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!