Belgium has decided for Eurovision 2021 — and it’s Hooverphonic! Following an agreement between the Dutch-language broadcaster VRT and its French-language counterpart RTBF, the ambient-alternative-electronica band will postpone their involvement in Eurovision and take up the reigns when the contest resumes next year.

Many of you will be familiar with the Belgian Eurovision system, but let’s review anyway. Belgium is a country where both Dutch and French are spoken, so the candidate is alternately chosen by RTBF (the French-language broadcaster) and VRT (the Dutch-language broadcaster). In 2020, it was VRT’s turn to choose an act for Eurovision, and they gave the honour to the band Hooverphonic with their song “Release Me”.

But following the outbreak of the coronavirus, Eurovision isn’t happening. RTBF was supposed to send an act for Eurovision 2021, but after consultation between the two broadcasters, RTBF have agreed to give their turn to VRT to allow Hooverphonic to finish the project they started. The French-language broadcaster will then choose the act for the following year.

In a press release, the broadcasters clarified their decision. Broadcaster RTBF considers it a logical decision. Olivier Goris from VRT One says: “The cancellation of the Eurovision Song Contest is a pity to everyone, but it was also an understandable and correct decision. It only shows what exceptional and difficult times we are experiencing. We are very grateful to our colleagues at RTBF for being willing to continue with the VRT entry next year. Hooverphonic will therefore go to the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 for VRT! As planned, but then a year later.”

Hooverphonic at Eurovision 2021

Hooverphonic’s band members Alex, Raymond and Luka are very enthusiastic: “It is great that we have received the confirmation that we can go to the Eurovision Song Contest next year this fast.  We are still very much looking forward it. We are now going to take the time to see how we are preparing for May next year.”

Speaking to Belgian web site Songfestival.be, Alex Callier – Hooverphonic’s front man – said he is happy to send a new song to Eurovision. He said that “Release Me” will be considered “old news”.

“Next year I will choose a great song again. With or without lift — I don’t care. I can imagine that we now need a happy and up-tempo song. I may write something like that, but it is too early to say anything about it.”

The EBU is still working with Rotterdam and NPO / NOS / AVROTROS to see whether the Eurovision Song Contest can take place in Rotterdam next year. However, it is decided that all countries have to send a new song for Eurovision 2021.

Are you happy that Hooverphonic will represent Belgium again? Do you think they will send a more up-tempo song? Let us know in the comment section down below!

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Nelbus
Nelbus
7 months ago

I know it sounds bad but in this case I’m glad they won’t be singing Release Me next year.

I’ve been a fan of theirs for over 10 years but this year’s entry was very disappointing. They can do much better and hopefully they will next year and maybe win!

Héctor
Héctor
7 months ago

For some reason I’m starting to think a lot of artists will go for uptempo songs next year… and in the end we will be in the opposite situation but still the same problem: lack of variety in terms of tempo.

Jessey
Jessey
7 months ago

Something as looking for stars would be great

Veta
Veta
7 months ago
Reply to  Jessey

Yes, just my thought! Or like “Sleepless”. I adore that one too!

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
7 months ago

I love Hooverphonic but did not like this song. Hopefully, now that they’ve seen what their song sounded like in a field of the best that 40 other countries had to offer, they realise what they need to bring to be competitive.
Seriously, they’re going to do much better next year.

Colin
Colin
7 months ago

Welcome back, Hooverphonic!

Samira Efendi is also back BTW!

Keep them coming! 🙂

Victoria Stan
Victoria Stan
7 months ago

so happy because i didn’t really like release me and i think it would have been lost in that death semi, hope their song will be amazing!!!

Artyill
Artyill
7 months ago

They can also send a good ballad, like Heartbroken (I know, there was a different singer but I think these kind of song are awesome). I’m happy to see them next year!

Badwoolfgirl
Badwoolfgirl
7 months ago

I was concerned that Hooverphonic might not be able to represent Belgium in 2021 because they are a big name and probably had a busy schedule, but I am glad they are coming back. I hope they can take this rare second chance to compose a new song that would truly light up the Eurovision stage without compromising their sound and style.

MaxHightower
MaxHightower
7 months ago

Yay! Hooverphonic is one of my fav bands so I’m delighted to see them in ESC 2021!
And another really good news is that they’ll bring another song! Don’t get my wrong, I absolutely adore ”release me” but I think it may not have been very competitive.
I hope they send something like romantic, one of my favourite songs from them.

