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!