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Belgium: VRT plans to internally-select Eurovision 2020 participant

VRT is ready for Eurovision 2020!

With the second semi-final and the Grand Final still to come; Eurovision 2019 is far from over. Despite this, Belgium have already confirmed their participation in the 2020 contest. Their participation is shared between two broadcasters, who alternate selecting their artist year-by-year. 2020 will be the turn of Flemish broadcaster VRT, who will be enterally-selecting their artist once again.

Last night, RTBF, Belgium’s Waloon broadcaster, broke its run of qualification streaks, which began back in 2013. Performing at last night’s first semi-final, Eliot did not manage to qualify for the Grand Final. He had previously been internally-selected by RTBF to represent Belgium with “Wake Up”. We won’t know exactly how far he was off qualification until the full results are released after the Grand Final. However, we do know that only two points separated the 10th and 11th placed entries.

Belgium’s 2019 Eurovision journey may now be over, but for VRT, their Flemish broadcaster, it’s time to look ahead to 2020. According to Eurovision Belgium, they have already confirmed their participation for the 2020 contest. Further, the broadcaster will once again be internally-selecting both the artist and the song they will be sending.

Who is Eliot?

A relative newcomer to the Belgian music scene; 18-year-old Eliot competed in The Voice Belgique in 2018. At his first blind audition, Eliot impressed his coach Slimane Nebchi by the power, ease and sensitivity of his performance. Later he was noticed by songwriter and composer Pierre Dumoulin.

The moment I saw Eliot’s blind audition, I felt he had that little something extra that I look for in an artist, the sensitivity and fragility which are so necessary to convey emotion.

Pierre Dumoulin speaking about discovering Eliot on The Voice Belgique

He impressed with songs such as “High Hopes” and “Mad World”. Now, less than a year later, he will go on to represent his country at the biggest entertainment show in the world. We recently chatted to Eliot about his Eurovision journey in Tel Aviv during the rehearsal stage.

Belgium at the Eurovision Song Contest

One of the founding countries in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1956, Belgium has only missed three contests: 1994, 1997 and 2001. Despite this Belgium has only won the contest once, in 1986. Since the introduction of the semi-finals Belgium has struggled to qualify for the final. Belgium failed to reach the final for five consecutive years between 2005 and 2009.

However, in more recent years, their fortunes had changed for the better. They achieved three top ten placements in a row from 2015 to 2017; both Loïc Nottet and Blanche placed fourth in 2015 and 2017, respectively. 

Last year the country failed to qualify to the final for the first time in four years. Sennek represented the country in Lisbon with “A Matter of Time” and placed 12th in ‘the semi final of death’.

Eliot was looking to bring Belgium back to the final and the top 10 this year. Unfortunately, Wake Up became Belgium’s second non-qualifier in a row. We won’t know where exactly he placed, or how many points he scored until the full results are released after the final.

Do you think Eliot deserved to qualify? Who would you like to see represent Belgium next year? Let us know! Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter@escxtra on Instagram and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! We’ll also be posting plenty of content on our YouTube in the run up to Tel Aviv!

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