Voxtaylor
Voxtaylor
7 months ago

Yessss, I’ve been waiting for this! If they are still keen on using their current sound (rather than their glorious turn-of-the-millennium trip-hop), I hope the new song is more “Romantic” than “Release Me.” Now I just need Victoria to confirm and I’m set. 🙂

Kuhkatz
Kuhkatz
7 months ago

Gjon‘s Tears confirmed for Switzerland as well

Koen
Koen
7 months ago
Reply to  Kuhkatz

That’s really good news. I was pleasantly surprised to notice that I wasn’t the only one who was really intrigued by his song! His top marks with the bookies must have felt really good for him.

Tom
Tom
7 months ago

Can we just cancel 2020 and go already in January 2021?!

Joe
Joe
7 months ago

I’m so happy. I’m gutted for the amount of good songs we’ll be losing in 2021 (I’m sweating for Bulgaria now – I’d love for them to stick around, preferably with Victoria, but who knows now?), but we must look forward, not back. Some Eurofans have a tendency to not let go of the past (not all, but a decent few), and while I feel for everyone disappointed at not hearing tracks like “Repondez-moi,” “Alcohol You,” or “On Fire” up on the Eurovision stage where they belong, I encourage you to please embrace the cool new stuff on its way… Read more »

Joe
Joe
7 months ago
Reply to  Joe

And France can spend another year coming up with a song that doesn’t finish last!

OhOkay
OhOkay
7 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Bulgaria is probably out for a year or two now (just to send a message :P), but they’ll be back, they love it too much not to.

Koen
Koen
7 months ago

Hmm, that’s a bit of a bold statement in the headline. Hooverphonic just said they would do another song. Even before the EBU announced the songs from 2020 can’t be used in 2021. And Alex merely said it could either way, maybe up tempo (as explained further in the article here). 🙂 But I’m glad VRT can send an entry again and Flemish people aren’t deprived of their shot. Glad they’ll send Hooverphonic again too, they deserve a chance, in the way they themselves see as the right way to do Eurovision for them.

Skiwalko
Skiwalko
7 months ago

Hooverphonic and up-tempo song? I’m intrigued.

Aga
Aga
7 months ago
Reply to  Skiwalko

I’d say “The Night Before” is quite uptempo for them, check this one out

Skiwalko
Skiwalko
7 months ago
Reply to  Aga

Well, it’s mid-tempo if you ask me. I think “Badaboum” is the only Hooverphonic song I know that I would dare call “fast-paced”, but even that is an exaggeration.

Bella
Bella
7 months ago
Reply to  Skiwalko

Amalfi is my favorite song of theirs and is def up-tempo.

Veta
Veta
7 months ago
Reply to  Skiwalko

Isn’t “Looking for stars” uptempo?

esc1234
esc1234
7 months ago

I respect the broadcasters who give the chance to the 2020 acts to represent their country as they should. I dont respect EBU’s decision to forbid the same songs to compete. Why? Go and watch the video where people in quarantine in Lithuania are dancing in their balconies “on fire” by the roop. Go and tell them, that this song that made them so happy these last months and was actually their chance to win for the first time, cant be heard all over europe and will be “honored” in a show that only hard core fans will watch. My… Read more »

Joe
Joe
7 months ago
Reply to  esc1234

Alright, you’ve had your moment to feel sad and disappointed. Now we let go of 2020 and move forward to a new season. You have every right to be upset, as do the artists and broadcasters, but I think we just have to accept this new reality and, to quote Oto Nemsadze, keep on going.

esc1234
esc1234
7 months ago
Reply to  Joe

we definitely should. But in times like these, where peole are locked in their houses, nothing goes on.

dygh
dygh
7 months ago
Reply to  esc1234

It’s like Alex says: next year these songs will be “old news”. It’s possible he says this because their song wasn’t the best but still.
Accept and move on, we have something new to look forward to: probably the most special Eurovision ever with basically alot of “returning artists”.

Kent
Kent
7 months ago

Released they have been…released from their dreary song entered for 2020…Belgium & Hooverphonic dodged another non-qualification year and hopefully they come back with a better song.

Kosey
Kosey
7 months ago

I hope they keep the defiantly moody vibe. They gave the impression that they really didn’t care, and I liked that about them. Yes, go up-tempo and happy if you want, but please keep the couldn’t care less attitude.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
7 months ago

This is great news. I like ‘Release Me’ but I think Alex can write a better song. Now, they’ll get a chance to upgrade.

Badwoolfgirl
Badwoolfgirl
7 months ago

Yeah, I think there is one upshot of this cancellation–artists who had weaker songs can have another chance to compose a better song for 2021 (if they want to return next year–it’s up to them).