Belgium has built a solid reputation for itself at Eurovision. In recent years Belgium has becoming known for dark melancholic pop — with Blanche and Loic Nottet notably notching fourth-place finishes. But Belgium is currently in the danger zone. For two consecutive years the country has failed to qualify. It was especially surprising to see the French-speaking broadcaster RTBF fail with Eliot, as it’s more successful than its Flemish sister VRT.

But hope seems to be on the horizon. Belgian Eurovision website songfestival.be has released some information about an interview it will release on Friday. Apparently VRT is talking to “the number one [artist] on our wishlist”. That’s according to the head of VRT’s selection committee and VRT music coordinator, Mr Gerrit Kerremans.

In the interview he states:

“Talks with artists are ongoing. It is true that we currently have a preferred candidate, the number one on our wishlist. He is currently considering possible participation in the Eurovision Song Contest in the Netherlands. The artist in question only wants to participate with a really strong song. As for the rest, I cannot and will not say much about 2020”.

The artist has been given some time to think about it, but will need to decide soon.

“Yes, there are deadlines set. Because if this artist doesn’t agree, then we have to choose one of our other routes. Fortunately we still have conversations ongoing with a number of people”. 

Mister Kerremans adds that the wish is for an experienced artist.

“Our artist can not fail in any way. I have the feeling that the artist who is now considering it, can score on all levels. Absolutely. Then it is up to us to surround that candidate in the best possible, professional way. I prefer to send someone who is popular at the moment and who already has some miles on the clock. I am pleased to give a new talent a boost, but it is certainly not a requirement”.

Now, we don’t know who is on the VRT wishlist. But we do have a clue about who is on the wishlist of Belgian Eurovision fans.

1. Oscar and the Wolf

One very big name that has been circulating around the Belgian fan scene is Oscar and The Wolf. This is a project of singer-songwriter Max Colombie. Does that name ring a bell? Max participated in Belgium Junior Eurosong in 2005. 

Oscar and The Wolf has had various hits in Belgium and the Netherlands and played several of the bigger festivals, including Rock Werchter — once of Belgium’s biggest festivals. We’re not sure if we are stretching things a bit far, but songfestival.be released a telling snippet of the interview, with a quote from Mister Kerremans:

“Playing Rock Werchter is much easier than singing at the Eurovision Song Contest. Because you have to open up for 200 million viewers”.

2. Hooverphonic

This band hails from the Flemish city of Sint-Niklaas and is an established name on the Belgian music scene. The singer who Hooverphonic made their name with — Geike Arnaert — is no longer with the band. But new singer and Voice Belgium 2018 winner Luca Cruysberghs makes an excellent successor. Hooverphonic has been on the wishlist of Belgian ESC fans for a long time now. You may know their 2015 hit “Badaboum”.

3. Stromae

Stromae doesn’t need much of an introduction. With worldwide hits like ”Alors On Dance” and “Papaoutai“, Stromae would be on a whole other level for Eurovision. But here’s the catch: Stromae has put his music career on hiatus. He is now focusing on fashion and it’s not clear if he will return to the music industry, let alone go to Eurovision.

4. Loic Nottet

Loic Nottet made us all rap-pa-pap in Vienna. Belgian fans would like him back in Eurovision and fair enough — artistically and musically, Loic would be a safe bet. Back in 2018 he was asked if he would ever consider a return to Eurovision and he responded: “Yeah, in a few years. Why not?” Could it be that Loic will make us dance once more?

Who do you think VRT is talking to? Do you think it could be one of the acts above? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!

Read all of our Belgian news here.

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Saney
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Saney

Loic Nottet is not an option, since it’s VRT turn this year and he is from the Walloon part, same with Stromae…. I’m afraid Oscar and the Wolf will not do Eurovision either, since I don’t see them doing it, but I could say the same about Fabrizio&Ermal so yeah. Hooverphonic would not be the right choice I think since their singer is a bit weak and they were much better before, although some may have other opinions. I think Natalia may be it, and she is great! We will see

Micha
Guest
Micha

I wish Belgium win next year!!! VRT bring the trophy and make Antwerp 2021 dream true! This is only 100km from Rotterdam 🙂 🙂

Saney
Guest
Saney

If Belgium wins, it will be Brussels….

Loin dici
Guest

I think the contest can still be held in the Flemish region and RTBF coud select the act, in case VRT wins.

