Eurovision is all about reaching through the TV screen and grabbing a global audience. But being crowned the winner doesn’t always indicate chart success. Jamala, who won the 2016 contest, didn’t manage to dent the European market and Salvador Sobral, who won the most recent edition in May, hasn’t managed to leverage his win into long-lasting chart success either.
But looking further down the scoreboard from Kyiv, our readers have identified a talent they think has what it takes to hit the radio waves and earn some cold hard cash. After counting 6,028 votes, we can now reveal that Belgium’s Blanche has won the Vision Music Award 2017 for Most Likely To Succeed Commercially.
With her dreamy, radio-friendly track “City Lights”, the teen singer climbed the charts in sixteen different territories, and even reached No. 1 in Belgium and Lithuania. Her on-trend track also reached the Top Ten in Iceland and Finland, and peaked inside the Top 40 in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Sweden and Spain.
Her on-point production and mainstream sound clearly serve her well even off the Eurovision stage. With her debut album in the pipeline, the future seems bright for this starlet who spent her summer courting gigs in Belgium and Germany. It’s no wonder legendary Hunger Games composer James Newton Howard recently performed alongside her on Belgian TV, singing her praises loud and clear afterwards.
Besides promoting her original Eurovision song on TV, she also dropped an acoustic version to mix it up and keep the headlines rolling.
That Blanche has what it takes to sustain a career post-Eurovision should come as no surprise.
Earlier this summer, we ran a poll revealing that “City Lights” is the most frequently played Eurovision 2017 song among our readers. That built on Blanche’s earlier success. Immediately after the first semi-final she climbed the iTunes charts in several countries, and she also won our poll for best video of the 2017 competition, ahead of Italy’s Francesco and Kristian Kostov from Bulgaria.
Blanche, who earned the second highest score with the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals — manages to appeal to the masses despite her highly independent sound. As we wrote ahead of Eurovision:
“A purveyor of dark pop, Blanche puts her rich and melodic vocals to stellar use on ‘City Lights’, which is easily the best studio cut of the year. Deliberately ignoring massive peaks and valleys, the song progresses in a linear fashion, adding dynamism through highly contemporary production that includes digital beats, electro-drumming and evolving rhythms. Such polished tracks can come off cold and sterile. But Blanche adds warmth through her vulnerability and overt longing. Regardless of the outcome at Eurovision, this deserves to be a radio hit.”
MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED COMMERCIALLY
1. Belgium — Blanche 1,752 votes, 29.06%
2. Bulgaria — Kristian Kostov 1,502 votes, 24.92%
3. Italy — Francesco Gabbani 995 votes, 16.51%
4. Moldova — Sunstroke Project 680 votes, 11.28%
5. France — Alma 578 votes, 9.59%
6. Norway — JOWST 521 votes, 8.64%
Total Votes: 6,028
Blanche joins an esteemed list of former VMA winners, who have gone on to top the charts at home and abroad. These artists include Australia’s Dami Im in 2016, Belgium’s Loïc Nottet in 2015 and The Netherlands’ Common Linnets in 2014.
VISION MUSIC AWARDS 2017: THE NOMINEES
This award is just one of a dozen awards we have launched as part of the Vision Music Awards 2017 (VMAs).
Our 13 categories — from best dressed to most wronged at ESC — identify the contestants who left the biggest impression on Eurovision fans, regardless of whether they won the contest or not.
You can watch the nominations video and read more about the awards here.