Riding a wave of momentum that includes a fourth-place finish from Eurovision 2017, Belgium was one of the first countries to confirm its participation in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon.

And tonight Flemish broadcaster VRT revealed that Laura Groeseneken will represent the country next May. It will mark the country’s 60th time participating in the song festival.

Laura, who has previously performed under the name SENNEK, performed Salvador Sobral’s “Amar pelos dois” shortly after being revealed as Belgium’s act.

She showed total control over the jazzy song, giving it her unique feminine touch while singing in English.

An artist on the rise, Laura told Eurovision fans a bit more about herself in the video above.

She works as a visual merchandiser for IKEA, suggesting she’ll have a keen eye on staging ahead of the contest. She wants to bring “a very touching song” to the stage and says she will not dance, because she can’t. We appreciate her honesty!

Her first Eurovision memory is Dana International’s victory in 1998, and her favourite ESC song is Jamala’s “1944”. Emotional indeed! She doesn’t believe that any specific type of song has an advantage.

“It doesn’t exist,” she says. “All the songs that won in the last years were always different songs. Like Portugal was a waltz — it’s very different. You have to focus on the song and not whether it’s ‘Eurovision Song Contest enough'”.

“I’m not going to write a song for Eurosong. I just want to write a beautiful song.”

Belgium at the Eurovision Song Contest

Belgium debuted at the very first edition of Eurovision way back in 1956, but it took them 30 years to secure their first victory. Now, almost 32 years after that win, Belgium is still waiting to hold the trophy for a second time. But good things come to those who wait, right?

Following years of up and down results, the country has finally hit its stride with three Top 10 finishes in a row, including fourth place with Loïc Nottet in 2015 and again with Blanche in 2017.

Aware of its own momentum, the country confirmed its next participation before the 2017 contest even ended, with Flemish commentator Peter Van de Veire telling songfestival.be that VRT was already busy with preparations for its selection procedure in 2018. He also mentioned that the selection would be 100% internal — aka, behind closed doors and overseen by the broadcaster.

What do you think about Belgium’s decision? Are you feeling Laura? And how high do you think they can climb with the right song? Let us know in the comments box below! 

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The Anders
Guest
The Anders

It could work out well, but I will wait for the song.

In any case, the Belgians seem to take the contest seriously, and that is great 🙂

Richardinho
Guest
Richardinho

Look forwards to the song. Apart from last years blip, Belgium normally produce good songs.

Héctor
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Héctor

This is giving me Martina Barta vibes. I din’t like her song, so that isn’t good I think. Hope Belgium follow the path of ‘City Lights’ and ‘Rhythm Inside’.

Vanuatu
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Vanuatu

the song is the key element so i’ll wait for it.

Nikos
Guest
Nikos

Wow Kaleidoscope was so beautiful. Her voice is so pleasing and she has remarkable control, especially in the challenging lower register. Like others, I am feeling the Martina Barta love and connection (she had very similar qualities).

Good job Belgium. I am always a little nervous about Flanders (you gave us Mother lol), but it seems they have caught up with the Walloon broadcaster in giving us great content. Can’t wait for the song now! 🙂

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

I love, LoVe, LOVE her! She has an amazing voice and great sense of style. I have high hopes on her!

L'oiseau
Guest

Very interesting choice. Obviously last year’s winner and:or the fast food speech had an impact and ressonated in VRT

Kris
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Kris

She would perfectly fit the role of a Luisa sobral impersonator.

Jo
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Jo

yes, but Belgium hasn’t been sending only “fast food music” lately.

L'oiseau
Guest

I totally agree with you. Belgium has been one of the most interesting counties not only this descade but I would say this century, despite the ‘mother’ debacle. I just feel that VRT took a clear stand of not having a a song fabricated somewhere in a Swedish factory.

BringBackDenise
Guest
BringBackDenise

She looks like Barbara Dex

Jo
Guest
Jo

#BringBackDenise!

M_K
Guest
M_K

From what I’ve seen and heard so far I’m very happy with the choice that Belgium made.

She is obviously a talented musician (in fact, she is one of the few people who realised that “Amar pelos dois” is actually a waltz – kudos for that) and I hope that she’s going to write a great song.

Kris
Guest
Kris

I thought waltz is a dance form?

M_K
Guest
M_K

It’s also the type of music to which you can dance a waltz as well as a sub-genre of jazz. If a jazz song is written in 3/4 time, it’s usually referred to as a (jazz) waltz. Most people labelled the song a Bossa nova – even though it feels like one, a Bossa nova is usually written in 4/4 time. So I’m quite impressed that Laura seems to know her stuff… and I have to admit that I have a soft spot for people who are qualified and know what they’re doing (in contrast to random X-Factor competitors who… Read more »

Kris
Guest
Kris

That’s informative.
But I don’t think theoretical knowledge has much to do with vocal skills.

Hope VRT can give her a song as good as RTBF gave to Blanche.

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

Credit to Blanche, she did co write City Lights, so it wasn’t just handed to her.