Stella
Guest
Stella

I think bringing back Loic would be lazy tbh

Alex
Guest
Alex

It won’t be any artists above, i think you guys are reaching. Stromae is Wallonian and would never do ESC. Loic is highly successful in belgium and france and wouldn’t return, plus he’s Wallonian. Besides, number one on ‘their’ wishlist does not mean number one on OUR wishlist. As long as the song is excellent and the artist can perform and has stage charisma (cough Sennek cough) nothing else matters! Belgium wants to do good next year bc the show will be hosted in the Netherlands and there will be big support in the arena. Can’t they ask the writer… Read more »

Bella
Guest
Bella

“Wallonian” is not a word, it’s Walloon. The region is Wallonia, the demonym is Walloon, same for the adjective.

Yeah
Guest
Yeah

The writer of city lights is also the writer of wake up. We know how that ended…

dygh
Guest
dygh

Stromae is from Brussels and has a flemish mother.

TD303
Guest
TD303

Something tells me they’re talking to Ibe Wuyts, this year’s winner of The Voice van Vlaanderen. He was mentioned in an interview on Songfestival.be by Peter van de Veire who is part of the selection committee ( https://youtu.be/rYzMI-0lMsA , 11:00) saying “If Ibe wins The Voice, we definitely are taking him as an option”. He scored a pretty big hit with his debut single “Table of Fools” ( https://youtu.be/TAYlxC–1PY ) and over this summer, they’ve played it a lot on MNM, VRTs public radio station, often an indication because MNM plays more Eurovision-related songs. It seems exactly like the artist… Read more »

Jake
Guest
Jake

It will be someone known only in his/her house, just wait and see it. Which is not a bad thing, Duncan also was pretty unknown.

poe-tay-toe-chips
Guest
poe-tay-toe-chips

watch it end up being someone we’ve never heard of anyway

Pineaple
Guest
Pineaple

Am I the only one who thinks it could be Tom Frantzis who was in Belgium’s national final a few years ago? He was very popular with fans and was a good live performer. I think if he was paired with the right song he could do really well!

dygh
Guest
dygh

I think it might be Natalia. A few years ago she said she only wants to go if she has a good song. Now they say the mystery artist only wants to go if that person/groupe has a good song. I mean… It might be far-fetched but she is also very experienced. Plus, she is a fun person so the fans will really like her 🙂

Pineaple
Guest
Pineaple

Did you not read the “he” in the statement given? Haha. They seem to be speaking to a male act.

dygh
Guest
dygh

Fair point, could be a generalization, though. But considering this I would say maybe Milow or, as stated in the article, Oscar and the Wolf. Can’t wait!

Katrien
Guest
Katrien

I’m hoping for Loïc Nottet. 🙂

Gorilla716
Guest
Gorilla716

Stromae and Loic aren’t Flemish acts so they can’t be the Belgian representative for 2020.

marit
Guest
marit

I think they can actually. The flemish part chooses, but the artist doesn’t have to be flemish. It was an exception but an example is Axel Hirsoux

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

Maybe if VRT was holding a national final and the winner of that was a Walloon then yes. But I don’t think they’d internally select a Walloon over a Flemish act.

Bella
Guest
Bella

They’re talking to the #1 artist on their wishlist, but the VRT’s wishlist is not worth a dime… They’re historically the worst performing broadcaster in the ESC, my expectations are very low.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgium_in_the_Eurovision_Song_Contest#Disparity_between_Flemish_and_French-speaking_broadcasters

Loin dici
Guest

And also the broadcaster that opened up Belgium’s opportunity of winning since the introduction of semi-finals.

Bella
Guest
Bella

I must have missed that, in what year was that? I’m also not sure what “opening up an opportunity of winning” means (and English is my native language). Either you win or you don’t, and VRT never came even close. We’re talking about the people who thought it was appropriate to send Iris or Axel Hirsoux. Unless they changed the team or the HOD (which I don’t think they did, correct me if I’m wrong), I see no reason to get excited.

