And following that news a number of artists have shown their interest in representing Belgium — including Natalia Druyts, one of the most famous artists in the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium.
Speaking to Nieuwsblad, the 36-year-old said: “I do not want to have to compete against other Flemish artists, but if VRT asks me directly to defend our country and I have a good number, I would definitely do this. But we’ll see what the future brings.”
Natalia, who now calls Antwerp home, rose to fame as runner-up on Idool 2003, where she competed against Turkey’s 2009 representative Hadise.
In 2004 she tried her luck in Eurosong 2004 — the Belgian pre-selection — where she finished second with the song “Higher than the Sun”. It went on to peak at #2 in the charts. After Eurosong 2004, Natalia lost her interest in Eurovision, saying that the atmosphere between the candidates wasn’t that relaxed.
Our readers may be familiar with some of her hits. They include “I’ve Only Begun to Fight” and “Hallelujah”, both of which hit #1 on the singles chart, and “Without You” and “Risin”, both of which hit #2. One of our favourites is “Boom”, which reached #10.
The Geel-born beauty has also participated in Sterren Op De Dansvloer — the Flemish take on Strictly Come Dancing. She’s also one of the coaches on The Voice of Flanders and The Voice Kids.
In 2017 she was part of Liefde Voor Muziek, in which different Flemish and Dutch artists had to cover each other’s hits. Natalia can command different music styles including pop, soul and R&B. Given all that, surely she can pull off a Eurovision song!
But Natalia’s road to Eurovision is filled with other prominent artists, who have also said they’d give it a go if asked. Among them are Kate Ryan (Belgium 2006), Belle Perez (NF Belgium 2006), Gene Thomas, Isabelle A, Ozark Henry and De Romeo’s. The competition is stiff to say the least.
VRT is currently building its Eurovision 2018 team. Once it’s in order, they’ll turn to choosing their ideal artist.
The last time VRT organised a 100% internal selection was in 2010 when it chose Tom Dice with his song “Me and My Guitar”. That year Belgium managed to reach the grand final for the very first time and ultimately placed sixth.
Who would you like to see on stage waving the Belgian flag? Let us know in the comments box below!
At this point I’m torn between Billie, Emma Bale, Selah Sue, Laura Tesoro, Milo Mesken, Oliver Lord, Hooverphonic, Lost Frequencies, and Oscar and The Wolves to represent Belgium in Eurovision 2018.
*Oscar and the wolf
This is a no brainer: Oscar and the wolf.
Billie or Milo Mesken for Belgium 2018.
Please, VRT, continue the teenagers-at-the-top-10 streak
Although I was positively surprised with Laura Tesoro’s performance, we all know of the VRT’s dreadful track record. Whether they select their acts internally or through their never-ending and overcomplicated national final, it always ends up nowhere… Historically, they are the worst ESC broadcaster: they’ve been participating since 1956 and never managed to place higher than 6th (that was with Tom Dice in 2010). That means that if Flanders were an independent country, they would be the worst Eurovision performer, way below Portugal. So I don’t have many hopes for Belgium 2018, they will almost surely break that nice top… Read more »
If I were them, I’d go with Selah Sue, who wrote Laura Tesoro’s “What’s The Pressure?”
Article full of mistakes..
In past many time VRT send better song than RTBF and have not good result. For me from 1980 to 2017 RTBF have good song in 1982 ( in that year deserved to win ) 1986,1988, 2003 (overrated song in points like song from Belgium 1984) 2005 (deserved to go to final) , 2013, 2015, 2017 (great song but not good live ). VRT send good song in 1981, 1983,1987, 1999, 2002, 2004 (great song but not good live), 2006 (deserved to go to final and to be in TOP 10) , 2010 (overrated song in points like song from… Read more »
With song similar like Boom ., Belgium will be out of TOP 15. Not many points from juries and more points from televote.
With song similar like I ve only begin to fifht , Belgium in TOP 10 , more points from juries than televote
He have good strong voice, with good song TOP 10 for Belgium again .
I would love to Belgium send song in flamish and song to be like song from The Netherlands 1993, 1998,2007 that type of music. This singer have simillar strong voice like singer from The Netherlands in that years.