Carol
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Carol

Belgium is gonna play hard again. After hearing some of her songs it’s clear that She’s SO talented and she’s gonna stand out from the others. I just hope she wont disappoint like Blanche did on stage(even tho she had a good result which was deserved).

TJ
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TJ

She seems very very nice. I love, that she will also write the song.

Chantal Paris
Guest
Chantal Paris

Some people here already know there will be no final for Belgium next year…ROFL

Jo
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Jo

Judging by Laura’s interview, we kinda know that Belgium will probably qualify. She’s not only a singer, she writes her stuff and if you look at her social media pages you can see that Laura has an artistic profile, which means the staging will also be unique.

BringBackDenise
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BringBackDenise

Finland was talented and quality song and no final for them. Fast food music and fireworks will qualify for final

Kris
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Kris

So we should have more song on burgers and pizza next year??

Not all fireworks qualified though this year…

I think she will qualify if her song is good especially by Jury. Her televote performance will depend on how current and musically connectable her song is.

Jo
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Jo

Yes, but people were very devided towards that Finnish entry, unlike the songs from Portugal, Belgium and Italy, which had haters but many lovers as well.

AngieP
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AngieP

I saw her interview in Eurovision.tv and I enjoyed it. She’s so nice! The first impression is good. I really like her voice, with some jazz infuences right there. I also believe a ballad is the best choice for her. It seems they’re heading to this genre from what I understand (touching song, goosebumps, no dance). I can’t imagine her in an up-beat song to be honest. An encouraging point here, is that she’s not going to write a song for Eurovision but just a beautiful song. I really hope they’ll do well once again! But I’ll wait for the… Read more »

Kris
Guest
Kris

‘City lights’ was a no dance, mid-tempo lyrics with uptempo beat song this year and it turned out to be the best song by far. She can be given a similar song no?

oggy
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oggy

i dont care about Singer who presented Belgium later. But, i want Belgian send Dutch or French entry in Eurovision later.

Tiago S
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Tiago S

The winds of Eurovision are indeed chanching. I love Belgium as a competitor for refusing corny. She loves 1944 and sang Amar Pelos Dois. I already like her! Kudos from Portugal!

Miguel
Guest
Miguel

Belgium going indie/jazz!
Laura seems really nice and professional and i am confident she will have a great song.
I just wonder if she is the right choice for 2018 after Jamala and Salvador. Eurofans will probably go for something different this time. Either way, great choice and good luck to Belgium!

azaad
Guest
azaad

She might like Jamala, but Jamala’s style seems far removed from Salvador or Laura. 1944 was an emotional hurricane, but Amar Pelos Dois was a calm breeze. Their jazzy backgrounds were one of their few shared traits.

Miguel
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Miguel

That is what i meant. Both Jamala and Salvador had emotional songs.
I have a feeling this time the winner will be a pop or electronic song.
I am just guessing of course….

Valdez
Guest
Valdez

She said she likes ‘1944’, she sung Salvador song, but I guess she was chosen because she can be Belgium’s LUISA SOBRAL.
Good for Belgium because they want somebody that has a vision.

Valdez
Guest
Valdez

She will write her own song, and I guess this is new for Belgium. When was the last time when Belgium was interested in that criteria? I really don’t know.
Really believe that Sobral family was the inspiration to give independence to the artist.

Dave S.
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Dave S.

OMG She’s increadible! I can actually imagine how modern, touching and beautiful her song will be. Can’t wait to hear it & keeping my fingers crossed

Dave S.
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Dave S.

Belgium has a real chance to win for the second time ever. Believe me and remember my words 😉

misteriks
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misteriks

I know the song will be determining to give a fair opinion but so far a biiiig disappointment. Boring voice and appearance and not sure what she meant with a touching song. It reminds me of Belgium 2012. Her style is a big turn off compared to Belgium’s last years entries…

Monika
Guest
Monika

She seems nice but I have the feeling she’ll flop, choosing a jazzy ballad, just like Martina Barta this year. Sorry Belgium, no final in 2018…

FANNY
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FANNY

She has a good voice, so now it’s up to the song.

Revol Cisum
Guest
Revol Cisum

I didn’t like her version of Amar Pelo Dois… She gave a cheap immitation of what Salvador was giving this may… Sorry, but I don’t think it’s the best choice for Belgium…

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

I’m intrigued. Laura seems a very capable and versatile performer and she knows her strengths and weakness (no dancing!). She wants to deliver a quality song, and her track record suggests this won’t be a lazy, old-fashioned ballad. She has a modern edge and knows how to work it!

Jokewy
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Jokewy

modern edge? lol….

Valdez
Guest
Valdez

She is like Martina Barta, and I mean it in a good way. Jamala and Salvador are both jazz singers, maybe 3rd year in a row will be still a jazz winner. I still don’t understand what was wrong with Martina’s song.

Jo
Guest
Jo

Her song was too slow, SF1 had a lot of ballads, bad running order, performing after a break. They set her up!!!