Loin dici
Guest

… did you forget how they went top 6 by sending Tom Dice? 🙂

Bella
Guest
Bella

Oh, so placing 6th (and 14th in the televote) is “opening up an opportunity for winning”? I guess we have different definitions of “win”, lol. I also have no idea of where you’re going with this: VRT is the worst performing broadcaster in the history of Eurovision, that’s a fact (participating since 1957 and not one single top 5 – even Finland and Portugal did better than that). How exactly does placing 6th 10 years ago change anything? RTBF has scored three qualifications and two top 5 since then. It’s like saying: – “Finland has failed to qualify 6 times… Read more »

MyEuroVision
Guest
MyEuroVision

I really want Angèle to represent Belgium!! Her songs are catchy, contemporary and have good lyrics.
But as long as its a great song and the artist is confident on stage I’m okay with what they will send.

Bella
Guest
Bella

Yeah but live, she sounds awful… Pure tradition of all these French singers that have no voice, can’t hold a single note and are mostly humming (Alize, Benabar, Zazie, Mylene Farmer, Jain, Vianney). I know she’s Belgian but she’s very successful in France.

Joko97
Guest
Joko97

Uhm bad live? just search Ta Reine at A Colors Show, she is amazing live and has amazing stage presence.

Bella
Guest
Bella

I just watched (and I had seen her Tout Oublier live performance at Victoires de la Musique, which was painful to hear). First of all, this is not live singing, it’s clearly a recorded session. Second, she’s not singing, she’s half talking half humming. She has a pretty voice and she’s cute, but she doesn’t have the pipes to take on Eurovision.

France loves that kind of artists who have absolutely no strength in their voice and sing off key all the time, but have some quirky quality. In any other market, she would never be successful.

Joko97
Guest
Joko97

yeah they talked about a Belgian artist that has immense success recently and i could only think of Angèle to be honest.

kim
Guest
kim

oh please let it be true!! I’m hoping for Hooverphonic. Fingers crossed!

Ye1h
Guest
Ye1h

Check their latest instagram post!

Lola
Guest
Lola

Please not Hooverphonic, I can’t stand Alex Callier (he is not the most likeable person, definitly not ESC material, believe me).
Would love to see Billie or Bazart, maybe even Milow! Or Laura Tesoro again with a slightly better song (like her own music).

Jowst Nej
Guest
Jowst Nej

Remember, as it’s the Flemish broadcaster, it’s very unlikely to be Loïc or Stromae!

Just send Kate Ryan to get her revenge!

Fionn
Guest
Fionn

Loïc would be great again

dv97
Guest
dv97

Send Tsar B or Selah Sue please

BREXIT CAREER WOMAN
Guest
BREXIT CAREER WOMAN

It is going to be Natalia after all.
Although I would prefer Tourist LeMC.

BREXIT CAREER WOMAN
Guest
BREXIT CAREER WOMAN

They need to send Sylver with a fast vocal trance song.

BREXIT CAREER WOMAN
Guest
BREXIT CAREER WOMAN

Stromae is not a Flemish act, but a Walloon one, and 2020 it is the Flemish broadcaster’s turn.
If you think VRT will be sending another Walloon act after the failure of ”Mother”, gij zijt zot!

pepe
Guest
pepe

His real name is Paul van Haver. He was born in Etterbeek. His father is from Rwanda. His mother from Dendermonde (Flanders.).

Bella
Guest
Bella

So? He’s still 100% French-speaking and sings only in French. And in any case, he hasn’t made music in years and is too successful for Eurovision.

pepe
Guest
pepe

So the definition of a Walloon is the language he sings in.

Bella
Guest
Bella

Oh, so your comment was the definition of a Flemish, lol? 😀 (Also yes, his mother tongue is French but that was only one of the points I mentioned – Great job at selective reading). … Dude, what are you even trying to say? Your comment doesn’t make any sense. His mom may have been born in Flanders, maybe his dog eats waterzooi and the 3rd cousin of his uncle’s neighbor loves going to Bruges, Stromae is still not Flemish and you know it. Full stop. Now that doesn’t mean that the VRT can’t send him (but they won’t, cause… Read more »

dutchie
Guest
dutchie

If the VRT could get Stromae, they would certainly send him! Comparing him to Axel Hirsoux is like comparing Eden Hazard to some random footballer off the street. Stromae is definitely Walloon though, despite his Flemish mother.

joko
Guest
joko

Angel? van Laeken? Would be really nice!

Robbert
Guest
Robbert

I hope for Milow! He will be different

FYROM
Guest
FYROM

roses are red
violets are grey
william is gay
i had something to say

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Roses are red
No one is laughing
When you don’t have anything to say
You better say nothing.