Give us a hoe bop and you’ll win our hearts
I so hope they won’t pick Natalia. Her career is dead by now. Same goes for all the other artists who show interest. It’s their only chance to give new life to their carreer. If it was up to me, I’d go for Emma Bale or Billie. They could continue the current top 10 streak that Belgium currently has. Singers like Natalia wouldn’t even qualify …
I highly agree! Please not Natalia, it will be Kate Ryan all over again…
Billie for Belgium 2018
Belgium should have sent this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWv4TN3Z5kM .
Very Tom Dice.
I would like to see someone else represent my country. Natalia is well past her peak and her music is very generic. They don’t play her songs on the radio that often and she hasn’t had a big hit in a while (not taking Liefde voor Muziek into consideration, because those are covers). I’d prefer if Belgium continued sending young singers with good, simple songs. Why change a strategy that has awarded us with a spot in the top 10 the past 3 years?
Very few countries got three consecutives Top 10 in the past few years. Maybe Belgium is turning into a new Eurovision powerhouse.
Yes I think so , and I think Bulgaria will be with them too!
Bulgaria had luck. Their broadcaster is lazy af, they won’t even cover most of the participation costs. They got strong songs submitted, by people who could afford to go, and that’s it.
That’s not true. BNT is working really hard to get good results. They will do it again next year. Bulgaria wants to win, I think they will do what Azerbaijan did from 2009-2013, but not soooo expensive.
What you say isn’t true lol. They do want to win (their participation this year reeked with desperation), but they’re relying on luck mostly. They don’t cover most participation expenses, the participants/labels have to put the cash.
Well, that’s I don’t know, but at least they’re taking the credit, ‘cuz the delegation seems to be in command, judging by BNT’s twitter account.
They are already working for the 2018 edition, so we should expect something big again.
It’s Azerbaijan all over again.
But I think they still need a Top 3 to be considered a powerhouse. Bulgaria is too erly to call.
Belgium and Bulgaria are the new Greece and Turkey tbh
Doesn’t want to compete… Does she know that Eurovision is a competition?
Belgium had some great results lately with young artists, building up their carreer. The names that would like to go (Natalia, Kate Ryan…), are all on the way down. I don’t want to see any of them.
I hope VRT has a nice surprise when announcing the name… I wouldn’t mind Oscar and the Wolf: contemporary song + hideous outfits. Could do well 😀
Laura was internally selected as well in 2016! Difficult task for Belgium next year, poor VRT it’s hard to be in the top 10 or even top 5 again. They need to choose a massive song like Rhythm Inside and City Lights. Both were amazing and unique. Natalia was huge back in 2004 and her songs were amazing, not sure if she can bring something new in 2018. Same for Kate Ryan, she’s past her peak. They need to find a great song! Not about how big the artist is. The interest of known acts ignited as Belgium takes it… Read more »
Nope laura won a national final…
She was a runner-up on The Voice and had like 50K followers on Facebook at that time while the other four were basically aspiring newcomers. Don’t get me wrong. I love What’s The Pressure, but it was really a no contest if you think about it.
“Boom” sounds like Gran Canaria gay disco at 2:30 a.m. Very cheap and lazy.
Sorry, but with a song like this, VRT risks continuing being outshone and overshadowed by the Wallonian counterpart.
Áustria, you’re saying that as if it’s a bad thing. If in Lisbon we have a load of poor man’s Sobral acts and a bit of Gran Canaria gay disco, it’s going to stand out.
She would be next year’s Kate Ryan for sure, with a sad and disposble pop song like Boom.
I can feel it… Belgium is ready to get a 2nd victory!
I LOVE HER SONG “BOOM” SOOOO MUCH
Listen to Love Kills Slowly by Billie – now THAT is a song that VRT should send to Eurovision.
Emma Bale would be a good choice too
Billie would be a great choice! I can see her getting another top10 for Belgium.
Emma is also very good. I like her more than Billie but I am not sure her music style would be appreciated in eurovision.
Also this song is amazing!
Finally somebody at Wiwibloggs noticed the news, she said it a week after the contest