Elhaida
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Elhaida

Everything Jo said, + the fact that Czech Republic seem to have the very best luck in Eurovision

Hada
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Hada

Plus the creepy had-naked people in the video and background

Mattias Sollerman
Guest
Mattias Sollerman

Works at IKEA and claims to love Sweden.
Clearly deserves top 10.

Denis
Guest
Denis

I get Lana del Ray vibes from her: Very melodic, melancholic, calm. Could work!..?
Performers who have artistic view to the performance usually does well in ESC

escphbelgium
Guest
escphbelgium

I have no doubt, anymore. Belgium made a good choice again with Laura Groeseneken.

I’m probably asking a lot from her but I hope she keeps up with the modernity flow Belgium is known for the last 3 years (maybe like an electro-symphonic version of 1944 or something). Anyway, she has a great voice and I’ll be rooting for her to end up Top 10 again.
#gobelgium

Kris
Guest
Kris

Her personality is reminding me of City lights and Blanche!! That’s a good sign

EscAU
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EscAU

Hopefully she’ll wow everyone again like Blanche did- a somewhat unknown singer bursting onto the scene with a song more powerful that everyone thought, don’t discount her just yet!

escphbelgium
Guest
escphbelgium

From how they did well in the last three years (plus 2010 and 2013). I doubt people will underestimate Belgium that easily.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

I can see her bringing an electronic song with a serious meaning that doesn’t need any dancing to it, pretty much like Bigger Than Me by Katy Perry aka the best song of 2017.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

no1curr, stop spamming this everywhere

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Interesting. I hope they let her artistry shine, she seems like she knows what to do.

jim
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jim

very boring, i guess she will participate with some sleepy minimalistic ballad

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

Nah, I can already see her bringing something electronic with an indie vibe to it. A more complex version of City Lights sonically.

Kris
Guest
Kris

Yes…please !!

ZMG
Guest
ZMG

Woohoo, get excited! She has a strong, distinctive voice and I think her style will stand out, even if her song does end up being a ballad (and I’m usually not to keen on the ballads).Great choice by Belgium!

TheStellarSeaCow
Guest
TheStellarSeaCow

She has an inspirations playlist in Spotify and has an instereating taste in music. She has Cat Powers in that list and I can see Laura doing a song that is Cat Powers-esque or even like something Lykke Li would make. Like a nice understated ballad. I don’t know how well a song like that would do at Eurovision but I think it will be a song I like (judging by my YouTube searches).

Damien
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Damien

Does anyone else get a Molly Sterling (Ireland 2015) from her.

Damien
Guest
Damien

vibe*

old boy
Guest
old boy

OMG YES. Totally.

Amor
Guest
Amor

Dude! I was thinking the same thing!

Pia
Guest
Pia

Laura’s James Bond tribute live: impressive to me! https://youtu.be/8SI63JXKubw

Pia
Guest
Pia

Laura’s James Bond tribute live: impressive to me!

susi
Guest
susi

seems boring tbh

Colin
Guest
Colin

She seems really nice and has a great voice. From what she said, I assume we may expect a ballad / slow tempo song from Belgium this year. If she gets all the emotion into it, I have a good feeling about this. She sends some good vibes.

Linguavert
Guest

I wasn’t too impressed by her performance of Love for Both. (Were those the lyrics from Alexander Rybak’s “translation”?) She seemed flat and unemotional.

But she connected with with her own song Kaleidoscope a lot better.

Aria
Guest
Aria

The song is flat itself!!
When performed in Portuguese it isn’t as noticeable though.

Marcus (Day One)
Guest
Marcus (Day One)

Interesting singer but without a song it doesn’t matter how good the singer is (Ask Albania and Georgia this year)

I never really understood why broadcasters pick the singer first and then the song.
It should really just be picking both at the same time.

Imagine if you had a choice between Anja Nissen and mans zermolov without hearing their songs.
Anja is the stronger singer so you’d likely pick her but that doesn’t mean they’d have a better song.

DragonairZ
Guest

Spot on.

Amor
Guest
Amor

She sounds good. I just wish her the best, I know a lot of people are expecting her to get top 10 to continue the streak. I actually prefer her version of Amar por Dios to Salvador’s by miles.

MrBrightside
Guest
MrBrightside

I’ve got Martina Barta vibes here. They even share a similar accent. 😮

Bastian
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Bastian

She seems a bit boring to me. Yeah good voice, but thats not the most important thing in Eurovision. Still curious about the song tho.

xoxoxo
Guest
xoxoxo

Why is she not singing with Ozark Henry. They are duo. They could make a Belgian version of The Common Linnets.

Aline De Kegel
Guest
Aline De Kegel

Sounds promising

Elmar
Guest
Elmar

I like her voice and stage presence. It’s going to be good. Good luck!

Paul D.
Guest
Paul D.

Great voice, way to go Belgium!

Gorilla716
Guest
Gorilla716

I think Laura will most likely sing a ballad at Eurovision

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Fab-u-lous! 🙂