Trash KAN
Guest
Trash KAN

Ok tell it to your dentist

Tom
Guest
Tom

Stromae will never be in Eurovision – keep it real

Eurovision Online Contest
Guest

You never know what will happen in 20 years when his hayday will habe been over 🙂

Tom
Guest
Tom

Yeah,thats true – if he will be in the contest…he will be Kate Ryan 2.0

Laburnum
Guest
Laburnum

Selah Sue would be a great choice 🙂

Loin dici
Guest

I’m not surprised if the artist will have been announced as soon as September. Not sure whether it’s a right choice, but VRT seems really confident with their choices.

Quu
Guest
Quu

Loic is the artist i’m most wanting to return. He is such a talented artist.

FanESC
Guest
FanESC

“Our artist can not fail in any way. I have the feeling that the artist who is now considering it, can score on all levels. Absolutely.”

I absolutely don’t understand how they can say that when they first aim at the artist rather than the song.

khan
Guest
khan

Billie would be great.

James
Guest
James

Would it be possible for the Flemish broadcaster to consider artists from Wallonia?

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

all those big names, and probably going for some dull, unknown

James
Guest
James

Loic wasn’t exactly a big name when he was selected, was he?

Eurovisionfan12
Guest
Eurovisionfan12

I hope they’ll choose Bazart, their songs are really good and they usually sing in Dutch. The lead singer also took part in JESC which is a huge plus <3

EscVegi
Guest
EscVegi

Loic would win in Rotterdam

Micha
Guest
Micha

and bring trophy to Antwerp! ANTWERP 2021 🙂

Tijs
Guest
Tijs

It says Sennek was RTBF, but Sennek was from the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, hence VRT

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Thanks for pointing this out! It was a reference to RTBF not qualifying, so it’s now been corrected to say Eliot, not Sennek. 🙂

Candy
Guest
Candy

I have a feeling it’s Milow. He’s quite well-known and he’s obviously looking for ways to push his career. Only months ago he participated in the German TV show “Sing meinen Song” (= sing my song).

Robbert
Guest
Robbert

I hope so. Greetings from the Netherlands

dutchie
Guest
dutchie

He was also on the Flemish version of that show, where he met a certain Ilse DeLange.

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

Oscar and the Wolf would be spectacular.

Senne Mommens
Guest
Senne Mommens

It will be the flemish girl Billie.

khan
Guest
khan

I’d love that. If she delivers a song like Love Kills Slowly then Belgium will definitely be back.

Leo
Guest
Leo

Emma Bale, Milow or Oscar and the wolf would all be great choices

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Hooverphonic all day long. <3

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

If Belgium sends Selah Sue then they have my vote.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Stromae would be amazing!

Jeff Messer
Guest
Jeff Messer

Personally I thought their songs were fine the past two years. It’s just staging and vocals that have let me down personally.

BadWoolfGirl
Guest
BadWoolfGirl

Yeah, both their live shows were pretty bad. Granted I thought a matter of time was a stronger song than wake up (which I had doubts of it qualifying long before the live show). I hope Belgium can pick itself back on its feet next year.

ESCFan2009
Guest
ESCFan2009

“A Matter Of Time” was a strong dark song in the music video, but who decided that Sennek should perform in that dress and especially on the catwalk in between cheering fans with flags?!?! Nothing against our fandom, but this song should’ve been staged on main stage with dark and powerful staging….

ADd
Guest
ADd

The actual stage sucked, and its suckagge messed a lot of acts.

pepe
Guest
pepe

She choose that dress herself and it was the only dress she took with her to Lisbon. And it was also her own decision to perform on the catwalk. So that was the material Hans Pannecoucke had to work with.

dygh
Guest
dygh

And add the semi of death in the mix. It was written in the stars that she wouldn’t qualify.

Nicola
Guest
Nicola

Agreed. Loved the studio versions of both ‘A matter of time’ and ‘Wake up’. However especially in regard to ‘AMOT’, the staging didn’t come across well on live TV. With Eliot, it was mainly the his style and the staging that didn’t work. The staging should have been more dark, as well as fit in with the mood of the song. Also, Eliot should have worn something that fit in with the mood of his song.

Eurovision Online Contest
Guest

Loic and Stromae are from Wallonia(right?) so I don’t think they would be chosen by VRT…

Tom
Guest
Tom

Stromae will never be in Eurovision – keep it real