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”.
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”.
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!